Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Alex gets in early on his 15 minutes of fame
Published on March 9, 2005 By Draginol In MMORPG

In this month's (April 2005) issue of Computer Games Magazine there is an article I've written about my 8 year old son, Alex. It's about his adventures as a Night Elf as part of our guild ("MythInc") on the Uther server in the game World of Warcraft. 

World of Warcraft isn't perfect, I know I have a long list of issues with the game. But it is, overall, a fantastic game. And for my son, it's a real thrill.  Him and his younger brother (Ryan, 4) will pretend to be playing the game even outside of World of Warcraft.  Ryan will run around with a plastic axe tucked in under his shrt behind his back. When he gets killed, he pretends he's a ghost and runs in that trademark World of Warcraft character running style back to his body.

That's the ironic thing about World of Warcraft, it actually works well as a game for all ages. It's not particularly gory. The most significant moral qualm is that many of the quests are essentially about going out to the countrside and butchering sentient creatures and taking their stuff so that you can get better at going out and butchering other sentient creatures to take their stuff and so forth. But that's not how my son is playing it anyway. For him, it's about fishing, hunting deer, cooking food, exploring the world, helping other people.  Not that he doesn't kill his share fo gnolls and bandits, but overall, he's getting a much fuller experience than the typical player is I suspect.

on Mar 09, 2005
Despite my name on here, I'm the Queen of the Elementals on my gaming site. We have so much fun... but some people just want the power... how sad.

You're going to have two creative little boys on your hands. I'm glad you let them have an imagination.
on Mar 09, 2005
Roll playing can be very helpful in developing creativity and many other skills. It’s important you chose these games carefully though.

Games like Grand Theft Auto were bad behavior is the only choice rewarded should only be played by “mature minds”.

I feel one of the worst roll playing entertainment for kids these days is professional wrestling.
on Mar 10, 2005
I think it's wonderful that you let them experience the games in that way. Kids have such volatile and wonderful imaginations. They never look at things the way we do and that's what's so precious about them. Your boys sound like they're like that too. Let them get their own impression and enjoyment out of it, as you're doing and just be their to guide them as you are; that's always the best thing to do.
on Mar 11, 2005
I am a night elf on one of the other servers. After reading your article about how your son has his own justice system and helping newbies and other things just for the experience it made me look at the game in a whole different light. Thank you. It gives me hope for the future that there are still some people out there that let their children be themselves, but don't let society raise them. Thank you for the hope and the smile.
on Mar 15, 2005
Your son is a night elf! Is your mailman a night elf? It's always the mail man... I think it's the uniform.