Yes, of COURSE I’m going to think it’s a 5 year old behind that level 85 character……

I am bloody furious.

Yesterday, I logged on at about 4.15pm to do some Therazane dailies. I headed over to the cave with the annoying worm in it, grabbed my quest item and tried to go blow up rocks for the gems in it. And found myself being followed by a level 85 Alliance nelf druid. Who kept placing the Therazane quest bombs at my feet. And blowing me up.

Okay, the first time I thought it was an accident, we were fairly close together. The second, third and countless times afterwards, it became apparent that this character was doing it to me deliberately. I wandered off and blew some more rocks up, and found them following me and planting bombs at my feet. I stopped and said in /say “Why are you following me?”. No answer. This carried on for a few more minutes.

A little bit pissed now, I sent them a whisper telling them that if they didn’t stop it, I’d report them.  Still no answer. And they carried on doing it. I asked them again to stop – in capitals now, as I was getting REALLY pissed off. It carried on.

I was getting to the point where I was pretty darned shaken from the lack of response. So I finally opened a ticket and reported it, because I felt this was griefing and I was getting nowhere with my dailies.

Then I get a whisper from another player, informing me they thought it was silly I was going to report this. It was their 5 year old son playing on the husband’s account.

Yeah. Okay. Of COURSE I’m going to effing assume that this 85th level character in the Therazane area is a 5 year old. Natural assumption, isn’t it?

I pointed out that they were stopping me doing my dailies, and that I’d asked them to stop hassling me.

“He can’t read.”

So, think I…you let your 5 year old son play on your husband’s account, you don’t supervise him enough to see that I’m pissed off with his actions, and you accuse ME of being silly?

Finally I said I’d cancel the ticket if they got him to stop. And they told me they’d asked him to do so. I cancelled the ticket. Which somehow got answered anyway, and I sent a follow up to say that it was a child, that I’d spoken to the parent and it had all been sorted amicably. I even -finally- got a “so sorry :)” from the parent.

But it left me with a bad taste in my mouth. And feelings of needless guilt.

I posted about what had happened in a WoW community, and was promptly deluged with lots of responses, telling me they’d have done the same thing too, that I was well in order, and a number of mothers were horrified at the idea of letting a child that age play unsupervised. I also got a number of more cynical/realistic people telling me they weren’t so sure it was a child. I’m semi-inclined to believe it the more I think about it….

As the evening progressed, I realised I was more shaken than I’d initially thought. And angry. I was angry because I’d spent ten or so minutes being griefed, only to have someone accuse me of being silly, of over-reacting to the situation.

And the more I thought about it, the more angry I became.

Angry because they were all “he’s only a child, he can’t read, you’re being silly” at me – which pisses me off no end. Your child is your responsibility. You take responsibility for his actions. What I initially received was a passive aggressive blame dump. And that made me snarl inside. EVERY SINGLE ONE of my friends with children would have reacted in a more “OMG, I’m SO sorry, what has he done?” fashion, and been highly apologetic from the start.A child is NOT a precious little darling who Can Do No Wrong. They CAN do wrong, and they need to learn when they do.

Angry because if it WAS a child, then I’m sorry, but I wouldn’t DREAM of letting a child play WoW at that age on an 85th level character, and certainly not unsupervised for ANY length of time. Especially not for long enough to piss off another player.

Angry because if it WASN’T a child, then there are some bloody pathetic people out there. And I should have left the ticket stand.

Having said all that, I had a lovely response from the GM regarding my follow up. They were going to take my update into consideration when investigating, and I’m happy to hear that. If it is a pure asshole adult griefing, then they won’t just have griefed me. If it is a parent, then harsh as it might sound, they deserve a smacked wrist at the least for letting such a young child play unsupervised.

And finally, I want to say thank you to the lovely WoW ladies on LJ for their numerous and supportive responses to my initial post there – they all made me feel a lot better and a lot less guilty, as did all my very lovely guildies who knew about what happened yesterday.  Even if I was hideously shakey still when running heroics with them last night!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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8 Responses to Yes, of COURSE I’m going to think it’s a 5 year old behind that level 85 character……

  1. Zinn says:

    You definitely didn’t do anything wrong. Even if it is a child playing, in no way does that excuse bad behavior. It’s like a child throwing sand at you when you pass their sandbox. And he doesn’t speak your language. Maybe you can’t get as angry at him, because he might not do it out of spite, but you should be at his parents for not telling him it’s not ok. And like you say, for putting him there without supervision. I probably still would’ve ticketed <.<

    • Alq says:

      Yep – I was remarkably calm about it at the time, it was only afterwards that the grrring set in and I almost regretted not taking things further regarding the ticket. Hopefully the gms will see the conversation I had with the other parent…..

  2. Pilfkin says:

    Goodness me – you poor thing being so upset by it all. I hate it when something in game really shakes me (you) up like that.

    As to whether it really was a child or a teenager or, for that matter an adult I guess you’ll never know. But you utterly, totally and completely didn’t over-react in any way, shape or form.

    And really – letting a child that allegedly can’t read play WoW? Come to that – letting a 5 year old play WoW? My teenage daughters have no desire to play (“it’s like sooooo geeky Mum…”) but if they did you can bet they’d be in the same room as me with me keeping a close eye on them. And not on a max level (or anything near that range) character either. Presumably he knew enough to know what he was doing when he was blowing you up…

    So your anger is a) understandable and b) justified. There’s an age rating on WoW is there not? If I was the GM investigating I’d be raising that with the parents..

    Anyway – there’s me ranting all over your blog when what I wanted to say was /hugs and /soothe and I hope that you’re ok!

    • Alq says:

      Thank you! *hugs back* I’m feeling a lot better about it now. But it always surprises me at how shaken I am. Guess it’s being cursed/blessed with empathy and always thinking there’s a player behind the pixels!

      Yes. There’s an age limit. 12+, which is another reason I was appalled if it was indeed a parent. Our raid leader was absolutely disgusted – he told me that if it had happened in his country – Germany – there’d be a good chance of the parent being legally wrist-slapped too. I stupidly didn’t say quite how young they claimed the child was, I only wish I had now.

  3. Ama says:

    5 years old?! Whether that story is true or not, I agree that you in no way overreacted. I’d have been left with a sick feeling in my tummy from that situation if it had been me too.

    My mind is reeling with the thoughts of what that child has possibly seen on that level 85 toon. I guess there isn’t much we can do to make bad parents into good ones.

    • Alq says:

      Yeah, tell me about it. I was actually hopeful that the kid couldn’t read, because if they could…..urgh….

      “Mummy, what’s ‘anal’ mean?”

      *shudders*

  4. Shealle says:

    Just wanted to include my agreement with the others. You did nothing out of place. I’m fuming over the parent finding no issues with letting their child manage the game on their own. The parent deflected their child’s misbehavior by attacking you, calling your reaction silly. I’d have felt the same way. I think most reasonable people would. Some would react even stronger. Either way, wanted to thank you again for sharing & reminding parents we’re not here to keep your child safe. Thats their responsibility. We’re not out to hurt them, but we have no way of knowing who’s on the other side of the screen. That player pushes? We have the right to protect ourselves. And contacting a gm to report is a reasonable & acceptable response.

    • Alq says:

      Thank you.

      I don’t have children myself, but I’ve recently spent a bit of time with friends who have youngsters, 4-5 years old. They’re great parents, and their children are fantastic fun, as well as being bright as buttons. They do things WITH their children. And their children learn from it. And their first instincts would have been to be overly apologetic for it.

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