Parents need more information, not less, Kotaku

In a sarcastic post, Kotaku's Jason Schreier blasts ABC Local News for a story warning parents that when playing games with online interactions, your kids might be exposed to language and content that are definitely not kid-friendly.

ABC Local is on top of its game this week, warning the world that, according to experts, there is cursing on Xbox Live. And racial slurs! And cyber-bullying!

While it may be obvious to gamers that online interactions are laced with profanity and racial and sexual slurs, many parents are unaware of what happens when a game has an online chat component.

Because none of this happens, on, say, a playground. Or at school. Or anywhere that 11-year-old kids hang out because this is what 11-year-old kids do.

Sure, it happens. But it doesn't happen without consequence. Kids get expelled, parents get called in, a lot of things happen if a child behaves inappropriately at school. And just because it happens elsewhere, does it mean it's ok? And surely schools aren't allowing adults to come to the playground and taunt the kids, are they?

Yet that's what could happen online, because online game chat is open to everyone and anyone.

The ABC article does give some good tips, namely, be involved in what your kids are doing, no gaming in their bedrooms, that sort of thing. It also highlights the work that Microsoft is doing on Xbox LIVE to look out for bullying and predatory behaviour.

Remember the target audience for this article is not us, the gamers and gamer parents. We already know this stuff. It's for the average mom and dad who don't know, and who need to know.

Parents need to be more informed, not less.

Posted on March 28, 2012 .