The Daily Grind: Which MMOs do you let your own kids play?

    
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A while back, in the long long ago when we could still talk to humans in person, I was chatting with the mom of one of my son’s friends, and she remarked that she doesn’t let her son play video games because of everything she’s read about predatory behavior in online games. I wanted to argue with her, but I choked on my own words because she wasn’t really wrong. Most online games aren’t super safe for kids, both because of the other players and because of the companies trying to breed future gamblers. Parents do have to be careful.

And I have been with my own kids. Usually, I let them muck around in Trove and Guild Wars 2 (with as much chat disabled and modded out as possible). I’ve talked before about how Adventure Academy has been a huge help for all of us while we’re under lockdown (and likely to be so for weeks or months to come). Most recently, I installed AdventureQuest 3D, Villagers & Heroes, and Star Stable for both kids to let them roam around. None of them is a substitute for school or recess, and yeah, you’ve still got to keep an eye on them, but it’s given them some joy in stressful, confusing times.

If you have or had kids or grandkids or even younger siblings, what MMOs do you or would you let them play?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Vaeris
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Vaeris

Watched my 8 year old capping flags in WoW PvP the other day. Younger siblings play too but they aren’t into PvP.

cambruin
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cambruin

None, I prefer not to expose them to lockboxes and marketing tricks, store ‘reminders’ and basically skinner boxes in general.

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Brazen Bondar

Let’s see…when the grand kid was 5 we started playing little games together. He was a Super Heroes Squad (Marvel’s game for kids) survivalist! That’s when I learned he had a bit of griefer in him. I hope I trained all of that out by now. We played ( and still do play on occasion) Wizard 101 and he also plays the Pirate version, although I don’t enjoy that one. Only with my supervision, he has played a little TSW and some SWTOR, although he’s not much of a kid to follow linear missions or story quests. He’s more of a “can I kill myself if I jump off here?” kind of kid. He loved, loved, loved Innsmouth Academy in TSW and his second favorite place was the beach where the demons were in Savage Coast. He played Glitch, helped test SkySaga, and he was a little into TUG until they went AWOL. He’s played Roblox on his own although I did tell his mom to supervise him on that. So, yeah…he’s a gamer in training and I hope our times together are teaching him how to be a good human, treat others with respect, and to game responsibly. He’s 11 now, and I still hold my “coolest grandma in the world” title among him and his friends. I’m very proud of that!

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Utakata

I don’t have any of those. Well unless you are including the pigtails, I let ’em play anything. Accept for porn though… >.<

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Sarah Cushaway

My 7 year old daughter runs around in WoW for a few minutes on my trial account now and then (un-subbed and no plans to re-sub), but to be frank, I don’t think young kids these days are as into RPGs or MMOs as older players are. The trends now are different and the types of games they are into are different. My daughter likes Minecraft, racing games (she’s currently trying to earn every truck on the new Monster Jam one), Animal Crossing, Lego Worlds, etc.

Let’s be honest here, too: MMO’s have gotten -extremely- stale as a genre and fail to do anything to innovate or actually be -fun- for the average gamer. Which is why the genre is in massive decline compared to 10 or even 20 years ago.

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Pandalulz

My kid doesn’t care. If I pointed out an MMO, she would promptly look the other way. She’s already decided that dad is uncool and wants nothing to do with what I like. She does play some Fortnite, Roblox, and Minecraft with her friends, but I think she does it just to hang out with her friends, not specifically because she even likes those games. She’s funny like that.

Snax
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Snax

I don’t think many kids today are interested in MMOs as much as we were when we were kids… or maybe age is a factor. I first experienced the concept of MMO when I was around 15, before that age, I was interested in simpler games, like Star Wars Battlefront, Counter-Strike, Yu-Gi-Oh, Need for Speed.

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Jack Pipsam

I started playing Runescape when I was like ten/eleven years old, based from my friend who had been playing it since he was like I dunno’ nine/ten himself.

All I remember was good times (okay a lot of chaos too, but I relished that). The idea of talking with people all over the world was simply fascinating to me, when I was 13 I joined on Xbox LIVE on the 360 and that changed everything. Honestly that period of me being 12 to 16 years old was really my best gaming memories online between PC & Xbox 360, I’ve almost been chasing to recapture the joy I used to get from the internet like I used too as a teen.
And I needed it, as it was my social escape, as school was h e l l .

Although I didn’t have the internet at home at all when I was a kid-kid, I only used it at Primary School really, using Google to look up dumb things on the old early-2000s internet at school. I have no idea what I would have done if I did have the internet at, most likely go to cartoon websites and look up Pokemon stuff. I remember using my Granddad’s computer to use the internet at his house when I was a kid before we had it. I distinctly remember waiting FOREVER to load up the trailer for Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. What a time to be alive.

What about if I had a kid? It would depend a lot on who they are. Each person is different, also this would be like a decade+ from now, so who knows what the landscape is then. Everything will both be far more regulated and also more VR/AR-ish heavy I suspect.

But if I had one now? Whatever they’re interested in, are they more sci-fi, are they more build things, are they more shoot things, are they more mine things in runescape? It would really depend on who the kid is and what they’re interested in. Or maybe they wouldn’t be interested in video games at all which would be a personal disaster haha.

So I guess, their age, their interest and the environment of the time. I’m certainly not opposed to the idea as I’ve seen what joys there are. Also there’s something to be said for being able to really connect with a kid through their hobbies so there’d be a lot more understanding of what they’re doing instead of a parent who isn’t clued up on the subject.

I mean if they really wanted to play any kind of MMO, chances are I would let them. I just wouldn’t let them have access to credit-card information lol.
But there’s a good chance that dedicated-MMOs won’t be hot any more either then, it’ll be whatever the Minecraft or Fortnite of the time will be. Unless it’s a single-player game, I suspect in the future many online games will be MMOs in their their own way.

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Jack Pipsam

Although this is also the perspective of me now. It’s entirely possible that if I become a dad that my images of myself as a future cool-dad will fly entirely out the window and I’ll become the kind of over-protective parent I always say I hate haha.

Also what the mother thinks. My girlfriend often talks about what if we had kids and she hates the idea of them near any kind of technology, so that’ll probably overrule anything else.

Mordyjuice
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Mordyjuice

My cats have no interest in video games

Pepperzine
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Pepperzine

My personal opinion, children shouldn’t be playing massively multiplayer games for a variety of reasons. The communication/interactions that occur is too variant, and unless direct supervision is constantly occurring, not a good place for children.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

I agree, keep children away from them so adults can enjoy more adult things and developers would not be constantly pressured by whiny people to “think of the children who may see this!” when adding emotes or outfits or story cutscenes or companions ;-)

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Sarah Cushaway

You can’t tell me the average MMO these days is anything even CLOSE to “adult-oriented”.

RDR2? That’s an adult game.

WoW? That’s for anyone 10+, with the younger end of that range being supervised by parents.

Don’t like it? Go play a single player. You don’t get to set the rules for who can play what games. And my guess is that anyone with that opinion is hardly more than a kid themselves, let alone has any children of their own (hint: you don’t get to give parenting advice until you’re a parent ;) trust me, moms and dads will just tell you to f-off otherwise).

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

I love when clueless people with serious reading comprehension reply to me, it is always a good source of entertainment ;-)

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Sarah Cushaway

I’m an author; my reading comprehension is likely a fair bit better than yours.

I’m (not) sorry you took offense and tried your best to be snarky, though.

You go right on being salty :) my kid still gets to run around in an MMO if I so please. Tough cookies, buttercup.

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Utakata

But if you are supervising them, then you are letting them play.

I don’t think anyone in their right mind should ever let children play unsupervised…until they are of an age, street proofing and maturity that they know what it’s about and what they’re getting themselves into. Keep in mind though, some who pass the latter two maybe be younger than others.

Also: Teach your children not to troll and/or grief others! >.<