My oldest met reality last week.
Oh, it's not that she lives in fantasy-land; believe me, I get an earful about school/friends/the-uncaring-world when she comes home every day. What I mean is that she finally met some of those people in MMOs.
I'd been cleaning around the house when I heard a scream of anguish from her. "I'll get you for this!" she yelled.
"What did your brother or sister do this time?" I called down the stairs.
"Not them! This.... this.... GUY!"
Uh-oh. I came downstairs. "What happened?"
She was moving her Elven Hunter all over a clearing, following some near max-level toon around. "I was killing this dude for a quest, and this IDIOT came and took the treasure out of the chest I was supposed to open!"
"Ah." I sat down and looked over her shoulder.
"I want to attack him so bad.... But I CAN'T!!"
"Well, you could challenge him to a duel --at least I think you can in LOTRO-- but you're L32 and he's L73. It wouldn't be a contest."
"But I am just so mad right now! I have to wait and do the whole thing again!!!"
I sighed. "Yeah, I know. You just met the ninja looter. They're one of the asshats you'll meet in MMOs."
The mini-boss respawned, and the ninja looter attacked the mini-boss before my daughter could. I swear I saw steam coming out of her ears.
"Look," I said. "LOTRO is one of the best MMOs out there for learning the game because of the community. But that doesn't mean that you won't find asshats out there in LOTRO, either. You've been playing LOTRO for over a year now, and you've only run into a few. I finally ran into my first really bad one in The Old Republic the other day. It happens."
"Yeah, but it's so not fair!"
"I agree completely. But there's nothing you can do about it right now, because he didn't do anything that you could sic the game admins on him."
She opened her mouth to retort, but I cut her off with a wave of my hand. "This is why I won't let you play WoW. You have to learn how to handle these sort of people before you play WoW, because there are a lot more of them on WoW than on some of these smaller games."
"But you play WoW!"
"Yes, and I'm a lot older. The asshattery in WoW is minor compared to other parts of the internet, and you have to learn how to handle this maturely first. It's just like my opinion on Facebook; you have to learn how to let things roll off of you, to filter them out, and not let them get to you. And believe me, there are plenty of people my age or older who have trouble with that."
She turned back to the screen, crossed her arms, and fumed.
"I didn't say you had to like it; I said you had to learn to deal with it."
"I am," she replied. "I'm imagining my hunter skewering him on the end of a flight of arrows."
I glanced up at the timer we use to limit the kids' computer activity. "Tell you what," I said as I reset the timer, "I'm not going to count the time you had to wait here to finish up your quest. This was something beyond your control, so it shouldn't count against you."
"Okay....." Her shoulders relaxed a little. "Thanks, Dad."
"You're welcome." I got up and retrieved my bottle of cleanser. "Besides, someone will eventually decide to teach him a lesson with their guildies. It happens on WoW all the time, especially on the PvP servers."
"I just wish your Rogue were on LOTRO."
"Me too, kid. Me too."