A Tauren Warrior protecting his land with a mace in hand.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Parenting and WoW

Let me preface this by saying that there a many different opinions on what good parenting is and this is just my way of incorporating WoW and gaming in general in to my new life.

The above image is how I thought my gaming life would be after the birth of my Daughter last December. I couldn't have been more wrong. We are going on 8.5 months of gaming with baby, although I do admit sometimes it can be hard. After the break I will go in to the various stages of gaming with my daughter and offer up some things that make it easier.

Months 1-3: Easy Mode
In the beginning it was fairly easy to watch and take of my daughter while continuing to game. While playing WoW I would cradle her in my arms and let her sleep while playing if she needed to be fed I would giver her the bottle and rest it under my chin. Playing Xbox was even easier I could hold her while using the controller with both hands and she would be asleep the whole time. Now you may have noticed that she was asleep most of these times, well when she was awake during the time I was playing WoW, I would let her watch and she was amazed by WoW's colors and spell effects. If I was playing Xbox I would stop and spend some tummy time with her or go cook if my wife wasn't home yet (she works later than I do), another activity my daughter enjoys watching.

Months 4-5: Pre-Movement
These months actually weren't so easy as she started to learn to grab at things and loved playing with keyboard. One thing every WoW parent should have is a Multi button mouse, i prefer the Razer Naga as it lets me add almost all the buttons I use to play normally on my mouse. It's not always comfortable to play this way but if holding my daughter for a few minutes while my wife does something, it's fine and sometimes it works for raid nights if I have to watch her for extended periods of time. Although you should see a decline in overall gaming time at this stage you can still game some. The biggest thing to avoid is anything that will take up a set chunk of time where you cannot go change a diaper or feed your child (i.e. raiding or online matchmaking games), because there is always some teenage douche bag who doesn't care bout anyone but themselves or some adult who thinks your a terrible parent for playing video games while with your child.

Months 6 - 8 and on: Crawler
My daughter started crawling and pulling at 6 months and is working on trying to stand on her own, as well as walking along objects like coffee tables. So gaming has gotten a little easier but at the same time I am constantly having to check to see if shes found a cord or object to stick in her mouth. She still enjoys sitting on my lap while play and watches but also trys to "play" herself which really makes the Naga handy when I have to hide the keyboard. As with before don't commit to anything that you will have to be constantly going afk from because it wont end well for you, baby, or the people you committed to.

The Future:
The coming months will be interesting for sure but I love my daughter and am so glad that I have found ways to continue my hobby while caring for her. 

Now some people may think that this may be neglect, not once have I ever neglected my daughter while gaming. I always put her care first and sometimes even when my wife is home and watching her while I am gaming I will stop earlier then planned to just spend time with her. If you ever put gaming before your child's needs (food, changing, sleep, and bathing) then you may want to stop gaming.

Here is a list of things to make gaming with baby easier
1) Razer Naga
2) Go Wireless as much as possible, babies love cords
3) Put a changing station relatively close to your gaming area. I have one in my living room where my Xbox is and is right outside my office
4) Have a fan near you. Babies are like heaters when they fall asleep.
5) A fridge in your game room. I didn't do this but it sure would be nice to have babies bottles and food right there.

In closing I would like to say that I think it is great that I have been able to game with my daughter and hope she grows to game as well, but I also enjoy playing with her and want to teach her the value of other hobbies, sports and activities as well. She already has been to 4 SF Giant's game and I can't wait to take her to 49er and Sun Devils football games as well. She also enjoys swimming in the pool. I hope you enjoyed this parents take on gaming with a baby.

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