I was playing a bit of multiplayer run-and-shoot game Republic Commando tonight. This is one of those non-persisent first-person-shooters where you run and around and expend pent up aggression by virtually slaying 20 or 30 players.
Amid the usual chatter about noob cannons and bogarting the BFG, I overheard (or rather oversaw, because it was typed) a conversation about parenting between two players who were obviously strangers. A mother in the Midwest had a son in fifth grade, and he was having some behavioural problems (I didn’t get the details, as I was too busy being massacred).
While I know, statistically, gaming is still popular with adults, this seemed to me to be a watershed event. In these sorts of games, conversations rarely rise above trash talk. It’s like the time, a couple of years ago, I saw this total skater dude, with baggy pants and Keds-esque shoes, skateboarding along Georgia Street. Right behind him was his five-year-old son, similarly kittied out and riding his own mini board.