Imagine you’re playing “World of Warcraft” and suddenly a female night elf walks up to you and says “Hey, it’s me! Grandma!”
Fullerton College psychology professor Diane Kyle did just that when she surprised her teenage grandsons by creating a “World of Warcraft” account so she could spend time with them.
“My whole motivation was not the game but to see them,” Kyle explained. “I wanted them to know that I supported them gaming and that I think it’s okay.”
Since Kyle is a full-time faculty member on campus and her grandchildren lived in Corona for most their lives, it was hard for her to see them much.
The psychology instructor went on to explain that she feels that a grandparent’s relationship with his or her grandchildren is different than with their children, citing technology as a possible reason. “You don’t get to see their friends or what their interests are now that we’re so technology minded.”
This is what gave Kyle the idea of creating an account so that she could spend time with her grandsons and she’s been playing ever since.
“I started when the boys were younger, so I’ve been playing for about 7 years,” the grandmother said, “but I’m not addicted to it.”
Kyle plays as a small female character and travels around in the game on a horse with her grandsons.
“My grandsons started going into all of these advanced worlds and I can’t get to them. That’s a harder part.” Kyle jokes. “But every once in a while, they’ll give me directions on how to get to where they are so I can find them.”
Though, her grandsons have now moved to Texas and are working full time, which means they have less time to play “World of Warcraft” with her.
Fortunately, she will see them next month when they come for the annual Blizzcon at the Anaheim Convention Center Nov. 4 through 5.
“They don’t dress up,” Kyle explained, “but I’m picking them up at the airport Nov. 3.” The professor goes on to say that her grandsons will be staying with her while they attend the convention.
Kyle tried to purchase a ticket for Blizzcon last year and even again this year, but they sold out the instant they went on sale. “I bet I wasn’t more than one second late. It’s ruthless!”
Besides “World of Warcraft”, the grandmother also plays “Minecraft” with her 12-year-old granddaughter.
“Minecraft is a little bit more my speed because there’s not quite the violence. The episodes that are in “World of Warcraft” are more for hardcore gamers,” Kyle said. “There’s no way I can ever be good as my grandsons at “World of Warcraft”, but at “Minecraft” I can kick my granddaughter’s butt.”
Kyle entirely approves of gaming and as psychologist explained that there are studies that do show the benefits of playing video games. She is supportive of the fact that her grandchildren play.
The grandmother and professor explained that she is proud of her grandsons and that they partake in fundraising gaming marathons.
“They actually do some noble civic good,” Kyle said with a smile. “They really are good kids.”