Kids


Sweet Sounds of Barsoom

Jaxar the Barbarian, aka “that juice-fueled toddler” loves to go on long walks. “Outside!” he cries, pulling at my hand. Once on the sidewalk, he leads me down the street, around the corner, up the hill, and through a thousand miles of orc-infested wilderness en route to Mordor. Or maybe a playground. He likes swinging…


Happy Birthday, Baby Jax

It’s the baby’s birthday, and he’s crying. He’s often crying, though rarely for very long. He’s a happy child, full of smiles and laughter and silliness, with more personality than I’d expect from someone who can’t speak and barely walks. It’s hard to believe it’s been a year since he was born. It doesn’t feel…


Everything and Nothing Has Changed

I sit at the keyboard in the pre-dawn hours, clacking away as I do most mornings at this time. There are, however, two major differences between today and any other weekday in the past six months. The first is that I’ve already been up for over an hour. The second is that my infant son,…


Three Tips for Running RPGs for Kids

I love gaming with my kids. I especially love playing tabletop roleplaying games with them. Over the years, I’ve come up with a handful of tips that keep the game smooth and fun, even if your players are still in grade school. I’m posting them here, both as a public service to gamer parents, and…


KidCon 2013

You know how you get a song stuck in your head, and you just can’t shake it no matter how many times you slam your skull in the door? I had that. Except it wasn’t a song, but a terrifying idea: my daughters had a day off school coming up; I should have them invite…


Straw Wars!

My younger daughter, Thing Two, and I spent some quality time together over the weekend watching cartoons, playing board games… and creating our own miniatures gaming system. After beating me in both the Ingenius and Zombies!!! board games, Thing Two declared, “I want to make a game using your Heroscape guys.” “Okay,” I said, while…


Through a Crystal Darkly

We hadn’t intended to watch The Dark Crystal. We’d been looking for The Neverending Story, or possibly something with monkeys, to watch for an impromptu Family Movie Night, but Netflix Streaming was, once again, failing us. So we picked the weird-but-technically-family-appropriate 1982 fantasy film, The Dark Crystal. My daughters were dubious. “What is this?” asked…


Running with the Pokeball

As a gamer dad, it’s my sworn duty to encourage the next generation to pick up the dice and follow in my tabletop gaming footsteps. (I’d encourage them to play some video games too, but all the encouragement they need for that is a power switch in the “on” position, so I think we’ve got…


At Play in the Fields of Creepers

My daughters recently discovered Minecraft’s creative mode. For some reason I just can’t understand, they prefer “building whatever you want with infinite resources” over the more traditional “digging and stacking while being stalked by zombies and creepers.” It might have something to do with the creative mode’s ability to fly. Over the weekend, I set…


Think of the Children!

A lot of ink has been spilled, both virtual and physical, over the recent Supreme Court ruling on video games. Specifically, the court overturned the California law that would make it illegal to sell violent video games to minors. That ink has been spilled by better writers than I, but I’d like to take this…