Author Archives: Mijal

Choosing Whether to Use Childcare — A Working Dad’s Struggle

photo credit: telework via photopin (license)

photo credit: telework via photopin (license)

So, this post is a bit more personal, and includes mostly my own experiences, thoughts, and feelings on the subject.  When you work from home, in any capacity, “being there” for your kids becomes a trickier thing to define and accomplish, because you’re rarely gone, but you still have to get work done as if you were leaving.  You have to wrestle with not only what childcare option is best for your kids, but also whether you should be using childcare at all.  Through trial and error, I’ve ended up in a situation that works well for me and my family right now, but your mileage may vary.  Regardless, perhaps my experiences can help you make your own decisions. Continue reading

Children and Video Games: Setting Appropriate Limits

As our society becomes more technologically based, learning to use that technology becomes not just a fun diversion, but a valuable life skill.  How else are children meant to learn, but through play?  Video games sometimes get a bad reputation for “ruining” children, but as with any entertainment medium, the key is the content and how it is presented.  While it will ultimately be up to the parent to determine how much and what sort of entertainment is appropriate for their child, the following presents several options and tools to help you make sure that your child’s video gaming entertainment aligns with your wishes and values. Continue reading

Tabletop Gaming for Parents

When Dragon Child was born, Astra and I had a (semi)regular weekly gaming group (mostly various RPGs with the occasional board game when multiple members were absent).  While he was still very small, this continued with no problems, since he would just rest in a carrier, nurse, or sleep for the entire session.  As he began to get older, keeping him entertained during the session became more and more difficult.  The group eventually broke up for unrelated reasons, but I realized I needed to find another way to play the games I loved while managing my children in a way that was fair both to them and the other players. Continue reading

So You Want to Read Comic Books

It seems that characters inspired by comic books are everywhere now.  Many people are getting their first exposure to Iron Man, the X-men, Batman, S.H.I.E.L.D., and even Superman via blockbuster movies or ground breaking television shows.  However, someone who wants to experience these characters in their original medium can be easily daunted by the confusing variety of products with interweaving story lines and decades of backstory.  This is a shame, because comic books offer a unique storytelling medium that has matured over the years, developing gripping story lines accompanied by fantastic art that stimulates the imagination.  This post seeks to demystify reading comic books by explaining how comic book stories are structured, what physical (or digital) forms these stories come in, and how to acquire these stories and begin reading them. Continue reading

What is a Tabletop Role Playing Game?

photo credit:  via photopin (license)

photo credit: via photopin (license)

The Role Playing Game (or RPG for short) has been around since the early ’70s, and although many people have heard of popular RPGs like Dungeons and Dragons, Call of Cthulhu, Pathfinder, or GURPS, I still frequently encounter people who don’t have a good idea of how such a game works, what players actually do, or if it’s an activity that might interest them.  This post is for you. Continue reading