Kids are free, but can they game?
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Posted by wjmacguffin

Hi folks! I'm super excited this year, as my eight year old son wants to come to GenCon with me, and because he's only 8, he's free! Since I have him for the whole weekend, I'll be taking him to more than just the family day on Sunday. So here's my question. If he doesn't need a badge, can I still register him for events with me?  And yes, I know some events are not good for kids. He will not see the Deadpool movie, for example. But he's played adulty games like Fortress America, Pathfinder, and Battletech with real rules.  

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Posted by aegoce

Each event has a recommended minimum age.  I suspect at least some would include down to 8. For pathfinder I'm pretty sure there have been kids tracks the last few years.  Another option would be the 'we be goblins' modules.  They're sort of inherently silly.

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Posted by marimaccadmin

With a child wristband, he CAN be registered for any event that is designated "KID".  If you want to buy other events specifiaclly for him however, you'll have to buy him a full cost badge. Hope this helps!

Marian McBrine
Event Coordinator
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by wjmacguffin

That's exactly what I needed to know! I'll wait and check out the event schedule before deciding on a badge for him or not. Cheers!

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Posted by brotherbock

I will gently add this: please pay close attention to that 'Kid' designation. I know most parents are good about it, but I have seen too many try to argue that 'their kid is mature enough' for a particular game not intended for kids. And, to be fair, I've seen those parents be both correct and incorrect :)  But don't put that burden on the GM. 

Anyway, have fun :D
 

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Posted by wjmacguffin

Completely agreed. That's why I mentioned I'm NOT one of those parents who thinks his young son can handle Deadpool. (Which, of course, is who he wants to cosplay as. But that's for a different post.) If I sign my son up for anything, it's because


  • He wants to play it, not just me
  • He can sit down for that long and play with others
  • The subject matter is appropriate for a child. (A few "shits" and "fucks" is all right because the boy doesn't repeat that stuff. But not if it's all about sex, gore, etc. No FATAL games for the lad.)

Also, I already had a long talk with him about all the walking, the crappy food, and how when you start a game, you finish the game. He's good with all of that so far.

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Posted by helenbb

Last year we brought our son and he had a ball at the kids' LARP and Boffing With Bluebeard (also True Dungeon, but that's another thing altogether). He also enjoyed the 'LARP' (it was more like a cheaper version of True Dungeon) they had over in the Marriott. He got to play a monster, so he was constantly in battle and resurrected whenever he died. That was right up his alley!

You will definitely find some great kids' games and activities throughout the entire con! 

If you find some events for which he needs a badge, you could just get a single day badge for the day he participates in those things.

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Posted by brotherbock wjmacguffin

wjmacguffin wrote:
Completely agreed. That's why I mentioned I'm NOT one of those parents who thinks his young son can handle Deadpool. (Which, of course, is who he wants to cosplay as. But that's for a different post.) If I sign my son up for anything, it's because

  • He wants to play it, not just me
  • He can sit down for that long and play with others
  • The subject matter is appropriate for a child.
  • (A few "shits" and "fucks" is all right because the boy doesn't repeat that stuff. But not if it's all about sex, gore, etc. No FATAL games for the lad.)

Also, I already had a long talk with him about all the walking, the crappy food, and how when you start a game, you finish the game. He's good with all of that so far.


You sound as cool as my parents were :) My first GC was 84, the last UW Parkside. I was still in grade school, my brother 4 years older. My mom drove us to the Parkside campus, dropped us off, and picked us up at the end of the day. Definitely not something you do with just any kids, and definitely not something you do just anywhere (the way she put it years later: "I told myself I'd drive you there and make my decision when I saw it. I took a look at the people who were at the Con and said 'Oh yeah, they'll be fine with these people'.")

I'm totally onboard with kids in games (given the parameters you said above), given my own history. In fact, last year in one of our not designed for kids LARPs, the youngest player, maybe 10 or so, was voted by the other players as one of two players who made the game most enjoyable for them.

Cool, glad my post didn't come across wrong. I didn't mean you didn't know what you were doing specifically, just wanted to put it out there. Game on!

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Posted by lowtheredie

hello, first of all please explain me the question on this thread (Kids are free, but can they game?) what are you trying to say that but they can game ? , what is the mining of that,

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Posted by marimaccadmin

He's asking about buying tickets for children that do not have to buy a full badge, that just have a free wristband because they are 8 or under.  As noted above, 8 and under kids can be registered for any KID event; registration for other events requires a full badge.

Marian McBrine
Event Coordinator
Gen Con LLC

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Posted by bigfathairyguy

You will want to get him a full badge if it is like last year. Most of the stuff you will want to register for will be marked 6+ and not KID. This includes things like Catan Jr and Beginner Pathfinder for kids. My daughter is 8 and she has needed a full badge the last 2 years. 

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Posted by drea2go bigfathairyguy

franknbeans wrote:
You will want to get him a full badge if it is like last year. Most of the stuff you will want to register for will be marked 6+ and not KID. This includes things like Catan Jr and Beginner Pathfinder for kids. My daughter is 8 and she has needed a full badge the last 2 years. 
That is good to know! This is our first time going with our 6 and 8 year old and I would have assumed that those type of games would be marked as Kids. Looks like we will need to get a few more badges.
 

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Posted by wjmacguffin

Just waiting on the event schedule. If there are some cool events marked KID during the weekend (not just Sunday), then I'll save the cash. But he'll be with me Fri afternoon through Sunday afternoon, so I'm willing to drop $90 for making his first GenCon that much more awesome. True Dungeon is kinda tempting ....

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Posted by wjmacguffin marimaccadmin

marimaccadmin wrote:
With a child wristband, he CAN be registered for any event that is designated "KID".  If you want to buy other events specifiaclly for him however, you'll have to buy him a full cost badge. Hope this helps!
Marian McBrine
Event Coordinator
Gen Con LLC

Now that the events are up, I just want to clarify:

  • A child with a free child's wristband can only participate in "Event Type: KID - Kids Activities" events. 
  • If I want my son to join "Event Type: RPG - Role Playing Game" events (or any other event type), even if it's labeled as kids only in the Minimum Age line, a full badge is required. 

Is that accurate? I'm fine if it is. Just don't want to screw up my son's first GenCon because I wasn't clear, you know? 

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Posted by chemrebel

Welcome new families!  A couple of tips I've learned that may be of help for you:

1. Double check the event description.  Some games will allow one kid plus one parent on ONE ticket, so you won't have to buy separate ones.  Example: Pathfinder Kids Track (which continually earns high praise from me and my kidlettes).

2. If you need a separate ticket for a kid with a wristband, you can always select "another ticket for me" and get one that way.  Now if it's only one parent and two kids with wristbands, that won't work for both kids, just one.

3.  In case #2 doesn't completely fix things, you can always purchase generic tickets to try and attend said event (depending on hard ticket sales - those ticket holders always get admitted first, then generics).   

When in doubt about an event and age appropriateness, it never hurts to email the DM and ask; just be prepared for a flat NO (plan for the worst, hope for the best).  Some events are run with a strict adherence to 13+, while other games could work for kids, say, 10 and up, but the system parameters only sort by 6+ and 13+ and the DM just picked the older option.   I've seen previously in game descriptions that some would accept younger players with a parent in tow.  Again, YMMV.

Our oldest is 11 and while we peruse the 13+ offerings, nothing has jumped out at us at this point to ask a DM to try and see if they'd be okay with her and either me or hubby joining in.  I think that actually speaks well to the DMs being so familiar with their game content and knowing their target audience and age appropriateness.    

-N., mother to the youngest known survivor of Killer Breakfast
 

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