MMO recommendation for kids

I am looking for any recommendations for MMO's to play with my kids. I have nearly 10 year old boy/girl twins. Jason likes to play video games and even though he thinks otherwise, is not all that great on them, especially those where he needs to read instructions. Rachel is not as much into games but would really enjoy a game that she can play with daddy, even if she has to play with Jason also.

I enjoy playing Oblivion and similar games. I have not played MMO's.

I was thinking some sort of dungeon and dragon's type game where the three of us can play together and explore dungeons and the like. My son would probably want to play a fighter (basically bash and kill things) whereas my daughter may be better suited for a thief type character where she can avoid direct conflict much of the time.

Realistically, my son and I play together on games such an Unreal Tournament 3 but my daughter doesn't like that type of shoot em up (i.e. twitch) games and I know she wants to be able to play with me.

I am looking for appropriate MMO's that can be easily picked up and played for fun, rather than competitively. I do not know if there are MMO's that allow us to easily join up inside the game and just play together. I was thinking MMO's simply because they both have low end laptops and thus I was trying to move the processing off the laptops to the MMO server. I do have a variety of games such as Baldur's Gate II, Icewind Dale, etc. (I have been a member of "Good Old Games" for a while) that I could also set up on the machines if those would be better possibilities but I was trying to avoid the hassle of having to set up multi-player myself.

Thanks for any recommendations.

SOE's free realms?

Try Wizard 101. You can check it out for free, and it's great for the age range. It's light on the exploring part, but has fun highly cooperative mechanics that the kids can easily grasp.

Elycion wrote:

Try Wizard 101. You can check it out for free, and it's great for the age range. It's light on the exploring part, but has fun highly cooperative mechanics that the kids can easily grasp.

+1...it also has a lot of protections in place for kids so that it is a safe environment.

Have you looked at Maplestory? Easy start, well designed, and lots of kid protections/controls along the way to keep them out of too much trouble. I'll also second Wizard 101.

Another one you might want to look at is Runescape. It's a lot more the classic WoW sort of vibe, and would be great for a second MMO, in my opinion. It will grow with them, whereas the others will seem too kiddie all too soon.

jflatto: Do not let your kids anywhere near Runescape. I was too naive about it when my oldest picked it up several years ago, and I'll always regret not paying more attention.

What's the right age for an MMO? At my house for my two youngest kids it's never. Another parent who has not been bitten in the ass by an MMO might say 16, give or take.

If you're bound and determined to hook your kids up with an MMO, find one that DOES NOT HAVE A CHAT FEATURE. I cannot emphasize this enough.

If he's playing with them and there to ameliorate things and control the amount of time spent, I don't see the issue. If you're not going to do that, then I agree with Enix.

And the other reason I suggest looking at Runescape is that's what their friends are playing. If he doesn't suggest it and monitor, one of them will. This way he's ready to make his own decisions on things.

Enix wrote:

If you're bound and determined to hook your kids up with an MMO, find one that DOES NOT HAVE A CHAT FEATURE. I cannot emphasize this enough.

I agree with this, which is one of the reasons I loved Wizard 101. You could turn an 6 year old loose in that game with no fear of them being exposed to inappropriate things.

Last I heard neither does Maplestory. And I got in trouble once for referring to a monster as a bitch, so believe me they're watching what gets said.

Massively has a pretty good article series called The MMO Family that looks at issues that pertain to this issue.

I can't recommend Wizard 101 enough; love that game even as a guy with no kids and their chat service is very very locked down. Club Penguin was very popular a few years ago, and is similarly locked down in the comms area.

Nick has a couple of MMOs. I can't speak to their chat controls, but I've heard good things about them. Monkey Quest is the more recent one, and Fusion Fall has characters such as the Powerpuff girls and Dexter.

Disney's ToonTown is a lot of fun, and again: very tight control over communication.

Thanks to all for the feedback. I will take a look at a couple of the MMO's recommended. The kids have played Wizard 101 a little.

Since it sounds like it will be much safer overall for me to use a multi-player game running on my computer that they can access over a LAN, any recommendations for potential games? We are all running Windows 7; my desktop is pretty powerful while their laptops are new and on the "lighter side" for processor and graphics. Realistically, the kids will want the nice graphics which skews me towards newer games. As I mentioned, I do have a variety from GOG including Baldur's Gate II; Neverwinter Nights; Arcunum; but I am willing to purchase other and newer games based on recommendations.

Thanks for any help.

So right in my backyard!!

Wizard 101 is really the only answer here. Fantastic game for any age, deep commitment from the debs, 100 percent voice acted, fun, good as group.

While there's no pretense of protection, I'd also suggest DDO as a graduation.