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Sir_Snooze

12-Year Olds Playing Online Games

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What's your opinion on this sort of thing? Say, you're playing Team Fortress 2, and a 12-year old comes on. What does that mean to you? (i.e.: what do you think the 12-year old would do? Is this 12-year old annoying? How do you know the player is young? Do you go out of your way to interact with them? Is age a variable in the 'goodness' of a player? If you are a young gamer, do you experience discrimination online?)

Disclaimer: I'll be using these results (as well as in-game responses and other sources) to do part of a research paper. I may cite your user name (unless you don't want me to, in which case I will not). Because this is research, I won't put any of my own opinions on here. Thanks for helping me out!

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Because this is research, I won't put any of my own opinions on here. Thanks for helping me out!

Well, a mark of a good researcher is the person who is able to generate sound opinions backed up by data...

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Well, a mark of a good researcher is the person who is able to generate sound opinions backed up by data...

Yeah, but I can't taint the research. If I said 'frickin' 12-year olds are ruining vidya games with their retarded trollery' I colour the research. The idea is, I monitor the responses to gain insight which may or may not bolster the opinion I already have.

The disclaimer simply means I can't contribute an opinion for fear of tainting the data flow.

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I generally do not like young kids playing online games.

This is mainly because: everyone, including me, was annoying at that certain age, and it was bad enough playing in the basement of the house with stuff like that.

However, the only way playing online with 12-year-olds becomes annoying is when they either A) are admins, or B) use mics.

If A is true, then B invariably follows, though B doesn't necessarily need A. But both are still incredibly annoying.

The high-pitched voice and over-reaction, as well as not-developed sense of humor (I'd know, I remember what I was like in junior-high) all contribute to the general dislike of young online gamers.

I mean, there's a reason that high-school freshman are always picked on, for the most part. Because they are 13-year-old butt monkeys.

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If I can play a game with someone who's 12 and for the majority of the game not realize what their age is until they say what age they are, that is a success for the 12-year-old. Game on, little buddy, game on.

I've even had a small handful of young guys who used a microphone and were tolerable. They were tactful enough to say "Hey, I know guys my age give themselves a bad rep but give me a chance to use the mic here I think I have a lot to offer." That's cool too, but I've only seen a few young guys like this.

A majority of the time I'll walk into a game and know someone is 12 within the first 10 seconds however. For all the wrong reasons. That's a failure on a 12-year-olds part and I don't think they belong in games.

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The biggest problem that I see with kids that age playing online is that they have a very low maturity level. The only way they see how to solve problems is to argue back. Common courtesy is the last thing on their minds, so they'll ignore requests to do or cease doing something. It is rare that you will find a 12-year-old giving a methodical, rational reason for chasing after people with a syringe gun instead of healing, or who will stop talking just because someone asks them to.

Then again, there are some 20-year-olds that behave similarly. It's all comes down to maturity: most 20-year-olds can be expected to behave at a more mature level, whereas 12-year-olds are not.

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If the kid is 12, isn't saying much, and is just a scrub in the game then I can deal. I'm in my mid-twenties, and in an ideal world I'd like to keep age groups segregated online, just because the maturity levels can at times be issues. That said, there have been 12 year olds that are more mature than some of the people on mics with the most baritone voices. Ironically enough, the real issue for me are the people that should be mature (according to their voice) but act like a 12 year old without the mental capacity to think about the things they say.

Honestly, I've had such a bad experience playing with these faceless people in online games that I avoid many online games altogether unless I'm at a LAN or something where I know the people I'm playing with.

If you don't talk and swear constantly I can deal in most cases, but let's face it, at 12, a lot of kids just haven't developed that inner dialogue in their brain to determine if everything they are saying is nice or not... that's what it all boils down to. And the bad thing is, these kids that never really develop correctly end up growing into the douche bags that can't function in the real world and are naturally drawn to gaming and online circles. I don't want to listen to a screaming temper tantrum every time your killed regardless of your age, and unfortunately (in my experience) a lot of gamers never learned to think about what they say.

That's the core issue. You have a brain. Use it. Is what you say something you'd say to someone (or do) in real life, in public? If No then don't say it. Follow this rule and everything will be peachy keen.

(Sidenote: I've come across some great, friendly folks online too, but their numbers are few and far between, but I feel as if I should at least mention that as not to appear completely one-sided. Some gaming communities just have great atmospheres... when Phantasy Star Online first came out on the Dreamcast, I don't care what age those folks were, the community was fantastic and friendly, and it helped make the experience compelling. I feel like a lot of games are losing that...)

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I'm all for kids playing online in games that both have some kind of ranking system (if you suck just because you're 12 and inexperienced and I'm 28 and good at a game, I don't want to waste my time thrashing you) and some kind of way to block/not play with idiots (if you're a good player but act like immaturely over voice or in-game chat, I don't want to play with you).

These factors apply equally to me regardless of your age. If you're immature and annoying, I'm not going to enjoy being in your company no matter how good you are (though depending on the game and the difficulty in finding a replacement, I may tolerate you anyway). If I know what's going on and you have no clue, I don't want to waste time playing either with you or against you.

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I'm 14, but it's not far off.

I know when I'm playing TF2 that guys always peg me for about a good 16 years old because my voice is kinda deep.

I think the only times guys are annoyed at me talking is just when my mic is outputting at tremendously loud levels for no good reason, so it messes up their sound. If my computer wasn't so crappy, I could probably fix the problem and no one would give a crap that I'm a high school freshman.

So no discrimination to me, but some advice to other guys in the same (and lower) age range as me.

If you have a deep voice but you know that you're a bit immature, don't tell them you're a kid. xD

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Most 12 year olds are annoying. Their voice is annoying, especially when they're armchair commanders who think they're pro and the team captain or something. I played games as a 12 year old, sure, but not online and certainly not with a mic.

When I was that young, I played Guild Wars but was in an adult guild because I showed them I was mature enough to be with them. I am way more accepting of younger players if I actually get to know them, or do know them already, just like my Guild Wars guild did with me.

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In general, the younger ages (12-14, no offense neblix) do tend to get me more riled than those of older ages. I'm 23, and admittedly there are guys around my own age who have behaved worse than the pre-teens, but on the whole, the younger kids have much less of a sense of etiquette and courtesy. For example,

1)The fact that you (12 year old couch potato) plays on average four more hours a day than I do (23 year old working college senior) does not entitle you to hump my dead body on Halo 3 because you pulled off an impressive headshot.

2)Despite what the cool 16 year olds are telling you, not everybody online drops the f-bomb every two seconds. Learn better verbs and adjectives.

3)Please, in the name of all that is holy, stop whining into the mic to get me to help you with an achievement. There is no value besides braggings rights in them, and if you want to brag, you should use those extra hours to achieve the goal skillfully.

I just think the older gamers want to game, and a large portion of the younger ones want to socialize and dramatize.

/end rant

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Okay, so the idea I'm getting here is:

1) Gamers should be segregated online by age due to issues of maturity and/or mature content.

2) On the whole, younger gamers are less considerate than older gamers, although exceptions exist.

3) There's a sense that younger gamers are deliberately offensive (teabagging, cursing unnecessarily) in an attempt to act older than they are.

4) Youth with mics are inherently more annoying than youth sans the mic.

5) Younger gamers who do not 'act their age' are fine; and

6) Younger gamers have a bad reputation in a given online community.

Is this the right idea? Also, to expand into MMORPGs, is this list still accurate in, say, World of Warcraft? Thanks for your comments, too. They are much appreciated.

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Every bad experience I've ever had in an online game that I can remember in some amount of detail involved someone over the age of 20.

On the flip side, my friend's younger brother and his friends all started playing online regularly on the Xbox 360 around 12 and they're all good team players who don't "teabag" or talk shit on the mic.

Based on this, I really can't say that I care about their age; I simply observe and base my opinions entirely on their actions. Adults are no different.

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Like SotSS, I judge based on the person. I've had more problems with 20 and older than kids. I tend to just let things play out the way they do, and not worry myself over it. It is just a game after all. I just try to focus on what I need to be doing, and if needed, pick up any slack from inexperienced players, whether it's an MMO, or a more action-oriented game.

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I can't stand playing online games with 12 year olds with mics. As many of you can tell that play on the TF2 server. They seem to have this uncanny ability to want to point out overly obvious shit, like "hey guys, if you hit someone with the baseball, it stuns you!". Or they talk about random shit in the middle of the game that has nothing to do with either A) the game or strategy at hand, or B) anything to do with the conversation going on. That a2Z4 guy is the perfect example of this shit.

Also, if you have a whiny/kid/balls haven't dropped voice, don't use the mic. I especially don't want to hear someone try to give me orders when I am twice their age, and know more about online gaming besides Halo. Kthx.

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I'm a firm believer in strictly enforcing the ratings for online play. Not because I think 12 year olds can't handle the content, but because I'm sick to death of hearing some whiny little punk bark orders at their team like they're the only one who knows how to play. It's also incredibly annoying when you kill one of the little punks and are instantly assaulted with animalistic screeching of "CHEATER FAGGOT MOTHERFUCKER!!!!" or whatever other new word they learned on the playground that day.

Then there's the constant avalance of things they do to be annoying because they think it's "cool." Teamkilling, taking vehicles that they then crash (due to malice or sheer ineptitude), killing teammates who take "their" vehicles, crowding hallways, crying that anyone better than them is "cheating", etc.

Basically people like the infamous Bishop (seen in video below), only now they have microphones...

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My opinion was that

there are some "youngsters" that don't appear to act as young as they are, and some who use mics don't even sound like kids.

There are some mature kids out there, they're just more often found wading through piles of library books and studying 8 hours a day for a quiz rather than playing video games.

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I think another big issue is how we respond to younger sounding kids versus older people. For instance, if a kid starts swearing at me I tend to throw out some remark akin to that he should "grow some balls." On the other hand when an "adult" or older sounding player swears at me I pretty much just ignore them and/or mute them.

To be fair I don't particularly find that most of the people I meet online are that mature. I've actually met the best and the worst of people while playing WoW and STO. By far the worst people I meet online are in CS 1.6. They are the most likely to be calling people "faggots" and the n-word. So while kids are usually highlighted as being annoying for their voices and habits, I think the real problem is with these assholes throwing out racial slurs. Though for some odd reason the kids always bother me more.

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I've generally found that you can avoid a large percentage of the youngsters simply by picking which games you play online carefully. Turn-based strategy games in particular tend to weed out most of the really immature folks, because they don't have the patience for it. Additonally, a lot of older people play that sort of game because it fits the demographic a lot better, and as such a lot more respect is shown.

Of course, you still get the nutjobs just like in any game, but the ones that are actually persistent enough to stick with a turn-based game while being immature get known around the community pretty quickly, and can be safely ignored.

The massed 12-year-olds in online FPS games is why I no longer even bother. The ratio of douche:normal is just too high.

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Neblix's comment struck me -

"There are some mature kids out there, they're just more often found wading through piles of library books and studying 8 hours a day for a quiz rather than playing video games"

Is this a common association - maturity and studiousness, thereby immaturity and video games in youth?

I'm getting a sense too that people are playing different games; is there a difference there? Put another way, does it make a big difference whether a game is co-operative (TF2, for example) versus non-competitive (say a free-for-all)?

I'm also interested in what sort of 'assholery' (a bastardization, I know...) older versus younger gamers engage in. For example, in your experience, do kids or adults swear more? Which group tends to be tactically stupid (i.e.: stealing vehicles/items)? Or is there a difference - does a stupid adult gamer do the same things that a stupid kid gamer does?

Finally, is there a difference in your mind as to why people do this? For example, is the kid gamer cursing everyone for the same reason that an adult gamer would?

Thanks again for your input! And, once again, please let me know (by PM or here) if you are uncomfortable with being cited in a paper.

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