Coming of Age

Last week, my son made his debut visit to my local gaming group. He is not yet 6 years old, but he is comfortable playing games such as Carcassonne, Samurai, San Juan and Citadels, so he has enough experience to learn new games in the “gateway” category. I was less sure of how well he would cope staying up past his usual bedtime, not to mention interacting with adults that he had not met before. So this was a test of his broader social skills more than a test of his gaming ability.

He was very excited to be joining me, as this was billed as a reward for good behavior over the preceding week (first week of school). We played just one game, 5-player Zooloretto, including two players that he had only just met. He is familiar with this game, but it had been months since we last played it, and he is more accustomed to playing with only 3 or 4 players. I am proud to report that he did an excellent job of helping to explain the rules and demonstrating good gaming etiquette throughout. His final score was 1 point (yes, that is not very good), but this did not dampen his enjoyment in the slightest.

I am looking forward to the next time he joins me “on tour”! I am also thinking carefully about when his younger sister will be ready to take the plunge.

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About Meng

Board Game Fanatic, and Father of Two, Meng is an Australian who became hooked on board games at high school, with such classics as Talisman and Diplomacy. Years later, he rekindled his interest while living in the United States, both immersing himself in the local gaming scene and also taking advantage of mail-order to expand his collection to some 300 items. After returning to Australia in 2008, and with little time left after work, study and travel, the majority of his gaming nowadays is with his two young children. Hoping one day in the distant future to teach them to play a rollicking game of Die Macher, in the meantime he provides more age-appropriate fare and tries to discuss some life lessons along the way. Meng goes by the handle meng on Board Game Geek.

4 Responses to Coming of Age

  1. How fun! And, since your son obviously loved spending time doing something grown-up with his Daddy, what a great way to establish postive rewarding. I’m all for sharing my hobbies and interests with my children. Sounds as if this will become a family tradition. ๐Ÿ™‚ PS…just curious: How did the adults react to your child joining in on the gaming session? Was that a positive outcome too?

    Thanks for sharing your experience. Happy Sunday! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Meng says:

      Excellent question, as I was also mindful of the risk of “spoiling” the experience for the regulars. This time, all went well, I am sure the other players did not mind. But in future, I plan to remain vigilant, especially if he learns a new game. With some games, for example, if one player is much weaker than the others, the experience can be less enjoyable. In other games, if one player’s decisions are influenced too much by advice from one other player, the balance of play is upset. So there are genuine pitfalls to beware.

      I should, though, give credit to my gaming group, they give a warm welcome to newbies. Also, sometimes there is a single parents get-together in the adjacent room, and their children often join us for gaming.

  2. Cyrus says:

    Excellent! We should print him a certificate or something…

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