The Santellanas Command Center

For those that play World of Warcraft and have a family/relationship, whether it's mom and dad, the spouse and kids, or any other significant others, there always comes a question of how to juggle the available hours in a week. Throw in a job (or two, depending) and any other responsibilities and this can become a real quandary between "me" time and "us" time.

One family has taken what some may consider a rather unorthodox approach: they combine their World of Warcraft time with their available family time. First uploaded late last year on YouTube and now showcased on ample sites, including The Daily What, the Santellanas are a family that lives in Texas. The mother, father, and two children play on the Horde side together, in their own guild, battling side by side against Alliance scum and dungeon bosses (all the while wondering why "mom is dead again?").

Their living room has space for all four of their gaming rigs, tucked into one side and situated close together to better coordinate their movements. Their guild consists of them and their alts. While the father might be the one to herd them along (pun intended, as he plays a tauren), the oldest son is in charge of scouring the web for all the information they need on encounters and seems to have no shortage of advice, especially for his younger brother, on how to play the game. But there's a healthy amount of respect for one another, even for their often-needing-a-rez-mother, and plenty of playful banter to boot. The mom explains their reasoning the best:

Most parents get frustrated with the level of time and energy that their kids put towards their video games or computer games. So we took something that is normally one person, one place doing their own thing, into something we all do together as a team. And we have a blast doing it.

While it isn't a hike in the woods or a day at Disneyland, there's plenty to be said for including the whole family. As any guild member knows, there's a lot that goes into being a part of a successful guild or group. There's team-building, communication issues, problem-solving, and a whole host of other problems that need to be addressed. Those are useful tools for real life, and the Santellanas are able to use this environment as not only a way to teach those tools, but to also have "a blast doing it."

Spouses and boy/girlfriends might be able to benefit from this example as well, turning a solo activity into one both people can enjoy. Of course, it depends on willingness and temperament, and more than a little on patience as you hear the familiar question "How do I swim again?".

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