I remember a few people mentioning in the forums a few months ago whether they would want their kids playing poker. I was reminded again the other day because someone posted this mod in one of the forums. Basically a mod is a graphics file that lets you replace the default poker site graphics with your own custom graphics. In case you've lived in a cave for the past 30 years (or are Amish), the above has characters from Super Mario Bros.
G will ask me from time to time to teach him how to play. So far I've said no - but not because I've had any moral opposition to it. I think poker is a fun, educational and strategic game. I just don't think he's ready for it. I've always been a proponent of playing games with your kids - games are a great way to develop good social skills (like sportsmanship), learning to think strategically, as well as strengthening concepts learned in school, like reading and math. Ever since G was young, I've been playing games with him - like Uno, Guess Who, Monopoly, etc. We probably have over three dozen games in his toy closet, and this doesn't include the dozens of video games we have. So at some point I will teach him how to play poker. I just don't want to get a phone call from the local principal that G won everyone's milk money.
If you consider poker as a stand-alone game - it's got to be one of the top strategy games out there. So simple, yet so complex. Most of the objection to poker comes from the fact that large sums of money are wagered in poker, which some people deem to be a negative. People don't seem to be anywhere near as vocal with people wagering on bridge, mah jong, chess, go, golf or other games of skill. IMO, putting a little friendly wager on something just make things more interesting. But as with many things in life, done in moderation is fine, but done in excess is not so fine - whether you're talking about gambling, alcohol, cleaning, eating, sex ... you get the idea.
If anything, teaching someone the correct fundamentals of poker, which involves good risk management, good bankroll management and emotional discipline are all unbelievably solid POSITIVES. There is no such thing as a good poker player who does not posses all of those qualities. I have no idea how the retard who lost his house in a poker game became the poster child for poker. Seriously - how does that happen?!? It's like saying basketball should be banned because of Gilbert Arenas or Len Bias. Just because you have a few irresponsible participants in a beautiful game should not be an indictment on the game. That's why it just seems mind-numbingly dumb that there's even some talk of banning online poker. I think it's actually illegal in some states. Face palm.