Last night, as my interest in Allods Online began to wane in the Imperial starter area, Alex sat down to watch me manuever my Orc around, killing Sewer Rats.

“I bet I can do that.”

Hmmm.

Thoughts of operating a gold farming mob grinding child labor sweatshop momentarily danced through my head.

“Alex, you’re still too young to begin playing an MMO. I know you want to play what mommy and I do, but you still need to improve your reading skills first. You’ll get better, sweetie.”

“But it doesn’t LOOK hard.”

“Yes dear, but see, I’m left-clicking, right-clicking, moving the mouse, using the keyboard all at the same time just to move. And then using these other hotkeys to… “

“You know what, get over here and sit on my knee. Go for it.”

“Okay!”

An hours’ impromptu course on the finer points of character movement in Allods Online follows, along with many Sewer Rats killed. Amongst the sheer craziness that is day three of an open Beta, where everyone and their brother and kid sister wants to log in and reserve “their” name, even if they never intend to play the game themselves, just so nobody else can take “their” name.

MMO people are freaking nuts, you do know that, don’t you?

Finally, it’s time for Alex to have storytime before teeth brushing and off to bed.

“Awww!”

“Tell you what, buddy, tomorrow night we’ll get on the other game, and you can make a character and run around there and have fun.”

Fast forward to tonight, at dinner, over cheese pizza.

“Can I be done?”

“You only had one piece of pizza and a breadstick, sucka. Eat up.”

“But I’m just so excited!”

“Okay… why?” (dreading the answer)

“Because I’m going to play the game!”

Uh oh… mind reading parent powers activate… “Alex, you’re still not old enough to play the game on your own. We’re going to create a character for you together, and you are going to play while I help, but this is NOT the sign that you are finally old enough to play , you DO understand that, don’t you?”

“‘kay.”

So we go downstairs, I fire up WoW, I pick a non-PvP server (first test of the dark side successfully passed), and  begin to show him races.

“I want to be a gnome!”

“Okay, no problem… now how about these other choices?” (fast scroll through hair and colors and stuff)

He picks a Gnome with high spiky black hair, a goatee with nefarious moustachios, and a face with a huge shit eating grin.

We had him go Rogue for his first class, even though he wanted a Warrior with the big big sword. Somehow, I feel he is destined to be the gankER, not the gankEE.

Pop into Coldridge Valley, and it’s time to teach him the finer points of mouse movement, and auto attack, and Sinister Strike, and ranged pulls with thrown daggers.

In an amazingly short period of time, he’s hopping all over, exploring the heights of the mountains.I’m unconcerned, because they changed Coldridge and the other level 1-5 starter zones to be pure yellow… no aggroing mobs unless you attack them first.

I then teach him how to attack. I’ve cleared off everything from his bar except Throw and Sinister Strike.

He spies a cute litte bunny hopping by.

He targets the bunny, chases the bunny around for a while, camera viewpoint swerving around crazily, until finally, he gets the bunny. He kills the bunny.

Kills that cute little bunny dead.

He then targets another bunny. He runs past Troggs and Wolves in his single-minded pursuit of rabbit… it’s what’s for dinner.

I go up and tell on him. I ratted him out to Cassie, oh hell yes I did. She, of course, is horrified by the slaughter of bunnies. Alex comes upstairs and promises not to kill anymore bunnies.

So, I help guide him through killing Wolves and Troggs, and then I show him how to get a quest, and how Questhelper puts up tracking info that changes so he can see how many more of something he still needs.

Then I leave him to decimate the Wolf population while I go feed the cats.

I come back, guide him to turn that in, get the Trogg quest, and help guide him towards Troggs.

He dings 3 and is halfway towards 4, it’s getting late, and I tell him that once he hits 4, he’s done for the night.

In the finest traditions of 6 year olds everywhere (almost 7!) he begins sandbagging it, slowing down, stops killing things, begins wandering.

Wasn’t it Bill Cosby who joked about loving small children because they’re so truthful? No deception or cunning in them? ROFLMAO!

I invoked parental clause #24… Call his bluff and raise him.

“If you’re not going to play, you can be done now.”

“Okay, I’ll play for real.”

I guided him to complete mail delivery, and then helped him take and understand the “Kill da Boars” quest, knowing that would be enough to ding 4.

AlexbunnyAs he went about hunting down and killing Boars, and using Stealth to sneak up on them a LOT (Boars are yellow in Coldridge, like everything else, BTW), he was very chatty.

I finally just grabbed a pad of paper and a pencil, and began to take that shit down. This would be the conversation from that point, verbatim.

“I’m never gonna kill a bunny again.”

“I might kill a rabbit on the way to kill a boar.”

“A rabbit or two.”

“Killing rabbits is fun.”

On noticing he is going to ding 4 soon on the XP bar, and reach GAME OVER time… “After I do this quest, can I kill a couple bunnies?”

“I want to make up my own quest.”

“And that quest is… [ominous voice] Killing Wabbits!”

“Congratulations on dinging 4, dear.”

“Thank you – Oh, and there’s a bunny!”

“How do I make my swords show?”

“Z”

“Okay.”

[clicks Z] “Dangerous Mode!”

“I killed a bunny!”

“Awwww……”

“Sorry… I won’t kill anymore bunnies…”

Yes, that’s right… my son, the Bunnyslayer.

My God, what I wouldn’t give to hear the conversation my son has with his friends recapping this, with his teacher spying and judging… I mean innocently overhearing.

25 Responses to “Alex the Bunnyslayer!”
  1. bigbearbutt says:

    On looking at that picture, I realize you can see, on the right side of the deskop, a corner of pale beige towel, which is covered in cat hair. Saturated, imbedded, destroyed with cat hair. That would be the permanent catbed on my desktop.

  2. Mannyac says:

    And to think, it wasn’t that long ago that we were sitting in your basement and you got excited when he said “ball”

  3. Rayvynn says:

    That, Sir, is abso-freaking-loutely priceless. Ohhhh dear. :)

  4. Kayeri says:

    ::laughing:: Our 8 year old has ‘played’ since she was 5 or so… :) We got her a hunter, because she likes the pets, and got it to 10 and turned her loose after showing her how to run things and taming the cat she wanted.. :)

    She’s 8 now (has it been THAT long??) and that hunter is level 25… :) She has abandoned her pet and re-tamed a crab without telling us, she knows not to talk to people we dont know, not to duel and not to accept trades from strangers without our approval. :) Except for that hunter, her habit is to create a baby toon, play it until level 10 at the most, and then delete it and make another new one… lol She wants to make a Death Knight and we have told her No, she must level another character to 55 before we allow her to do that…. considering its 3 years for 25 levels, we figure we’re safe for awhile with that one. When she watches US play, she lectures us in how to play our characters, boss strategies, and tells us who we are permitted to joust up at the Tourney dailies… lol

    That’s our girl. :)

  5. Nokin says:

    Can so relate… let my 9 year old start playing about a month ago and he is a Wabbit Slayer too!!! Your story made me laugh.. same things.. running past trogs to get to the ..”RABBIT!!!” /facepalm

    One funny thing I have to mention. I had just started letting him play and I was on my new druid to play with his new mage…(yes I started another account.. I’m beyond help lol) Well, we got into trouble with too many mobs (yes I was in over our heads but hey, I’m a pro at this :P ) and he takes off running and types in all caps “RUN” to which I type back “DRUIDS DON’T RUN” to which he immediately types back “NOR DO THEY THINK”. I just about fell out of my chair. :)

    He now has a 35 Mage, 25 hunter and some others… what have I done….

  6. Bhal says:

    I thought he was going for the Horde?. lol – I cou;d just see it on our server, a horde bull lvl 4 surrounded by the whole SD clan in their 80’s helping him kill wabbits – lol. Thats great that he likes playing wow. I remember teaching my niece to play fps on her playstation, now years later she wipes the floor with her boyfriends when they play on the station, for a beautiful girl with a angelic face she really has a killer instinct.

  7. Sephrenia says:

    My daughter (who is now 8 and has been playing for a couple of years) started similarly, but she had trouble killing cute things. She would kill spiders, but not rabbits or deer. Then she took up leatherworking and skinning – now she kills anything that moves :) Her baby rogue is now level 47, but temporarily unplayable because Daddy has suspended his account. So she and I started new characters together – we have a level 35 hunter (her) and a level 33 Paladin (me). She got the extra levels doing PVP by herself because I can’t stand PVP. At level 26 she took on and beat a level 29 hunter. I was incredibly tempted to log in and tell some jumped up PVPer that he got owned by an 8 year old girl who was 3 levels lower than him! Gosh I’m proud of her :)

    She knows not to talk to strangers, always announces herself in guild if she logs on any of my characters, comes and tells me or Daddy if someone asks her something, logs off if she feels bothered by someone. She has learnt how to use the AH and has an AH character who now has over 200 gold that she has made for herself. Sure along the way some people have got bargains, but she is happy to have a gold or 2 in her mail box.

    She is learning, she is adept at using a computer, she is reading, she is mastering banking and trading. We follow a guide to level and she reads and plans our routes. We limit her play time, but it’s fun to do things together and see her learning along the way. Call me a bad parent if you like, but I actually think it is better for her than some other things that kids today spend a lot of time doing.
    .-= Sephrenia´s last blog ..Toxic Wasteling – another RNG event pet – argh! =-.

  8. Tesh says:

    I tried letting my three year old sit on my lap while I played LOTRO, which worked for a while. She loved the world. She wanted to steer… until she saw the cave troll in the dwarf starting area. She freaked out, and had nightmares of a monster breaking through her bedroom wall.

    Yeah, that didn’t go over so well. These days, she plays World of Goo. No bunnies or trolls in that one. ;)

    Great story about your little one, BBB!
    .-= Tesh´s last blog ..Home Town Pride =-.

  9. Nesut says:

    Priceless… :)

  10. Nim (Ankh) says:

    That is quite possibly the most adorable WoW story I’ve ever heard.
    .-= Nim (Ankh)´s last blog ..A Shaman’s Guide To Hunterism =-.

  11. Gnomeaggedon says:

    Oh no… Wabbit hunting season is open…

    At 3.5 Odin is still more interested in what Big Bird will have him do than Blizzard… That isn’t to say there haven’t been times in AV where I have been ganked endlessly while I “show him the Gnome”

    “Can he wave at the cow Daddy?”

    he was a little upset yesterday that I wasn’t bringing wholesale slaughter to the dinosaurs of Ungoro… I waited until after he left to exact my revenge for all those level 50 gankings by ravasaurs…

    Anyone that sees me in Dalaran must think I’m a posing idiot… Mount changes… Pet changes… All to satisfy Odin’s desire to see the strpey cat… No daddy the goat… Now the horse daddy… Where is the robot chicken daddy?
    .-= Gnomeaggedon´s last blog ..Did someone say changes to Battlegrounds were incoming? =-.

  12. Viv says:

    My three year old son and I have been playing a baby mage for a couple of months now. The other day I overheard him very seriously explaining to my wife, “You pwess one for Fi’ball, two for Fwostbolt, and fwee fo’ Fi’ Bwast. Then you eat a muffin and have a dwink!” Can’t pronounce his Rs, but he can play a mage.

  13. Gekkoracing says:

    Thats cute BBB!!1 My lil man has been watchin me play since he could roll over and see my monitor from the bed.He just turned 3 and has been “playing” WoW since 2 or so…..he is always getting on his older brothers toons and stripping them……finally found a lockout addon…..and he ahs figured out a way past that, too!! (turn the addons off). He knows how to start the computer up…..”Daddy….peas pay WoW?……peas pay Wow?” when its ime for bed…..I tell him to log out….and he does…complete with shutting down the computer, correctly!!! Obviuosly he doesn’t get the quest ideas….yet….but he sure knows how to kill stuff,right click, buy and sell(til he runs out of money that is!).he even “talks” to people…. “dfgjnfjhmkg,,gj,tgfjhsgjsfgjdfhj”…..as an example!! :) playing on his multiple DKs he has even been on some dungeon raids!!! He will be awesome once he can figure out the quests and such!1 :)
    Always enjoy your blog, Keep up the great work!!

  14. Tanya says:

    This is too cute! As a first-grade, WoW-playing teacher, I would not be spying and judging, but overhearing and laughing. :) Thanks for the laugh!

  15. bigbearbutt says:

    Tanya, I suppose I should clarify that I wasn’t referring to 1st grade teachers in general, I’m taking a shot at our child’s 1st grade teacher in particular.

    And sadly, I don’t think she’s a bad teacher, either. She’s just… scary. People who are judgmental over issues they are utterly ignorant of, and are placed in a position of guidance and instruction over those unable to make an informed decision on their own, scare me.

    Or, as Al Pacino said in the amazing film “Scent of a Woman”;

    “Makers of men, creators of leaders, be careful what kind of leaders you’re producing here.”

  16. Maebius says:

    this is priceless!
    MY own 6yr old plays my 80 (questgreens still) farming hunter. his favorite place is to go to Dragonsblight and just keep killing the huge crab on that little island near the Tuskarr village. Over, and over, and over. He actually tamed it the first time, so I think he jsut enjoys knowing he’s killing the crab with itself, or something.
    Favorite tactic? Snake trap, Explosive Trap, and serpent sting before running into Melee and smacking until dead. Forever in ViperAspect so “I don’t run out of blue spells” (mana)

  17. Charity says:

    Hah, that is so great! I have a pic of my daughter, who wasn’t more than 20 months at the time, playing LotRO when her daddy left his keyboard down once. She knows the mouse moves the cursor and knows that you press hotbar buttons, but she tries to press them with her finger (like she does on the iPod), so she hasn’t done much damage yet. Thanks for a glimpse of what we have to look forward to.

  18. Skiannach says:

    Alex will be well prepared when Blizz decide that they need another Monty Python boss and introduce the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.

  19. Stupid Mage says:

    My sons tell me I can’t kill bunnies or squirrels or other low lvl critters.

    But I MUST go out of my way to kill rats.

  20. Phaedra says:

    Our guild’s “mascot” (GM’s now 3-year-old son) has his own character in the guild. However, more than playing his character, he likes to play his mom’s level 80 raiding lock. There’s a video posted on our guild’s website of him playing her lock, in BT, killing creatures. He knows to hit 1, then 2, then loot. There’s also a video of him at around age 2, helping his dad kill pig-men.

    Yay for baby geeks and gamers!

  21. Nichadaemus says:

    I started playing WoW just after BC was released after being invited by a co-worker. My daughters went from looking over my shoulder to wanting their own accounts. They even talked my wife into playing with us (and she was envious at how much time we were spending together.) Fast foward to today, we have 4 accounts and multiple 80’s. We play as a family often, and have WoW night at the inlaws big round table (a circle of laptops) as aunts and uncles, cousins, nephews and nieces all play together. As the family Teady Tank, WoW has brought us together more, and honestly has been a great educational tool fo the children. The point is to play together. The family that slays together, stays together!!

  22. Soph says:

    BBB – that is HILARIOUS! It makes me look forward to teaching our kids how to play computer games. Great blog, thank you for writing it!

  23. Aleysha says:

    My 3-yr old has a rogue of his own but his current passion is my lvl 30 druid. I spend hours with him sitting on my lap running around in travel form and going cat or bear to kill spiders and wolfs (his favourite targets) and swimming around lakes with the camera tilted so he can see the “seal”. He insists on driving the toon himself and does rather well.

    I’ve heard him explain to a classmate of his that the yellow cat is to go faster and the black cat is to kill. That you should go one, two, three, three, THREE, THREEEEE! and then the wolf is dead. All with expansive gestures of claws raking and loud growling in between. I’ve been waiting since then to be called by his teacher and the other kids’s mum to explain them a thing or two…

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