After signing myself up for Glitch, I decided to let my kids develop characters of their own (under my e-mail addresses and with my close supervision). Over the weekend my oldest son took a trip to the dark side of Glitch: “Glitch Hell“.
Simply put, you visit Hell by dying. You can visit Hell several times, and there is even a separate set of achievements you can earn from multiple trips to Hell. Those who are experienced in the game might think that my son simply walked away from the computer, forgetting to “Exit the World.” But in my son’s case, he was mining rocks with another character who offered him a substance called “No-No Powder“.
No-No Powder is Glitch cocaine, my friends. You sniff it, get high, and then encounter this horrible crash that can only be saved from death by another “hit” of the No-No Powder. I have some in my backpack, picked up from someone who left it on the ground. I haven’t used it, but instead was planning to sell it for money.
His avatar sniffed the stuff, experienced the 6 minutes of maximum mood and energy, and then crashed HARD. The avatar died, went to Hell, then resurrected upon completing a task (my son crushed grapes). Upon resurrection, you have zero mood and near-zero energy and are very close to dying again. My son had very little food, very little currants (money) and no skills to make anything.
Sounds like a textbook drug addict…rehabilitation time!
This was not something I expected to have to do so soon, but I grabbed my arsenal of inspirational, lesson-teaching messages and quickly took over the computer control of my
son’s Glitch character. We got Mace Windu fed, educated and built up his account a little under my direction. Then we had to discuss drug use, Internet chatting, the existence of hell and responsible gaming all at once on Saturday night.
“What did we learn?”
“Don’t sniff the no-no powder….”
“When is it a good time to use drugs?”
“When a doctor says so….”
“Will we ever sniff no-no powder again?”
“Do we take stuff from strangers?”
This whole experience — which took about an hour of our Saturday night, also got me thinking about how family-friendly this game might actually be. There’s a lot of…um, sophomoric humor scattered throughout the game that my sons probably won’t understand, but I feel nervous just the same about exposing them to it.
My feelings about my kids seeing Glitch are becoming similar to my concerns about my sons watching The Simpsons, by the way. They really enjoy the humor, but (a) Mom and Dad have to be nearby when they’ve watched it and (b) it has to be a rerun that Mom and Dad are already familiar with so they know what adult themes to expect.
I had written on my personal blog about what fun the family was having developing our respective avatars, but with the Global Chat and IM-ing looming out there, we’ve decided to change things up a bit. Whereas before I’d let my sons control my avatar with me in the room, I think I need to keep the controls and just keep the kids to the decision making. In other words, if Mace Windu wants to go harvest some allspice, he’ll tell me where to go and I’ll sure he gets there.
2 thoughts on “Glitch Gone Wild?”
From the FAQ:
Is Glitch for kids?
Glitch is not for young children. You must be 14 or older to play, and those between the ages of 14 and 17 need parental permission in order to sign up.
They’d prefer not to have kids younger than high school age even playing the game, so the drug use and humor is aimed squarely at high school and older crowd (where it’s probably apt). Use supervision as you would for a PG-13 movie. You’re probably not the only mom taken in by cartoony graphics, who just assumed it was for kids.
ALWAYS READ THE FAQS, Patricia!
Hi JD…I knew about Glitch’s guidance for the age appropriateness of the game and at first — I came in on the 2nd or 3rd day it went public — it didn’t seem to bad. Which is why I let them explore at the controls with my supervision.
It went downhill in a hurry, there’s now even a “Naughty Global Chat” that folks in Global Chat will get re-directed to if things get gutterish in regular Global Chat.
We’re still having fun — I now control the avatars that my kids had developed…my kids get to make the decisions, all the while avoiding interacting with anyone except our friends — who are really our friends in real life. Mace Windu just bought his first apartment!
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