Current Issue: Vol. 7-1 (03/09/2009)



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DRAVEN: HOSTILE ARSENAL`Crusade GUARDIANS PierceTheVeins Fenris Mastermind Vengeance LEGION ELITE Imperial SUPERIOR Descendants REVENGE AllStars CONQUEROR CONQUEST Renegades Celestial Beings Enrage ... [go]

Ashraf Ahmed : real-world context can be inserted into a virtual world, effectively turning the virtual world into a forum for real-world contexts. ... [go]

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Bobbo: This does look promising. I'll keep cmoing back for more. ... [go]



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Kids and MMOs


Respondents were asked to describe what they thought were the main risks associated with allowing their kids to play online games. Their responses were coded by category. If a respondent described multiple risks, each was coded separately. Thus, the following percentages add up to more than 100%. We'll go through these risks in order of descending frequency. For each, I'll provide some typical responses.

Exposure to Inappropriate Language and Themes (42%)

Exposure to ideas and behavior that they are not ready for -- e.g. inappropriate language or subjects in OOC chat (porn, aggressive or unfounded political or religious attacks, etc.). [M, 38]

Online Predators (32%)

A serious (but not very likely) danger would be for an internet perv to attempt to contact my kids. Still, it's something I'm on the lookout about. [F, 50]

The sharing of personal information such as addresses, phone numbers and such by people preying on the gullible and inexperienced. [M, 29]

Spending Too Much Time Playing (25%)

I would also be slightly worried about them becoming addicted to playing on the computer, and ignoring their real life commitments, like school work, or playing outside/exercising. [M, 32]

Abusive Behavior (13%)

There are very rude and hurtful people in every MMO, and children can be very sensitive to personal attacks. [M, 32]

Social Immaturity (10%)

The concern about this risk was its impact on other players (rather a direct impact on the child).

My primary concern is that he is not perceived as rude or annoying to players that don't realize his age. [F, 38]

Also concerned about the adults not being able to enjoy being adults because of the presence of the child. [M, 34]

Being Taken Advantage of (6%)

Mostly players that persuade the kids to sell something for way too cheap, i.e. they are susceptible to con men. [M, 37]

The remaining risks were described by 5% or fewer of the respondents and I will list them briefly here:

Thinking of Violence as a Solution (5%)
Lack of Social Skills (4%)
Lack of Exercise (3%)
Inability to Distinguish Reality from Fantasy (3%)
Learning Incorrect Grammar / Spelling (1%)
Developing Inappropriate Online Relationships (1%)

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