What my son is actually doing

A mother discovers how her teenager is making friends online

| September 2006 issue
“When I observed our son playing one of his games, I was surprised to find that the goal of our son’s game was not to kill or be killed, but to build power and partnerships. Our son realized that the only way he was going to advance in rank was to take command and lead the battles. I was surprised when his headset didn’t work and I heard his conversations on TeamSpeak broadcast over his computer as he was strategizing with men, women and teens from across the globe in order to advance a level in one of his online games.
“After I had opened the door of acceptance and understanding of our son’s intense interest and passion for online games, our son often shared stories from his virtual teammates, some of whom were stationed on Army bases; some housewives; a man who was unemployed and looking for work and who had convinced his wife that his time online was spent researching jobs when in fact, he was meeting his virtual teammates; teens who had feigned sickness to stay home to participate in that day’s attacks; and the man who watched his 9-month-old son while his wife worked every weekend and the boy often interfered with his shots as he pounded the keyboard. These people and more were our son’s virtual friends from all over the world and they often shared personal stories of success, illness and embarrassing moments.
“The summer after our son turned 16, we insisted that he get a job outside of the home, in part to limit some of his online time. He was no longer the shy boy that he was at 15 and felt comfortable having conversations that included many adults.”
This is an anonymous essay, used with kind permission from Marc Prensky’s “Don’t Bother Me Mom—I’m Learning!” (Paragon House, 2006)
 

Solution News Source

What my son is actually doing

A mother discovers how her teenager is making friends online

| September 2006 issue
“When I observed our son playing one of his games, I was surprised to find that the goal of our son’s game was not to kill or be killed, but to build power and partnerships. Our son realized that the only way he was going to advance in rank was to take command and lead the battles. I was surprised when his headset didn’t work and I heard his conversations on TeamSpeak broadcast over his computer as he was strategizing with men, women and teens from across the globe in order to advance a level in one of his online games.
“After I had opened the door of acceptance and understanding of our son’s intense interest and passion for online games, our son often shared stories from his virtual teammates, some of whom were stationed on Army bases; some housewives; a man who was unemployed and looking for work and who had convinced his wife that his time online was spent researching jobs when in fact, he was meeting his virtual teammates; teens who had feigned sickness to stay home to participate in that day’s attacks; and the man who watched his 9-month-old son while his wife worked every weekend and the boy often interfered with his shots as he pounded the keyboard. These people and more were our son’s virtual friends from all over the world and they often shared personal stories of success, illness and embarrassing moments.
“The summer after our son turned 16, we insisted that he get a job outside of the home, in part to limit some of his online time. He was no longer the shy boy that he was at 15 and felt comfortable having conversations that included many adults.”
This is an anonymous essay, used with kind permission from Marc Prensky’s “Don’t Bother Me Mom—I’m Learning!” (Paragon House, 2006)
 

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