Liz Lawley’s latest post on Terra Nova mentioned her consternation when a professional connection contacted her to tell her her teenaged son was ninja-looting an instance and would she please log on to tell him to stop.

Actually, this has to be an ideal situation, for the kids at anyrate. At school meetings we parents have been told repeatedly that problems like bullying and even drugs, violence and drunkenness with older kids are best combatted by families knowing each other. Kids are safer when the people around them know them and know their parents.

Most of the parents who are scared about what their kids might get up to online probably don’t even know to worry that their kid will be ninja-looting – but of course learning not to ninja-loot is as important as learning RL social conduct. What an ideal situation, having ones kids explore online in an environment where people who know them are around and able to ring or IM a parent.

World of Warcraft surprisingly enough can actually provide that sort of small-enough neighbourhood world – there are never more than 1000 or so people Horde-side online on my server, and that may be a small enough community to actually keep track of.

5 thoughts on “what do you do when your kid starts ninja-looting?

  1. Gro

    Hi Jill. You write a lot about World of Warcraft, but young
    boys (-maybe girls too?)seems to be really addicted to an onlinegame called Runescape now.
    Do you know anything about Runescape? It’s extremely popular;
    kids play it for years, and they never seem to get tired of

  2. Jill

    Runescape – mmm, I’ve heard of it but haven’t played it or had a student write a paper about it 😉

    I see you can get a free account – that would certainly appeal to kids. And it looks like a 3d Massively Multiplayer Online Game with rather more rudimentary graphics than World of Warcraft, but no doubt goo dfun. I’ll have to find out more about it 🙂

  3. Chadie

    I dont know exactly what Ninja-looting is, but all Martial arts, as kendo, karate, and so on,
    are very good things for children to practise.
    Is ninjalooting something like that
    or is it something with tv-games?

  4. Matt

    Isn’t abhorration of ninja-looting the RL tail wagging the in-game dog? I mean, if the game allows it, it may be done, surely? All’s fair in love and war, and all that. Personally, I would be like, “naff off mum’s friend, it’s a GAME. They should write the game better if they didn’t want it done.”

  5. Jill

    World of Warcraft is a deeply social game. Half of it’s about the way it’s programmed, and the other half is figuring out how to actually behave in a socially acceptable way so you can group with people – and you CAN’T do instances and raids without grouping with people. So if you ninja-loot, people won’t want to play with you, and you’ll in effect be shut out from a huge part of the game.

    Fortunately there are different kinds of servers and different kinds of guilds for different people – but I’d say learning not to ninja-loot is kind of like learning not to pick your nose in public. Sure, you can do it – your finger fits in your nose, if we weren’t suppposed to pick our noses, it wouldn’t right? But if you do it people might not want to hang out with you as much. They might or might not bother to tell you WHY they don’t want to hang out with you – if you’re a kid, that’s the kind of stuff that parents and peers need to tell you.

    Of course, some kids just keep on and on picking their noses… There was this kid when I was in fourth grade who — no. Enough 😉

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