Friday, February 27, 2015

Raised in the Realms

Photo by Angela Gray
The founding members of Realms were barely more than kids when they started our epic community. As the game has grown. and people have remained active as they entered new life stages and we've attracted older newbies who've joined us with their families, our ranks have expanded to include kids and teens.  Their impact on who we are and ours on who they become is something that is fairly unique to us in the world of gaming. Welcome to a new interview column that asks parents to share their thoughts on these special relationships.

Speaking with Rissa "Quazar" Sullivan on her son with husband Rob "Dante" Sullivan.

What is your son’s names/character names? Bobby (ooc). No IC name yet. He is taking his time choosing.

How old is he? 8

What period of his life have he been involved in Realms? He came to Realms a bit when he was an infant and then sporadically when he was a toddler. Now we take him to everything that we go to which isn't high combat.

What events or types of events do he enjoy most? Anything that has kids activities at it.

What are his favorite things to do at an event? The Rhiassa Carnival. That will be a hard one to top.

What do you feel are the positives he has gotten out of being a part of the Realms? Independence. At this age we are comfortable letting him roam a bit by himself during feasts and probably contained tournaments.

Have you had any concerns/challenges related to him being a part of Realms?
We are still trying to convey the duality of hanging out with ooc friends and submersing yourself in this pretend world as it pertains to plot.
Other concerns have been how to balance childcare between 2 parents who want to go to Realms to be paste eaters and being involved in the adult time when available.
Normal concerns (for me at least) of what age does a child understand the adults he looks up to portraying some of the stronger emotions (rage, etc) for the purposes of role playing but be able to turn it off in a healthy way.

Any memorable moments related to his Realms careers?
Bobby won best sportsmanship award at Tournaments of Creathorne a few years ago. It was his first event where he was allowed to play. He felt bad that he didn't win, even though everyone else was a lot bigger than him in the kids tourney. After every match though he shook their hand and told them how good of a job they did. We didn't teach him to do this. This is just part of who he is and what he brings to everything he does.

Photo by Angela Gray
What tips or advice do you have for other parents bringing children to Realms?
Work with your child on "playing Realms" at home. Bobby is an only child and when he goes to Realms it is too overwhelming to start to the lessen of what its like to be in character. Go to the supermarket as your characters. Let them garb up for it. You garb up for it. Try letting them be your squire there and speak about the feast you will be at later that night.

Anything else you’d like an opportunity to share related to being a Realms parent?
Some parents are very happy bringing their kids to Realms at a young age understanding this means following them around and letting them explore. For us parents who grew up playing Realms WAY too much (spell slutting, staying up for 3 days almost every weekend during the summer, you know who you are), this can feel like you are giving up an activity that defines your independence. I think this is especially true for new parents. If this pertains to you, as it did to me, finding a balance with your partner and allowing yourself to be less involved for a bit is big.

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