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Sir_Snooze

12-Year Olds Playing Online Games

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use 'asshattery' then

Okay - there.

Neblix's comment struck me -

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 'asshattery' 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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I've generally found that you can avoid a large percentage of the youngsters simply by picking which games you play online carefully.

This is actually something I've noticed as well. I played Final Fantasy XI back in the day, and everyone there seemed really nice. A lot of people were more than willing to help newbies out and get them familiar with the game mechanics. I also noticed that if there were any immature players, they usually didn't last too far into levels before giving up. The game could be brutal, and seemed to weed out all but the most "hardcore". From what I've heard a lot of those people have become elitist jerks now. How accurate this is, I don't know.

On the flip side, Phantasy Star Universe is a very relaxed, and easy game to get into. I've seen way more "asshattery" there than in a lot of the online games I've played. However, at this point, with most of the player base gone, and the servers shutting down at the end of the month, the few people that remain have formed a really close-knit sense of camaraderie.

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

Personally, I don't think you can really label it as simply as that. A person can be mature in many different ways. I can be mature in one aspect (obeying speed limits), while immature in another (procrastinating on homework). Maturity isn't an on and off switch either. There can be many levels to is as well.

Just because a kid does the mature thing, like study for a test, doesn't mean that he won't play a game, or that that maturity carries over to the game he plays. Who knows? The game might even be an outlet for someone; letting them be a kid once in a while.

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 mentioned FFXI and PSU above. Both games are almost solely co-op games. There is importance placed on using teamwork to overcome the trials the game has put in front of you. However, in both games, the attitudes of the players tend to be different. There was a thread a while back about people being mean to each other over online games (I think Arcana started the thread). In it, Aion was the original game in question, but the thread expanded to WoW and other various online games. I played a little of WoW and Aion, and I did get a sense of people trying to tout their superiority over others. To make matters worse, those particular games were separated into two rivaling factions. Honestly, I haven't noticed anything that says one way or the other whether one style of gameplay makes people more irate than any other. I think that, when it comes down to it, if nothing exists, people will find something, no matter what their age.
I'm also interested in what sort of 'asshattery' 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?

I would say, most of the time, there's really no difference.

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?

From my experience, both do the same kinds of things for the same reasons.

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Well, it depends on the game, Sir. Are we talking mature stuff along the lines of Call of Duty and Team Fortress, or something more family friendly?

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I was 12 when I started playing Diablo 2. Didn't have a microphone (did vent even exist in 2002?). I joined a guild and despite the fact that, in hindsight, I recognize that I kind of sucked at playing the game, most everyone that found out about my age was shocked - I guess I just knew how to use English well and in a polite fashion.. the guild was a good manner one, and I decided that there's no point in trying to be what I'm not (a douche bag [lolright]).

I think my biggest problems in life stem from typing/chatting more than speaking and reading (literature) during early adolescence. I imagine I'd be thousands of times more articulate in person/over vent. So... even though those whiny kids are truthfully annoying, at least they'll probably grow up and become functional, articulate, older assholes. And that's all that really matters.

God, now I tell people I'm 19 and I get asked to leave... what the hell.

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God, now I tell people I'm 19 and I get asked to leave... what the hell.

Just don't tell them and you'll be fine. I'd know as I used to admin some TFC servers back some five or four years ago and generally I remember a lot of the admins "unofficially" regarded any one younger than 20 or 21 as shit or one that needed to be supervised.

Sadly often times they were right in watching over them as a lot of them who got banned from the servers were the under 20 crowd and mostly because they couldn't take the ribbing or couldn't understand why we wouldn't allow things such as racism or certain asshattery such as mic-spam...

BGC you used to be an admin along side with me dude remember?

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I know at least one kid who lied about his age and refused to talk on vent because he was 13 at the time. He was ashamed of his age and his voice even though (as far as we could tell) he acted relatively mature at the time.

Of course until that incident the mature thing would be to tell us that he can't speak on vent rather than try to hide it (he said that he had a vocal chord problem and couldn't talk well). Eventually he came clean about it and everyone forgave him but it's kind of illustrative that even the most well-meaning kids have errors in judgement.

As for MMORPGs, the kids tend to get either weeded out through an application process (ex, they get you to talk on vent for an interview) or they get weeded out through culture over time (ex: if they find out the age you get ribbed until you want to quit). In almost all of the hardcore raiding guilds I've been in in WoW, all of them had an age limit and the youngest person they recruited was 17, and he was considered the baby of the group. He was a good player but when the 17-year old is considered young you know that there'd be no tolerance for 12-year olds.

Why not? Well in a game like WoW where you are expected to be online for the block of raid time (reminder, this is a hardcore raiding guild we're talking about, probably top 500 US guilds) and kids tend to interrupt with that. They have to "go do chores" or "go do homework" or "go to bed". Their parents are asking them to go to do whatever here and there. It's disruptive and difficult to work around when everyone else is able to block off time. Now if one of these things does happen, the guild would just replace his raid spot. A mature kid will handle it. An immature kid will whine about how his raid spot is given up (note that this happens to immature adults as well).

If the adults are playing a game when they are in a mood to teach people (like a casual WoW guild for example) then young kids are tolerated much more. In fact if you're in a good MMORPG guild and talk with adults a lot as a kid, it is actually going to affect you and you will end up acting more like them. Most of the time 12-15 year olds don't get a chance to hang out with adults due to school, so those who do get the chance to listen to what adults talk about and how they handle situations get the opportunity to learn social conventions much faster. Note that this means that you have to play the same game with the same group of people frequently and form friendships, of course.

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Problem with kids that young playing online is they scream over the mic + they dont take the game seriously. They also bug you (send you friend invites even though you've only played 1 mediocre match with them) lol

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When I was playing Tabula Rasa (I was twelve myself) there was a kid the same age as me running around with a ridiculously dressed female human character (by ridiculously, I mean "scarcely") and using the "pole dance" emote (EVERYWHERE) released before the game closed down. This was during one of the many raids on an Ashen Desert base with ridiculously powerful NPC's. It was during the 20x EXP token and red armor rush as well, which was probably one of the many factors to why the kid (and I) were even able to access that area because it's for lvl 40+.

I think that says something about the maturity of younger gamers... but I was the same age as him, yet I had a fully stealth armored green spiky haired male powerhouse.

Maturity doesn't depend on age, based on my experiences. It just depends on how you're raised.

The bulk of "annoying" young gamers probably weren't raised right, or they could be so sick of being a goodie two shoes IRL that they want to just unleash their stupidity onto the internet.

Also, as for my last comment about how the kid got into that area, I always think about if kids that are immature would even have the patience to get good and experienced at a game enough to get into high levels. Maybe if they never released 20x EXP tokens, I definitely would've kept playing to max out everything, but it gets me wondering about that other kid.

Maybe maturity and patience go hand in hand. :/ This goes along the lines of what other people were saying about rank systems and such; only play with experienced guys.

Maybe experienced "youngsters" are more mature.

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I think a probleme also comes from the expected audience. When you play a game that is 16 or older, you color the language differently. On TF2, I can say whatever the hell I want on my usual servers, and the people I play with don't take it personally, however, dominate a 11 year old kid, and you'll hear whining. (Most of the time the servers I hang out on are all talk when there isn't that much people on, so it makes for easier gloating and more annoying whining.)

Also the one kid that comes to mind spent a lot of time narrating what he was doing... "oh no, I got shot, better get healing now..." in that annoying high pitched squeal... I can deal with an immature adult simply by calling him a douchebag, but telling a kid to shut up leads to more arguing than anything.

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Oh the other thing with kids is that you have to censor your own language too like The Author said. Even though you have it somewhere in the back of your mind that the kid already knows everything there is to know about bad oral sex jokes, you don't want to be that guy who cracks those jokes precisely when the kids can hear them.

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As far as my experience goes...I'm just as annoyed with anyone complaining as much as is stereotypical of a twelve year old. While it is possible, it's not easy to imagine one of those squeaky voices contributing to the game.

It makes plenty of sense to block of the communication of younger people in games. It may seem harsh, but well, the only ones who would complain would be the ones who didn't get that's exactly why they shouldn't have it...

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I know at least one kid who lied about his age and refused to talk on vent because he was 13 at the time. He was ashamed of his age and his voice even though (as far as we could tell) he acted relatively mature at the time.

Of course until that incident the mature thing would be to tell us that he can't speak on vent rather than try to hide it (he said that he had a vocal chord problem and couldn't talk well). Eventually he came clean about it and everyone forgave him but it's kind of illustrative that even the most well-meaning kids have errors in judgement.

I don't really see that as an error in judgement. I think it's safe to assume that he might have been well aware of how older gamers tend to shun/treat younger gamers and just wanted to avoid that all together. I don't think it's right to say the "mature" thing to do would be to say he can't speak on vent - either route he took at that point he would be lying about it.

I see it as his way of avoiding the whole younger/older gamer fiasco, which in my eyes, is fairly mature as he would rather just play the game than worry about age and talking over vent.

That being said, I'm 24 and I've played my share of online games and I DON'T play them anymore because of the immaturity that [i asumme] comes from younger gamers. Someone mentioned MapleStory earlier in regards to MMOs - you can't go anywhere in that game [if you're low-level] without being flamed by some person at how much you suck, even though they don't know you and that's probably the first time they've ever seen you. The community is horrible, and the only "respected" players are the ones who waste their days away leveling to the max, who at that point are to elite to help anyone else, in any way possible, achieve the same goal.

I refuse to play online games of any sort because of the immaturity in all online games. It's just gotten out of hand, whether it's stemming from a younger gamer or older gamer, it really kills the game when you have people like that.

I stick to console gaming

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I don't really see that as an error in judgement. I think it's safe to assume that he might have been well aware of how older gamers tend to shun/treat younger gamers and just wanted to avoid that all together. I don't think it's right to say the "mature" thing to do would be to say he can't speak on vent - either route he took at that point he would be lying about it.

I see it as his way of avoiding the whole younger/older gamer fiasco, which in my eyes, is fairly mature as he would rather just play the game than worry about age and talking over vent.

Well, I would see making up a story about how he had a vocal chord speech impediment being more a problem than saying "I don't have a mic". There's lying, and then there's lying.

You're right in that he is more mature than most kids his age (we talked to him later on - his voice was changing actually - and he was telling us about how he was doing well in school, doing competitive tennis tournaments, and how he was trying to avoid drugs and smoking).

But I still think that trying to make up a story is a bit on the problematic "drama" side. I think it happens to many people on this online age though, where people try to pretend to be someone they're not due to the ease of doing so (especially on online communities and games).

In many persistent communities (what I mean by persistent is a community where the same people regularly speak to each other, so a guild in a game, or a writing club, or even a group like OCR) the young people in the community either have to grow up or get out. If they act like "kids" so to speak, then they're going to get mocked. I think there's a lot of pressure in that respect to gain acceptance from older peers if you do happen to be young and want to fit in. This pressure definitely doesn't exist in incidental or emergent communities that get together fleetingly.

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What's also the problem is the parents/ guardians letting their immature kids play these games in the first place... I mean I can understand something like parents letting their 12 year olds play rated T,

but once in toys r us I saw a kid maybe 8 or 9 years old and his mom who was buying him Grand Theft Auto 4.

I mean. Come on. Seriously? It's called knowing what you're buying for your kid.

And he's not one of those magically talented super mature genius kids either. This kid was pretty much a chubby, bully type of kid and doesn't even deserve to get a video game in my opinion.

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There's the other side of the coin as well. You hear a young kid talk and invariable some douchebag will say something like "Never use your mic again" or "Wait 'til your balls drop before you talk." I can't stand that.

I don't mind a kid talking on a mic so long as what he has to say is either useful, interesting, or genuinely funny. I've played with plenty of "mature" gamers who drone on incessantly about things nobody cares about, or just use their internet anonymity as a license to be the worst human being possible.

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You hear a young kid talk and invariable some douchebag will say something like "Never use your mic again" or "Wait 'til your balls drop before you talk." I can't stand that.

the best thing is when the person who says this has a really nasal and irritating voice

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So one time I was tanking violet hold, and this person starts messaging me asking if he can join our guild. I let him know that the guild is more for people from this community, and beyond that, he was a low level character. I was polite and let him know that once he was max level, if he were still around and had the right spec and itemization on his gear (learned his class essentially), i'd think about inviting him to a group, and if he performed well and got along with everyone, then I'd think about a guild invite. This is a pretty standard response, "if you prove yourself then you gan get a ginvite" right? The guy got all flustered and started flirting, and saying silly things like "Will you be my lady Sylvanas?"

Yeah. So I told the guy I was married. I asked his age and he said he was 12 :3 He was very persistent and REALLY wanted to be in a guild, before talking to anyone in it or knowing what it was about. I doubt he had the patience to actually level to 80.

I had an experience with another 12 year old kid in an endgame raid. I was doing Eye of Eternity (back when it was serious business) with a serious business guild and a serious business raid leader. This 12 year old kid is mouthing off in vent before we begin, keeps getting kicked and reinvited (obviously they were 'abusing' him a little for being annoying) -- but when we got into actually raiding, he did fine and shut up. This kid also had an extremely foul mouth, probably to impress all the people he was with. Although I have been known to curse on occasion on vent, it still concerned me that he was mouthing off like this. The honest truth is that if he did not have a microphone, I wouldn't have been able to tell him from anyone of any other age, since he actually performed well.

Generally you won't see a lot of kids with level 80 characters. It does require a good amount of time to get a character to max level, and a good sized portion of the people you see playing are recently unemployed responsible adults. At low levels however, you encounter people that have absolutely no idea how to play and don't really care that groups require teamwork, run off and do whatever they want, take items that aren't any good for their class, and will not listen when you give them advice. The general response is always "they must be a 12 year old kid." Sure, there must be adults out there that are stubborn and don't listen - but I'm convinced as well that many of the low level characters that are difficult to play alongside are in fact, children. They want to play the game with a couple of buddies but aren't serious, and don't realize that within groups, communication can be important, especially if you've never done that specific instance or raid before.

tl;dr - I agree on the sentiment that the more difficult and time consuming a game becomes, the more it will weed out people with short attention spans, including children. There are absolutely some end-game, they are few and far between, but it is far more common to see a 12 year old "griefing" others in a game that you can pick up easily and play with little to no time investment necessary. If they have the patience to do well, they won't bother anybody and can be a pleasure to play with.

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But I still think that trying to make up a story is a bit on the problematic "drama" side. I think it happens to many people on this online age though, where people try to pretend to be someone they're not due to the ease of doing so (especially on online communities and games).

Yeah that's true, it is on the dramatic side to make something up just to avoid the situation/questions/etc.

I agree with neblix and DarkeSword on all accounts as well. It should be the responsibility of the parent to know what they're buying for their kids. On that note, I've also seen some stores not even follow the rating system and just sell things to kids without caring how old they are/what they're trying to buy.

When I did play online games, I didn't mind listening to kids on mics either so long as what they were talking about was something genuinely interesting and/or funny. I didn't really mind if it was something completely random so long as it was entertaining. These instances were few and far in-between though.

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Also note that the phenomenon of age and video games, while an issue before, didn't really start to take centre stage until the widespread use of voice communication for gaming. I'm sure back in the original counterstrike days when everyone played pick-up games without voice, no one cared about the age of the players on the same team.

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