I've written recently about my daughter and her attitudes toward tabletop roleplaying, but I don't think I've said much about this topic in relation to my son here. The only reason I even thought of mentioning him today is because I spent part of last night putting away a "dungeon" he'd made, using Hirst Arts blocks and populated with some of my miniatures collection. This is something he does every now and again, even going so far as giving his creations names (the one I just put away was known as "the Dungeon of Doom" -- not exactly original, but it sounds the right notes nonetheless). And his creations are getting better and more well-imagined, so much so that I regret not having taken pictures of his latest effort.
So does this mean my son's ripe to start roleplaying at the table? Nope, at least not so far. He's well aware of what roleplaying is. Like his big sister, he's watched us play at the dining room table and he sometimes takes great interest in what's happening in Dwimmermount. To date, though, he's never asked to create a character and join in. Granted, he's only eight years-old, which, to my mind anyway, is too young to be a good candidate for gaming, but I must confess that I'm still a bit surprised that he's never tried to find a way to play with my friends and I.
It's not as if the concept of roleplaying is alien to him; he's a little boy, after all, and many of the games he plays with his sister or his friends involves his taking on a different persona. Likewise, when he was much younger, he played and thoroughly enjoyed the Pokemon Jr. Adventure Game that Wizards of the Coast produced in the early part of the decade. He enjoyed it so much that he sometimes still asks to play it, which says a lot. That WotC didn't produce more games of this sort (I realize they couldn't follow-up with more Pokemon games after they lost the license) is, to my mind, a far greater crime against the hobby than anything they've done to D&D. And, finally, my son plays a number of computer games with roleplaying elements and, while they're far the Real Thing®, they share enough basic elements that I do wonder why he's not been expressed any interest in Dwimmermount.
In the end, it's not something that bugs me. I increasingly tend to view tabletop roleplaying as an adult hobby that some children and teenagers might enjoy. I'm not evangelical about my preferred way of spending time with my friends and I've never felt it important that my children share my hobbies. If they demonstrate a willingness to give gaming a try, as my daughter did, I'm more than happy to accommodate them. However, we already do lots of other fun stuff together, so I don't feel any necessity in initiating them into tabletop roleplaying. My daughter, I discovered, finds D&D, even in the mild and non-threatening way I run my campaign, too frightening for her tastes, but she's said she'd gladly join a superhero game if I were to start one.
My son might well just be disinterested in the kind of fantasy my D&D campaign draws upon and that's understandable, since he's too young to have read any of the books and short stories I look to for inspiration. After all, my current tastes in fantasy didn't develop until I was in my teens (or older), so he might well develop a stronger interest as he gets older. Or not -- and I'm fine with that. As I say, I don't expect my children to share my interests and hobbies any more than I did those of my own parents. There'll inevitably be some overlap, of course, but, ultimately, I view roleplaying as my hobby in this household. If others also come to share it, well and good. I simply don't expect it.