I’ve just had an epiphany, it’s probably been lingering for years but just out of the blue it hit me, games aren’t bad – it’s the people who play them, or more to the point the people who allow children to play them, who are spoiling it for everyone else.
It came to me when I was playing Black Ops 2 just now, I had been persevering with GTA V Online but I had given up after spending yet another hour trying to get a mission going only to be once again driven the wrong way by some squeaky voiced twelve-year-old laughing his head off at the sheer enjoyment of being selfish and ruining the game for others, I was playing Domination when I realised I was the only person trying to go for the objectives and all I could hear were kids chatting about killing and calling each other horrible names, do they even understand what these names mean?
The thing is, I don’t even blame the kids, that was my epiphany, it’s the parents who let their children play games with an 18 certificate, you can’t blame little Johnny for wanting to behave like a selfish twelve-year-old when he’s twelve can you? But you can certainly have a go at the douchebags who are caving to the pressure of a nagging child and buying them the games in the first place.
Children don’t know how to play games that require co-operation because they’ve not been taught to fully understand why they need to play together to win, I mean they have been taught it in schools but their brains are just going KILL KILL KILL which is fair enough if they’re spending all their free time shut away in their bedroom shooting people online whilst their parents sit downstairs watching telly and thinking to themselves “ach, it’s only a game, a cartoon if you will, what harm can be done?” Well plenty of harm can be done, mainly by me when I lose the rag and scream obscenities at little Johnny which he then learns and says at school and I imagine telling the teacher that he’s about to #=@£$”$% and #=@£$”$%#=@£$”$% him because he doesn’t want to learn French probably doesn’t go down all that well, but I’m nearly forty and school may be very different now to when I attended.
Many parents just do not understand how complex games are these days. When a new and perhaps controversial game is about to be released I’m asked by several of the mothers with teen children I work with if buying such and such a game would be okay because you know, they’ve heard it’s a bit violent and little Johnny is only 12 etc; it’s actually pretty hard to answer these questions because Tom and Jerry is violent so is Ben 10, so I’m told, but they’re for kids and the violence is very ‘cartoony’, very simplistic, you’re not watching Ben 10 shooting a terrorist or watching him steal cocaine and kill bikers, you’re watching him Karate chop a octopus man thing in the face to stop him taking over the world, or some such madness but then it’s too much effort to try and explain why buying a game with an 18 certificate is wrong because they will be buggering it up for me, it’s not what these parents want to hear, they just want to know that they’re not bad parents and I suppose you can understand why they do cave to pressure, I mean there is an advert for Call of Duty on the TV now every ad break and that’s not to mention the billboards and bus adverts bombarding you 24/7.
So what to do? Well nothing; nothing can be done when you see a long line of knackered looking parents standing in a Tesco car park at midnight in the rain waiting for a midnight release of a video game they’ll never play, they’ll never take any time to read about it properly and they won’t even spend five minutes watching little Johnny stabbing prostitutes or blowing up a bus and working himself into a frenzy whilst doing it to realise that, just perhaps, they might want to encourage little Johnny to not play such games and by encourage I mean rip the game out of the machine and show some discipline, I mean they wouldn’t let their kids watch violent films or porn would they?
Any way that’s enough from me, I’m away to steal some cocaine and rob a local store, I might even game later too.