Some time I ago I posted about my clandestine campaign to get my family interested in computer gaming. All my attempts to introduce my beautiful wife and beautiful daughters to the joys of first person shooters or war strategy games seemed doomed to failure. Things looked slightly more promising on the MMORPG front - my wife was particularly tickled when she realised you could flirt with other players and still fondly remembers the time when her sylph like night elf priest (level 2) was chatted up by a passing muscle bound warrior (level 3 and a pimply adolescent no doubt). The shine soon wore off however when the girls realised that the whole point of WOW and similar role playing games was to kill things or be killed yourself. In fact that pretty much sums up the whole point of just about every game in my collection. I was stunned therefore when a friend of my girls introduced them to the web based online game Club Penguin and they loved it. It is an MMORPG or at least I am calling it one. It doesn't have any dragons but it is massively multiplayer (perhaps a dozen servers with lots of players on each server), it is a role playing game (you play the role of a penguin). It has a monthly subscription for heaven's sake with quests (ie mini-games) and character progression (you get to buy different outfits). Paradoxically my wife despite resisting my attempts to interest her in more adult computer games has also taken to this in a big way. Late at night she can often be found sneaking into her computer logging into one of our daughters accounts to play a few games of Jet Pack Adventure (purely to earn penguin credits for the kids of course!).
Am I pleased that my daughters have discovered their own interest in a hobby which means so much to me? Of course I am but there is a price to be paid for this shared enthusiasm. When I come home from work looking forward to crashing out in a virtual world of Elves, Dwarves and Goblins I find I cannot get at a computer. We have two desktops but we also have two daughters. I have resorted to dragging out an old laptop which has just about enough horsepower to play ineternet games but even so I am scuppered if my wife needs to use her machine for something.
After all what would you do if you went to log in to Lord of The Rings Online and found a beautiful eight year old sitting at your keyboard obviously engrossed . I guess you would do what I do: wait till bedtime, hoping that perhaps she will relinquish her seat to allow you to earn her extra credits by pwning one of those mini-games. Who am I kidding she already plays most of those games better than I do. I am still the family champ at Puffle Roundup though!