Sunday, April 1, 2012

And, the real loser is...

Jacob and I have been enjoying father and son time this year by playing a video game called Halo: Reach on XBox Live. For the most part, we have a lot of fun playing together, but on occasion we find ourselves at the brunt of some "harmless" (insert sarcasm) cyber-bullying. These moments have provided me with teaching moments to talk with Jacob about how to treat others with respect and how it feels when someone talks to us in the ways we've encountered on occasion.

Today, I was given the best teaching opportunity ever. We found ourselves in a game filled with self-proclaimed "hardcore, pro" players. Hey, that's what they call themselves. Anyway, we could tell because our team was getting slaughtered every time we spawned into the arena. These guys racked up at least 20 kills each compared to Jacob with 1 kill and myself with 5. At the end of the game, we found an audio message waiting for us. Thinking it was someone wishing us well, which most of these messages usually an expression of good sportsmanship, we listened for 45 seconds as a grown man somewhere between 18 and 24 years old based on the sound of his voice (he could have been younger, but it was a mature voice) cussed out Jacob. I listened in horror, shock, and fury as this man called my son a loser and instructed him to get a screen print of his one kill to put on the refrigerator for his mommy to see. The F-word was used for every third word.

What is a father to do? What would you do?

I nodded, looked at Jacob, and for a brief moment thought of a million things I could do including lashing back on behalf of my son. There were so many things that could have been said back to the sender of the message. Instead, I looked at Jacob and simply asked, "Is this guy for real?" Jacob just simply deleted the the message, and said back to me, "I think he takes this game seriously." I laughed. Well said, Jacob, well said. This guy got p'owned by a 10-year old boy in the category of character! I have to admit that Jacob took the high road before I did.

Other articles:
"TV News Report Warns of Cyber Bullying on XBox Live

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