Reverb Gamers Prompt #5

Atlas Games is doing this thing called “Reverb Gamers 2012″, with 31 question prompts to kick off 2012. I’m going to post one up each day, including weekends, throughout January. I invite you to do the same! And check out @ReverbGamers on Twitter or Facebook.

REVERB GAMERS 2012, #5: Have you ever introduced a child to gaming, or played a game with a young person? How is gaming with kids different than gaming with adults?

I gave my eldest niece a copy of Happy Birthday, Robot!

She was too young for the rules — she turned six, and the rules include keeping track of state by whether coins are heads or tails on the table. And six year olds love to fidget. But the art was geared for her, and we had a good time.

I sometimes think about other games I could make for my nieces & nephews, especially as I talk more with parents and discover more about different age groups.

Kids have different attention spans & priorities. That’s obvious. But in playing with my nieces & nephews — whether HBR, or playing on the Wii — I found that you have to abandon the idea of long play with young ones. When the kids gets bored, shift gears. Put in another game or do something else. Pushing forward is asking for disaster.

I can’t imagine playing a four-hour RPG session with kids.

If Chris Hanrahan blogged, he would have a fuckton to say about playing games with his son, Ian.

– Ryan