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  • DefCon and kids

    This year I'm bringing my nine year old daughter to DefCon, and was wondering what other people's experiences were like who brought younglings along, and more importantly what the kids themselves enjoyed the most.

    Before I catch any flack about bringing someone so young...
    1) last year she went to H.O.P.E., and if she can come away from that unscarred, I'm sure she can handle DefCon
    2) last year when we were driving home from DC16, she was bit by a rattlesnake while staying with relatives, and dealt with that like a pro (yes, she was bit and poisoned by a big mother f-in' snake). If she can tough out a snakebite, anything thrown her way at DefCon is tame in comparison.

    My problem is that what I think might be fun for her hasn't always proven to be correct. I already know she wants to do the LP village, so that's on the agenda. I know she'll be bored to death watching speeches (even mine). Other than that, what have other kids found enjoyable? If nobody has any thoughts, I'll probably send her and her mom off to pet dolphins or some other such touristy crap.

  • #2
    Re: DefCon and kids

    Personally I think of Defcon as an adult event. I've gone to other events I consider adult in nature, and when I see kids there I'm kind of appalled. Defcon isn't as bad as some of the ones I've been to, but I'd certainly consider it weird to see the young children of Defcon attendees.
    45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B0
    45 5F E1 04 22 CA 29 C4 93 3F 95 05 2B 79 2A B1
    [ redacted ]

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    • #3
      Re: DefCon and kids

      see, i tend to think exactly the opposite of bascule... seeing kids at DEFCON is a good thing, to me. the only part that i would object to is if parents think that the presence of their kids is some sort of impetus for others to not (a) swear (b) be naked (c) drink/smoke/etc or (d) make out, be overly sexual in public. That all goes hand-in-hand with DEFCON and parents should just understand that. Fortunately, i've never witnessed any parental asshattery like that at the con.

      I think that kids would get a huge kick out of the villages, many contests, and even some of the night life (like the movie night, maybe seeing the music or hacker jeopardy, etc)

      just my $0.02
      "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
      - Trent Reznor

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      • #4
        Re: DefCon and kids

        To second Dev's comments,

        Generally if you are taking the kid and thinking about it's appropriateness, then you probably have a good grasp of what goes on and can take whatever measures necessary to protect or scar them as your parental rights see fit.

        Someone thinking about it is of no worry to me because they will probably keep a closer eye on their kid than someone who's never been and thinks it's Disneyworld.

        All that said, you also have to remember that for many of us, this is vacation and we don't want to restrain ourselves at all just because there's someones crotchfruit running around. I apply the same rules as I would any attendee; ignorance will be remediedt, stupidity will be punished.
        Never drink anything larger than your head!





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        • #5
          Re: DefCon and kids

          Originally posted by Grendel View Post
          This year I'm bringing my nine year old daughter to DefCon, and was wondering what other people's experiences were like who brought younglings along, and more importantly what the kids themselves enjoyed the most.

          <snip>
          Generally children are into anything that has to do with secrets, that they can touch, play with, fiddle with, bounce, or makes sounds (not unlike many people I know of from Defcon). But you knew that. You are a dad.

          Having said that, if you do decide to bring her, the LockPick Village would probably excite her. If LoST runs screaming through the venue, yelling, "let's make a robot!" again, she might get jazzed about that. And I am bringing the Enigma devices again this year. I had an awesome time with a 9-year old and his grandfather at DC15 demo'ing and playing with them. The little guy was much more inquisitive and into it than many of the big, bad, burly hackers in attendance. Probably because he didn't have any preconceived notions about them. :-)

          Every child is different and their parents MUST take into account the maturity level of the child. On the one hand, I tend to agree with Bascule. Not most of what goes on at DefCon is necessarily meant for the consumption of a child - mentally or morally. And I agree with Deviant Ollam. Having kids at Defcon doing some of the hands on stuff is pretty cool, in a controlled and conscious manner. Finally, I agree with both DO and Renderman: don't allow the fact that you chose to bring your child be an opportunity to sensor the behavior of others. That's a nasty tactic and many attendees wouldn't be pleased.

          If you bring her, bring her by to check out the Engimas. :-)

          Regards,

          valkyrie
          ______________________________________________
          sapere aude

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          • #6
            Re: DefCon and kids

            I've been to DC before and understand what goes on (until there is a glowing multi-dildo sculpture that vibrates at defcon, it's tamer than HOPE). I don't expect others to modify their behavior - in fact I'd be annoyed if they did. That's not really what the thread is about, though.

            We're taking her to the BBQ and she'll see the pukin' and hear the swearin' (she already hears that from me)... But she'll also see the community-building that goes on. She'll also be at sushicon, and loves yellowtail. I think the LP village will be great and hope the hardware hacking will be of interest as well. But again, that's my opinion... Still curious on other people's experiences.

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            • #7
              Re: DefCon and kids

              Oh, yeah... The enigmas are an awesome idea. *jots that one down*

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              • #8
                Re: DefCon and kids

                Originally posted by Grendel View Post
                I've been to DC before and understand what goes on (until there is a glowing multi-dildo sculpture that vibrates at defcon, it's tamer than HOPE). I don't expect others to modify their behavior - in fact I'd be annoyed if they did. That's not really what the thread is about, though.

                We're taking her to the BBQ and she'll see the pukin' and hear the swearin' (she already hears that from me)... But she'll also see the community-building that goes on. She'll also be at sushicon, and loves yellowtail. I think the LP village will be great and hope the hardware hacking will be of interest as well. But again, that's my opinion... Still curious on other people's experiences.
                Then I think I answered your question about what might jazz the child or what kids have (in my experience) been interested in.

                I surely did not mean to offend you, but your response does comes off a bit terse, as if I did. I did not perjoritize you for wishing to bring your daughter, rather to the contrary. You asked for the opinion of others and as I am "an other" I gave you my opinion. Hopefully there are additional others here who will also pony up to sharing their experiences with you.

                Regards,

                valkyrie
                _______________________________________________
                sapere aude

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: DefCon and kids

                  I worry about the impact of kids at Defcon. I remember John Q. Newman's presentation many years ago about how too many changes take place, "for the children."

                  If a sufficient number of kids start attending, I worry that there will be some sort of request for change to nerf some of the opportunities at Defcon under the guise of, "what about the children?"

                  Of course, many of the older attendees actually have kids, and some will eventually want to introduce them to the joy they had when they went to con. I really hope that introduction of kids to Defcon doesn't lead to requests to tone anything down, and turn down the volume. I really hope that the kids (and parents) that attend Defcon are mature enough to understand that change starts with themselves, and if they don't like something, they can choose to visit another part of the con instead of whining about it, expecting other people to change.

                  "My kids are trying to sleep here!"
                  "My kids shouldn't be exposed to behavior like that!"
                  "Those people were having sex in the hot tub, in front of my kids!"
                  "OMG! WTF! Did 2 guys get naked and start dancing in the chill-out space, in front of my kids?"

                  Yeah. Eventually it will happen, and when it does, requests will be made, and people will complain, and the result will be...
                  (I guess we will have to wait and see.)
                  Last edited by TheCotMan; April 24, 2009, 08:50.

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                  • #10
                    Re: DefCon and kids

                    Originally posted by valkyrie View Post
                    Then I think I answered your question about what might jazz the child or what kids have (in my experience) been interested in.

                    I surely did not mean to offend you, but your response does comes off a bit terse, as if I did. I did not perjoritize you for wishing to bring your daughter, rather to the contrary. You asked for the opinion of others and as I am "an other" I gave you my opinion. Hopefully there are additional others here who will also pony up to sharing their experiences with you.

                    Regards,

                    valkyrie
                    _______________________________________________
                    sapere aude
                    Actually, your post was awesome and helpful, valkyrie, and I was not offended by your post. In fact, none of the posts were annoying to me. If I'm terse, it's because I'm using an iTouch to write, and THAT gets annoying pretty quick.

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                    • #11
                      Re: DefCon and kids

                      Gotta look with a weather eye at those devices that say they will make our lives easier....

                      Thank you for helping me understand your aspect.

                      :-D

                      Regards,

                      valkyrie
                      ________________________________________________
                      sapere aude

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: DefCon and kids

                        Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                        I worry about the impact of kids at Defcon.
                        Actually, I worry about their safety. Seriously. I can be rather unpleasant (no, really), and I am more likely to be unpleasant to a nine-year-old than to someone who is at least interesting to me. No, nine-year-old children are not very interesting, at least not before I've had a very large intake of caffeine, and only if they have someone who can quickly recognize that I might look grandmotherly and friendly, but am actually physically dangerous. Not on purpose, mind you, but there it is...it happens. Lucky for everyone that I'm not really physically capable of carrying out most of my evil impulses.

                        As long as they're supervised, and not wandering around loose (where they can annoy just as easily as delight), I don't really see a problem with it. You [grendel] sound like a responsible parent, and I'm sure it'll be fine.

                        On the other hand, I hope (and I think that this was what was on Cot's mind) that it doesn't encourage other, less involved, parents to think about bringing their own offspring. Of course, I admit that with the bazillions of people that now attend, that a few kids may be just invisible to me.

                        [response typed while still become adequately caffeinated. your mileage may vary. hope that helped. have a nice day]

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                        • #13
                          Re: DefCon and kids

                          Originally posted by TheCotMan View Post
                          I worry about the impact of kids at Defcon. I remember John Q. Newman's presentation many years ago about how too many changes take place, "for the children."

                          If a sufficient number of kids start attending, I worry that there will be some sort of request for change to nerf some of the opportunities at Defcon under the guise of, "what about the children?"

                          Of course, many of the older attendees actually have kids, and some will eventually want to introduce them to the joy they had when they went to con. I really hope that introduction of kids to Defcon doesn't lead to requests to tone anything down, and turn down the volume. I really hope that the kids (and parents) that attend Defcon are mature enough to understand that change starts with themselves, and if they don't like something, they can choose to visit another part of the con instead of whining about it, expecting other people to change.

                          "My kids are trying to sleep here!"
                          "My kids shouldn't be exposed to behavior like that!"
                          "Those people were having sex in the hot tub, in front of my kids!"
                          "OMG! WTF! Did 2 guys get naked and start dancing in the chill-out space, in front of my kids?"

                          Yeah. Eventually it will happen, and when it does, requests will be made, and people will complain, and the result will be...
                          (I guess we will have to wait and see.)
                          Fear not. As long as I attend I will not censor myself to the point of what people think is acceptable for their children. Further, I will implore all other to do the same.

                          This does remind me of the "DefCon Daycare" idea that's been discussed a few times on the forums. It really is a horrid idea... Leave the tots at home.

                          Personally I don't believe children belong anywhere at DefCon. Teenagers may be a different story, but much along the same lines they (or their parents) should be fully well aware of what goes on.

                          For years I worked for an organization that ran gay pride events. When people would bring their children and complain to me, that something going on was inappropriate for their children to see/hear. I always reminded them that it was an adult event and they were perhaps a bad parent for not finding out what takes place before they brought their child.
                          Most of them just huffed about it and left or ask for someone else to talk to... There were only three people who ever got "uppity" about it. (Two men and a Woman). All three got physical with me and all three got taken to the ground, then their children got to see them in non-designer bracelets.

                          If you're a parent, and you think DefCon may not be the place to bring your child, go with your gut. If you do bring them and then decide to whine about something going on that you don't find suitable it will probably fall on deaf ears. If you tell me I'm doing something that you find inappropriate for your child, I'm going to tell you to take a big flying fuck and most likely embarrass you in front of your child. I would venture to say that's the attitude of a number of the attendees.
                          And I heard a voice in the midst of the four beasts, And I looked and behold: a pale horse. And his name, that sat on him, was Death. And Hell followed with him.

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                          • #14
                            Re: DefCon and kids

                            If you're a parent, and you think DefCon may not be the place to bring your child, go with your gut. If you do bring them and then decide to whine about something going on that you don't find suitable it will probably fall on deaf ears. If you tell me I'm doing something that you find inappropriate for your child, I'm going to tell you to take a big flying fuck and most likely embarrass you in front of your child. I would venture to say that's the attitude of a number of the attendees.
                            Ladies and Gents, I think we have a new quote for the program
                            Never drink anything larger than your head!





                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: DefCon and kids

                              Originally posted by Grendel View Post
                              I(until there is a glowing multi-dildo sculpture that vibrates at defcon, it's tamer than HOPE).
                              So how did you explain the errrr glowing phallic pleasure tree to your daughter? Hope you didn't take her to the talk by the same name.

                              xor
                              Just because you can doesn't mean you should. This applies to making babies, hacking, and youtube videos.

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