Teaching kids to be polite in game

Posted by dkidwell on February 4th, 2006 — Posted in ages 12 +, ages 9-11, console games, parenting

It’s early on a Saturday and my neice and nephew are over. Five kids have embarked on a raucus round of gaming on our game cube. With Mario themes at the decibal level that seems painful on a Saturday morning, the kids are haggling over who gets to play which character and what strategies to play.

On occassion, they can get really terse with one another. The oldest of the bunch, my son, is showing that ‘oldest child attitude’ and barking orders at the others. I listened from another room, until I went in to make a cup of tea.

I called him over, and pointed out how from the other room, he was barking almost as much as our Great Pyrenees. (Any Pyr owners out there will understand, but they can be quite the barkers when they’ve decided they have something to say.)

My kid looks at me, a bit hestitant as if he’s in trouble. He is not. Kids squabbling is part of working out dynmics of kid-dom, a place where Mom’s have little domain. But, he understood, and said “Oh, I didn’t realize that…ok.”

The last hour has been just as loud, but filled with more random singing and w00ts and hollars.

I won’t be around for most of the times when the kids have opportunities to interact with others their age. From the moment they are on the bus, I lose sight of how they treat others. As they get older, that is just more pronounced. So why not take a moment here, and now, to address it? Not in a confrontational way – the idea is not to model barking – but in a sensible “hey, I noticed this…” kind of way.

This isn’t solely a gamer mom tactic. You’ll have this opportunity with other things certainly. But games provide a unique cause for everyone to work together towards a goal. In multiplayer games, someone is likely to take on leadership and forge a strategy. Is a 12 year old too young to learn to be a strong leader that people like working with? Nah, the timing is perfect.

Now, if only the dog would stop barking…

Avatale : free blogging host for blogs or webjournals

Posted by dkidwell on October 14th, 2005 — Posted in ages 12 +, daughters, mmo

Avatale : free blogging host for blogs or webjournals

Now, this is promising.

Hello Kitty has been the reigning queen of cute scented erasers and little whatnots for 3 decades – that’s not a flash in the pan. With the Anime crazy of the 90s, we’ve got now 2 generations of girls growing up that, even when fully grown, still go ‘OOOH!’ when they see it.

Add a dash of that to a social networking experiment and the results have to be, at the very least, worth watching.

Review – Animal Crossing

Posted by dkidwell on July 20th, 2005 — Posted in ages 12 +, ages 4-8, ages 9-11, console games, reviews

Animal Crossing the THE reason we got a Nintendo Gamecube.

Animal Crossing is the single best gift that Dubious Quality blogger Bill Harris gave us (and we are looking forward to the release of Eli 4.0!)

Animal Crossing is the game that has attracted and held the interest of my daughter – stay tuned for a series of articles regarding that!

Animal Crossing is:

    $20 at Amazon nowdays
    Only available on the Gamecube
    Rated E by the ESRB

An intelligent, and terribly cute in a Hello Kitty kind of way, persistant world game. You meet the folks in town, plant trees that bear fruit, find fossils you can send off to the museum, fish, make lovely parasols and dresses, and assemble fantastic collections for your home. It’s full of hidden surprises and clever details. It’s got a sense of time, so if you log in at nite, it’s dark, if you log in the fall, the leaves have changed color. Just brilliantly thought out and well worth it.

Stay tuned for future blogs regarding lessons learned in Animal Crossing, but for the moment, if you can find it on sale at Fry’s or Best Buy, get it!