Ok, I admit it: I have a soft spot for games. I grew up trying a variety of RPGs, ranging from the traditional D&D to the diverse landscapes of the Palladium multiverse and beyond. When I was coming to work this morning there was a segment on the radio station’s morning talk show talking about Everquest.
Admittedly, this is one that I have not played, however I have been introduced to MUDs and other games. I have also played some of the Elder Scrolls series (while it is fundamentally a console game, it appears to have similar features and interactions).
What bothers me enough to write this, is an email written by a mother calling the game evil. She arrived at this conclusion stating that her som had dropped out of school in the 10th grade to play the game, and that the family has had to go through counseling because of the issues that were caused due to game. Please note: my degrees are in business and English – not psychology or psychiatry.
Last time I checked, Everquest is a subscription based game. Translation – a monthly fee is required to continue playing the game (duh!, I know). My question is this – if this child was in the 10th grade, how was the subscription being paid? By the parents? Probably so. Another question to ponder: Why was the game (rated T for teen and above) even allowed, especially knowing that a subscription is required?
Now, I don’t know the entire situation – only the snipet that was read on air. There may be extenuating circumstances that were not discussed, but come on, folks. 1) It’s a game… why, as a parent, are you allowing them THAT much time (and money) for a GAME? (There was a statement made that issues were generated when they tried to curtail some of that gaming time, creating a bigger issue)… If things were limited from the beginning, and boundaries placed, then there should not have been a need for family counseling (over a GAME!?!). It fundamentally sounds like there are other issues, and the game is being used as a scapegoat.
Remember, I grew up as a gamer, and while I encourage my nephews in some of their gaming endeavors – and I intend on doing so with my own children in the future (if they are so inclined) – it is our responsiblity as adults to set the limits. Especially if we are the ones that would be paying for it!

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