xmlns:og='http://ogp.me/ns#' Yeah. Good Times.: Online gaming

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Online gaming

Child 2 got a Wii for his birthday; you may know that, I've been talking about it a lot (sometimes with hilarious results). He's been playing Wii sports and a LOT of Mario Kart, which is just a racing game with the characters from Donkey Kong. He's pretty good at it, which isn't too surprising (he totally kicks my ass at everything. Whatever) and he blew through all the initial tracks and races in about 2 weeks.

Then he discovered the online gaming portion of Mario Kart, where you can play against people all over the world. I've been watching him carefully and there's nothing different about the online version than the non-online version, except that you're actually playing against other people. There does seem to be a way to interact with people individually, but you have to "add a friend" which involves entering a code for the specific person you want to talk to

Well, this kind of freaks me out, I'll be honest. My first thought, of course, is that he's going to be molested by some freak. My second thought was, honestly, to be kind of proud because he's probably the only 6 year old playing and he was better than everybody else! HA HA! My kid rules! Ahem.

Anyway, hubs and I set some ground rules, particularly that he's not allowed to do any of this unless one of us is in the room. I messed with the Parental Controls and told him that I set some, that there was a password he wasn't allowed to know about and that it would restrict what he was able to do. (And, of course, in the process I accidentally deleted all of his Mario Kart settings, including all of the new characters, cars and tracks that he's unlocked over the past few weeks and I totally made him cry when I told him about it! YEAH! I'll take my parenting award now, please.)

I'm just not sure if this is right or not. I mean, I'm pretty confident that as long as I'm always in the room there's not a whole lot of trouble he can get himself into, either accidentally or on purpose, but I think 6 is kind of young for online gaming; even if it's not actual online gaming, really, or is it? (Lisa?) There's nothing going on that's any different from what he's been doing, except now he yells "I'm playing against real people!!" while he does it.

This is wrong; isn't it? I should put a stop to this? Or am I just freaking out because I'm overprotective and neurotic?