Wil Wheaton teaches his son to slay dragons


33 Responses to “Wil Wheaton teaches his son to slay dragons”

  1. biffpow says:

    Aside from likely making a great guest blogger, Wil sounds like an awesome DM. Great post.

  2. kaosmonkey says:

    Where are those media sickos now?

    Actually, one of them went on to be quite the celebrity. Remember Mazes & Monsters? Not that Tom Hanks is a media sicko, but he participated! Guilty!


  3. cinemajay says:

    This is mega cool! I voted for Will to be Geek Sect’y of State, and this is exactly why he deserves such a worthy title. D&D and other rpgs are great not only for sparking kiddos’ imaginations, but also offer decent help in practicing math. Good Job Wil!

    /Cory, there’s a typo in the first sentence ‘Dungeos’

  4. John H. says:

    I hate to bring down the geek buzz of the room, but the version he’s playing is 4th, which should not really be mentioned in relation with prior versions. Hasbro/WotC threw out basically everything that made earlier D&D distinctive (what remained, at least, from 3rd edition) and created what many (well, I certainly, and a good number of others too, I’ve not really done a census though) consider to be a much inferior game.

  5. Phikus says:

    I love Dungeos! The breakfast cereal 9 out of 10 DMs recommend! I love the prizes in every box, but don’t forget to check for traps! ;D

  6. GeekMan says:

    I am totally doing this with my future kids. Awesome.

  7. JArmstrong says:

    My older brother introduced me to D&D around 1990. The campaigns served not only as a way for us to spend more time together, but also as a way for me to hang out with his friends. I learned that he had learned much about D&D through our youthful uncle. Now that he has two ankle-biters, I wonder if the pattern will repeat itself.

    Good stuff. Why this isn’t incorporated into some educational forum is beyond me. Statistics, logic, team-building, language arts, creative thinking/writing, public speaking, art, math, geography, topography, architecture, history…

  8. urshrew says:


    Someone was poking fun at me for playing D&D way into my adult life and one thing they said was “What are you, eight?” It struck me that as an eight year old there was no way I was going to understand the rules behind the game.

    People just don’t bother to understand, I suppose.

  9. urshrew says:


    “…so I put paper covers on my three little D&D rule books so no one would know what I was reading.”

    Man, that takes me out of my reality to nostalgia land. I used to do the same thing in middle school with my Dragonlance books. Funny how such a tiny thing, like enjoying fantasy, made you counter culture before you were old enough to know what the hell counter culture actually was.

  10. Teriyaki says:

    Playing pen-and-paper rpgs is a great way of spending time with kids and it teaches them all sorts of stuff that the now completely dominant computer gaming lacks. I’d say that the foremost of those is the ability to make up your own rules and take actions which aren’t pre-programmed – in essence each player is a “programmer” of the game (especially if the game master is flexible and imaginative). In my younger days I spent more time and had more more fun re-designing the rulesets and making my own adventures than actually playing them. Additionally it is an excellent exercise in imaginative visualisation (which gets stunted with visual overload from today’s PC games and TV).

    A friend of mine, who is a social worker dealing mostly with 8-14 yr old children, uses RPGs as an almost a daily tool in his group work. As soon as my daughter gets to the right age (I’d say 8 :) I plan to start a D&D campaign with her and her wild bunch. :)

    This is such a far cry from the dreaful “D&D is a tool of SATAN” craze that I grew up with that it makes me want to laugh and cry at the same time… Where are those media sickos now?

  11. NidSquid says:

    Wil Wheaton has a teenage son? Suddenly, I feel really old! :-)

    Great read though.

  12. Phikus says:

    Where are those media sickos now?

    They became blowhard radio talkshow hosts.

  13. MrScience says:

    My 9yr old son and 11yr old daughter have both had a lot of fun playing D&D (3.5, not this watered down 4 stuff. :)

    My daughter’s learning ratios and minor statistics in class, and my son’s learning to graph and read maps. It’s simple to incorporate their day-to-day learnings into an entertaining game, and show how it can be used. Throw in the excercised imagination, and it rocks.

    The only downside is that we get so involved, we’ll sit at the table for a good 8 hours. When it’s done, they’re a bit burned out for a while… I need to work on having shorter mini-battles.

    We tried Spirit of the Century, and had a lot of fun; fewer rules to keep track of, more fluid, and more compelling imagination. A highly recommended game system with a downloadable PDF!

  14. Anonymous says:

    By some amazing cosmic chance of fortune, I fell into the D&D group through football, of all things.

    The linemen all played in middle school and we mostly stuck with it (football and D&D) throughout high school. I think this happy consequence molded my incredibly fortunate teenage life.

    Only in Austin, folks (I hope someone proves me wrong).

  15. hobie says:

    It was Mr Gameways Ark, and don’t forget The Battered Dwarf on Parliament St!

  16. Mister Staal says:

    My first D&D group was led by my friend’s father. Having an experienced DM (who also happened to be a professional educator) made for an amazing time. I don’t think I truly appreciated how much we could learn from him until he passed the torch over to his son, and started playing instead.

    Ahhh, good times.

    Go Wil.

  17. earbox says:

    @nidsquid: Stepson, actually, but yes. (Two of them, actually.) (Actually, I use the word “actually” too much.)

  18. mdh says:

    Mister Science – similarly, my sister in law was complaining to me about the Yu-Gi-Oh cards my nephews beg her for, and I said “shhhhh, it’s actually math.”

  19. JArmstrong says:

    This article popped up in the Chicago Tribune’s online edition:


    If anyone is looking for a Chicago brick-and-mortar to supply their gaming needs, the one mentioned in the article seems like a friendly enough place.

  20. Axx says:

    Yes! Invites for guest blogging on BB MUST be given to Wil! That would be awesome!!

  21. merreborn says:

    Being a second generation geek is pretty awesome.

    Dad DM’d a great campaign when we were teens. We coded an MMO mod together; I wrote the server, he wrote the client. He’s got the best Dance Dance rig in town. And once every couple of months, we bring Rockband over to his place and ‘jam’.

  22. TheMadLibrarian says:

    One more vote for Wil as a guest blogger (if he has the time).

  23. bokodasu says:

    There are some great games out there for roleplaying with even little kids. We started my daughter on Faery’s Tale when Gygax died and we were trying to explain what a RPG was, and why we were sad about some guy we’d never met passing away. By the third session, she was ready to run her own game. Did a pretty good job, too – the story had an actual plot and everything. She had a bit of a Monty Haul problem – we were rewarded with a castle for a pretty minor quest – but hey, she’s five.

    Now we’re starting a homebrew FUDGE game based on a certain mouse-emblemed company’s new fairy mythology. (Did I mention she’s five? Fairies are vital.) It was a little surprising how much of the work said company already did – classes are well-defined (although not really balanced – there’s one that only hands out fairy power to all the other classes. Not terribly exciting to play) and there’s a rich setting all ready to go.

    Next step – getting her to run games for her friends so I can watch and go, “awww, cute!” from the sidelines.

  24. franko says:

    vote for wil to guestblog, too, if he can squeeze it in. i’ve been reading his blog daily for ages (before his first book), and i’ve been enjoying these D&D posts immensely.

  25. Daemon says:

    Unfortunately, he’s using 4th ed, so he’s really just preparing them to play MMOs.

  26. Anonymous says:


    “The only downside is that we get so involved, we’ll sit at the table for a good 8 hours.”

    You are winning at life. I don’t know that I spent 8 hours total doing anything with my dad when I was that age.

    My pre-schoolers love to look at the monster manual and pick out their guys.

  27. Stefan Jones says:

    #23: “I don’t know that I spent 8 hours total doing anything with my dad when I was that age.”

    Yeah, tell me about it. I terribly jealous of Wil’s kids.

    * * *

    I learned about D&D in high school.

    No, let me rephrase that: I learned about D&D while I was attending a suburban high school, from a cousin who went to school in Manhattan. In my high school, admitting you played role playing games would be like . . . well, first you’d have to explain them, and in 1977 not even the bible thumpers had latched onto them . . . so I put paper covers on my three little D&D rule books so no one would know what I was reading. I got my RPG fix by taking a two-hour train ride to a college in another county.

  28. urshrew says:

    Reading this brings a big smile to my face.

  29. Agies says:

    Just as cool is hearing him shift from swearing like a sailor to reciting prayers in elvish with the guys from PvP and Penny Arcade on the Wizards of the Coast podcast. Not only is it highly entertaining it’s also a nice introduction to the new mechanics of 4th edition.

  30. Webbie says:

    I can’t be arsed searching but has Wil ever been a guest blogger on BB ?

    Ah I did a search and I see he’s posted the occasional comment but never been a feature player.

    Come on chaps give him a run out.

  31. cinemajay says:

    @19, SECOND!

  32. fxq says:

    I agree! Will is a great guy and he’d make a great guest bloginator.

  33. oasisob1 says:

    Oh, the memories! I got my own start on D&D back in the 70′s, as a boy not quite 10. I never gave up the habit entirely, and when my daughters became interested in it, I was ready.

    But none of that new 3.5 edition for me (don’t even mention 4th, though so much evolution isn’t totally bad), we played old school 2nd ed.

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