Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Little Kids Can Play WoW, Too!

The next time you run around Goldshire with a female lowbie hunter who just seems to want to explore, you might be running around with my nine-year-old.

My eldest daughter owns a WoW account.  (As she is underage, it is in her father's name, but that is allowed under the Terms of Service.)  When she is not playing, which these days happens more often than not, as she has become enamored with on-line manga, her little sisters enjoy jumping on their little characters and doing the occasional quest.

At least, that's all I thought it was . . .

One day, as I passed the computer while the little girls (ages 7 and 9) were playing WoW, I could hear them chanting, "Come on, healer, come on healer."  Then they cheered.  I looked, and lo and behold, they had just entered a random dungeon.  I blinked.  My nine-year-old was running random dungeons?

"Honey, do you know how to play this character in a dungeon?"

She looked up at me with her brilliant blue eyes.  "Oh, yes, Mom.  This is my second one today."

My jaw dropped.  For ages, I had forbidden my daughters to group with anyone I did not personally know (which made it tough, since their lowbie characters are not on the same server as my main), and here she was, running random dungeons.  But, after all, I thought, these were cross-server players she would most likely not meet again, so it would probably be no big deal, as long as she didn't annoy them to death.

Happily oblivious to Mom's intense thinking, she targeted the tank's mob and started shooting arrows, while her pet ripped away at its throat.

Then it struck me:  my nine-year-old was playing well enough to run random dungeons.  It was almost mind-boggling.

The seven-year-old does not run random dungeons, but, as she is now in third grade, she has pretty reasonable spelling skills.  I have caught her in simple conversations with other players, asking about quests and such.  If I see her talking too much with someone, I step in, type, "Sorry, I have to go.  Have fun," and get her off the computer.  After all, would the other player be nearly as interested in talking with her if they knew she was seven, into building with Legos, and reading Goosebumps?  (And, again, at the back of my mind, there is still the concern about weirdos out there who might prey upon unsuspecting children . . .)

Not too long ago, my husband went to ask the nine-year-old to log off and come to dinner.  He noticed she was chatting with another player.  As he talked with her about what had happened, he found out they had spent a good deal of time together, just running around.  This other player had followed her as she had run hither and yon, exploring this and that, and just talking, occasionally asking what they were doing.  We could not see what would move a player to do this.  Did he think she was some cute girl he could get to know later?  Was he weird, that he'd be out there in the most boring circumstances available?  Was he just bored?

As we discussed the incident (which was mildly disturbing) later on, we came up with another possibility:  maybe he, too, is only nine.

That would make more sense.

1 comment:

  1. By the way, my 7-yr-old has been playing since she was 4. She couldn't read or type then, so I would name her characters things like "Fouryrold" in hopes that if she ignored my instructions to not follow people around, others would recognize the situation and forgive her.