Warcraft, EverQuest good for kids say Dwarves

warcraftFar from isolating children from friends and reality, games like World of Warcraft and Everquest help them to become productive members of society, say researchers in the Dwarven city of Ironforge.

“I’m constantly hearing from parents who are concerned about the time their kids spend playing World of Warcraft,” said head researcher and hunter Talin Keeneye. “They’re afraid that their kids will obsess over the game, becoming withdrawn and antisocial, as they become absorbed in a fantasy world. But nothing could be further from the truth.”

Keeneye has compiled thousands of examples of children as young as 7, who, thanks to online games, have made a positive contribution to society.

“Recently, Coldridge Valley was becoming dangerous from an explosion in the boar population. We needed help to reduce their numbers, and who do you think stepped up to the plate? It wasn’t the Dwarven guards, who are paid to carry out that kind of job. No, it was ordinary kids, doing their bit to help out. I don’t know where we’d be without them.”

Tharek Blackstone, a toolsmith in Dun Morogh, couldn’t agree more. “I needed a set of tools delivered to Beldin Steelgrill, who owns the local mechanic shop some distance away. I didn’t have time to go myself, so you can imagine how pleased I was when a young kid offered to run the errand for me. It warms my heart to see young people taking an interest in those around us, not to mention gaining some real-world experience.”

Keeneye’s study reports more than 10,000 similar cases, not only from the vicinity of Ironforge, but from such far-flung locations as Silvermoon, Thunder Bluff, and Stormwind City.

“Everywhere you look, these young people are busy helping out, delivering flowers, wiping out plagues of dangerous creatures, which seem to continually appear out of nowhere, or finding ingredients for a local cook, who is constantly running out. And the situation is just the same for my colleagues over in EverQuest. Does that sound like escaping reality? Because to me it sounds like living life to the fullest – achieving your maximum potential as a human being, or goblin, or night elf, or whatever you are.”

But while Keeneye is in favor of kids spending more time questing, he doesn’t mind if they spend an hour or two outside it.

“Kids also need downtime,” he says. “If they want to spend it in these so-called reality games, playing mindless games like baseball, or reading about fictional character in books, that’s fine. Just as long as they don’t forget to kill monsters and run errands for helpless townsfolk.”

In fact, when he’s not out hunting, Keeneye himself admits a fondness for online computer games.

“I play a Level 27 stockbroker, who is currently in the middle of a quest to pay off the mortgage on his city apartment,” he laughs. “It’s all good fun, but I don’t let it take over my life.”

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