The Evil GM – Kids around the table, Let them play or No way?

When I was doing the Roll For Initiative Podcast this past Sunday, we had a question from a listener asking about what is the right age to bring your kids to a convention to join in on the fun.

Each host had their say in what is the right age based on their own situations and experiences. While everyone was mostly in favor of bringing your kids after the age of 11, another topic sprung out of that question of home games, and should you bring in your kids in to start playing there?
Before we get into home games, there are a few things to consider before bringing in your little one to a convention.
You have to ask yourself these questions:
  • Will your child be able to focus on the game?
  • Does your child actually want to be there or are you pushing for them to be there?
I believe those are the main things you need to think about when bringing your child. You have to consider a lot of options, because with conventions you have to remember people are paying to play in the games. 
Now with home games its a different story, because its either your house or a friends house, BUT you still need to consider those two questions above and as well you now have to consider this question:
  • Will it hinder game play fun for your friends?
Meaning, does your group maybe drop a word here or there not suitable for your child to hear, or maybe the theme of the game is more slanted towards PG 13 to sometimes R. 
Bringing your kid to the game would prevent those such things from continuing…
I know personally, when I go to game each week that is my chance to unwind, enjoy a few laughs with my friends and not have to worry about the bullshit of work, and the politically correctness of the world. 
So when its my house, the rule is all members must be 18 or older to play in my games. If its another player’s house, its their rules. 
To end this, bringing your child to conventions is cool, but to a private home game, it may not be the best idea. I know personally, myself and another player of a group stopped RSVP’ing to games because the host decided their 9 year old had to play in the games and we told him that. So we parted ways for gaming. We are still friends, we chat here and there as friends do, but gaming is out. He respected the honesty and would rather we not play in a game we were uncomfortable with.
Hey its my choice to have this opinion, don’t like it? Cool, we won’t game, simple enough.

4 thoughts on “The Evil GM – Kids around the table, Let them play or No way?

  1. I have a son, age 8, and while I have run a few short adventures over the last couple years that ended up being a little more LARPy than my usual games he had fun and was left with a good impression of TRPGs. This means that hopefully when he's ready to pay attention to the game for more than 30-60 minutes that he'll be open and eager to do so.

    As far as bringing him into my regular game, no. My regular games are a chance for me to unwind from my weekly duties which include being a "parent". I can sit around with friends, discuss things that would perhaps not be appropriate for young ears and play games that have content not appropriate for younger players.

  2. My father let me in at the table at the wizened age of four. Appropriate for everybody? Not nearly. They also played long into the night because of work schedules so letting me sit in and send orcs to time out for an hour or two wasnt so bad. We began truly playing the game when i was twelve, putting my brothers at eight and seven. I am sure this had an impact on play style but we all made due and had a good time. I am the only one in my group with a kid so when she is old enough to play i would just run a smaller extra group with her and whoever else wanted in. I cant say i wouldnt play with someone else's kid, but that's just me. To each their own, but we have to remember where we came from and how the game affected our formative years.

  3. As long as everyone agrees to act their age and respective maturity levels, i.e. being either a gentleman or proper lady, then this is not a problem. One does not need to resort to vulgarity in order to unwind.

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