Raroos: More Than Meets the Eye

[GameSetWatch columnist Mister Raroo and his family continue their report on San Diego Comic-Con International with a chronicle of the third full day of the convention. If you missed them, be sure to check out their account of Preview Night, The First Day and The Second Day.]

There's a certain look that enters the eyes of many Comic-Con attendees when they see families heading their way. Missus Raroo and I are all too familiar with it and we get the message loud and clear: "Oh dear god, here come kids."

The last couple of days Missus Raroo and I attended Comic-Con by ourselves while our little ones were at daycare. Today, however, Kaz and Yoshie came along to join in the adventure. And, not surprisingly, I noticed quite a few Comic-Con attendees give us "the look" as our family walked in their direction.

It's much more difficult to traverse through the crowds of attendees with our kids in tow, and fatigue set on much quicker than it did the previous two days. We also weren't able to really do what we wanted to do, with most of our activity centering around looking for toys and other spots of interest for our children.

World Leading Developer D3

Now, to be fair, I did have some time to look at a few things that specifically interested me. When I was scoping out some anime and Japanese live-action DVDs, for instance, I learned something I never knew: D3 is apparently a "world-leading developer." Congratulations!

But, let's be serious here. I like Onechanbara as much as the next guy--heck, probably a lot more than the next guy--but "world-leading developer"? Okay, if you say so, person who wrote the blurb on the back of the DVD case!

Kaz Looking at LEGO displays

We knew that because we had our kids with us, our time at the convention would be limited. As expected, it didn't take long before Kaz and Yoshie became tired and fussy, which was our cue to start thinking about heading home.

We finally threw in the towel when Yoshie's diaper leaked and the side of Missus Raroo's shirt became wet. Yuck. So we said our goodbye to Comic-Con for the day.

Or so we thought. While making our departure, we passed by the LEGO booth and ended up being waylaid there for over an hour while Kaz inspected each of the LEGO displays (even with poor Missus Raroo having to wear a wet shirt!).

Kaz and Yoshie Inspecting LEGO Displays

Even Yoshie became enamored with the displays, and soon the two of them literally had their faces pressed against the glass as they tried to study every inch of the LEGO models. We couldn't pry them away.

Comic-Con Lego Display

But I have to admit, those LEGO displays were breathtaking. All the same, I probably wouldn't have taken the time to appreciate them if Kaz and Yoshie hadn't been so enthralled with them. Instead, I would have simply passed them by in a rush to see the booths or panels I wanted to check out.

In other words, my specific, focused interests would make me blind to the other amazing things all around me.

Realizing this fact, I now believe that given a choice, I'd rather miss out on my egocentric pastimes and instead let my kids guide what we do. The smiles on my kids' faces were infinitely more valuable to me than anything else in the entire convention center.

Now, I'm not saying I want to spoil my kids by always letting them do whatever they want to do, of course. Instead, what I mean to say is I plan to make sure I take an interest in whatever it is that may attract my kids' attention, even if it's just to better understand the people they are. I might not be thrilled by what they're into, but I at least want to know something about the things my kids dig.

Ahoy, Mateys!

Yeah, having my kids with me means I can't line up hours in advance and attend some totally amazing event. But so what? I can live without going to a super cool panel at Comic-Con, but I don't want to miss out on sharing the magic of spending time with my kids and appreciating their passions and interests.

And maybe it will just so happen that before long my kids will be just as excited as me to visit the Rockin' Android booth and see what niche games they have on display. Oh, to dream!

But even if my kids don't end up having a love for video games like their dear old dad, that's cool. I will just do my best to always accept them for who they want to be, and I plan to be as supportive and involved as possible. I'll just keep my fingers crossed that they don't get into anything too weird!

[Mister Raroo is a happy husband, proud father, full-time public library employee, and active gamer. And, as you can see from reading this article, he is a sappy guy. He currently lives in El Cajon, CA with his family and pets. You may reach Mister Raroo at [email protected]. For all your Game Time With Mister Raroo needs, visit Club Raroo!]