In TF2, I have developed the practice of muting anyone whose voice has not changed if he complains about anything twice. There are good reasons to mute older demographics, but I have met too many whining 12-year-old boys to want to give the next kid much benefit of the doubt.

One of these recently reminded me of someone from my Asheron’s Call monarchy who was a bit of an annoying kid. He was earnest, enthusiastic about leveling, eager for attention, and very much attached to me after I went out of my way to help him one evening. Nothing wrong with him, I just did not have the energy to care for a puppy. I met another puppy in LotRO, and fending off the attentions of extroverted adolescents is much more important when they have access to built-in voice chat.

I say this not because I am shaking my cane at the kids on my lawn. I say this because I just realized that the “annoying kid” has probably graduated from college by now. He might have a kid or two of his own. The current batch of adolescents had not yet started school when I met him. I am old old old.

: Zubon

5 thoughts on “Old”

  1. I’m 24 and I’ve been a gamer since I was 5 or so. I can completely relate to the annoying whiny kids around the 11-13 year old age mark. I used to be one, but we didn’t have voice chat in those days.

    Recently, anyone who complains in online games has been getting on my nerves. I’m quick to mute the prepubescent voices that think I should listen to them, but I’ll just as quickly silence an older gamer who tries to micromanage me or talks bad about our team.

    We’re playing games to have fun, why do people get so worked up about winning and other players who aren’t as good as they are? I really wish there was some more cooperation in the community instead of so much aggression.

  2. A few years ago I had an enlightening experience in Guild Wars. I got myself into the “Pug From Hell” and we endured wipe after wipe on a difficult mission with suicidal pulls all around. The group members gave one by one until it was just me and a single ranger left. Once the kamikaze players had left we finally we started making progress with careful pulls and carefully chosen tactics. We got chatting and it turned out we had a shared interest in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time. Eventually we finished the mission and I had to leave to tuck in my kids and he expressed surprise – “I am only 14. How old are you?” he asked.

    I found the incident unsettling in a number of ways. On the one hand you cannot assume that every kid is an immature bad player and every adult is a good player. On the other hand I realised I was not comfortable fraternising with somebody else’s child.

    Since then I have made an effort only to join guilds which have an age policy and to try and ensure I play with adults as far as is possible.

  3. And you won’t ever get younger (no need to thank me for this message, I know you love me)

  4. Heh. I’m so old (47) that I refuse to use voicechat at all for those reasons.

    After playing MMOs without it for 15 years, I can’t see needing to adopt it now.

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