Thunderbolt logo

A Jaded Gamer: Deadbeat Dads are cool

F.E.A.R. 3‘s (I hate the stylised exchange of an ‘e’ for a ‘3’) multiplayer modes are much better than anticipated, getting a lot of my recent online time. The deafening, pounding sound of the Wall of Death approaching still causes plenty of screams and laughs on the F**king Run mode. The online lobbies have been surprisingly friendly, with even some sportsmanship shown. Sportsmanship on Xbox Live? Duke Nukem Forever released? The end must be nigh. And the last two gaming sessions online with random people have had a common theme: children in the background.

This isn’t about underage kids littering lobbies with foul language and ‘your mum’ jokes, but the distant voices that can be heard on an oversensitive mic. In the first instance, an entire French man’s family could be heard. A woman (possibly girlfriend) was trying to keep a young girl (possibly daughter) busy, both fighting for the man’s attention, while he, the man of the house, sat on his backside, killing waves of enemy forces in a virtual world. What a hero.

That’s not to say he hadn’t spent the past six days with his daughter, ensuring she gets the right attention and education that is vital in those early years of a child’s life. Hell, maybe he even sat her down on his lap, passed her an unplugged controller, removed his headset and let her join in for a bit of bonding. But if you believe that, then your opinion of people is much more positive than mine.

This all came to its natural conclusion in a separate game the following day, when a young girl could be heard asking an inaudible question, to which the F.E.A.R. operative replied, ‘yeah, I’ll help you do more drawings later’. This happened ten minutes after that player had asked, ‘anyone like vagina?’. Maybe in a few years time she’ll grow up to be a gamer too; when she’ll then be able to provide her own answers to such insightful questions.

Xbox Live, a useful tool for ignoring your kids since 2002.

The author of this fine article

is the Deputy Editor at Thunderbolt, having joined in December 2010. Get in touch on Twitter @shaneryantb.

Gentle persuasion

Think you can do better? Write for us.