alt="WoW No Play" />
With three children running around our
household, things can get a little complicated when it comes to
pursuing our passion for gaming. In fact, some days playing World of
Warcraft, our game of choice, gets put off to the point that we never
get to play at all. This is a big change from the days when my wife
and I both spent hours bringing honor to the Horde and defeating the
Looking at this last paragraph, it is
easy to say that our children have brought an end to our love of
gaming. In fact, we have had plenty of people point out that this is
exactly what is supposed to happen because parents certainly can't
have any interests outside their children! Especially if that
interest happens to be gaming, surely the evilest of past times if
there ever was one. One friend even had the audacity to call my wife
a terrible mother because she continued to play games after
having our children.
However, despite our limited time and
those naysayers, we still manage to find time to pursue our gaming
passion. We have just found a balance that allows us to enjoy gaming,
while still being great parents to our children. Not sure how this
can be accomplished? Here are five tips to make playing World of
Warcraft, without being a totally crappy parent, possible:
Be Available No Matter What
One of the things I love about gaming
is it takes me out of the real world and lets me escape for awhile.
While this is ideal for relaxing, it isn't always great when it comes
to children. This is especially if you don't want to end up on the
news for neglect. Even if you don't get wrapped up in the extreme, it
is still easy to feel pretty annoyed at the sometimes constant
interruptions kids can provide.
So, in our house, we have a rule that
we are always available for our kids. This means that we devote our
attention to them when they need us. On the off chance we do get some
game time in while they are involved in a favorite movie or a game of
their own, we are always ready to drop everything at a moment's
notice. If our daughter wants to tell us about her day at school or
our sons want to show us the newest hairstyle they have created for
the dog, we are ready and willing to listen. Remember, just because
you are home doesn't mean you are really there for your kids.
alt="Twin Boys" />
As mentioned above, having kids usually
means that you don't have a lot of time to devote to gaming. That
doesnt mean that you can't still enjoy it, you just need to find a
way to enjoy it differently. When it comes to World of Warcraft, we
have become very casual players. This means we no longer log on for
eight hours straight, pull all nighters, or even raid as much as we
This doesn't mean we still aren't
enjoying playing. Instead we take part in aspects of the game that we
can make time for. Short instances, group quests, leveling
characters, pet battles, are all things in the game we enjoy that we
can leave at a moments notice. This also means we have had to find
groups of people, usually other parents, who understand that AFKs
happen and may happen often. By changing the way we played and the
people we play with, we can still enjoy the game we love, within the
current limitations we have.
I am not one for letting kids run amok
in World of Warcraft. With that being said, I think that the game can
be enjoyable for both parents and children when they play together.
Let your kids create their own characters, or if they are very
little, let them simply run around a jump through the world. It will
bring joy to you and your children to share in the experience
together. It also means we get to play the game we love, while
sharing it with people we love. You just can't go wrong. Just
remember, sharing in the gaming experience is great, but you should
also take part in other activities as well. Moderation is key.
Take Advantage of Down Time
If you want to continue to game with an
semblance of normalcy, you will need to take advantage of every spare
second you can get. Play when the kids are with the grandparents,
when they are down for their afternoon nap, and when they get old
enough; while they are at school. While short, during these times you
can game to your hearts content, without the guilt. Even better, is
logging on after the kids have gone to sleep for the night. This is
the perfect escape from reality, especially after a rough day.
Don't totally disregard all household
chores in order to game, don't forget to buy groceries, and don't
stay up so late you sleep through your alarm. However, don't hesitate
to take advantage of these kid-free opportunities. You can farm to
your hearts content, scour the Auction House, or maybe even take on a
full raid instance. Playing while the kids are gone will let you
game care free, with none of the parent guilt that tends to plague us
alt="Orgrimmar Orphanage" />
Ignore the Negativity
One thing I've found about becoming a
(somewhat) responsible adult, is that gaming is frowned upon by many.
In fact, in the adult world, it seems you can have any hobby you
want; unless it is gaming. As soon as you reveal you take part in
this past time, the negativity tends to roll in.
I been told I am wasting my time,
rotting my brain, and (in the case of my wife) told we were bad
parents. Never mind the fact the people who threw out these claims
probably spend at least several hours a day tuning out in front of
the television. That doesn't matter. Gaming has a black mark on it
and many people will not hesitate to tell you how you shouldn't be
Ignoring these people is imperative.
Never be sorry for doing something you enjoy. Escaping into the world
of gaming is no different than watching TV, reading a book, or
spending hours taking part in other hobbies like stamp collecting,
knitting, or painting. As long as you are being responsible, there is
no reason you can't continue gaming, even after becoming a parent.
Keep this mantra in mind, no matter what anyone else may tell you.
Don't give up gaming if you love it, no matter what.
That wraps up my 5 tips to make playing
WoW possible (without being a crappy parent) possible. Are you a
parent who plays WoW? What are some tips and tricks you have learned
through the years to keep your love of gaming alive? Share them with
us in the comments section below!
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