Wednesday, January 03, 2007

The Family that Slays Together.... Stays Together!

Imagine a family enjoying their holidays together playing games, laughing, telling jokes, slaying monsters.....

That would be my family. Generally, family game night finds Mom, Dad, and my sister sitting together on the couch and me in typing away at my desktop computer in the other room.

I'm not alone, or even excluded from the family activities - we just have three laptop computers on a wireless modem and I prefer the desk model. That's right - we're all questing together in Runescape!

Runescape is a massively multiplayer online role playing game (MMORPG) set in vaguely medieval times in a vast and magical world. Players create and dress an avatar (interesting fashion choices are tolerated) and join others in questing, fighting, treasure hunting, skill building, and general mayhem. Players can progress from newbie status to expert levels in skill sets such as magic, woodcutting, firemaking, mining, thieving, combat, construction, potion-making, and even slaying. Players can interact directly with others and talk, via chat, in real time.

Runescape has become a family obsession. Its more than a little bit addicting. I started playing because my friend Eric, who lives in Texas, finally found a game we could both play online together. My parents, like most of the adults who play, got hooked while checking the game out for safety and appropriateness. The Runescape folks know that this is a popular online destination for kids so they set up safeguards against inappropriate language or real-world contact.

So, I started playing. Then my dad started playing. My sister got an account, which my mom promptly took over when T went back to school on Monday. So, my sister got a second account. My parents pay my monthly membership fee of $5. I earned the membership by building my skills from level 1 to level 30 in main categories such as fishing, wood cutting, fire making, and combat, and cooking. (Apparently, learning to work a process or system (executive functions) to achieve results is a valuable life skill - Who cares? Its fun!)