Saturday, March 13, 2010

How Young is Too Young?

Are MMO’s really for kids? The common conception from an outside view is that online games are suitable as entertainment for children. Would you keep an eye on your kids if they were in a chat room with a bunch of adults? Your view might be a little different from the first question now. That is essentially what it is.

What brought me to this topic is a guild I was finally able to manage to find. It has a lot of new people and was just opened up recently for new member recruitment. One of the members of our guild is an eleven year-old kid. I don’t know how the conversation started, probably when they found out he was eleven, guild chat was talking about virgins. When this young guild mate of ours defined a virgin as a “single lady person”, I just put my hand on my face in one swift motion.

We shouldn’t be letting a MMO take away the youths innocence, isn’t that what school is for? Let’s face it, this kid might be on the sheltered side but his parents are a little na├»ve to let their son play World of Warcraft unmonitored. You can tell his definition of a virgin was straight from his mother’s mouth. Like I said, in my opinion school is the best way for your kids to find out the finer, nastier, and real things about life not an MMO. Only after they have grown up a little bit should they be thrown into a game with a lot of socialization with adults.

6 comments:

  1. Totally agree. One of my cousins from out of state actually called me and asked if his son was old enough to start playing online games, he is 13.

    My daughter is 5 and will sometimes sit on my lap and make my characters do emotes but I would never trust her to be their alone. My kids wont be permitted to use the internet without myself or my wife monitoring them until they are 12 or 13, not sure yet. As for MMOs I guess the same applies. I would let them play what I'm playing but I would monitor what they were doing and turn off all chat channels.

    It may seem draconian but I want them to stay kids for as long as possible.

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  2. As the guildmaster of a mature guild, I know that the conversations tend to get a bit lewd from time to time. That's why we have a suggested age-limit of 18 in place which only occasionally gets broken (like when the best tank on the server applied to join us and turned out to be 13).
    The age limit is not just there for the maturity in the chat, but also the maturity needed to perform consistently in raids.

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  3. Thanks for the comments guys. I think I started real MMORPG's at 12 or 13 with Dark Age of Camelot. Then again I was mature for my age and had been exposed to a lot already as a young adult growing up in Vegas. That's another story, but I do think that 13 is a bare minimum age for most MMO's. I haven't played anything like Wizards 101 but still would be weary just knowing what I know now.

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  4. Our guild had a strict 18 and over policy. Our guild chat was down right x rated most the time. We denied childeren of guild members and younger brothers into the guild based on this policy. It was one of the few policies we were extremely strict on.

    Once my daughter is able to read a little better, sometime next year, I will let her try out either Free Realms or Wizard 101 if she wants... but I will be there sitting next to her.

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  5. MMORPGs are definitely not for kids unless they're something like Wizard 101. In that case, those MMOs specifically have functionality design for children and to help protected them.

    I'd definitely not let a kid under 10 loose on WoW :)

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  6. I completely agree with the fact that kids shouldnt be able to play honestly when i heard about this stuff i couldnt stop laughing it was the funniest thing i ever heard and my guild talks about it all the time

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