Guest Writer: Teenagers

You know Dexter17 really is wonderful. Here’s another guest piece from him on teenagers.

What does the term “teenager” mean to you? For me it serves as a positive indication, but I know that many members of the online gaming community would hasten to highlight their contrasting connotations. For many online players the mere contemplation of a teenager comes with an expectation of abuse, immaturity and ignorance.

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But when the average gaming age is twenty three, aren’t these stereotypical images to be expected? As a teenager myself, I am all too aware of the ungracious comments that fly around online lobbies on a daily basis. Some serve to provoke attention, but some are simply the product of ignorance and the unjustifiable air of confidence that makes being a teenager both daunting and exciting. Generally, a response to these tirades most commonly results in an unpleasant argument that proves excruciatingly irritating for you and the rest of the lobby. When you have switched on your PlayStation with the aim of relaxing it leaves a bad taste in your mouth, and even if you can utilise the powers of a mute button you can’t help but think that someone, somewhere, is cursing your name solely because you decided not to tolerate their verbal grievances.

 

I have always accepted the fact that members of the human race will naturally become braver behind anonymity, but I have come across a worrying trend recently that I personally find quite offensive. It now seems to be that the general online consensus is that if a game is full of the younger generation, then it simply deserves to be discarded and another game found. Many a time I have heard (and read, on internet forums) that if a game is full of thirteen to nineteen year olds, then it is a foregone conclusion that no one will play properly and that the lobby will suffer from lengthened abuse, made even worse by the use of the PS3’s built in voice changer.

I cannot even explain how angry these sorts of generalisations make me feel. I don’t deny that there are teenagers out there that actively search for arguments and make online lobbies hell, but aren’t there adults that go about executing similar practises too? I can confidently say that I venture into every online game with a friendly attitude, and when I have disclosed my age, the players at the other end have seemed genuinely surprised. Why? Because due to their past experiences they are under the misguided impression that the typical teenage gamer is frothing at the mouth and doesn’t know how to string a sentence together without a inserting a few four lettered words.

Frankly, these stereotyped ruminations need to stop. A brief flick through the comments section of this very website may highlight a few teenage comments laced with immaturity, but I’m betting that if you wanted to you could find several more teenage comments that are not only articulate, but funny and informative too. The teenagers of today are the developers and writers of tomorrow, and if they are tarnished with the same brush without a fair crack at the whip, then the videogame industry stands no chance of evolving into something better. So the next time you are in an online lobby and having to tolerate the ramblings of a teenager, look at the sixteen other players in the lobby without headsets. Sure, some of those sixteen are likely to be adults, but in amongst them, are teenagers who ultimately, want exactly the same thing as you; a challenging and enjoyable online experience.

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48 Comments

  1. Good article…sums it up nicely….there are idiots who want to constantly cause trouble, but then again there are those who don’t.
    I’m a teenager – no, I don’t swear over the headset, and yes, my voice has broken. XD

  2. It’s a difficult one. Teenagers tend to be stereotyped fair often.

  3. Back when I was a teenager I almost never played online… And barely played any games at all. What is true though is that when I want a nice online game nowadays I prefer ones relatively teenager-free. Usually I team up with PSN friends anyway (and mine all are in their 20s-30s)… That said, I know that sometimes people show jerkish behavior regardless of their age. This is something to be expected from online games. However, in games with mature audience this happens seldom. Well, not as often as in shit like CoD.
    And speaking of CoD, which is referred to here, I’ve deleted all PSN friends who played it, and so did most of my friends.

  4. As an older gamer I could shed light on our perspective but obviously not full fact:

    The problem isnt young gamers, its the ones that havnt had their balls dropped yet playing a game rated 5-8 years older than them putting an image out there.
    Couple this with the faceless internet people being bold and the fleshful counterparts being a pathetic form of their digital selves; an aged gamer will feel the world is on its way to decimation when comparing our former lives to theirs.

    I have many teenage people I speak to daily from TSA and they are all fantastic members worthy of my time, shamefully not everyone is like that and i can only guess the ratio of good/bad teenagers out there.

    Dex is one of these people I speak to regularly, a wonderfully mature and smart teenager. A lot of the rest need to take a leaf out of his book.

    • Like my friend on Fifa? ;) It’s people like him who let teens down and portray a really bad image to older gamers.

    • Perhaps the amount of us (teenagers) who are bent on being immature and swearing a lot would decrease if we (or gamers in general) were forced to display our real names as our Gamertags/PSN id’s. That would probably discourage people from being rude knowing that they could easily be tracked.

  5. Totally agree. I’m only 14, but I have many friends on PS3 who are spitting abuse at anybody who beat them, however it isn’t just them. My closer friends and I are always looking forward to friendly games, however we will retaliate if we get unnecessary abuse from an older gamer who stereotype us and it is a pain that we are categorised for our age (:

  6. I agree Dexter, again as a teenager myself, I don’t like being stereotyped. However there are that vocal minority that is slowly increasing with each iteration of a game that gives us that bad name. I find myself switching on grumpy old man mode from time to time and cursing them. Generally I just use my mute button though. I suppose it kind of highlights the need for cross-game chat, that way we can all talk to our friends and leave the people who nobody wants to talk to in the game chat.

  7. Point well made.

    However, Unless I’m playing in a TSA meet or with other friends I almost always mute everyone anyway absolutely irrespective of age but because all the chatter just puts me off, swear filled or not. It’s like trying to focus and play a game in busy pub or having a dog constantly yapping or something.

    • Good plan. Always those pesky PSN messages….although age can never be determined from them you can kinda tell their maturity level.

  8. ” And speaking of CoD, which is referred to here, I’ve deleted all PSN friends who played it, and so did most of my friends.”

    Wow no offence but you sound like a jerk. Why delete people just for what they play ?

    Yes CoD is overrated but who gives you the right to judge people ?

    I’m guessing you have no PSN friends at all then because everyone and their dog has played CoD.

    • im not sure that is the right attitude to have. The point of this article is judging people and why we do it.
      I judge FIFA players because all i get is quitters or people sending me stupid PSN messages after I beat them, maybe Dex feels the same for CoD players.

      Am I a bad man too?

    • that’s not a quote from the article roy, it’s a quote from a comment above i believe :)

      • yeah, my bad. Point still stands, just the name.

  9. I like your point about the power anonymity grants people, it’s scary that your average gamer and indeed internet user may be a really nasty bastard waiting to explode with abuse. Good article!

  10. I’ve just found out that Dexter has twitter and is called Toby_Mott, been following him for ages without actually realising it was him! xD

    P.S. Great article… Toby (giggles) :D

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