[Warning: This post contains personal opinions, observations and rants in regards to gamer children, or 'Twelvies'. If you do not like reading walls of text, or you simply don't believe individualization and expression. You can leave anytime you want. Now would be the best time, though]
This thread's thesis is a continuation of a previous thread that I have written yesterday regarding my subjective, informally written experiences with 'twelvies' playing GTA Online. Even though I will not call back the events covered in that old thread, I still recomend you look at the previous thread here or go to my signiture for a link.
WHAT IS A 'TWELVIE'?
Anyone who has played competitive online games such as Call of Duty, Battlefield, or more relevant, GTA Online would know the cliches and stereotypes of prepubscent gamers. Informally known as twelve year old kids or 'twelvies'. What exactly is a 'Twelvie'? Their physical apperence is a hilarious research yet an irrelivent topic. The disginquishing feature of our common 'Twelvie' is the loud, high pitched voice which is often obnoxious, foul and disrespectful to mothers.
TWELVIES WILL NEVER GO AWAY
I think most of us have accepted Twelvies are here to stay in the online world and we cannot simply wish them away. I don't, they are simply too much fun to mock let alone write about or study. As long as they have a console, the right Internet and above all, the best parents in the world, Twelvies will continue to metaphorically lay eggs in our once mature circles and pollute our society.
ADVANCES IN TECHNOLOGY
30 years ago back in 1983, gaming was scarce if not expensive. I wasn't even a sperm cell back in 1983 so I wouldn't know first hand what it was like. Based on what I do know is that gaming was mostly feeding silver coins into a Pac-Man machine. Arcade games back then were mostly non-violent and even those that were violent were usually too innocent or comical to raise any major concern. As time went on through technological booms in the 80s, 90s and 00s, games gradually became more violent, more graphically detailed, running on more accessible systems and of course more accessible to children.
Back in the 90s, split screen multiplayer was amazing to those at the time, but now 'Multiplayer' in this gaming generation is online play and VoIP It may feel like to some of the younger ones that the internet and online gaming has been around forever, but really, it is a technical implementation that has only seen mainstream use since 2005, or when the PS3 and X360 launched. Although previous consoles had online multiplayer support, none of them were as convient and widely used as the PSN and XBL for their respective platforms.
RULES ARE OVERRATED
They are overrated, indeed. Nobody likes rules. We pretend to like them at best, and kids will bend them or simply get around them whenever possible. Even if that is as simple as going to bed at 8:31 when their bedtime is actually 8:30. Although PSN and XBL have parental lock implementations and account restrictions, little kids still find their way around them as they are fairly simple to advert. For instance, using a fake birthdate so their PSN or XBL account does not have any automatic child restrictions. As I am a 'big boy', I don't really know how every single parental control feature works on the X360 or PS3. I do know that PSN accounts at least block online play if the user in question is under 18, and I also know that both consoles have parental controls that prevent kids from playing excessively violent games.
Whatever you make of that, not many parents actually restrict their child's console use, and those that do don't often enforce them as well as they should. Even my parents were pretty relaxed with my old PS2 when I was dependant on rules, and most of my friends have took up GTA at tender ages. We all turned out okay for the most part.
INTEGRITY VS. IGNORANCE
When there are no hard placed restrictions on a child such as parental locking, the parents often rely on the child's integrity and good values. Its either that or they just don't care. In any case, do these parents actually know what their child is doing online? They might understand the barriers between gaming and reality so they let their child play Modern Warfare. Still, that does not change the fact that children are playing COD and GTA Online, screaming into microphones and telling men twice their age to suck what I suppose is their 'private parts'.
Do these parents actually know what goes on in the dark room they game in? Do they know the full extent of the hours they put in to reach a high prestige or reputation rank? Are they even in the house? If so, do they hear the screaming from inside the walls? If I can hear them LOUD and CLEAR, don't you think mummy and daddy would be able to hear their own child from the downstairs kitchen, boasting to have had intercourse with somebody's mother?
Do these kids even go to school, or do they ditch class to play more matches? If they do actually go to school, how many friends to they have? Do they actually do well? How many friends do they have in general? Not considering online friends or clan buddies, of course.
So the summary of this part brings us down to a complicated question;
"Do parents let their kids play violent games because they think they're mature and morally strong enough OR because they just don't care and accept the fact a console would raise a child better than themselves?"
I personally think it could do a better job than me as a father. I would make a terrible father. However, instead of leaving the job to whatever future console trends in the year 2025, I will just not have kids altogether. There, problem solved with one less potential 'Twelvie' wasting our bandwidth
THE OVERRATING SYSTEM
Gaming was caught on by the all seeing, all knowing government at some point. They watched as the systems developed and games became more and more grotesque. Instead of the Communist move to simply ban everything potentially upsetting to the conformist public, they tried to hit the middle ground with a comprimise. That compromise was splitting any and all games into 'Rating classifications'
I believe their strong intents, giving people indicators weather a game has lots of violence or swearing, but do these ratings, do they actually work?
In this case, I will refer to the Australian classifications as Australia is where I am from, but nonetheless, all classification boards are roughly the same anyway.
Even though Australia only had a R18+ classification implemented a few months ago, that black sticker still shines brightly on newly released games games including GTA V. The Wikipedia article quotes;
"People under 18 may not legally buy, rent, exhibit or view R18+ classified content. The content is high in impact."
If an adult guardian were technically legal, I don't see anything about it...
I imagine the same restriction is present in the United States, United Kingdom, or perhaps even Scandinavia for all I know. I think you see the point.
So back on-topic, games cannot be sold to minors..bla bla blah. Yeah, games cannot be SOLD to minors per se, yet, does that stop spoiling mothers from going out and purchasing the game themselves for their fat, stupid child? When the child plays it, do the secret police bash through their door and give them 13140000 minutes of time out? Does it stop the child from playing the game, absorbing its content and become posessed by it? Does it stop the child from playing the game online and showing us what a man he is now that he has seen gore?
The answer to all those, in fact so happens to be NO!
I HATE CHILDREN
The problem with children is they are too exposed, too spoiled, too stupid for that matter. Their parents are too lazy, too loving and too ignorant.
These classification laws are put in place to hopelessly hope that parents are conformist enough to say to their child;
"NoNoNoNoNo! That game has too much hitting. Why don't we buy MARIO KART instead?"
Although some parents are AwEsOmE enough to do that, the cynical reality is that the world is not filled with sunshine, lollipops, rainbows, cookies, cuddles and cheery songs about big red cars. It will never be like that. I don't want it to be like that. Although it may actually seem nice, the world is just not meant to be that way. Violence exists in nature. That is a story for another time. We must accept violence, exposure and hence, 'twelvies' will never go away
Still, I want to smash the TV with a chair whenever I hear a high pitched, screaming child on GTA Online.
This brings up to a story I've been looking for an excuse to share.
Last Saturday, I was at JB Hi-Fi browsing through the preowned PC games, still no preorder for GTA V PC release, when I saw a child from the corner of my eye. I turned around to get a better look at him and he was showing a copy of GTA V to his father, indicating he wanted to get it. This kid seemed cool and calm and he spoke very quietly to his dad. I did not pick up on the entire conversation. I always miss the details, but from what I gathered, this kid has been wanting GTA V and his father was willing to buy it for him.
This dad did not seem like a gamer type. I know my brothers when I see them. The kid seemed to be the gamer of the house. As to what this kid looked like, he was four feet tall, freckled face spiked ginger hair, wearing a green shirt and had shorts that were too short, making me glad I haven't bought lunch yet.
Simply put, this kid was the archetypal ginger, like the ones you may have seen on South Park.
I see this sort of thing at least once a month, a kid acting older than his biological age thinking hes cool because he plays an 18+ game illegaly. Being said, with the new R18+ system in place, I found it much harder to turn a blind eye. After finally choosing my PC games, Dragon Age II and Assassins Creed: Brotherhood, I turned back to see the kid and his dad at the nearby counter actually purchasing GTA V. I'm not sure if the cashier was being laid back like everyone at tech stores, or he thought the game was for the DAD. Realistically, its more likely the former, but I'm going to dictate your interpretations of my story.
I know I said that we can't stop the exposure, but what I don't like is twelvies on our Internetz. We can't fight them as a whole, but we can do our part as if getting rid of 1 or 2 makes a big difference. If I was working at JB, I would have said to the kid:
"You do realize this game is for 'big people', right?"
"We can't sell this game to children. Sorry, bro"
...And when my workmates tell me to shut up I'll be like
"The last thing we need is another TWELVIE slowing down the servers, making my ears go deaf and giving us gamers a bad name."
Suddenly I'm fired and my Mum lectures me to no end on keeping my f*cking mouth shut and how children are more important than me.
THE POINT OF THAT STORY WAS....?
I have no right to judge, but that kid seemed to be one of those twelvies we were discussing earlier who has super awesome parents that let them play these games for 13 hours a day. It is so ironic how we let 12 year old kids annoy us, offend us, shout into our delicate ears and give us a bad name with no parental intervention.
That is ironic when you see a mature teenager who only gets console time for 1-2 hours a day because of parents, siblings, commitments or whatever circumstance.
My point is that I saw it, and did nothing. If I was easier to take seriously, I would have talked his dad out of buying him the game. Henceforth, I would be doing my part in ridding the world of spoiled prepubescent children.
KIDS ARE MORE IMPORTANT THAN US
Are kids these days less disciplined than we were?
Are they somewhat less restricted than we were?
Can you remember what gaming was like when you were 12?
Are your parents good to you? Better than your common twelvie?
Compare it all to the archetypes I have discussed above
Try not to cry
Cry a lot
Lose faith in humanity
Cut your wrist
Go to Heaven
Hope that Heaven has Internet
*Long, exhausted sigh*
Well, I don't know what I just wrote. Hope you had fun.