News Station Talks About Kids and the Nasty Language on Xbox Live

There's no denying that sending your child online to play a game alone is like sending a puppy into a lion's cage at the zoo. If you want someone to experience the crassness of society, you can get a quick lesson playing Call of Duty, Battlefield, or even UNO as teenagers call you every name in the book (and some you didn't even know existed). Anyone that plays games online knows this, but it's always interesting to see how local news channels handle such topics. Usually they handle it badly, but one station does a good job of delivering a balanced report..

Los Angeles ABC affiliate KABC 7 offers an example in this report about how "experts" say that letting your child play games online is equivalent to giving them a dollar and pushing them through the doors of a seedy strip club.

In the report they talk to Matthew Kinney, a father who enjoys playing games online with his son. What he doesn't love, the report says, is what his kids are hearing from the other players. Kinney describes the online banter as "language that would make a sailor blush."

Kevin Roberts, author of the book 'Cyber Junkie,' says he is not surprised, noting, curiously enough, that the average gamer is 37 years old. What he probably should have noted is that a large percentage of that abuse comes from young children and teens who see Xbox Live as a great place to relieve stress by calling older players every unspeakable thing their limited vocabularies can conjure up.

Roberts tells the news station that when kids go online all the age ratings recommendations "go out the window."

"Incredible levels of profanity, racial epithets, homosexually-oriented epithets. We're talking 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-year-old kids who are getting exposed to this regularly," said Roberts.

Internet Safety expert Parry Aftab says that adult or inappropriate language in online gaming is rampant. She thinks that this type of language leads to "dangerous cyber bullying."

"They may trash talk. They may be calling you names. They may steal their passwords. Or a lot of them may gang up on one online, not because it's a good strategic win, but to hurt the other person," said Aftab.

She acknowledges that platform holders like Microsoft have special teams that deal with this sort of behavior. This is combined with content warnings on games specific to online interactions, and the use of the console's parental control system.

"They have an Xbox LIVE enforcement squad that is one of the best enforcement groups looking for grooming activities and online sexual predators, as well as cyber bullying," said Aftab.

But she says that parental involvement is the most important thing.

"Don't let your kid go upstairs and close his bedroom door, and sit there and play all night," said Kinney. "That's crazy. You have no idea what's going on, who's saying what."

You can watch a video of the report here.

Source: KABC, image provided by Shutterstock.

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  1. CyberSkull says:

    I was hearing the same sh*t back in grade school that I hear on XBL. It does tone down a lot in high school thankfully.

  2. Roh02 says:

    kids need parental consent to sign up for xbox live no kid should be playing 18+ games and kids are the worst offenders.

    the main reason I dont play on xbox live or online at all is mostly because of the foul mouthed children who seem to get everywhere.

    the few occasions Ive dabbled with online play Ive had to mute the chatter no matter the game.

    and from what I hear on forums about this subject Ive had it easy the horror stories of foul language abuse even death threats.

  3. DorthLous says:

    What? Go back to your cave… That view suffer from incredible skew bias imposed by revisited history and destruction of contradicting one. All across the globe, all across the ages, men have been quite content to NOT act the way you speak. The exception is only being projected as the norm because it dominated the western world for a short while…

  4. Neo_DrKefka says:

    Yeah this is how males act you all want to limit us in every single way we can't go to the bar and smoke any more. We can't whistle at ladies let us smack talk in peace.

  5. tusharnene says:

    "Online Interactions Not Rated by the ESRB."

    Parents, please take an interest and educate yourself about your children's hobbies.

    Every article i read on game ratings and the effects of playing violent video games baffles the hell out of me, compounded by kids being online playing games like Call of Duty on XBL. because why would you buy Call of Duty for your 8, 9, 10, or 11 year old and put them online to begin with?

    but i will say this station put out a fair story.

  6. Algus says:

    Unfortunately, this is the reason I don't do pub games on Live anymore.   I love the service and will play with my friends all day, but when I want to destress a bit and do some gaming, the last thing I want is to listen to some of the punks on these games. 

  7. Papa Midnight says:

    There's a montage on YouTube of kids as young as 6 going insane with some rather interesting combinations of insults recorded over live games on Xbox Live. The stuff they come up with…

  8. Papa Midnight says:

    The ironic thing is, I find that the younger the player (you can tell by their voice and speech pattern rather easily), the worse their choice of language is. I gotta tell you, these kids can get rather creative and nasty with the stuff they pull out. I still blame the parents, though. No 7 or 8 year old should in a game of [insert random rated M game here] with a bunch of persons more than twice their age (minimal). Consoles DO have parental settings. I won't even start with some of these kids on STEAM.

  9. ddrfr33k says:

    Better yet, if the kid has their headset on, force them to push voice chat through the main speakers.  That way, you can hear what's going on and step in as necessary.

  10. hellfire7885 says:

    Indeed. I once sniped someone in Red Dead Redemption online, I couldn't believe what I was called by a kid who I think wasn't any older than 8.

  11. MonkeyPeaches says:

    "Incredible levels of profanity, racial epithets, homosexually-oriented epithets. We're talking 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-year-old kids who are getting exposed to this regularly," said Roberts.

    Um, they're not getting exposed to it, they're saying it.

  12. Kajex says:

    "There's no denying that sending your child online to play a game alone is like sending a puppy into a lion's cage at the zoo."

    Are you seriously equating the evisceration of a puppy to a kid becoming slightly more of a dickhead earlier in his life?

    There are better analogies.

  13. Hevach says:

    "Incredible levels of profanity, racial epithets, homosexually-oriented epithets. We're talking 8-, 9-, 10-, 11-year-old kids who are getting the ones actually doing this."

    Slightly corrected a line there. The dynamic changes in the rare (or intentionally manufactured) event that you get a match that's mostly adults. I'm not saying they don't swear, but most of them "earn" their profanities, it peters out after a fuck or two, and it usually falls far short of personal, hateful, or anatomically dubious.

    Something about reaching the age where you can swear in front of your grandma and she doesn't mind takes away a lot of the allure of swearing, but also gives it back some of the impact it lost when it just made you look cool on the playground, so you don't need to escalate ever more ridiculous profanities.

    My personal favorite, running a team mate over with a tank got me called a mothern***** c*** fucking dickball a few weeks ago.

  14. Kincyr says:

    seeing how anyone under 13 needs parental consent to sign up for Xbox LIVE, Roberts' credibility has gone, in his words, "out the window". at least Aftab is on the ball about these things, having actually studied for the title of expert rather than being a self-described one.

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