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Subject: PBEM Primer - PBEM for Kids? rss

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Concetta
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Basking Ridge
New Jersey
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My 13 yr old son has a friend who moved across the country. The way they keep in touch is by playing Minecraft online. While this is fine, I would love to find a way to "gently nudge" them in a different direction.

I see here that some gamers engage in games via email (i.e., Diplomacy, Werewolf, etc). I am not familiar with this style of play.

Questions:
How do I get myself familiar with this method? How to? Resources? Options? So I can come to the table prepared when I pitch this idea...

What game would you recommend for a bunch of 13 yo boys? I am thinking a game with a war theme might be interesting enough to get their attention. Something for beginners though - not to complex to teach/learn/play. I want to start slow and see if the idea takes hold and move forward from there if it does.

Thanks for your help - together we can grow some gamers!
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Steve S
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Roscoe
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The easiest way to deal with PBEM is to use a web site that does everything for you - Yucata.de is IMO the best at this, and they have nearly 100 games to choose from now.

BoardGameArena.com is also a very popular online gaming site that does both live play and is now "beta-testing" PBEM play.

Neither site does war games, but honestly I'm not sure war games are the way to go for 13 year old Minecraft players. It of course depends on the kid, but I'm gonna guess they're going to be more interested in fantasy themes, space battles, and pirates than they will be in historical war simulations.

Also if you're willing to learn VASSAL (a program that basically gives you a "blank slate" to start with and any board/card game can be played on it as long as somebody creates the module - and it supports both live play and PBEM) it gives you a ton more options both in war and "non-war" gaming - you can see Non-War Vassal Games for lots of examples of "non hex-and-chit war game" games that can be played using it.

Also, as a side note, if the kids use headphones to talk to each other while playing, this is still an option using Skype - several of us used to periodically play this way in Voice Gamers Guild before it sorta died off.
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Concetta
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Basking Ridge
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Steve - thanks for the information. I signed up at BoardGameArena and I am trying to find the time to look around. VASSAL is next (although a bit daunting, for some reason).

Regarding the term "wargaming" - I really meant games with combat or battling. Poor word choice. Although, the boys do have some fun with Memoir '44, but they tend to rewrite most of history by creating their own scenarios.
 
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Steve S
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Roscoe
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If you're on BoardGameArena check out GOSU - *great* card game about battling goblin armies.
 
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