Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Gaming With Kids: The Answers

Grant Rodiek (who blogs at Exiled Here and Tweets as Herrogrant) is working a blog post about gaming with kids & sent out a list of questions... which he's graciously allowed me to post & answer here on my blog. (BTW, if you're a "nerd parent" - as Grant so accurately typed me - you might want to drop him a line & join in!)
  • How old is your child? (This question will be used to sort the answers you give below)
  • What is the gender of your children? (This question will be used to sort the answers you give below)
My boys are 10 and 6...
  • What are your children's favorite games?
My 10 year old LOVES Summoner Wars & Dungeonquest. My 6 year old has recently developed a fascination for Loopin' Louie... but his big game of the year is Gubs.
  • What are YOUR favorite games to play with your children?
I'm a huge fan of Haba games. I think that Kayanak is absolutely brilliant & Kaseklau! (English name: Cheese Snatching) is an excellent press-your-luck game with a fun "Tom & Jerry"-ish theme. I'm also enjoy Duck Duck Bruce & Gulo Gulo... but one of my favorite recent dad/kid gaming innovations in our home that makes me happy deep down to my toes is both of my boys wanting to play Memoir '44 with me!
  • What are the most important factors for YOU when you purchase a game for your children?
I want the game to have (a) great gameplay, (b) easy enough for kids to learn, and (c) not make me want to get a frontal lobotomy rather than play the game. Example of (c): Kinder Bunnies: Their First Adventure... shudder.
  • What seems to be most important for your children when buying a game? (I'm not sure if you take them to the store or shop online with them when you make purchases)
  • What themes seem to excite your children the most?
It's all about the theme for both of them... my youngest tends to like economic games (he wants to get money) while the older one likes fantasy, sci-fi & combat themes.
  • Do your children seem to enjoy a particular mechanic more than others? (i.e. dice rolls)
I haven't really noticed any one particular mechanic.
  • Do you want your children to learn something when playing a game? Do you prefer a game to be overtly educational, or is it okay for it to be more subtle (i.e. counting, chance, social skills integrated)?
Most educational games aren't very good games... and often do a poor job of teaching their subject matter. I think my boys have learned more in subtle ways (reading, math, logic, social skills, etc.) with "regular" games than they would have with a force-fed diet of "educational" games.
  • Anything else you'd like to add? Anything I forgot to ask? Any insights you have as a parent are greatly appreciated.

I just love that you're asking the questions!

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