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Saturday, January 6, 2007
I'm Still Twitchy About AgePlay

HEY HEARTUN~ Ok, I can see that (AgePlay) is role play too... even though, personally, it makes me a little twitchy... but (and I ask this without rancor) if AgePlay is simply 'role play' why should it be kept to non-public venues?

I'm not talking about sex between AgePlayers... I mean, just being in their juvenile avies and maybe flirting and such. Grosses me out, but should it be relegated to private sims?

I really don't know the answer either. I mean, I'm SUCH a backer of the 1st Ammendment that so long as no one is being hurt or infringing on the rights of others.. this should all be ok. Then again, like many, it kinda grosses me out. And although I trust that the vast majority of AgePlayers really are just goofing around in a way they like and would get upset to find out their partner was really a kid... part of me worries about my RL kid.

I'm totally conflicted on this one. And I know that, at least with my kid, there's no way she'd come on here acting as a kid. If I allowed her (I wont!) she'd pretend to be much older than she is. I think most tweens, teens and such would be like that. But I'm still twitchy about AgePlay. ~ CONCERNED PARENT


DEAR CONCERNED PARENT ~ I conveyed your concerns to a representative AgePlayer who consented to an interview on the subject -- and in my experience AgePlayers are rather shy to talk with those not engaged in their form of role play. Here's what he

    "I understand why you'd be concerned... (but) AgePlay is just as the name implies -- it is 'play.' I personally don't play the role of younger, but any time I role play or anything like that I always try to find a way to confirm the (real life) identity of the person I am chatting with. I think most people do that," an AgePlayer told Get A Life. "Most of the 'AgePlayers' in Second Life aren't doing anything sexual, they simply role play a younger person in family situations -- like role playing a father-daughter relationship."


AgePlay is a hot-button issue anyway. As a society and a species it is incumbent upon us to protect our children. Parents, and anyone who watches Dateline NBC, know that there are predators out there looking to abuse children.

I think if everyone was certain that all AgePlayers shared their real life concerns for the protection of children there would be no problem. But some AgePlayers -- perhaps a small minority within AgePlay -- do sexualize children. So long as that sexual play is kept between consenting adults I think most people -- while perhaps uncomfortable with the notion -- don't have a serious objection.

The problem lies in that playground reality that anyone different is suspicious. If we don't understand their actions, we don't understand their motives. Worse than that... we assign to them motives that make sense to us, with our worst fears laying down the basis with which we project those motives.

There's also the problem that you can not prove a negative. It is impossible to prove, in any real sense, that there are NOT child predators mixed in with AgePlayers. However illogical this condemnation is, it is the kind of stigma that sticks. It is the same fear that prompts us to tell our children to stay way from all strangers, even when we know that the vast majority of all adults would do them no harm.


    "If everyone is obsessed with what's right and what's real, why would people come onto a game like Second Life and (role play)," our intrepid AgePlayer asks. "Trust me, there are far to many griefers out there who have nothing better to do than criticize waht others do."

I suspect that while some of these, lets call them 'hyper vocal critics' of AgePlay, are acting on well-meaning (but perhaps misguided, and often inappropriate) fears -- there are also pleanty of people out there who just use AgePlayers as an easy target for their grief. Griefers do what they do to feel important, when they are often very impotent. They want to feel superior to something. If not AgePlay, then something else. On the playground, they were the first to criticize your shoes, the way you walk, the way you talk -- and cull you from the heard of kids by pointing out any difference in you. Then they would feel the power they crave by crucifying you for your difference.

Dear Concerned Parent, take care of your children. Keep them away from all online games or chat rooms where they could be subject to predation. Just don't allow your fears to manifest as persecution of others because they are different. If you know of an AgePlayer who IS a pedofile -- report them. Otherwise you should assume they are just engaging in a role play that makes you feel a bit icky, and that's it. ~ HEARTUN BREAKER

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If you have a question for "Get a Life" just email HeartunBreaker@gmail.com. All submissions become the property of HeartunBreaker.com.  We reserve the right to edit submissions for brevity and clarity. No 'real' or 'game' names will be published. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Heartun Breaker, except that an individual may download and/ or forward articles via e-mail to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
 

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posted by Heartun Breaker @ 1:45 PM  
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Disclaimer: All submissions to "Get a Life" become the property of HeartunBreaker.com. We reserve the right to edit submissions for brevity and clarity. No 'real' or 'game' names will be published. No part of this service may be reproduced in any form without the express written permission of Heartun Breaker, except that an individual may download and/ or forward articles via e-mail to a reasonable number of recipients for personal, non-commercial purposes.
 


 

 




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