Autism and On-Line Etiquette
My son is an on-line gamer.
Recently, he’s been playing this Risk-like game that takes place in Europe and can be a multi-player game. He likes doing the multi-player because he can occasionally get a player or two from Europe.
The game can have up to thirty players at a time.
He likes the possibility of playing with gamers from Europe because he has a bit of an obsession with Europe (especially Poland).
How does he do this?
Well, a number of gamers choose a particular game, they sign in to a region, and they play as a group.
My son sometimes talks privately with these gamers.
However, there’s a problem.
What’s the problem?
My son sometimes gets angry at his games. Frustrated. Upset.
In addition, he’s not always pleased when the game doesn’t go his way.
How does that affect our house?
We generally have a quiet house. Not a whole lot of chaos (except when the dog acts like a brat.)
In our house, my husband and I have had to deal with his verbal frustrations.
My son gets loud.
And, pound things.
He’s even thrown his controller.
How do we deal with that?
My husband and I have had numerous conversations with him about how he reacts to game-playing.
Sometimes, we have to do it in the moment, but mostly we try to talk with him when he’s not playing, which means he’s calmed down.
What worries me is my son can be loud and obnoxious.
I feel it’s just not okay.
How is he with an online group?
He gets frustrated and loud at times.
He sometimes has an unfriendly tone, and sounds obnoxious.
To our ears, we hear him and say “That’s our kid? That’s how he’s talking to people?”
If I were the person the other end of the line, one of the three or four or five or whatever number of game players on this game, I’d be bugged by how one of my fellow players reacts.
Above all, he can get kicked out of these games.
The problem is my son takes his games seriously, but maybe a bit too much.
What do we say to him?
We discuss how he sounds to other people. How they’re going to be forming an opinion about him. We talk about his game-playing reputation.
We talk about how and why he reacts like he sometimes does.
And, we worry about how this will affect him in the long run.
The long run is important.
It’s more than just reputation.
It’s about how to interact with other people.
For instance, it can be about how to play a game somewhere in the middle—fair, non-judgmental, accepting that you have good days and bad days, and being a good sport.
It’s a learning process and my husband and I can only hope that one day he’ll understand the lesson. It’s one that will (hopefully) impact his entire life.
Which is why it matters so much to us now.
That whole teaching for the future thing.
In conclusion, for my son and his future, he’s going to be online working and playing. This is the life of a young person these days.
In my opinion, build a solid reputation, positive, and humble, not the other kind.
Hopefully, he’ll get there.
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