Have you ever heard of League of Legends? It’s a game that is entirely multiplayer, 10 players pitted against each other on a handful of maps. The cost, free. The art style, cute and cartoony. The characters, fun and incredibly varied. The community, a crapload of assholes. I used to play League of Legends with some regularity, but I stopped entirely because of the community.
Vitriol? Hatred? Malice? They were born on Summoner’s Rift. Learning the game? Stupid noob. Trying something new? Stupid noob. Made a mistake? Mother effing stupid noob.
To make it worse, I even named my account after my favorite moniker, Cheap Dad. What the hell was I thinking? Flagging the fact that I’m an older gamer in that sea of piranha was probably my crowning noob achievement.
So to wrap up my feelings about the game, fuck it.
But lets get to the reason I wanted to write about it. Recently Penny Arcade did a great strip in reaction to a certain forum post about League of Legends entitled, The Open Letter to Parents of League of Legends Players.
It’s a well written post to be sure. It’s thoughtful, non-confrontational and completely ignorant about being a parent. How can I tell? First off they are instructing, in essence, every god-damned parent of a child who plays the game, how to be a parent.You just don’t do that. Second… ah screw it, lets just just stick with First, shall we?
The heart of the post is, don’t tell your kids to turn off the computer and leave in the middle of a match. It’d be irresponsible, because them leaving in the middle of a match will affect everyone elses imaginary e-peen score (link provided for science).
So, to tell your kids to turn off your computer is wrong. When, oh I don’t know, they’ve been playing too long. Or, it’s time for bed. Or they didn’t ask. Or, ok yeah, I’m not coming up with more reasons. My kids screw up a lot and I don’t have time to write down every scenario.
Here’s responsibility, an example if you will. My son does his chores and gets time on the computer. He got half an hour to play and he chose to play a game whose average match time goes for about 45 minutes. He knew that going in, but he chose a game that lasts substantially longer. So am I teaching him a lesson about responsibility by letting him continue to play, or that it’s ok to be an idiot? I’m going with the latter.
I’m not going to speak about everyone elses home, cuz you know, that might be considered pretentious. But I can tell you that in my house responsibility has nothing to do with digital points. If it did, I’d play League of Legends solely to avoid doing dishes.
But that’d be a noob move, right?