I’ve been playing games my whole life. My mom and grandmother started me early on card games, board games and puzzles of every kind. When I entered high school, video games and computer games were just getting their start. I played hours and hours of arcade games, one quarter at a time. When home video game systems became available, I played everything from Atari (yes, Pong) to Nintendo. As text-based games moved on to the first personal computers, I was enmeshed in the likes of everything from Oregon Trail to the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy and beyond. As home entertainment systems grew, I branched from my Super NES (which we still have and use) to PlayStation to Wii games.

Then internet technology grew to allow MMO’s and MOBA’s. I started playing with Never Winter Nights at the birth of this genre. These wonderful games allow you to play with actual people you’ve never met on a team against other actual people you’ll never meet. They offer a wealth of opportunity to share cultural differences, and join together in victory or defeat. They’re fun, entertaining, addicting, and amazing, but they can also present an opportunity for online predators, toxic communities, and a very real chance to spend all your money on virtual commodities. It’s important to keep your kids safe and to realize that they are often interacting with adults in these games, adults who don’t always assume that your children are children.

My favorite of these games is League of Legends. My son introduced me to this game after he had been playing a while, and I instantly found so much about it to enjoy and appreciate. The graphics are astonishing, and the champions are amusing, witty, and varied. I’m not very good at it, but it provides hours of fun and enjoyment. I hope that you’ll take a look at it and maybe some of the other games we’ll cover here. Start playing a bit yourself, you’ll be surprised. Possibly someday we’ll see each other on the Rift.

Laura  (LadyViviann)