“I’m only hunting it if your mom comes with us.”
That’s what was said by one of my kid’s friends when they were playing Monster Hunter 3 Ultimate one day last year. My two and the friend were linked up with their 3DS and going along fine until one of them suggested going after a higher level monster they needed parts from.
Now for those of you who haven’t played MH at all, it’s like going out and hunting a deer, except that it’s digital, the monsters are wild game that are crazy fantastical (water dragon, anyone? No? How about a giant sponge lizard?) and you have outrageously creative armor and weapons that you upgrade by hunting the monsters in the game. I’ll add for those who don’t know me, the game includes no guns and no killing people. Those things matter to me when it comes to the games I let the kids play. You also have to gather items like herbs from the various locations you hunt in in order to make things like potions to heal yourself when hunting the monsters.
My kids are, of course, still learning how to plan for a party. MH requires each individual to take care of themselves while contributing to the group. One of my kids enjoys being a tank, but he still runs from the monsters or won’t engage them for fear of getting hurt. Possibly it is because he has not upgraded his armor enough to be able to handle damage, or it could be perhaps that he has not remembered to gather enough ingredients to make enough mega potions to restore his health or armorskin to buff his defense. The other one prefers to be support and wants to use all the crazy unique weapons like the hunting horns. He has become reliable for paintballing the monsters so they show up on our map, but has not gotten a hang of how all the crazy unique stuff truly benefits the party and how to tweak what he uses for different monsters. The friend who was over that day has a megaton of bravado which is great for encouraging my two to take chances and try harder things, but he can get out of his league quickly and drag them along for the fail.
All of those things are totally normal and fine because they all are learning and they all try really hard. They want to form a team; they want to pool their efforts to take down the monsters. But, and I admit to feeling smug about this, they realize that the addition of yours truely means that most likely we will succeed. And not only because of the additional person in the party. I’ve been in parties for a long time. In many different games. I can play support really well or can lead if need be. I know what I need to bring to a group to help it succeed. And in this case the group needed: mom.
Who’s going to remind everyone to bring 10 mega potions as well as 10 potions and 10 honey to combine for a further 10 mega potions? Who’s going to make sure everyone has their buffs from might pills and armorskin and from eating? Who’s going to take lifepowder and dust of life to use when someone else’s life readings start to tank? Who’s going to look it up to find out that water weapons are best for the monster we are about to face, or that we need hot drinks to stay warm? Who will make sure that she is wearing armor that tells her where the monster is in case we forget to paintball it, or armor that negates poison or burning so we have someone who can tank (note I hate to tank)? Mom is, that’s who! Now let’s go break that monster’s fangs off!