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You Must Be This Old To Play

Jeff Cannata wonders about seeing "Up" by himself

Jeff Cannata wonders about seeing "Up" by himself

I’ve been playing Free Realms a lot; it’s a fantastic game. It’s hard not to shake the feeling that I’m the creepy guy of video games. You know, the one that plays Animal Crossing? Reading the Free Realms chat channel, there’s a lot of “asl?”, just like when I was a young’un in IRC.

That said, it’s important that we have family-friendly spaces for gamers of all ages, not just those who think raiding is key. How we police those spaces is an interesting problem. Watching the various attempts at circumventing the swearing filters can be amusing to older players, but it’s something that has to be policed fairly strongly.

Our playgrounds are constantly watched over by teachers and assistants, and age-inclusive online spaces require a human element to ensure a safe place for all. However, we can’t on companies to provide CSRs as schoolyard teachers, the cost is simply too high. Some form of reward system for players might incentivize people using the /report function. It could even be framed as a job, although perhaps a policeman suit might be a little too authoritarian!

For now, I’ll be the creepy guy wielding the Pick of /Report, mining those gems.

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