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Gaming With Small Children

One word - Don't.

I'm not saying "don't game with your own small children", as I think that role playing is a great teaching tool for parents.  What I'm saying is: don't bring your own (screaming, attention craving, kleptomaniac) toddlers and infants to a game for grown-ups.

My Sunday night home game restarted last night, with the addition of a couple of new players.  Now, the GM has several children, and one of the other couples brings their little boy, but the kids play in the rec room under the eye of the oldest boy and the GM's wife.  The GM's kids are sternly reminded not to bother Dad while he's running, and in general it works out pretty well.

Not so last night.  By the time we finished, I had a blinding headache brought on by 4 or so hours of shrieking, howling, giggling, running-back-and-forth, dragging the bag of carrots around the house (my contribution to munchies, since as a diabetic I really can't indulge in the other stuff)... all with pretty much no discipline or attempt at control from the parents.  And yeah, right, I sure want to get a carrot out of the bag after toddler-spit's been smeared all around. Yum.

I really like my character, and in the past have really enjoyed the game... but I'm giving it 2 more sessions for the new toddler to integrate with the other kids.  If she doesn't (and given the complete lack of anything resembling discipline on the part of the parents, I doubt it will) then I'm going to have to drop out to save my sanity.


If somebody brought a dog that ran around jumping on everyone, barking shrilly, dragging stuff off the table and generally disrupting the place, no one would tolerate it.  But it's a kid, so of course it's "cute".  Ghaaaaa.

This is why I never had kids... don't like 'em, not a bit.


( 3 comments — Roll the dice )
Jan. 26th, 2004 10:55 am (UTC)
How old is the new kid?

Also, if this new kid is a disaster, she probably isn't just on your nerves. I don't know the politics of the situation, but maybe the other folks might be on your side so you don't have to drop out.

The good news is that it might have just been a bad night. Our darling angel child can be a devil some days, though we usually have the good sense not to inflict him on others when he's in a mood.

Jan. 27th, 2004 06:53 pm (UTC)
The new kid is two, and even though I've never been a parent I know enough of them that I realize it's a hectic time as they discover how they can interact with the universe. I actually think kids are pretty amazing little creatures... but not at my evening game with the grownups.

Re the politics - at least three of the other players (okay make it 5 of 9 when you include the kid's parents) think that all children are perfectly wonderful all of the time, and that no situation is inappropriate for children.

I guess I take my gaming way too seriously -- it's not just a hang out and socialize thing for me. It's a chance to immerse myself in another place and to be another person, and I resent things that take away from that. Other people have different styles; my challenge is to find games that fit my style, I guess.

But darn it, I really like my character and the GM...
Jan. 28th, 2004 07:45 am (UTC)
Give it some time...
One session isn't enough to get the overall vibe of how the kids will react. The first time I played with a group that had a number of children (5!) running around or gurgling in mommy's lap, I was annoyed, but got over it really quick. Kids can be a lot of fun if treated right. Of course, your mileage may vary and these kids are truly monsters... **grin**
( 3 comments — Roll the dice )

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