This is going to be a subtle, yet agressive post about my OPINION on youth gamers and how they affect the MMO community.
Ok, where to begin. Let us start with the state of youth in general.
Recently in the past few years 5-8 i have started to notice the downward spiral the youth of America is currently on. Skimpier cloths, more cussing, more racism, and less restraint. All witnessed on a daily basis. Three year olds with mini skirts? Five year olds playing halo and cussing out people? Yep. That is the state of America at the moment. I feel as if we have come to the point in which we no longer think that the ideals of "Respect" and "Restraint" are important enough to teach to your kids.
This, in the long term, is going to hurt the country as a whole. Even in the public school system, the teachers are getting lazy. No longer teaching us, but letting us teach ourselves. And there are some who have the ability, and the will to do so. But although some can handle that freedom, there are others that need direction.
This is something i find hard to come by now a days. People in the real world are acting as if life is a solo game, and all they care about is getting the phattest loot. But what alot of people don't realize is that if you play the game by yourself and only for yourself, that when you reach game over it was all a waste. If you work together with other people, build relationships, build respect, you will be able to attain much more in life than if not.
Part of this trouble falls onto the parents, for not enforcing the need for respect, and letting their children experience the feeling of being respected. The other part of it falls on to the kids who have not grasped the ideal behind the meaning of community and restraint.
I remember back when i was young, if i ever cursed i would get smacked upside the head. "Abuse! Abuse!" funny enough though it worked. I learned to never cuss in front of my parents, and also scarcely used curse words when they weren't around. Now, thats not saying that "no one should cuss" or "cussing is horrible" its just that when i see some eight year old going around screaming curse words to try and be "Cool", that is when it adgitates me.
By not knowing restraint they are not able to realize when enough is enough. Like i mentioned before part of this falls on the parents, and part on them.
How this affects MMO's
Well if you are a developer, and a well known one at that, you have two options: A. Release it as MA and hope that parents aren't stupid enough to buy it for their kids, but restrict the youth who actually can control themselves from playing. Or B. Release it as T, and hope that the youth who play your game are the ones who can control themselves.
So usually either way, immature kids seem to find their way into the game. Then that leads to guilds becoming age restricted. I myself find this to be unfair, but if you look at the number of immature kids compared to the number of other trolls, i guess that is a reasonable decision on their half.
By not knowing Respect and Restraint they actually end up limiting my gaming experience. Just by being tagged into that age group, my options are cut down. It sickens me both when it happens in games and in RL.
If you have a child and they are not like the ones i mention above please do not take this as bashing your parenting.
I will admit, i fit into the teen category, and above all this issue has been irritating me the most. I don't know why but i feel from here on out the generations to be worry me. I have found a few who follow the ways of Respect and Restraint in my generation, but i haven't seen any from the younger ones so far.