You know, for kids!

This entry is part 1 of 42 in San Check

Teach Your Kids to Game Week

I was reading the latest post on Risus Monkey, home of the awesome Ryth Chronicle, which let me know it was “Teach Your Kids to Game” week.

Looking over other posts about the subject this week, one of the themes spread throughout their articles was the idea of explaining the concept of reality versus fantasy to children. I kept reflecting back to when I was younger and my experience was the exact opposite; I would go to hell if I played these games!

I was the adult in child form saying, “But it’s just pretend!

Kids know pretend; they already intuitively role play without dice. It’s adults who need a reality check.

Originally my mind defended all these other adults that still enjoyed role-playing games; surely they could not forget what it was like as a kid, since they still play games of imagination. Then Tess reminded me that I had reminded her to remind me that I need to stop the habit of giving people the benefit of the doubt.

Judging the Cover

The main idea for last week stems from DriveThruRPG, who are selling a bunch of “For Kids” games. All those “For Kids” games seem ridiculous. If you had an interest in playing “Call of Cthulhu” or “Call of Cthulhu For Kids!” would the nine-year old you once were pick up the kids copy?

Maybe that’s a bad example, because what the hell is in that kids version, right? I want a copy of that.

A better example are these two game book covers. Which cover would appeal to kids more and which one is grandma going to pick up for little Bobby?
Fighting Fantasy Versus Golden Dragon
I do not understand why you need to dumb down the rules “For Kids” and provide “kid friendly” art. The rpgs most of us started with were not dumbed down and the old school art that still inspires the imagination today is hardly kid friendly.
You just aren’t ready to crack orc skull as a dwarf. It’s a very complicated process that I like to call ‘make-believe’ and requires imagination.
I don’t want to confuse my use of “dumbed down” with rules-light. I can appreciate a rules-light game and actually believe a busy adult has more interest in this kind of system than a kid who has plenty of energy and time to learn a more detailed concept of rules.
When it comes to rules, I shudder at the thought of playing GURPS or Palladium again, but I don’t believe it would phase the girls. Hell, I am tempted to toss the Mouse Guard book their way and say, “Tell me how to play this thing.
Slapping “For Kids” on anything is the perfect way to suck in all those parents who rely on marketing to raise their children the right way.
Am I also not being a good christian?
Do tell.

What’s wrong with your face?

Red Letter Media Plinkett

Red Letter Media put it best when Mr. Plinkett said, “Imaginations work differently than that,” in reference to kids wanting to play as Han Solo or Luke Skywalker not the little kid Jedi from the Clone Wars.*

I had made the remark about Kay choosing a halfling, because she perhaps identified with their size. I immediately wrote this off as my dumb adult brain not having a fucking clue. We had played Thief the previous week, that much I believe influenced her original class choice.
When kids play house they don’t pretend to be kids running a house. Sure, occasionally one of them will be “the dog” and perhaps take on the role of a baby, but they cover all the traditional roles, which are mainly adults.
If you started role-playing games at a young age, I doubt the thought occurred to you to roll up characters that were your age. You were a Dwarf Fighter that was over a 100 years old, a Human Cleric that was ready to put the undead back in their graves, the Halfling Thief glancing over at your friend’s character sheet wondering how you could nab that magic ring the Mage just found, or perhaps you were the Mage preparing a fire spell if the halfling even looked at you funny. God forbid you were the Elf Bard, but in any case none of these roles are kids.
For Kids” is for the restaurant menu, because they simply don’t eat as much as an adult. At least you should not be feeding them like an adult! How is that for telling someone how to raise their kids?
Also hula hoops.

Delve - San Check - TOC
Next [»»»]

  1. You know, for kids!
  2. Digger, Please!
  3. Semantic Railroads
  4. Mapping Progress
  5. Honeymoon Adventure
  6. No One Games in a Vacuum
  7. House Rules, You’re Doing It Wrong!
  8. WotC’s Poisoned Apple
  9. Oh Shit Run – An Outside Perspective
  10. Greyhawk Campaigns
  11. Nostalgia Vomit
  12. Dicing with Dinosaurs
  13. The Eye of the Dragon
  14. What Did You Do Over the Summer?
  15. It’s Like Cops and Robbers, but with Dice!
  16. Emergent Death or Why Losing Is Fun!
  17. How to Train Your Delvers (More WotC Snark)
  18. WotC’s Babel Fish
  19. More Nostalgia Vomit
  20. Fantasy Fighting
  21. Fighting Fantasy
  22. The Delvers 1985
  23. From Weird WotC to the creator of Giant Space Hamsters
  24. The Daedalus Complex
  25. There Is No Cow Level
  26. Double-decker Bologna Sandwich!
  27. It is Not a Secret Door if You Tell Me
  28. All Apologies
  29. Be the First to Solve the Mystery and Claim the Dungeon Treasure!
  30. Dungeon Treasure & Hidden Treasure
  31. You Unlock this Door with the Key of Imagination
  32. The Answer to the Mystery at The Delvers
  33. The First Keeper
  34. Sandbox Apophenia
  35. Nearly Enough Dice – Interview
  36. The State of The Delvers
  37. Vicariously Join Two Girls and Their Mom Around the Gaming Table
  38. Cassette Cover Art
  39. Bastion of the Boglings
  40. WotC Piss and the Last Boy Scout
  41. Campaign Timeline
  42. B4: The Lost City


The Delvers Podcast B-side