Last night was an auspicious event. I didn't plan for it to happen, didn't expect it to happen, it was just one of those things that come out of the blue but in hindsight is one of those days that can change the course of your life, like the assassination of a political leader or the day you realize carrots really aren't that bad.
Yesterday, I tried for the first time explain to my son this "Dungeons & Dragons" thing.
I sat him down next to me in front of Facebook. I have only just discovered this Heroes of Neverwinter game, and while I usually treat Facebook apps with all the disdain usually reserved for murderers, politicians and Sydney Crosby, I'm kinda digging HoN simply because it lets me play a pretty reasonable facsimile of 4th Edition all by lonesome in whatever free moments I can muster.
My audience was enraptured as I explained that "This is a fighter. He slays things with a sword," and "That's a Magic Missile spell. Don't listen to what the current rules say. It ALWAYS hits." Then of course I had to explain the higher functions of the game, about the stuff you can't really get in a Flash game. The social aspect, the make-believe role-playing, the problem solving and mathematical calculations, the team work, imagination and story-telling. It really touches on a whole bunch of skills kids need to learn. (Except maybe the physical fitness portion, but I guess you can get that LARPing).
My son continued to stare at me with his big blue eyes, amazed and saying nothing. He drooled a little bit, then he reached out and tried to pull my beard. I think he was just trying to say, in his own way, that he wanted to play a dwarf with a big face full of hair.
I should probably point out that my son is only 9 weeks old. It may take a little while for him to pick up on all the intricacies of gaming, but I believe it's important to start him young.