Georgia School Systems, you’re doing something right.
I live in South Carolina, and around here we make fun of Georgia an awful lot because, well, because we can. Everyone needs someone else to look down on, right? So a little while back I was down in Savannah GA attending GnomeCon, a rockin’ fun gaming convention in its first year. It was a little disorganized, but for their first year, they did a great job and I will definitely go back next year, if the God of Work Schedules smiles upon me.
Anyway, I was running an RPG for two girls, one twelve and the other probably nine or so. It was the smallest group I’ve ever GMed for, and it was fantastic. The plot involved a pair of kids at summer camp who were asked by a faerie prince (also a kid) to help him rescue his best friend from the king of Dark Faeries. The twist: The faerie prince they were helping was a Dark Faerie and his best friend was a Bright Faerie and (surprise) these two groups didn’t like each other. So at the end of the story, the two girls (in character and roleplaying well enough to impress me) were trying to convince the King of the Dark Faeries why he should allow his son to be friends with a Bright Faerie. The older girl then says to the Faerie Lord “Well, have you ever heard of Martin Luther King?” She then launches into a dissertation about the Civil Rights Movement and why people should be treated equally no matter what they look like or what group they belong to. It was insightful and well-stated, and I was blown away. A friend of mine actually stopped on her way across the room and stood listening to these two girls speak for several minutes. (Needless to say, the Faerie King was also deeply moved, and the story had a happy ending, and the two campers may have changed Faerie politics for years to come!)
It’s moments like these where I love GMing for kids. You hear so much about how ignorant kids are these days, how they are all spoiled brats who don’t want to learn and do nothing but make trouble for their teachers. But all the gamer kids I have had the pleasure of entertaining in the past couple of years are intelligent, creative, and thoughtful (if a little silly and tending towards violence in their imaginations). They give me a little hope for our future.