the tao of jaklumen

the path of the sage must become the path of the hero


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Radcon 5

Radcon…is over.

What a wild ride.  If you follow the link, you should see on a quick glance that it's a local SF/gaming convention.  This was my post on 43 Things about it, as it was quite the workout:

I took my entire little family to Radcon 5 (a local gaming convention) yesterday.  I attended a wee little bit on Friday, too, after registering, etc.

Sit down?  Ha, not all that often.  Not with a 5-year old.

Was there all day, almost, from about 10 am to midnight, with a small break to take wife and kids home, hit the gym, and swim a few laps before returning.

Exhaustive, but fun!

It was really nice and more family-friendly this year (at least, compared to a few years ago as I missed last year)– Saturday had some activities for kids.  Princess and I attended the "Kid-Friendly Science" and Craft panels, the latter which involved painting balsa wood boxes to look like pirate treasure chests, which we filled with "booty".

Shortly thereafter we caught up with our board gaming group and played a new game while Princess amused herself with an animatronic toy macaw one of the members had brought.  Cimmorene easily doubled the size of her dice collection; she bought a new 30-sider I knew was going to catch her eye.  Most of them were in a drawstring bag with a skull pictured on the side and since she stuffed it pretty full with her other dice, it started looking like a skull, hehe.

My sister is on the Planning board as she's been for many years now, and so we took a few opportunities to catch up with her, mostly because my daughter had been missing her cousin (my sister's son, i.e., my nephew).  I am still quite amazed she went because her daughter is due in less than a month.

We failed to take pics at the convention itself but I will post some photos of loot and such fairly soon. There is more I could write about; but I'm just really fatigued a lot with the therapy and exercise I'm doing for injury recovery; but perhaps I'll write more later as well.

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Wired.com: Parents, kids, and shoot’em-ups

You Grew Up Playing Shoot'em-Up Games. Why Can't Your Kids?

As I've said pretty frequently, I married into a gamer family, my sister and brother-in-law are gamer parents as  Cimmorene and I are, and my daughter's favorite game of the moment is Dynaman (from the Bomberman series), which she delights in playing with her father, although she usually takes to "hiding" since she can't work the controls very well.  She's also a big fan of the Pac-Man arcade series.

Am I raising her to be a video gaming junkie?  Doubtful… I just can't.  She longs to be outside or inside playing on playground equipment- her favorite lines are "can I go to the park?", "can we go to Chuck E. Cheese?" and "I want to go to Old McDonald's" (she confuses McDonald's with the Old MacDonald song).  She's not slowing signs of enjoyment of physical activity and play yet.  Even at CEC, she's less interested in the video games as she is the carnival-style games that spit out tickets to trade in for goodies, and the playground style toys.  She also likes to go watch the TV in front of the animatronic characters and dance around… and sometimes I'll join her for a dance 🙂

Well, then there's the other question on this issue, which is more particular to the article: should parents be vigilant about letting their kids play shoot'em-ups and their first person shooter (FPS) successors?  I would say yes, in part: the Army has used the Wolfenstein/DOOM engine for military simulation exercises, and I don't think the Grand Theft Auto series is appropriate for my kids until they are approaching the years of legal independence.  But there is probably more circumstantial evidence that social dysfunction in general is more at fault than violent video games: it's much too simplistic and over-reaching to say DOOM was solely to blame for the violent actions of the Columbine shooters. 

It is no secret that gamers endeavor to distance themselves from such nonsense: The webcomic Ctrl + Alt + Delete has covered it, and I remember the cautious stance the Camarilla took when it was discovered that some young adults with violent intent had a fascination with White Wolf's World of Darkness series, particularly Vampire: The Masquerade at that time.  Many have written on forums, blogs, etc. that antisocial behavior is sympomatic of deeper psychological problems, upon which games cannot be a reliable indicator: they are just the escapism of choice.  After all, individuals can choose substance abuse or other addictions and obsessive-compulsive behaviors (psychological 'addictions').

A number of readers commented that before such games, there were games of cops and robbers, cowboys and Indians, and 'space wars'.  It was also taken as the rule of thumb in the article- which was called the "Lego rule" or Lego's guidelines for their video games.

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