My parents were pretty neutral to the whole wargaming thing. Funny thing about it was I got into wargaming because my Dad was so interested in WW2 history. I remember the first time I had a game set up and he saw it. I thought he would think it was cool...he looked at the map, made a couple of comments, and left. It was a let down for me.
I got into wargaming in the 4th grade when my father brought home a copy of Richthofen's War for me. My parents were quite supportive of it, purchasing several titles for me while still a youngster. He bought me TSS when I was about 11. Too much game for me at that stage, but all in all they were great about it (although they never actually played a game with me).
After reading a book about fighter pilots during World War II-about the age of 10-I starting reading those books on World War II (I think they were brick red) that were in large type about the Second World War. At a toy store one day I was fascinated by the games such as Luftwaffe, Afrika Korps, Battle of the Bulge, D-Day and Barbarossa. My mom saw my envious eyes and that Christmas I received the above titles.
After that my allowance went to these and my mom took be to Hobby Stores and Book Store and purchase a game or two for me.
I believe she saw me reading these and playing them into the night and she told me years later that she figured that it was better that I was playing war games then out in the streets where she could not keep on eye on me.
My Dad didn't care about wargames. He just figured they were as interesting as Scrabble or Monopoly, which to say, not. My Mom was supportive, likely for Don's same reason - which was funny because she was a civilian survivor of WWII East Front. She hated war, but didn't mind me gaming and herself worked in the defense industry as a missile inspector. Go figure.
I started in 1971 and I was 22 and in college so my parents really did not have any influence. Knowing my parents and if I was much younger, they probably would have said,"Why are you wasting your time?"
My parents thought it was a bit unusual but they pretty much encouraged it in the belief that it was a lot more constructive than what some of my peers were doing at the same time. Also, because they usually knew where I was at and they never even had problems with me going to wargame conventions.
My dad was a Korean War vet and while he thought the whole idea of re-fighting battles was a bit silly, he never imposed that opinion on me. To this day, my mom jokingly tells me that she made a good investment buying me wargames, given some of the prices they go for on ebay (she believes she should get a cut of the profits) :-).
Excellent stories. My mother was never interested in them (neither is my wife or daughter) but at least I have 2 out of 3 sons attracted to them. They were naughty boys yesterday (mom was a bit under the weather) and the boys skipped school (we homeschool) and played Axis & Allies all day. It was very hard for Dad to discipline them (hey don't do that with a wink in my eye). Anyway to change the subject and save the boys I told them all about Axis & Allies miniatures so I am going to invest in that as well.
My cousin's girls, when they were very little, were fascinated when he had me show them Britain Stands Alone. They loved unicorns and bunnies, but didn't see a need for them to help drive the Nazis out of England.
Now my nephew, when he was the same age, used to play Age of Sail on the computer with me. He wanted to know which was the biggest, baddest ship in the game, and when he saw HMS Victory, wanted scenarios that pitted it against some little sloop or brig, so he could see rigging and hull splinters fly through the air. He also wanted to see how quickly a scenario could be resolved, so Victory vs. a rowboat was the perfect battle for him.
My oldest (my daughter age 19) has absolutely no interest in war games whatsoever. My oldest son (16) only likes to play X-Box at least he likes Call to Duty (he likes the Modern one best for some reason). At least my two youngest son (12 and 8) are showing great promise.