April 26, 2010

Video Game Generation + Parenting

My parents, I will assume yours as well, never grew up with video games. In fact, it's shocking how terrible my mother's hand eye coordination is possibly due to lack of video games ;). It was difficult to play catch with her, she prefered a good game of drop - or I threw terribly bad. Give her a PS3 controller and Gran Turismo and instead of using the sticks to steer she will lean sideways. It's hilarious!

I digress... It's because of my parents' lack of video games, that they have no idea that you can not only play online with other people, but in fact talk and communicate with other players - be it PSN, Xbox Live or Ventrillo. In my past when I was an avid gamer of Battlefield 1942 / BF 2 on PC she'd regularly question my intense talking "to myself" during matches or clan practise.

I'm going to assume, that the whiny, angry, yelling kids on PSN, Xbox Live and Ventrillo are also children of non-gaming parents - this does not include games like Pong, I am only concerned about in-game voice chat.

Now, enter my generation, a real video game generation, growing up with affordable, modular video game systems. Ignore the scary fact that I could have children one day, consider: I've grown up with online games and know certain etiquette for chat rooms. Is it because of this that I would discipline my children if they made a fuss in a chat room? I'd be able to explain to them how big of an idiot they're making of themselves being a selfish, annoying, little brat to complete strangers all for the simple fact... I grew up with it and I've done that.

My generation is in a unique position to teach their kids not be idiots online, because we know what it's like to be idiots online without parental guidance.


  1. My daughter's will both have excellent online etiquette as they pwn you in Halo, thus I promise.

  2. Our parents generation learned (for the most part) how to not be idiots offline. Online isn't just a state of connectedness it's an entirely different planet in some respects. We grew up in both worlds and our kids (I have 2) will undoubtedly grow up in more.

    Part of the reason this generation act like idiots online is because of anonymity and the relative lack of consequences even given the use of ones real identity.

    However, you'd think given an upbringing in an environment of respect and hard work that those values would translate to interaction on the internet. The world is a messed up place :)

  3. Johannes' mother would like to point out that my hand/eye coordination for driving real, grown-up vehicles is just fine! My hand/eye coordination also works pretty well whilst playing the piano! It's called practice:) I was always lousy at any sport involving stuff to be thrown or caught. This is undoubtedly due to a complete lack of video games in my formative years and has absolutely nothing to do with being terrified of objects being hurled at a rate of knots at my head.:)

    As for people behaving like idiots, I'm quite certain that if they display a lack of manners online they do the same offline. I don't think basic upbringing changes radically from situation to situation.