Corrupting Younger Players.

We have a recent addition in our guild who is 14.   I believe it caused the officers much dilemma,  his written application was perfect,  and interview backed up all the good things he wrote, but he is now the only under 18 year old in the guild, though his age has in no way reflected on his  ability to play, and raid.

As like most of the raiding guilds on the server we are a mature raiding guild, and vent chat goes from Tame – to somewhat suggestive,  and drunken gnome rants on weekends.  The new player was warned about this.

Conversation in vent was heading a little ribald before raid last night,  I don’t remembered what started it,    people were making up alternative words for swear words in Jest ” We all must say……. instead of ….  now.  It lead to what does that word mean anyway…..  Then someone asked of the guys ” Would you tell anyone if you woke up and found..  ”   Then someone suggested we look up what another phrase meant,  and the conversation went from somewhat clean fun to  what I think was not appropriate for sensitive ears.

Maybe I am being an old lady  ( I’m 29)  but when I was 14 I may have heard adult words,  but I never had to listen to a conversation by adults about vulgar details.   I’m not being a prude, and nor do I want to use the phrase that started off the ribaldry,   yes I was in this conversation looking up said word in the Urban Dictonary with an exclamation of ” What!   that’s not nice,” It wasn’t getting offensive to me yet, so I  didn’t think it worthy of  stopping yet, it was playing out to an end anyway. Then I thought of the 14 year.

Omg is he in vent?

Turned out he was.

I’m sure he has heard it all before,  I mean 14 year olds these days are pretty cluey,   we weren’t all innocence at 14  when I was that age,  but kids these days know a heck of  a lot more then what I did.

When the 14 year was silent , I imagined that it was his mum and dad in the channel listening to what we were saying and would make him Gquit, weather it was because I was the only female in the channel at the time ( the whole nurture and protect instinct) ,  and some guilt on my part  – I felt it was not a conversation I would want any child/sister/brother/ family member at that age involved in .

It doesn’t happen often a conversation of this ilk,  I think one of the reasons why the guild works for me, is that there isn’t a lot of smut, there is mature conversation, and humor,   but I hope no one ever feels threatened, or insulted by anything said and I’ve been in guilds where the entire raid night is spent listening to borderline offensive stuff, and  with   adults only forums.  It’s not the type of environment I want to play in,   nor subject anyone else to. I have left other guilds vent channels, because I have been offended, and the best way of dealing was to just leave and not participate.

I doubt  this incident has affected our younger player in anyway as much as its caused my own values in this situation to be questioned.

Should having a younger player in the guild change how we talk or communicate, or joke in the guild? – many guilds have a firm age policy for this reason.  Its not his fault,  but it’s made me a little uncomfortable, and guilty that even if I was not the instigator in the conversation, that  he was listening, and that we as the adults  should have been aware of this and stopped, let alone the potential  legal ramifications. I don’t care if he has heard it all before, I don’t want to be involved in any capacity if  ( big IF) it were ever to get so out of hand again.  So,  my lesson is to think more when I participate in like conversations, be more aware of who is in the channel,   or stop the conversations before they  go too far, but how do I determine whats too far?  Too far for an adult to participate in, or too far for a kid..

I guess I can’t have these thoughts without entering into  should 14 year old’s even be in an adult guild?    I can’t generalise, and say I believe no, because age does not determine,  skill and attitude, the biggest tards I have played with are adults, and should ‘adult conversation and themes even enter into gameplay? – I would miss it.   I don’t think its an essential part of my being a gamer,  but more that as an adult,  I have the freedom to do so,  ( and it seems to be an essential part of male bonding.. )

11 Responses to “Corrupting Younger Players.”

  1. 1 Jormundgard August 21, 2009 at 4:51 am

    I think the big difference between our convo and “corrupting our youth” is that we were all a little horrified and disgusted at the subject (well, most of us at least), so we could laugh at the outrageousness of it. We weren’t using it as some kind of excuse to shock or disgust anyone, and we definitely weren’t presenting it as normal behavior!

    Even if a parent were listening, I’m hoping that they’d be attuned enough to notice those things. But personally, I don’t feel any guilt.

  2. 2 Shy August 21, 2009 at 6:23 am

    Hmm…either you’re just going to have to ignore his age, or you cannot have him in your guild.

    If you let his age play parts he will alter the guild in a way that you wouldn’t like. Plus, he would never feel a full guildmember because everybody will act differently around him.

    And oh, guilds are not all about skill, guilds are a group of people who have fun together, and even though a 14 year old can be as skilled as an adult, and a fun kid, he’s not an adult. If that bothers you he should not be in your guild.

  3. 3 M August 21, 2009 at 7:48 am

    We had one of our senior guildies 8 yo daughter running around on his rogue while he was on a posted overseas with military guys priest healing. A few guys constantly had to be reminded not to swear in vent or raid chat (especially the drunk/high english MT). Mostly everyone was pretty good about it. She did decent dps too.

    We also had a couple of 14-16yo’s.

    In some ways it helped to keep things a bit clean, particularly when one of the officers was quite forceful about not swearing in front of his daughter. This also meant that no one said anything too controversial in front of our numerous female guildies (probably 5-6).

  4. 4 Gevlon August 21, 2009 at 9:38 am

    I don’t really understand this. I’ve never heard anything else in vent than fight instructions, you heal this, you heal that, you interrupt and then pull, silence except for some “X move to Y” or “Z combat res W”.

    WoW itself is safe for 14 olds. Anything else does not belong to a WoW vent. Not because it’s unsafe for kids but because it does not help us downing Firefighter.

    I’m sorry but if it’s an issue at all, your guild does not seem to be a serious one.

    Bottom line: NO ONE cares about your sex life. NO ONE cares about how much you want to f@ck Megan Fox or Aston Kutcher. NO ONE cares about your problems with your mum/wife/girlfriend. NO ONE want to hear your crappy jokes. If you can’t understand that, you are immature.

    • 5 Pugnacious Priest August 21, 2009 at 9:55 am

      The discussion in guild and on vent was being done before the raid, and while the things you mentioned are certainly not appropriate for raid times ( and yes ive been in a guild where that happened) the time before raid when everyone is in the channel making idle chatter and being social and is what I think an important part of team building. We also are in vent when we are not raiding, especially on weekends doing other things in groups or pairs or what not.

    • 6 Jormundgard August 21, 2009 at 11:18 am

      Must be those pesky ape-subroutines.

    • 7 AShadowPriest August 24, 2009 at 2:00 pm


      Jesus, who pissed in your cornflakes?

      There’s nothing wrong with dirty vent conversations in principle, with or without 14 year olds. It depends on the conversation in question and the maturity level of the 14 year old in question.

      Back when I played Horde, my raid guild’s culture could best be categorized as XXX. While downing content and progressing, literally a quarter of our 40-mans would be drunk, swearing, and talking about porn sites on vent during raids. Another quarter would be afk after announcing they were going to have “relations” with their S.O. and would be back in 15 mins (I’m exaggerating, but this did happen once or twice). The last half would be tossing around insults about the first half, usually implying some indeterminate parentage or sexual orientation.

      In the middle of all this was a 13 year old boy, who, while occasionally falling into the vagaries of his age (hyperactivity, usually), was one of the most dedicated, intelligent, and mature players in our raids. You might say that isn’t saying a lot, but our players were actually quite mature, functional members of society who just liked to seriously cut loose in the game. This kid was a pro, and I’m 100% sure that our risque banter in vent didn’t affect him in the least.

      In short, you really shouldn’t assume that just because someone is 13 or 14, they must be sheltered and protected from “evil” smutty thoughts or words. Some of them can handle it. Some of them can’t. Use your judgment as an adult as to what should and should not be said.

      If you feel unsettled talking about something in the presence of a younger player, think about why and use that as a guideline to determine “appropriateness.” Don’t just rule one way or another blindly — you’d be surprised how friendly and mature early teens can be if you treat them like an equal rather than a child.

  5. 8 teac77 August 21, 2009 at 6:49 pm

    Sharing Vent has its implications.

  6. 9 silk82 August 23, 2009 at 2:07 am

    For my guild I would very strongly vote against it. Quite frankly I wouldn’t hang around with 14y.o’s in real life why would I do it in game?

    Its got nothing to do with how they play the game (there is no doubt that 14y.o’s can play well) and everything to do with the fact that a big part of why I enjoy this game is chatting with guildies outside of raids. I don’t think a lot of our chat is appropriate for kids.

    Now if you’re in a serious guild then yeah you probably shouldn’t exclude skilled played based on age. If you’re playing for fun and enjoyment why would you want a new guildie who would compromise some or all of that fun?

  7. 10 Warcraft Guide August 24, 2009 at 4:14 am

    I don’t think you were being prude at all. That kind of language and conversation isn’t even tolerated by some adults. I mean, I use foul language and comments because that’s just my style of humor and it’s fun to joke around with it, but yeah…14 is too young for them to be hearing that. Preach on!

  8. 11 gnomeaggedon September 3, 2009 at 5:36 am

    Reminds me of back (a long time ago) when I was about 8 or 9. My older 18ish year old brother had a mate around…

    His mate swore.

    My brother freaked… because my mother wouldn’t allow any sort of profanity around me…

    His mate pointed at me…

    There I was off in my own little world… F’n this, F’n that…

    I’m afraid my mother’s protection and my brother’s care failed… I was a member of society and there was nothing I could learn from the adults… except maybe the true meaning of the words…

    Personally, the use of swearing in general conversation is pretty common place. Look at Oz broadcasting regulations, where swear words are acceptable if in context… even prime time. Gratuitous use however is frowned upon.

    I expect your 14yo was quietly laughing… he probably detected the hesitation of the adults and would have shrugged it off as an adult’s inability to cope, rather than his.

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