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Your guild and your kids

David Nelson

This article over at Terra Nova struck a chord with me. As a former GM of a family friendly guild, I can understand the problems that Liz describes in her post, that being that not everyone seems to be on the same page at the same time. Liz's issues of racy guild chat, inappropriate 13 year old behavior (which she correctly points out might not be entirely inappropriate for a 13 year old) and the conflicts between the parents of kids in the guild and those members without children playing the game really brought back memories.

Dealing with those issues was without a doubt the most annoying aspect of being GM at that time. We had several sets of parents in the guild, and they all had a kid playing. Most of the kids were between 14-17, and most of the time they were great, helpful players. But then sometimes I'd be in STV and see one of them flaming someone with extremely colorful language in general chat over some perceived slight. And then 2 days later I'd get a /tell from one of the parents of that very kid complaining that someone was swearing in guild chat and their kid can't be exposed to that kind of thing. I'd usually just have a laugh to myself, make a clever comment in officer chat and then assure the parent that I would work on stopping the adult language.

This went on for quite some time, this delicate balance of dealing with adults who play the game correctly nearly all the time and sometimes crossed the family-friendly line in guild chat, and the odd mix of 15 year olds who occasionally acted like 15 year olds are prone to act. As you can imagine, this situation eventually came to a head. It all came crashing down when a gentleman who could not stop saying the F word to save his life just absolutely went off on Team Speak. The parents freaked and demanded I boot him. However, this guy was very helpful,and an equal number of folks sent me messages informing me that if I booted him, they'd leave too. Guild drama at it's absolute best!

I ended up telling the parents I would not boot him, they all quit, took their kids with them, and we said the naughtiest things imaginable in guild chat for the next week just because we could. Now if I got along better with the parent faction, I would have went the other way, but it got to the point where it was one or the other, and the group without the kids just happened to be the people I enjoyed playing with the most.

I found dealing with people's kids more trouble than it was worth, but I suppose if I had kids playing, I might feel differently. But at the same time, the guild was advertised as family-friendly before I took over as GM, so people had a right to expect a clean guild chat. Thankfully the family group stayed together and formed their own guild, and we continued to mature through the game without them. It all worked out in the end.

And to be 100% fair, I have had some younger guys in my guilds who were absolutely great and I have never not guilded someone solely on the basis of age. It was just this batch that drove me up a wall.

What do you guys think? Kids in guilds? Yay or nay or maybe?

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