The Facebook video of a kid trash talking is not okay
Videos of people trash talking while playing Dota are not new for me, so when I recently came across a video on my Facebook timeline, I didn’t think much of it at first. The video is in Tagalog, but to summarize, it’s a video of a young boy playing WC3 DotA uttering a series of profanities and curses like an angry howitzer. Except he wasn’t angry. And that wasn’t the only thing that I felt was wrong in the video.
Aside from his disturbingly colorful language, what’s worse is that the people in the video think this is funny. Let’s try to overlook the part that in the Philippines, computer gaming addiction has been such a problem that students from elementary and high school levels are not allowed in internet cafés during class hours on school days, especially when they are still wearing their school uniforms (like the boy and many of the other customers are in the video). People, I would like to inform you that what that boy is doing and how the people in the video react to it is not okay.
So why do players trash talk?
Because they are horrible people with bad manners! No, not really. Actually, trash talking is usually triggered by that ‘gaming high’ you feel when you’re dominating your opponent so much that he basically can’t do anything about it. It’s supposed to be nothing personal and is usually driven by feelings related to the game. Trash talking is not supposed to attack the other individual on a personal level.
Depending on who you’re talking to, trash talking may have various definitions, which is a discussion I don’t want to get into here. But assuming the common mentality is that ‘trash talking is part of the game’, when does it become wrong? It becomes wrong when you say and do things that cross the line and start yelling profanities and swear words like a gatling gun, talking about stuff that no longer has to do with the game.
At this point, I would like to point out that hurting people is wrong. But, at the same time, provoking people to the point of making them want to hurt you is just as wrong.
“Trash talking is a part of the game”. Or at least that’s what I often get told. You see, in China, people get beaten or murdered thanks to gaming addiction. In my country, on the other hand, people get beaten up for trash talking. Of course, it’s horrible that a person would take a life over a game, but when you think about it, they didn’t get mad because of the game. They got mad because of what the other person said or did. That doesn’t justify violence or murder, of course, but I seriously believe you should be able to tell when you’re crossing the line. Unfortunately, though, trash talking is very much accepted in most occasions, so much so that disturbing cases become tolerable.
Kids will be kids?!
This is excuse is so horrible I do not know where to begin. You can say that it’s okay because he isn’t your kid. Would you be proud if your future son casually, loudly, and proudly talks about other people’s deemed-to-be-inferior genitals in between curses? Do you seriously think that kid knows what he is talking about or why he is saying it? He’s just repeating the same kind of trash talking he’s heard from older players because this mockery is what he thinks is cool. And he keeps on doing it because he thinks he’s being funny. At least that’s the kind of reaction he gets from the people around him. And why? Why is this okay? Why are people letting him think it’s okay? Had this kid been in my café, I’d have either made him shut up or kicked him out. And he wouldn’t be able to rent a unit in the first place on a school day during school hours wearing a uniform.
This is why most internet cafés are not a good environment for kids. You see, it’s not all up to the kid to figure out if what he’s saying is right or wrong. It’s the responsibility of adults, who are supposed to know better than this kid. I dislike it when owners of internet cafés think it is okay to be irresponsible like this just because “I’m not his parent” or “He’s not my kid”. True enough, he isn’t. But if my internet café was known to be the ‘home shop’ of people (not just kids) who have manners as horrible as shown in the video, I would be disturbed instead of being proud. And I sure wouldn’t like a video of it online.
And if you are going to tell me that all kids who play video games are like this, I would like point you to the direction of the story of a responsible 13-year old Tekken finalist, thank you very much.