I inwardly laugh as a type this because there are so many reasons why you, as a fellow parent, will flinch at what I’m about to recommend. And that's this: Start rolling some dice with your children.
Did you flinch? I mean the mere idea of rolling dice as part of an adventure game with your kids is, at its most basic, pretty absurd to consider.
Adventure gaming – what many refer to as role-playing games – is played at a table. So cardio exercise and conditioning? Ahhh, no.
Oh, and it’s played for hours at a time, often with loud outbursts. So peaceful? Ahhh, no.
And get this, it can be pretty violent, at least in a story sense. But less violent than what we’re constantly shown on TV and online, right? Ahhh, no.
So why would a parent, like myself, advise you to start adventure gaming with your kids?
There are a number of reasons, and we’ll get to that. But first, let’s explain this adventure gaming concept. For many of us, we first encountered it as a table-top game called “Dungeons & Dragons.” We probably played it in high school or college and later with other adults. At its core, its essentially a quest game. Get a quest – “save the fairie from the evil, hungry giant frog!” – and hopefully save the day by using your wits and what are now fairly simple game rules. And there’s chance involved - quite a bit of it! This is where the aforementioned dice come in as the game’s outcome can be decided by a heartening or heart attack-inducing roll.
Which is why adventure gaming is such a terrific activity to do with your kids. It can be, without question, a tremendously entertaining time. And get this, there are actually educational components wrapped up in this activity, including:
Neil Pascale is a parent who lives in the Twin Cities. He is the founder of Heroes B&B, a Twin Cities-based service that provides adventure gaming to groups and families in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. He first started gaming as a middle-school student in math class. (Please don’t ask him what his grade ended up being in that class!) He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org