Teach your children well

There’s been some back and forth among some OSR bloggers and their critics, and one unfathomable charge was that the OSR hasn’t really contributed anything to gaming.  That’s a charge hardly worth answering, but Troll & Flame pretty much covers it. I’d like to just point to one other area that deserves mention, and that is that the OSR has some awesome parents, aunts, & uncles who are passing the torch, and by that, if for nothing else, the OSR earns its keep. 

Check out:

Rob Conley’s 5 year old’s map.

Save vs. Stupid’s report on a session of Princess Fairy Adventures.

Daddy Grognard’s blog, which is devoted to raising more gamers.

Another obscure grognard’s son’s first dungeon, not to mention he is runnig a OD&D game with his  older daughter.

Dungeonmum’s blog, which has some discussion of how young is too young for D&D.

Those of us with kids, or nieces or nephews, know the joy of passing on the joy of the fantastic and the power of imagination.  Here’s where I brag that my four year old asked for help painting & coloring a dungeon she drew, and asked for a bedtime story about Goldilocks when she went to Asgard (because no one is telling her Golidlocks only gets to have one furtive adventure with three bears), and wants to watch Thundarr with me.

For the record, this isn’t something unique to the OSR, of course, and I don’t quite get why certain bloggers argue that it is a flaw of certain newer games that kids can learn to play them.  But I do think the OSR, with it’s concern for preserving a certain style of gaming, gets extra credit for making passing the torch an end in itself.  In fact I started this blog just to to record a particular project I thought up to pass on a game I fondly remembered from my childhood to my one of my nieces and some of my nephews, and stumbled upon the OSR when I saw  link to Grognardia in one of scottsz’s earlier blogs (before he got all internet famous).

So, read to them from Gnomes, Giants, Fearies and other classic bestiaries, and books of mythology like the D’Aulaires’.  Show them your miniatures, and maps of dungeons, and the Dungeon Alphabet.  Let them watch Thundarr, and the Rankin-Bass Tolkien movies, and The last unicorn.  Pass the torch.

Published in: on March 11, 2010 at 4:02 am  Comments (2)  
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  1. Great post, Mr. Monaco.

    One of the things that I love about the OSR corner of things is how much a ‘gaming pathway for the young’ is respected. What we really strive for (in my opinion): a small, precious piece that is part of a way of life.

    Gaming, the Tabletop, The Hobbyist – these things are quietly under siege. The economy wants us to be poor, the culture wants our kids to be little math goblins, and the TV wants everyone to be a winner.

    I can remember Saturday afternoons, watching violent cartoons in the mornings and horror movies in the afternoons on UHF. There was time for action figures before dinner, and reading encyclopedia entries in the evening to research the bizarreness of it all. By bedtime, my imagination was full and there were sketchbooks and pencils and even more books. Behind it all, (I realize now) that there was an economy that allowed one salary to make everything happen.

    I like that the OSR seems (often without knowing it) to be preserving some bits of real fun.

    As for Internet Famous… these damned paparazzi are driving me nuts, along with these endorsement deals…

    I’m going to have to turn to the bottle for comfort.

  2. I’m actually kind of sad that there isn’t a halfway-decent sci-fi/fantasy kids’ cartoon on TV anymore. I remember watching the 70s Hanna-Barbera and 80s Ruby-Spears shorts as a kid and totally falling in love with Pirates of Dark Water not long after that. I remember trying to make gaming rules in college based off PoDW’s writers’ bible.

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