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We have our tense moments when things ingame get hot. Truth is, rearly do just one of us dies. We normaly go down together trying to save each other (hehe). There may be a fleeting moment when one of us is made, but ultimintly we laugh it off. That's probly heathly. The other thing is I get to use the game as motivation for him to do well in chores/school. Ie... If your grades fall you will not get to play on weeknights. [m, 38]

My daughter, 4 1/2, doesn't like for me to kill the "pretty wolves". But killing the "gorillas" (orcs) is ok! [m, 37]


About 8.1% (N=898) of EQ players play the game with a parent or child. In my sample of 51 EQ gamers who play with their parent or child, 36 play the game with a child, while 15 play the game with a parent. Most of these gamers have been playing the game together for 5-20 months.

6 of these 51 players purchased EQ specifically as something to do together. Most of these gamers are only sometimes or seldom grouped with their parent or child.

In Their Own Words

In many cases, a parent started playing after watching their child play, and tried playing for a bit:

It came to be because my mom and dad saw me and my siblings playing, and decided to try it. They loved it, so eventually bought another comp so we could group occaisionally. I play side by side with the parent I live with, and still group with my other parent in a different state. [f, 18]

I am a soldier stationed in Germany. Last year I bought EQ because my friends did, in that time my character grew and became a guildleader. I would sometimes tell my dad about EQ and things I have done, he became interested and bought it. I created a second character so I could group with him from time to time. He enjoys the game as much as I do and yes, he is in my guild. [m, 24]

Was my son's game and after complaing of how much time he played he suggested I try it, ok well now I am hooked- hehe went out and bought another account [f, 36]

But it happens the other way too, and children often get interested when they see their parents playing EverQuest:

Actually I use it as more of a learning tool, my daughter is quite young, but fascinated by computers, and computer art. She's four to be exact, and beginning to learn to read. We probably only spend an hour or so each week playing her character. The idea was both of ours actually, she wanted to "pick a face" and I decided that we'd continue with the character. [m, 28]

My son harrassed me until I gave in. I never let him out of my sight in game because I honestly feel he's still too young and immature for the community. [f, 33]

Playing EQ with a parent or child can enhance game-play:

Playing with my father makes me feel a little safer, as his characters are higher level, and it makes me totally at ease in my group. I thoroughly enjoy playing with him, I think it is more fun than playing alone. [f, 14]

I enjoy playing EQ with my daughter, and it has helped her learn to spell better and to learn how to get along with others. [f, 28]

She see's things differently than i do and i find that fun to see. [m, 29]

On the other hand, it can make game-play difficult:

Definitely. Our character conflicts come out more. It's a nightmare grouping with her, because the game scares her and she doesn't want to take risks. It does NOT enhance it. [f, 28]

My 6 year old always wanted to play. Since we just had another child my wife isn't playing much right now. No. She drives me crazy, so I don't play with her. [m, 34]

Playing with him is difficult. Because he's not a role-player like I am. He's there for the hack & slash. 40 year olds, for the most part, can't conceive of the whole meaning of RPG-type games. They grew up on pinball machines where score was a factor. I grew up with AD&D. Simple as that =) [m, 29]

Some parents commented indirectly on how EQ adds new meaning to parenting:

Yes, when,we are play togeather and fight (we are both tanks ) and she is getting hurt it adds a little fear to me even thiugh i know it is just a game her charcter is my charcyers daughter in the game i still feel that protectiveness over her. [m, 39]

I have spent some time "babysitting" his character until he was high enough level to group with me. [m, 33]

When asked whether they learned anything about their parents from their game-play together, children often commented on their parent's typing skills:

He can't type. [f, 14]

I only found out how bad his typing skills actually are [m, 16]

I only learned that he doesn't pay quite as close attention to detail as I do, but I didn't really expect that he'd do so. [m, 14]

When parents were asked the same question, some talked about how the game made them aware of how much their children know and understand:

She knows quite a bit more than I expected from a four year old! [m, 28]

It made me realize how much a 9 yr old child knows and understands! [f, 28]

Others commented that EQ allowed them to observe their children in social situations that they usually had no access to:

I get to see him interact with people. Most dont realize who he is or our relationship. I see alot of myself in the way he approches relationships. Makes me proud. [m, 38]

I merely added depth and clarity to many traits that I knew they had to see how they presented themselves in a different environment. Since I am pretty much removed from their circle of friends and can't watch them at school, EQ provides a window into their behavoir outside of the house [f, 37]

I found that my son handles himself in a very mature manner. (He's 13 now). I have also been told by many other players that know of our relationship how courteous and well spoken he is. He understands that it is basically a game played by adults for the most part and he manages to fit in very well. [m, 49]

Some parents were pleasantly surprised at traits or social skills they never knew their children had:

I learned that my son is a very good strategist. I knew that to a degree before, but it has been eye opening to watch him lead a group. I did not know he had these skills. [f, 49]

He has a VERY good sense of humor. He can and does know how to interact with others in a cooperative venture. He also can be very giving and helpful when others seem to need it. [m, 43]

Both parents and children felt that playing EQ together had enhanced their relationship. First it gave them something in common to talk about, and thus more opportunities to talk:

Enhanced, we will spend hours talking about our experiences and such. [m, 24]

Enhanced. We talk tons more now, which is cool. [m, 26]

Parents commented on how EQ could be used as a teaching-medium:

It provides a common ground for talking, a way I can give them "gifts" (in game) that I otherwise could not afford to do, and a common basis for discussing real-life issues, using illustrations I know they are familiar with. I have found that they have learned many positive things from the game, including dealing honorably with people, the importance of a good reputation and leadership skills to name a few that come quickly to mind. [f, 37]

I like to think it enhances. I know I use it to try and teach lessons I cant seem to in non fantasy settings. Even when he is playing and I am not I tend to offer advice when I think it is appropriate. It is also easier in EQ to let him do the REALLY stupid stuff and hopefully learn from his mistakes. [m, 43]

But above all, many parents talked about how playing the game together enhanced their relationship with their child by taking them beyond the roles of parent and child:

Yes, playing EQ with my daughter has been very enjoyable, and I have learned more about my daughters personality as she treats me as a friend on EQ and not a parent. [f, 40]

I think it has enhanced our relationship, we both treat each other more like equals and partners in our private life. It is much easier to talk to her now and I have found her talking to me about much more of her life and ideas. [f, 40]

No but it has shown my child that I`m ok and has allowed us to bridge an age gap and we tend to talk more then otherwise would be possible. Believe it or not it has brought us closer together because we share a same interest [m, 35]