The Daily Grind: Is there an MMO or other online title you won’t let your kids play?

    
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So it happened last week: My kid told me I was mean because I wouldn’t let him play Fortnite when all his friends got to play. Of course, his friends’ parents don’t run an online video game blog for a living, so that doesn’t surprise me at all. I bet they have no idea what hellholes these games can be for their precious babies.

But he’s right, I am mean! This is a kid who maxed a Guild Wars 2 character when he was four years old, but man, Fortnite still seems like way too much for the littles. It’s one thing to go around setting plants and robots on fire, but I get squeamish about turning him loose with more realistic weapons and PvP settings. Heck, I don’t even want him to see the chat in something tame like Trove, let alone in Fortnite.

Is there an MMO or other online title you won’t let your kids play? And am I, in fact, the worst?

Every morning, the Massively Overpowered writers team up with mascot Mo to ask MMORPG players pointed questions about the massively multiplayer online roleplaying genre. Grab a mug of your preferred beverage and take a stab at answering the question posed in today’s Daily Grind!

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Maggie May

Actually this very thing was what got me playing MMO’S.

Back in the olden days, ah 2007, my kids started playing Runescape. I had given them “the talk” (not the talk talk, the other talk) about being safe on the internet, only trust people you know etc. etc. but I had heard things … so I decided to power up my really bad puter (we shared it as a family, in summer I never got on) and take a walk around to see how safe it was on there. They quickly lost interest in the game (going back to neopets) while I played the dang thing until at some point months later we got a better puter and I moved onto other games. I never had a issue with the games they played, one is a gamer and we play together sometimes,the other has no interest, save the occasional sims.

Jibrille
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Jibrille

My nine-year-old was begging to play fortnite and I said absolutely not. Not necessarily because of the game itself, the community is absolutely toxic.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

Speaking of MMOs, SE just updated their policy regarding prohibited behavior:
http://support.na.square-enix.com/faqarticle.php?kid=68216&id=5382&la=1

“Below is a non-exhaustive list of behaviour that could constitute harassment in Final Fantasy XIV:

・Discriminatory expressions based on race/nationality/thinking/gender/sexual orientation/gender identity

・Discriminatory expressions about a state/religion/occupation/organisation, etc.

・Obscene/indecent expressions

・Actions that inflict emotional distress using content related to historical events or crimes

・Stalking

・Disclosing or indicating personal information such as contact details with the aim of meeting up in the real world

・Disclosing or indicating another person’s real world personal information without permission

・Other actions that are generally regarded as actions that inflict deep emotional distress on another person

These are prohibited in all places where expressions can be made, including chat (including Quick Chat and Emote), markers, comments and names”

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Roger Melly

The question is would you let your kids go into an adult chat room knowing all the predators that could be lurking there . If the answer is no .

Then why the hell would you allow them to play an online game unsupervised .

They are all old enough now to decide for themselves anyway .

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Sajiri

I work in a high school, and I also game. The kids (mainly the boys) love chatting to me about video games. But honestly, I think it would be better if they backed off. All they talk about is Fortnite, they don’t know how to make new friends that aren’t into it.

The worst thing to me is, they all think they are going to be fortnite youtubers in 5-6 years time for a living and thus don’t need to do anything in school. This is what happens when parents just let their kids play whatever they want for as long as they want.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

The worst thing to me is, they all think they are going to be fortnite youtubers in 5-6 years time for a living

Some of them might, you never know. Not necessarily Fortnite, but a “variety gamer” YT/Twitch streamer, or “IRL” streamer (those can also be fairly popular). And there’s actually nothing wrong with choosing such job (it’s just like being an actor in TV show) – I’d gladly do that too if I could talk on camera or through microphone.

don’t need to do anything in school

THAT is definitely wrong thinking and you should always teach them that while they can become a successful streamer/YTer – having reading and some math skills is definitely important no matter what you’ll do, same goes for history/geographical knowledge (in case if, for example, some viewer will ask them some question about such topics in text chat or voice, so they won’t appear stupid on stream by answering wrongly or not answering at all).

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Sajiri

To elaborate, I dont discourage them from it if they do want to be a youtuber/streamer, but I try to make sure they have realistic expectations of what such a job entails. They think that all they have to do is play games (and most of them specifically want it to be fortnite, I try to tell them that in 5-6 years that may not be so popular) and the cash will come rolling in.

They do not understand the work that goes into it, like all the video editing behind the scenes, the cost and setup of equipment, the need for an engaging personality that would be interesting to watch (I love my students but to be serious, some of them would not be enjoyable to listen to). They do not understand how lucky you have to be to be able to make a living off of such a career.

When I have asked them how they think they will be able to afford all this and the cost of living until they can make it big, they say they’ll just live with their parents and their parents will pay for everything.

In the compulsory business classes they dont think they need to pay attention, when it teaches them essential skills with budgeting their money. In maths, they don’t need to do the work because they will never use math again (I can assure they will need it every day). English and spelling tests are pointless, because they dont need to know how to spell or write if they are going to be playing games for a living.

That said, if it isn’t obvious I work with very low students. Not all students are like this of course.

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Mia.

I have 7 kids ranging in age from 30 to 4… Most of my kids are adults now, but I still have a 14 year old and the 4 year old at home. The 14 year old doesn’t game at all (too busy with dancing to KPop) and the 4 year old is only interested in puzzle games. (I do try to shelter the little guy from anything too violent, though– he’s very sensitive.)

As far as the whole lot of kids, I can’t get my kids to play MMOs, even with bribes. Most of my kids aren’t gamers, and the 3 who are play other kinds of games. Console gamers! Sheesh.

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Roger Melly

Hats off to you . I’m in my middle ages and I can’t imagine what it would be like looking after a 4 year old at my age .

I get pretty knackered looking after a puppy . It’s worth it though .

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Law D

“Your friends are all filthy casuals, son. Now make some progress in Dark Souls then wash up for dinner.”

I was allowed to play Doom and Duke 3d growing up, and I’d let my kids play them too. Not Fortnite, though. Probably only guild wars 2 in terms of mmos, or other mmos with a solo focus. I certainly wouldn’t want them ending up in ffxiv raids and extremes making life miserable for people trying to pass a dps check.

But I’d probably also just make them the games they wanted to play.

Vaeris
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Vaeris

You aren’t the worst. That kid could be living on the streets. FIRST WORLD PROBLEMS. Anyway, I let my 7 and 5(almost 6) year olds play WoW. It’s easy mode enough for them to play as they can read and it doesn’t require any further interaction with people. The LFG dungeon sprints don’t count as interaction in my view.

I won’t let them play any other MMO out there (and my wife and I don’t play any currently) because we don’t like how MMOs have evolved. Pantheon is the next MMO I will likely spend money on when it launches and unless more are made in that mode it’ll likely be the last MMO I ever play.

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NeoWolf

I think it depends entirely on the game (or indeed any other media form) and the child. I mean when I was little my folks never prevented me from playing games of any sort, they did try to prevent me watching horror movies..not that that stopped me, but I was not a fan of the genre anyway so I pretty much censored for myself lol.

I do not generally believe that it is doing a child a benefit from hiding things from them if anything it just makes them MORE curious. Better to introduce them to these things and provide context for it for them and allow them to decide for themselves if it is something they feel they can handle.

Obviously there are things you would prefer as a parent not to have to expose them to before they are ready and before you have to like sex and gratuitious violence but again hiding those things from them once they know they exist CAN do more harm than good as then they look “elsewhere” for answers and that is rarely a good or beneficial thing and not damage you can undo to their perceptions or beliefs once done.

I can remember for example the first time I saw an R rated movie, my brother had gotten one off a friend and sneaked it home intending to watch it and my folks had found it and they made us sit down as a family (awkward) and watch it together I was 10 or 11 at the time (so mid 80’s).

At first it was uncomfortable but they also explained it, what it was, that it wasn’t a true depiction of relations and was mostly for titilation and fantasy fulfillment etc..

Sure it was uncomfortable and as previously noted awkward as heck to watch that with your folks but at the same time it also gave me the important info and took the mystique out of it…and where other kids my age thought those movies were how sex is meant to be, I knew better… my folks gave me that by not hiding it from me and i’m grateful.

And of course its even MORE important to have the right info early now as in the internet age kids have access to a lot of “wrong” info at the touch of a few buttons and as noted once they get an idea of how things are there isn’t much you can do as a parent to correct that retroactively in any easy way.

With games I think supervision is key and interacting in games with your kids rather than letting them head off into the seclusion of thier rooms and do and say whatever they want without guidance or indeed protection. When me and my brother first started gaming my dad always used to play with us (this was WAY before mmos existed though) in order to make it a fun and family experience of course as we got older he stopped as he never really cared for it much to begin with he was just doing it for us and again something I was always grateful for as it was important to him that we had that fun and time together.

Random MMO fan
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Random MMO fan

With games I think supervision is key and interacting in games with your kids

Yeap, I agree. I believe (this is just personal opinion) that doing this will work much, much better than, say, just telling your kid “you can’t play this game, there are a lot of bad people play it”, especially if kid’s friends are already playing it – not only telling this will make the kid more curious about game but it will also give a reason for kid’s friends to tease about it and about how “bad your parents are” (I’ve seen this happen few times).

Instead it would be much more productive to play with kid together – this way you can do things like show your kid how to block or report mean players or help your kid find a good guild (and make sure it is family friendly) or encourage him/her to add friendly people to “friends” list (and make sure bad people or creepy stalkers won’t get into it). After seeing that your kid is “established” within the game world and has plenty of good in-game friends – you may leave him/her to play alone if he/she wants to, while still occasionally checking on his/her progress.

hurbster
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hurbster

Elf Butts Online.

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Schmidt.Capela

You reminded me of Scarlet Blade Online, only the characters in that game weren’t elves, but rather impossibly strong and beautiful genetic-engineered girls that fought using giant weapons and stripperiffic armor.

It’s also a game that would still deserve a “mature”, or perhaps even an “adults only”, rating even if you removed all the stripperiffic armor and sexual innuendo; its story has the full suite of post-apocalyptic hard themes that a game like Fallout has, without pulling any punches. Heck, in a twist similar to Blade Runner the game framed erasing characters as discarding unwanted clones, and the super-strong genetic-engineered girls that the player controls suspect they will be “decommissioned” (AKA killed in the name of maintaining the peace) as soon as the war is over.