Sunday 18 March 2012

Mothers and Gamers

Well, it's Mother's Day (technically Mothering Sunday) in the UK; I know that the US has its own day and that's not for some weeks yet, but bear with me. When I think back to my days as a callow, spotty, greasy-haired gamer, I don't really recall my mother being around to comment, either positively or negatively on the activities for which my friends and I were hijacking the dining table. She vanished to another part of the house and reappeared when everybody had gone.

My wife, on the other hand, not only plays but sorts out the social arrangement for Junior Grognard and his friends, actively evangelises for the campaign and puts the pizzas in and gets drinks for everybody. A gamer mum if ever there was one.

The subject for discussion today is simply that; whilst we have had stories of mothers burning D&D books for fear of Satan entering the household, I'm looking for tales of mothers who either totally got on board with the weird dice and the little metal guys or at the very least made a real effort to understand what it was all about and supported their kids in what, for many parents back in the day must have seemed an odd hobby indeed.


  1. Great topic.

    At first, my mother read through my original Holmes blue-book and pronounced it fit for yours truly. I was unprepared, however, for her to go out of her way to *defend* D&D against the two paranoid Satan-hunting mothers across the street. She trumpeted the game's virtues of encouraging imagination and a strong vocubulary. In the end, the paranoid mothers came around, to the extent that nobody batted an eye when I got Deities and Demigods as a birthday present.

    Good ol' mom.

  2. Although our Mother's Day in the United States is in May, I found myself thinking a lot about my Irish mother yesterday on St. Patrick's Day. My mother never tried playing the game herself, but she did allow my friends and I to play at our house, where we were well fed and cared for. All throughout my life (from college, grad school and on) she would mail me any and all newspaper and magazine clippings about D&D, Gary Gygax, Dave Arneson, and J.R.R. Tolkien she came across. I remember getting called out of an important meeting once at work to take an urgent call from my mother, where she delivered the terribly important news that Dave Arneson was going to be interviewed on National Public Radio. This Mother's Day coming up will be my first without her, and I truly miss her dearly.

  3. I think I might be your wife's twin.

    My own mother played occasionally, and test drove a few of my crazier potion tables. She wasn't really interested in the game at all, but she was interested in my interest - which was honestly all the approval I needed.