This Breakfast Topic has been brought to you by Seed, the Aol guest writer program that brings your words to WoW Insider's pages.
I suppose that I was destined to play computer games. My dad played strategy board games with his friends into the wee hours of the morning until my mom demanded use of her kitchen table back. Eventually, he, my brother and I discovered Age of Empires II. We played online on dial-up internet, cursing the people who called our house while we were gaming. Some friends clued me into WoW in high school, and I've been hooked ever since.
My parents were always cautious with my internet exposure. When I played AoE, I understood that I was not to repeat the foul language I saw in chat, and if people were being particularly vulgar, I would voluntarily remove myself from that particular game. Even as an adult in WoW, I often /leave trade, especially late at night, because I have no interest in seeing keyboard sewage on my screen. Moreover, when I'm visiting my parents and let my younger sisters play on their gnomes, the first thing that I do is /leave trade, and I or someone else keep an eye on the screen while they're playing.
I fully expect that one day, my own children will play video games if they so desire. However, I am aware that the internet is an adult world. Some parents blame other players when their child sees something adult while playing WoW. I tend to take the other approach and blame the parent, either for not closely monitoring their child's play or for not teaching their child how to avoid the adult content.
What has been your experience? How do you monitor the game play of your own children, and do you have any tips for keeping the potentially harmful aspects of the WoW atmosphere away from your child?