937-673-3428 Cheryl@iWiseLiving.com

Is Your Public Library iWISE?

 

As libraries try to stay relevant to the needs of 21st century patrons, many are transforming from a repository for books to a hangout for screen consumption.  On a recent visit, I walked through the aisles of computer stations and noted that only 3 of the users appeared to be doing any type of “research” that one typically associates with a library. The rest were playing video “games,” including casino-type gambling and FPS (first person shooter) games.

I asked two young boys (I’d estimate to be 8 or 9 years of age) who were immersed in the same game what they were playing.  They answered: “Roblox, phantom forces” and “It’s a game inside a game.”  As I watched them “play” this first person shooter game, I noted that they were moving through various scenes in and around an office building using large semi-automatic weapons to kill people.  I wondered if their parents knew what activity these children were engaged in at their local public library and whether or not they would approve.SVU_1  I decided to gather more information to address the questions that were forming in my mind: 1) are these games appropriate for young children, 2) should they be readily accessible at our local library, and 3) is this how we intended our tax dollars to be utilized? As you will discover in the following comments and reviews, this game offers much more than the creative, building experience that many parents believe it to be. (Note:  I have not edited the content or spelling of the following, but in some cases have pared down the post to save space.)

A wikia.com article from March 2016(1) described RoBlox Phantom Force as “incredibly realistic-looking” and “beautiful” “…synthesizing design and gameplay elements from many other popular shooter games, including Battlefield and Call of Duty…with all players having access to the four available combatant classes and wide variety of guns and weapon attachments.”  “Currently, there are four soldier classes for all players to choose from: the Assault Class, the Engineer Class, the Support Class, and the Recon Class. They all have different roles in combat, each with access to a specific type of weapon. All classes have access to shotguns, carbines, and marksman rifles. All guns have access to a number of attachments unlocked by getting a certain amount of kills with a weapon or buying them with Credits[which can be purchased with real dollars].”

 

On Common Sense Media game reviews, many concerned parents and youth warn readers to not let their children play this game.

Unacceptable

Dear parents, there is a game called Roblox that lots of children are playing. It seemed innocent enough at first, but I assure you it is not suitable for Children…. When trying to even find someone to complain to, I was bombarded with messages like “die soccer mom”. if you have a child playing this game I suggest you remove them from it.

Use site with extreme caution – in fact, stay well clear

A child with an email address can create an account WITHOUT the knowledge of a parent.

The child can then set whatever privacy level they want.

The language in game is often not good.

The site is a hive of game/account exploitation. Hacking ‘is the buzz word’ amongst my son’s friends.

There are sites that offer ‘cheat engines’ that you’re kids WILL find online. They will be told by other users they are safe. But they are not. I am in the process of restoring my son’s laptop to factory setting to ensure his laptop is clean following theft of his account (happened 3 times). Antivirus found a Trojan that was freely exploiting his laptop.

Though you may try you’re best to monitor your child’s activity, it only takes one bad click on a link for the damage to be done. (this brings me to spam: the site has much advertising not aimed at kids. It is easy to click on links whist a game loads). Roblox is now banned in my house….

worst game ever!

… I have seen private parts of the body…. I have been called very hurtful things. There is one person who has bullied me since I have started…. My dad thought this game was okay at first after the first month there was stuff on boys and girls hangout like 123 for a hot bf or gf…. People have threatened me like saying they are going to kill me. Once I was on a server I got attacked using very in appropriate description. Then I got a nasty message from somebody saying… roses are red violets are blue I have five fingers the middle one is for you. Then the same person said he was gonna stab me with his knife and he was going to shoot me in the eye with his BB gun then Roblox started attacking my parents that they owed them $1800.

Repulsive and vile game promotes cyber bullying

I think this is the worst game. It’s good real good. At promoting cyber bullying. This game is all about self image. If you don’t have the latest clothes and hair. You’ll get bullied. The bullying has gone from naming calling to asking the other player to kill themselves. My son was tricked into telling some jerks he had aspergers. They told him to kill himself. He got banned permenetelly. In his next account he met some kids who said they hated family guy and that it was a stupid show just because he said he liked it. New people to the game are labeled noobs and made fun of for it. There is online dating. Also the reporting system does not favor the victim instead it ignores reports and bans people for reporting. Now let’s talk about the game they trick you into spending money with builders club. Not to mention how laggy it is. It’s not fun to play at all.

NOT FOR KIDS

This game has disguting places violence with gore

ROBLOX IS SCARY

It is good… but the games are scary….and the haunted houses are freaky…. And Koomikes F.E.A.R.s gave me nightmares. theres also a game created by WillieTehWierdo200 called ghost hunters. it is freaky cause if ur in the bathroom and you stare at the mirror a zombie face comes up and makes a noise that gives me the chillies at night…

Don’t even try it.

….There is, on some servers, people who are even racist against these people-Quote from OBC Member thepicduck124 to non-premium member dahlea83- U litl ni**er gt of mah gm b*tch ur d*ck is smll Incase you couldn’t understand that, then it went You little Ni**er, get off my game b*tch, your d*ck is small. See, people don’t even spell right. Next, let’s talk about violence. There are games that are like “survive Freddy Krueger, and Kill the president” I went on to a seemingly happy game called Have a house and live there” and when my character joined, then the “Exorcist” face showed up on my screen. Next, sexual content. People make games where you can hit buttons, and girl pops up, and you know what happens next. Next, privacy In 2008, then there was no asking for personal info. Now- Quote-Dude i can give you free 1,000,000 RObux if you say your [social security number]. Guess what. Someone actually did it. And on swearing- People find loopholes like @ss and 8itch, and fVck. It sucks if your’e playing a game and the chat is flooded with profanity. Parents, for your child’s sake, don’t let them play this game.

Yes, kids will be kids and will go where they can to get what they want.  I’ve seen many kids run into the library just to buy soda out of the pop machine.  Was that parent approved?  Should these machines be taken out?  Or perhaps only vend “healthy” beverages?  What responsibility should the library have for what children consume (with their bodies or their minds)?  Does the fact that this is tax-payer funded or a public location play into it?  Should the librarians be responsible for watching minor children?

As we attempt to address these and the many other issues we face in this technological age, I hope that we are able to look past our own selfish desires and consider what is best for everyone.  One has to wonder how long we can exist as a species when we “entertain” ourselves by “killing” others.

  1. http://roblox-phantom-forces.wikia.com/wiki/Phantom_Forces_Wiki
  2. https://www.commonsensemedia.org/website-reviews/roblox/user-reviews?page=1#
  3. http://safelibraries.blogspot.com/2014/08/visser.html