Friday, September 23, 2011

Teaching lessons through gaming


When I was a young little kid, before I even heard of Warhammer (mind you that means earlier then eight years of age), my father sat me down and taught me chess. While we played he taunted me, lured me on, made jokes, ect that at the time angered me and of course I kept losing. I remember my dad telling me I had to learn to focus, to forget about outside distractions, to keep calm, and focus on the game. It was a worthy lesson, even if it took a long time to stick. Now days I constantly fall back to my wargaming as a stress reliever, as I do have to focus and calm myself or I play like rubbish, so the lesson my father taught me all those years back is something I still do to this very day. It might not be chess, but the core is still there.

Of course you might be wondering as to why I am telling you this story, and I am getting to that. Tomorrow is going to be the first test run of a new weekly ritual with my family, something I am not sure will work, but certainly something worth trying.

My daughter is acting out, much like I did when I was her age. Like me, she also doesn't have a true hobby. She likes a few things simply because they are either like animals or dinosaurs, but she doesn't actually show interest in anything in particular. Also like me, she is starting to act out and annoy those around her with her actions and voice.

To try a less competitive game then chess, and something the whole family can be involved in, I am going to have a family game night where we sit down after dinner and play Warhammer Quest. Here is my thinking on why this game in particular. The kids can pick whatever they want to play, and my wife and I will carry our own characters. My oldest daughter will have the lantern and need to make the calls to guide and protect the group. Lead us the wrong way and we waste valuable time and resources. Leave everyone behind and the party perishes. Of course there are many other options as well.

I am hoping that while my daughter is playing the game, we can start planting that seed for her to slow down and think about her actions and how they'll affect everything in the future. I want her to really stop and think before acting, which I know the first few games, she will rush head first into dungeon rooms without any tactics, or leave stragglers behind, and every other bad thing you could possibly want from the lantern holder. Of course I will post followups as we finish games and see how things went.

This will also be the gateway to see if either kid really shows any true interest in wargaming. My youngest has already had us buy her a Tomb Kings minis, as she liked how it looked, but a single mini does not in any way equal a hobby. I will support either kids interest, but they need to figure out what those interests are first and foremost. Better I spend money on expensive hobbies then on expensive drugs as I see it.

On the flip side of all this, I am also looking into how to make the 3rd edition of WFRP work with Warhammer Quest. This biggest issue I am finding is the lack of grid style movement for dungeons. Yes, I could go get AD&D 4th, but I already have WFRP 3rd, so not going to waste money needlessly. I will not be trying that work with the kids however, instead focusing on the gameplay itself.
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