Parenting and Online Gaming -"An open letter to parents of League of Legends Players"

Timeaisis

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May 27, 2011
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I recently happened upon this LoL forum posting, and associated Kotaku article.

The general summary is that forcing your child to stop playing LoL in the middle of a game for chores/bedtime/dinner/whatever hurts others players. The poster in question urges parents to think before they "pull the plug", and that they are negatively affecting up to 10 other people with this decision.

Selected quotes:

While it is admirable that you are teaching children some responsibility to schedules, please stop neglecting to teach them responsibility to other people. Unless your child is playing a Custom Game, his actions will permanently affect the statistics of up to 9 other people.
If a game is in progress, do not interrupt it unless it is an emergency. You are affecting up to 10 people, not just your child.
Now you're probably thinking, "But what if my child takes advantage of me and starts a game 5 minutes before bedtime because now I'll feel guilty about making him quit a game in progress?" I have an answer for that. Are you ready for it? It's a two parter.

1. Let him finish the game. This sounds like you're letting your child walk all over you, but please just let the game finish normally and follow through with step 2.
Ground him. You're the parent.
2. Don't let him play League for a while. If your kid tries to exploit you, you don't have to stand for it. Step 1 is just about showing courtesy to other people and being responsible to the team. However, your child should definitely learn that there are consequences for all actions.
Now, my first impression was, honestly, shock. I'm kind of surprised the Kotaku article is generally in agreement. I'm no parent, but if I were, being a parent would be my #1 priority. Sure, maybe you should try to prohibit your child from jumping on a match of LoL 30 minutes before bedtime or 20 mins before dinner, but shit happens, they do it anyway. They are kids, after all. The whole post comes across as ignorant, kind of bossy, and all around out-of-touch.

I understand that it sucks for people that were playing. We've all been there playing online when someone disconnects. It sucks. But hey, life happens sometimes. Sometimes your kid has to go to bed or eat dinner or go to school. Sure, they probably shouldn't have started the game to begin with, but kids will be kids. It's unavoidable sometimes.

I love video games, but this just seems wholesale ridiculous to me. A disgruntled gamer telling parents how they should parent. I really don't want to respond "it's just a game". But...well....it is.

I'm not a parent, nor do I play LoL anymore, so maybe I don't have the right point of view on this. Love to hear other's opinions, especially parents who have kids who play games online, or better yet parents who are league players. It's an interesting issue in the hardcore e-sports-esque online gaming communities that has come up as of late, and I doubt the majority of parents even understand LoL is what it is.

What say you, GAF?
 
Jan 25, 2011
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"My stats in a free to play game are more important than letting your child know that limits are a good thing"

OK

Now, it's pretty stupid to just force a kid to quit a game instantly. It just shows a complete lack of understanding on the part of the parent if they walk up and tell a kid to drop everything for something else when it may only take 10 or 20 minutes to finish. You may be a little overbearing if you can't allow your kid to complete something they find important before they go onto responsibilities you just informed them of.

Still, it's just a fucking game. Sorry.
 
Apr 7, 2011
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One of the major issues of kids playing online games... If they are part of a larger group then yeah bed time gets in the way.

My first actual hardcore raid was stopped when our healer (unknown to us at the time) had to go to bed. The healers parents actually got onto vent and apologized a lot. So it was OK but man that was awkward.
 

5taquitos

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If I were a parent, I can't imagine I'd give two fucks about what happens to the stats for people my kid was playing with.
 

Daemul

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Jan 26, 2014
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Welp, if I was still a kid I would make sure that my parents never sure this letter, I would get grounded for just having the cheek to present it to them.
 

Alej

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Sep 18, 2009
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This is borderline insane. What is LoL? Who gives a fuck?
Somebody should get a life ASAP.

This is actually what is called gaming addiction.
 

Otakumegane

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Jul 27, 2013
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When I used to get pulled off a game it was usually because I was playing too long.

I'm not quite too certain that the time of 10 people is worth getting pulled off from, but I guess that could be a lesson on its own rights.
 

Squidofman

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I'm kind of surprised the Kotaku article is generally in agreement. I'm no parent, but if I were, being a parent would be my #1 priority. Sure, maybe you should try to prohibit your child from jumping on a match of LoL 30 minutes before bedtime or 20 mins before dinner, but shit happens, they do it anyway. They are kids, after all. The whole post comes across as ignorant, kind of bossy, and all around out-of-touch.
Hi, I actually wrote that Kotaku article. And I'm a parent. So:

Yeah, the OP is bossy, and could have been written a lot more "nicely". If someone had actually spoken to me like that about my parenting to my face, I'd have been pissed.

But the basic point the letter is making is valid. Those other players are indeed getting fucked over.

We're not talking about 4 year-olds here. If you're playing League, chances are you're at least, I dunno, around 10 years old. At least. That's well outside, I think, the realms of parents just ruling over their kids with an iron fist, oblivious to what it is they're actually doing.

The letter encourages kids to explain this stuff to their parents and for parents to be at least marginally informed about what League is about. I don't see a problem with that, if it's going to be helpful and avoid problems with the other players affected by a sudden quit.
 

Alej

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Sep 18, 2009
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Hi, I actually wrote that Kotaku article. And I'm a parent. So:

Yeah, the OP is bossy, and could have been written a lot more "nicely". If someone had actually spoken to me like that about my parenting to my face, I'd have been pissed.

But the basic point the letter is making is valid. Those other players are indeed getting fucked over.

We're not talking about 4 year-olds here. If you're playing League, chances are you're at least, I dunno, around 10 years old. At least. That's well outside, I think, the realms of parents just ruling over their kids with an iron fist, oblivious to what it is they're actually doing.

The letter encourages kids to explain this stuff to their parents and for parents to be at least marginally informed about what League is about. I don't see a problem with that, if it's going to be helpful and avoid problems with the other players affected by a sudden quit.
The game is at fault here, not parents.
 

Ikuu

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Mar 7, 2007
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How about the kid pays attention to the time and how long a game takes.
 

ashecitism

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When I read the title I thought this would be about how parents should take care of children who are mean during games or something? Online harrasment and stuff? lol
 
Oct 9, 2013
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Ha. Im gonna guess most here don't know that Lol is at the very least a 30 minute to one hour commitment. Guess you just have to get to high tiers to play with adults that make sure to actually finish. Either that or play with a team. Which is an age old problem with competitive CS games too. O well.
 

ActuallyHulk

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I can promise the players that barring health issues they will likely survive to see another day even if a player has to leave midgame.
 

Pau

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I thought this was going to be about how to treat people with respect even if you're anonymous and in a game.

But yeah. If I had shown this to my mum back in the day, she would have laughed. Or pointed out that I was the irresponsible one for starting a game knowing that I'd have to leave/go to bed/etc. soon.
 
Jul 24, 2014
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So essentially your promoting prolonging actual real-life activities, be they social interactions with your family or chores, for finishing a League of Legends match? Come on now. Parents don't need to work a schedule around a game their child is playing online in general, and they especially don't need to for complete strangers on the internet. It's not like they're all playing at a tournament, for the majority of the time it's casual matches. Sorry to all the players online who have to deal with players leaving, but I fail to recognize any situation where prioritizing a game over family is beneficial, and not delusional on behalf of the writer.

I played a ton of Halo: Reach and Halo 4 and would have this sort of thing happen constantly. You learn to deal with it and just have fun, even if it ruins stats. The only way I can see this even being an issue is in ranked matches, but even then...
 

Mushroomer25

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Yeah, parents (who don't have a history of gaming) aren't going to care. It's a game, and subject to be revoked at any point.

The right approach is to have a dialog with your kid, and make sure that they don't start a game when they have a commitment in the near future. Maybe have the parent respect delaying small things (that aren't time crucial) for the sake of the match - but ultimately the responsibility is on the kid to not let down the team.
 

Skux

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This letter is dumb. It assumes no responsibility on the part of the child and just sounds like someone who is angry that they got an AFKer in their game.

his actions will permanently affect the statistics of up to 9 other people
I mean really, who fucking cares? I play heaps of League and stats are nice but ultimately meaningless. Even if you are great at the game, a pro team isn't going to look at your record and say "well he fucked up that game, we won't draft him".
 
Oct 9, 2013
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It might be on the kids. Don't start a game unless you intend on finishing it. That's the first rule of Dota.
Pretty much. Dota is similar to LoL and CS.
Yeah I know the letter is gonna dk jack shit. Most parents don't care that Little Timmy or Suzy is playing GTA5 anyway lol.
 

Tye The Czar

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May 1, 2013
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If I were a parent, I would not let my kid play online until they turn 15. The MOBA online space especially is not the kind of place I would want them to be.

The most I would let them do would be LAN with friends and family.
 

Metroidvania

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Feb 1, 2008
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In the cold.
I know it's addressed in the open letter already, but I imagine the kids would be taught better by being given a set time at which things have to go off, and seeing if they have enough responsibility to not pull the 'one more game/round, mom' card.....

It's a 10 year old. It's not just their responsibility to know when to stop, you have to be a parent, and make sure they get their shit done.

If they have stuff they need to do, and they haven't done it, and you find out, tough shit, random 9 people on the internet.

The original letter sounds more like someone got effed by this happening one two many times, and wrote a semi-condescending response. Better than leaving negative feedback for the kid in question, though I'm guessing that still happened anyways.
 
Apr 7, 2011
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My son is 14. He has a time to switch off. If he is still playing at that time I switch it off at the wall. No negotiation. My child, my responsibility, my rules.
What the bloody hell...

What gives you the right to be a responsible, reasonable adult and a decent parent that enforces rules and expects to be respected by your child and the rules that you have put into place...

Good on you. (I am being serious this is awesome. So many parents look the other way. It scares me.)
 

Trace

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Feb 15, 2014
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As an avid LoL player, the kid shouldn't be playing LoL in the first place. It's not a nice place, there's lots of terrible manners and raging, and it's not exactly the most forgiving place.

The parent is in the right here anyway, the kid knows that he's starting a game he can't finish.
 

aly

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My mom would have laughed at my face and told me it was just a game. Rightfully so too, since part of parenting should be teaching limits and responsibility. Going to bed for school and chores is bigger than some online game. You want to play? Then arrange and make time to do so way before bed and after you do what you need to do.
 

SFenton

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We're not talking about 4 year-olds here. If you're playing League, chances are you're at least, I dunno, around 10 years old. At least. That's well outside, I think, the realms of parents just ruling over their kids with an iron fist, oblivious to what it is they're actually doing.
It's my personal belief that you're not "owned" by your parents, but you live by their rules and jurisdictions until you're legally allowed to go and be an adult on your own (18 in USA).

And if that means your parents turn off the internet, or disconnect you, I mean, that's their perogative. "My house, my rules", and all that. Why would they take the time to learn about something that has no bearing on them?

At the risk of being beheaded or something, I don't know, but it's just a video game.
 

PossumMeat

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Aug 9, 2013
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This is silly.

Could one of you please write a letter to my wife and tell her the same thing about CSGO? Defusing the bomb is serious business and I can't deal with those dishes right now... because my team needs me.
 

doctorblurg

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Dec 3, 2013
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If I tried to show something like this to my parents they'd laugh their asses off your stats don't matter when the trash needs to be taken out.


I've most definitely said "I CANT PAUSE DURING A CUTSCENE" several times though.
 

diaspora

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Feb 18, 2013
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But the basic point the letter is making is valid. Those other players are indeed getting fucked over.
This is inconsequential though. It's as silly with LoL as it would be with fucking Halo or CS.

This is silly.

Could one of you please write a letter to my wife and tell her the same thing about CSGO? Defusing the bomb is serious business and I can't deal with those dishes right now... because my team needs me.
Beaten to the CS reference.
 

Squidofman

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It's my personal belief that you're not "owned" by your parents, but you live by their rules and jurisdictions until you're legally allowed to go and be an adult on your own (18 in USA).

And if that means your parents turn off the internet, or disconnect you, I mean, that's their perogative. "My house, my rules", and all that. Why would they take the time to learn about something that has no bearing on them?

At the risk of being beheaded or something, I don't know, but it's just a video game.
Then that's cool! Everyone's free to parent however they like. I just figure that LoL for a lot of people is more than just a video game, it's something they commit to regularly for years, so it probably wouldn't hurt if a parent at least took a passing interest in the stuff their kid was doing for hours every night.