Recently, Geek Orthodox has a post up about how a guy DMed for a bunch of 10-year-olds at his nephew’s birthday party, and how awesome it was that they wanted to play an RPG instead of sit in front of the Wii or something.
Over at the Swords & Wizardry forum is a great discussion on this, including talk about whether kids playing 4e is better than video games or not.
I’m inclined to think that it’s FAR better to play more recent versions of D&D than to play any video games. Kids have got to start somewhere, and if that starting point is 4E or CCGs or something else that the old-schoolers frown upon, that’s better than not starting at all. 4E players can be “converted,” but video gamers (in general) would be tougher to bring into the old-school fold. I believe that’s a huge part of the reason that new RPGs incorporate so many concepts of video/online gaming: it narrows the gap and makes it an easier sell.