Little Timmy And The EverQuest Pervert

 

So there I was, clinging to the spire atop one of the busiest buildings in the Plane of Knowledge, feeling like a pervert. I knew I wasn't a pervert...but the fear that somebody else might think I was one, or even worse, that I was being tested by some undercover officer with bait more befitting the entrapment of a pedophile...made me feel old and somewhat worried about my maturity level.

In my own defense, I can only say...how was I to know? There I was, playing the popular MMORG Everquest one summer afternoon...minding my own business. My lovely little high elf wizard, Finnyinye, was taking a well earned break from adventuring, sitting in the grass by the bank, practicing a few new spells and ignoring the world around her when out of nowhere this nasty little rogue comes up and smacks her in the head. It was a challenge I could not ignore.

He was a fleet-footed little devil, but his skills were no match for mine as I chased him round and round the central city. As I imagined my fingertips closing around the collar of his shirt, the crafty beast swallowed a levitation potion, forcing me to use one of my spells in order to follow him. Like Santa's reindeer, we flew from rooftop to rooftop...bouncing off trees and walls...and somewhere in the midst of all of that...I realized...I was actually having a lot of fun.

I had spent so much time in this game, chasing monsters around and blowing them up, dying and cursing every time I lost experience points that I'd forgotten just how much fun some of the game's basics could be. How amazing it was to just fly...

And that's how I ended up plastered to the side of the spire with my toes barely perched upon a small lip of masonry, looking over at the instigator of the event, laughing and saying "Wow! I'd forgotten just how much fun it could be to act so silly!" It was at that moment, my little rogue friend turned to me and without premeditation, delivered the kiss of death...

"I'm ten years old btw...how old are you?"

My fleeting bubble of child-like bliss withered instantaneously from a sweet summer grape to the last stale raisin in the Sun-Maid raisin box. I had assumed that my companion was an adult, like myself, who simply enjoyed acting like a child. Confronted with the genuine article, I felt guilty of deceiving him and for a moment I didn't know what to say. Resigning myself to the inevitable change in our relationship, I just typed in a direct answer to his query.

"I'm forty."

I'm not sure exactly what reaction I expected, but it certainly wasn't...

"I wish my mom was as cool as you are. She hates this game. You are a girl right?"

While I was relieved that my age seemed to have no impact on his perception of me as a friend, I was rather mortified by my own reaction. As an adult interacting with a child, my previously carefree attitude was suddenly tempered by such thoughts as responsibility along with a strong maternal instinct.

He was a kid! Running around a game with all sorts of perverts, which of course I wasn't, lucky for him...but what if he bumped into one of those? And now...look, his potion has worn off and he's sliding down the spire to certain death. Without hesitation, I slapped a levitation spell on his ass and was rewarded with a smile and a "Thanks Finny! I ran out of potions."

As far as the rogue was concerned, we were now best friends for life and like an eager to please puppy, he frolicked at my dignified heel keeping up a stream of non-stop chatter. I learned his name, where he lived, what school he went to, how he was doing in school, what his favorite subjects were and the fact that both of his parents worked so he was alone a lot of the time. Either he was totally oblivious to the fact that giving out so much information was dangerous or this was the sloppiest pedophile sting operation in history. Yes, I'll admit, I was a bit paranoid. This "boy" could easily have been one of those undercover agents you hear about that is constantly policing the games making sure it's a safe place for little Johnny or little Suzy to play in.

Well...since I wasn't one of those perverts, I didn't have anything to worry about, right? Wrong.

As luck would have it, my friend, Timmy, and I were invited into a group for some adventuring action. He may have been only ten years old, but his rogue was the same level as my wizard...so in gaming terms we were peers. I noticed, to my dismay, that the biggest slut in the game had been invited along in the group and with avaricious glee she laid her eyes on little Timmy.

"Oooh, Finny...what do we have here...a delicious rogue! I love rogues!"

Sitting in front of my monitor, I began to bang my forehead against my desk wondering how much worse my day could get. Why hadn't I just ignored the head slapping thing? I could be sitting nice and happy in the Plane of Knowledge, still blissfully practicing my spells instead of feeling this odd compulsion to beat the ever loving snot out of this horny hag trying to defile a ten year old boy.

"Back off," I snarled, "he's a kid."

"Finny, it's okay," said little Timmy, "I don't let it bother me."

Well it bothered me, especially when despite my warning, the tramp still persisted in flinging sexual innuendo at Timmy. To his credit, the boy remained silent during all of her baiting...and I had to admit I was in total admiration of his restraint. Then again...would this have really been an issue if I hadn't pointed out his age? Probably not...

Obviously Timmy had been playing the game for a while and had managed to be judged not by his age, but by his ability. So who was the hypocrite? That's right...yours truly.

Wizards, however, aren't known for their restraint. As I teetered on the brink of snapping completely, she opened her mouth one time too many and I simply had no choice. Within seconds, I conjured a flaming ball of whoopass and unleashed my fury onto her hormonal butt, reducing her to cinders.

A Parents Guide to Fighting Online Predators

Acronyms - Help Delete Online Predators (English Version)

As Timmy and I went off in search of a new adventure, I promised him that I wouldn't tell anyone he was ten years old ever again. In return, he promised that nobody ever needed to know I was old enough to be his mother. There were times when it was very difficult not to become over-protective when every instinct urged me to step between him and harm's way. I have to admit, Timmy was one very cool kid since he was very patient with my chronological handicap.

It's ironic that it took a fantasy game to teach me a valuable life lesson. With the ability of computers and games opening new doors of opportunity for our children, they're entering the world, albeit a fantasy world, earlier and earlier. There are so many hidden dangers, and not just of the pixilated monster variety, that it's right for a parent to be wary and concerned.

However, if parents aren't going to become involved in their child's recreation, merely expressing a distaste for the game and then allowing them access to it anyway, the welfare of that child becomes the responsibility of the adults in the game. People like me...or people that might not have your child's best interest at heart...like the pile of ash I left in my wake.

Personally, I don't mind. Especially not with a kid as sharp as Timmy turned out to be. And once he and I had the talk about being more careful about giving out so much personal information, I felt confident in his ability to be safe with his hobby. I'm not an advocate of denying our children the right to explore this almost limitless medium we call the internet or the computer games that have been developed for entertainment...however, please...please...take the time to give your children a healthy dose of self-preservation before sending them off to play.

This guy has a lot of good ideas...but try not to miss the chat if you can

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Comments 205 comments

Heather Smith 4 years ago

Thank for posting this Spryte. I do play online games. I like dragon nest. MMORpg games are not suited to ages 12 and below because they will not fully understand the game.


Mrs Hozey profile image

Mrs Hozey 7 years ago

Excellent article. I play Wow and there's always a rush of panic when I find out the player I'm interacting with is 13. I wish these kids wouldn't advertise their age like that, though. But, it definitely makes me think twice when I'm tempted to blow up trade chat with obscene shouting at idiots. ;) There is a kid in our guild who is nine but his dad is always on when he's on and I think that's how it should be when kids play RPGs online.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

jdh351 - I swore off Warcraft for a few months...and then the new expansion came out. I now have a nearly level 73 warlock, a 71 rogue and one of those new death knights...level 59 nearly 60. Wait til you see it...it will knock your shoes off. :)

The servers are crammed from what I hear and they are offering free moves to less busy ones. So far mine (Norgannon) is still tolerable).


jdh351 profile image

jdh351 8 years ago from Chicago, IL

World of Warcraft player here. Not that actively anymore, I haven't bought the expansion yet but will welcome it when I have the money.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Hey Spryte, I am trying to get CR to get that group shower going again if I can find him.

http://hubpages.com/relationships/Party-Time-Is-On...

You can come help persuade him if you would like to.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

LOL, you have come back on form haven't you Spryte. Well, you can always join me on the http://hubpages.com/religion-philosophy/antichrist if you want to. A long but fascinating read with loads of nutty comments amongst the sane ones :)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Misty, Christoph and Crazy MM:

Of course you should be able to counter-attack nasty commentators! I was thinking we could give Shadesbreath a dictionary in one hand and a thesaurus in the other...and he could slam them together to squish anyone he wants. We'll have to think of a good term for this ability...like...hmmm..."When Words Collide". :)

Misty...you should have one of those ink pens with the feathery plumes at the end. This way you could write them off or tickle them to death...whichever you prefer. We could call this ability "Dressed to Quill."

Let's see...Christoph. Hmmm...a squirting ink pen is a good idea, but it needs a cool name. "The Inkonator" perhaps...or..."I Ink, therefore I am."


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Or like an Octopus or Squid you mean :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Ok. I want my weapon to be a lever-filled ink pen, so I can squirt ink in their eyes just like the Three Stooges.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

LOL MM, you are slightly crazy aren't you??? :)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Oh goody! Does this mean everyone gets to have a new World of Hubcraft name too? And weapon of choice?

Sounds like the energy level's rising again, just as I have to dash off for a bit myself. But I will leave you with this:

"Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand." (Ephesians 6:13). Go get em, hubsters! Wah hoo wah (Indian-- oops, I mean Native American -- whooping sound)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Ooooohhh, what a great game :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Thanks so much for the explanation. Just remember, we are real people avatars, and they are fake people avatars. Don't ever blur that distinction. Sweet of you to comfort me in my time of Spryte need. I hope your appearances here are not all that rare. Peace and Love (I'm on a hippie thing today.)

Now THAT is an online game I will play. Especially the killing part. Yes, Misty, you MUST be able to kill commentors! That's spot on.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

'World of Hubcraft', sounds like fun to me. Can we kill bad commenters too? :)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Christoph - *HUGS*  :) 

*waves to Misty and Aj*

I'm alive...although Warcraft really sucked up all of my weekend time.  Blame the new expansion that came out on Thursday.  Of course, all I've heard for the past few days is "Chumana (my name on Warcraft)!  Where have you been for the last three months????"  Then I had to explain hubpages to them...and I felt like an adulterer...

Perhaps I need a new venue...World of Hubcraft...where you level by writing and you can kill bad writers with an enchanted pen...or something like that!

I'm so glad y ou have a working puter AND hot water! Yay!


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Misty: Thanks. I didn't get the message.

ajcor: Thanks. I just saw that on her hub.

All of you showed concern for me when I went missing (although it turned out to just be computer problems) and I was just doing the same.

Thanks everybody!


ajcor profile image

ajcor 8 years ago from NSW. Australia

christoph - just saw your comment and I saw that Gwendy has an unwell sister and she has gone to visit - hope all is well with her and hers. cheers


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Spryte's off playing the new 'World of Warcraft' with her Husband for a few days. Said she may not be on as often for a while.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Spryte: Where are you? I finally get back and now you are gone! Gwendy is MIA too. I hope you guys are OK?


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Hi Para! Good to see you here of course. I've played online chess before with some friends, even hooked up a separate voice IP system so that we could gloat at each other in real time. :) Haven't done that for a while though...but I remember how much fun I had. Whenever I'm feeling the need though, occasionally I'll hop onto some old sites and play a rousing game of Hearts or Cribbage with others. Thanks for dropping in and commenting.


Paraglider profile image

Paraglider 8 years ago from Kyle, Scotland

Spryte - This is excellent stuff. Not my field at all. The only online game I've ever played is chess. I enjoyed the look into a new world.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

CW - Sorry, I was corrupted by World of Warcraft so I'm not one to speak for EverQuest these days :)

As for the food...get your cute little butt in the kitchen and rustle us up some grub!


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Really!  I know that I, personally, was extremely dissented (just made that up!) over the treatment of this poor defenseless game!  Where's the advocate for this misunderstood technology?!

Where's the fattening recipe hubs?  All this touchy-feely stuff is making me hungry...


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Melissa - Thank you! I always try to keep in mind not to assume that others can see things from my perspective and it's nice to know that occasionally I succeed! And thanks for complimenting the "grape to raisin" analogy...I was especially proud of that one myself! LOL! No worries about the dissenters on the comments though...it actually promoted this hub and brought it to the attention of readers, so I can't be upset with that! Thanks again for reading this and commenting!


Melissa G profile image

Melissa G 8 years ago from Tempe, AZ

Wow, Spryte--you definitely have a way with words! Even though I'm not a gamer, I could almost imagine the virtual world you were describing, and I felt my face flush when you mentioned your fellow gamer's age! :) I also especially loved your reference to the sweet summer grape transformed into the last stale raisin - HA! Sorry to see the messy turn the comments took... you never know what kind of characters you'll encounter online. ;)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Just_Rodney: What double comment? I don't see any double comment! :)

There is no harm in being sure and educating children to be aware of the danger and how to react accordingly. Some would say that it promotes hysteria or fear in a child that is unnecessary...I believe it reinforces the fact that an adult cares and that a child should have faith in themselves when they sense something "is not right." We can't just teach our children to respect adults without question...because that is what a pedophile preys upon.

Thanks for dropping in and leaving that comment Just_Rodney :) I didn't know anything about the statistical jump in missing children before events and I'll have to take a peek at that.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Just_Rodney, well worth repeating!


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

As the Irish in me would say just to Be sure to Be sure.

Sorry double comment not double vision or that I think it should be repeated.


Just_Rodney profile image

Just_Rodney 8 years ago from Johannesberg South Africa, The Gold Mine City

Misha, and all, it is not even a negotiable, peodofiles exists and walk, stalk, prey on any child that IT can lay he has hands, the internet, like cell phones, bulliten boards, game rooms, playgrounds, church groups, scout groups, sports and recreation centres, the list is endless.

Any place that children can and do have access to, are at riisk. They need to be educated, made aware off, and given some means for them to blow the whistle on these predators. Knowledge of them and there ploys is a first line defence, we need to be able to do more.

Else we will see them on the backs of Milk Cartons.

This is a real problem that the number of kids disapearing before an international event, such as world cups, escalates a year or to before in the host countries. South African is experiencing similar statistics at present, and the Fifa wold cup is set for 2010.

Dont hide your head, worry about it.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Thanks Spryte, I got your response and sent mine.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Got it and replied...on it's way to you sweetie.


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

I just sent you an email. Let me know if you got it.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Hahah...ask away and I will deny it afterward. As long as you don't mind it being public for a few moments?


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

yes, or I can just gwendy the questions, either way is good for me.

LOL!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

were you reading my mind. I'd written the comment and had to change it to this!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Want to email me?


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

sorry, yes we are, and it's so very fun!

Hey Spryte, I just got done reading that unpublished hub I had you read. Wow, I was really a mess. I hadn't read it since I wrote it. I wish we had a chatroom now, because I have a few questions I'd like to ask you.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

LOL Aggie - I never kicked him out. :) Troublemaker!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Why don't you invite Misha back I do so enjoy a good debate?


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Gwendymom - We're like magical little elves sneaking around hubs in the night.... :)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

MM must you use soap? oh and my foot?

Froggie will never be the same.It was all over before he got there. Sort of like the virginal teenage boy?


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

That hub that we hubjacked last night is on the second page.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

LOL, not sure really, I grew up hearing the expression. It means 'really pleased', but not sure why. :)

This might help: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/What's_the_meaning_of_Ch...


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Ag -- I guess I'll just soap up your toes then, and let you insert the foot into the mouth. Two birds with one stone or something like that.

Misty: Chuffed to bits. What a fab expression. What is "chuffed"?


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Aggie - And to think I thought this hub would slide past unnoticed. I'm "chuffed to bits" as misty says. I hope Christoph's stay up there long enough for him to see it.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

I noticed that too, I bet he will be chuffed to bits, and yes, he does deserve it :)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

spryte,So its the coffee withdrawals?

Congrats to you as well, this Hub is coming up third on my computer!

MM you would have to pick the right time with the soap and my mouth, that's usually reserved for my foot! :-[)


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Dang, I am happy for him, he deserves it.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

I was checking a few minutes ago...

CR has THREE hubs on the first page of the hot hubs. Wooooohoo!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Dang it all...my coffee mug is empty. I am powerless...to...write...without...it.

(brb)


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Where is CR? I am ready to get the party started before I have to go watch the world series of poker final table event, and If any of you already know who won, don't tell me I have been trying to avoid it all day.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

No matter how hard we try, we just can't seem to get away from talking about the birds and the bees (and ducklings coming from mama ducks). Ag -- I wouldn't swing my soap on a rope at you. I might wash your mouth out with it if you got too fresh (although believe me, there are hubbers ahead of you in line for this "punishment")


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Maybe I should go get lessons from Misha? He seems to have all bases covered?

(OK mama ducks, to avoid being hit by soap on rope)

Hi Gwendymom Tim tams are choclate coated biscuits and featured on Oprah when she interviewed Nic and Hugh about the new movie "Australia"


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Roflmao, you are right Spryte, they do come from mama ducks.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

I'm not worried...Aggie is standing in front with his cup on. ;)

Aggie...ducks do not come from soap on a rope. They come from Mama Ducks.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

MM , nice to see you back to you old fiesty self. (ducks from soap on rope)


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

LOL. Even if they are below the belt, right?


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

LOL!

Physical blows will not be tolerated...or will be returned with interest. Other types of hits either Pro or Con will be accepted graciously.

There...my disclaimer.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

Hi guys. By "hits" I assume you mean external hits from concerned parents. Not the kinds of hits you were suffering last night:-) Ouch! That smarts!!!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Evenin' Aggie!

Today was a beautiful day here in AZ too! Veteran's Day...so very little traffic heading into work...slow day at work....early out! Gotta love days like that.

I hope this hub gets a lot of hits too Ag :)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

spryte, good mornin' to you and all others I noticed when I got up the sky had not fallen in , the sun had risen and I was still breathing. 3 out of 3 not bad Eh!

A topical comment : on our tv news last evening a "school teacher" has been charged for pocession of child pornography and other? offences. Names and locations cannot be published because of the age of the victims.  (and so it goes') Keep up the good work!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Amanda: Wow! It's nice to see a parent that has a great handle on their kid's online time. Kudos to you! It seems you definitely have a rational outlook on the dangers and reactedin a proactive manner by educating your son and daughter. I'm impressed and heartened. Thank you!


Amanda Severn profile image

Amanda Severn 8 years ago from UK

Hi Spryte, I just got to this hub, and I can see that it's primed some hot debate! My nine year old plays one of these on-line games, but luckily for my peace of mind, he's very reticent about any form of written communication (too much like school!) so I don't think he's a worry at the moment. I do know, however, of one of my daughter's twelve year old friends being chatted up on-line in an inappropriate manner. The child in question is quite clued up about these things, and she told her mother who reported the incedent. The trouble is that the internet is so anonymous yet so personal at the same time. A bit of a contradiction really, and it's easy to get caught up in the moment.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

It did seem rather heated in here last night, but hope it is all over now and there are no hard feelings :)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

I don't think we ever stopped being friends...at least I hope not. :)


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Phew, glad things have finally calmed down and all is well again. Can I assume we are all back to being friends as usual now??


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

I've heard of this thing called unconditional love...but unconditional forgiveness?

*ducks and flees*

Just kidding, don't hurt me...don't hurt me! LOL!

I knew I should have stayed up and kept an eye on Shades...all that talk about food must have wound you up.

Dineane - Thank you :)


dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina

"We can't protect our children from something we don't understand ourselves. And let's face it...not all adults are as comfortable with computers as you and I might be. " Good point...and again, I like your hub and the spirit of your "gentle nudge."


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

Comment duly ignored, Shades. Chalk it up to my life experiences. I agree with you on that, in an altruistic world. :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Just putting my two cents on that. I confess to being a bombastic windbag, so I do say stuff like that sometimes. I like my forgiveness like I like my love... freely given and without qualifications or aftershocks of the pre-forgiveness circumstance. But, that's the kind of crap bombastic windbags say. Please ignore me. :)


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

:P Who are you to judge my concept of forgiveness, Shades? Don't even bother.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

"Forgiveness" is best given without a follow up statement. :P


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

Misha: Forgiven, but just remember that others might have a reason for what position they're taking, just as much as you have a reason for yours.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Awww Ag, thank you :) I'll tell him that tomorrow morning...just like I do every day! LOL!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

spryte your husband is a very smart man, he married you.

I've got your back with Misha he won't be babysitting my grandkids any day soon!

His arguements no longer make any sense so I just hope he isn't just playing dumb!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Dineane - Being an online game, it also required some form of payment...which would naturally fall to the parents for a child of that age. So obviously, they'd bought and paid for the software and its use...and then washed their hands of it.

I remember though, a couple of times, his mother chased him off the computer to do his homework or to get to bed...so she wasn't completely absent or unaware of his useage. And that's what this piece is for...more of a gentle scolding or nudge to educate parents so that they in turn can safeguard their children. Although I'm not trying to excuse the lack of parental guidance by this little boy's parents, it's quite possible that they just never suspected there was danger lurking.

We can't protect our children from something we don't understand ourselves. And let's face it...not all adults are as comfortable with computers as you and I might be.


dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina

10 years old, and his parents work, so he was alone a lot of the time...and he told you his name and where he lived. There is a very big disconnect there to me, even given what economics are.

I don't advocate kids living in fear, but you would not have had this article to write if his parents were spending a bit more time with him. My daughter knew much younger than 10 not to share name and address on the internet. Yes, risk can be good, but I don't think Timmy knew the consequences, potential consequences, based on what you have described in this hub.

No hard feelings here either - but I don't think Misha has earned that kind of "Uncle" status.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Au Contraire Misha - You have not spoiled anything.  I don't happen to agree with your position, but you have managed single-handedly to draw attention to this hub and for that I'm grateful...still. 

I don't think Shades was agreeing with you on the "imaginary dangers" though...since I think we've all proven, even if just to ourselves that this is not an imaginary crime.  I tip my hat to your stubborn ability to maintain your position though, despite the proof.

Dineane - Actually I found no fault with Little Timmy's parents in this...especially in regard to both having to work.  Economics are what they are.  However, they should have cautioned their son about freely giving out too much personal information.    Other than that, he certainly was a very sociable little kid...and I enjoyed his sense of fun immensely.  He certainly was smart...and to my knowledge understood that being practical did not mean living in fear.  I had no wish to instill that in him...my mother did a pretty good job of doing that to me growing up, so I know how debilitating that fear can be.  However, as my husband says...there's nothing wrong with risk, just as long as you are aware of the consequences and do your best to keep the odds in your favor.  My husband is a very smart man...and there aren't too many men that impress me with their level-headedness, but he's one of them.

There are no hard feelings in any of this.  As far as I'm concerned, it's perfectly fine to have dissenting opinions.  However, if I had children...they wouldn't be visiting their Uncle Misha anytime soon.  :P 

:)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Thank you Cindy, you are the only person on this thread who actually provided links relevant to the question. So we have at least a handful of cases when such things did happen. Trying to figure out how bad it actually is looks impossible under current circumstances, so I give it up :)

Thank you Shades, you got my point :) Yes, all defense comes at price, both freedom/convenience and resource wise. Our resources are limited, and if we spend all our resources on imaginary dangers, we are left naked in face of real ones...

Thank you Gwen, Marian, Ajcor, Shirley, Dineane, and especially KT for staying cool :)

Sorry for spoiling your hub Laurie, I promise never again any serious questions on my side :)


dineane profile image

dineane 8 years ago from North Carolina

"I wonder if Misha is comforted knowing he is standing side by side with the molesters, making their arguments for them. "

Wow, I think that's a bit unfair, and I hope Misha appreciates Shades' interpretation of his position.

I often feel momentarily guilty that I've never monitored my daughter's online activity as much as many parents think I should. But the truth is I've raised a pretty level headed kid so far, and I do worry more about car accidents than her becoming a victim to internet stalking (especially now that she has her learner's permit!)

That's not to say that we shouldn't teach our kids to be careful, to be smart, but the truth is strangers are not as dangerous as "Uncle," "Neighbor," or "Coach" Molester, in general.

I liked your hub, Spryte, and I do think awareness is always important. Maybe English as a second language has a little contribution to the heat Misha's comments have instigated? I understand, I think, part of what Misha was trying to say. In your example, Spryte, Litte Timmy's parents were apparently leaving out a lot of life lessons - not just how to protect yourself on the internet. And that is really the bigger problem. Kids who are left home alone learning no real-life social skills are probably also the most vulnerable on the internet.

To me the best message we can all take from your hub is to look out as much as we can for neglected children everywhere, but good parents, parents in tune with their kids, probably don't have a lot to worry about from their kids' online activity.


Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 8 years ago from Australia

I'm off too - like a sack of prawns in the desert.

Got a new internet empire to set up :-)

 


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

See you all later guys :)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

I myself have to go forth and be educated. See you later!


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

LOL Agvulpes, I'm going to agree with a wink and head off to class. I'll check you people in six hours or so.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Shades I thought that spryte, and a few others of us did actually declare ourselves on the statistical side. But there we go having this nice reasoned debate.

Just goe's to show you can't have reasoned debate with an someone that will not listen to reason!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

I'm heading out the door from the office atm...but will jump back in later this evening. Thanks Shades, Christoph, Aggie, Gwen and Misty for taking it down a notch :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

The smart move was to recognize the statistical point wasn't working and let it go.  Numbers are worthless in an emotional exchange.  You can't place a stastical value on one traumatized kid any more than you can put a monetary one on it. It's one of those things where, just because you are "technically correct" doesn't mean you're right.

And yes, Agvulpes, that's my take on what happened.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Chris trust you to go for top shelf, enjoy its a nice drop.

Shades,OK I think I can see where your coming from, maybe we misunderstood just what Misha was trying to say and the more he said it the deeper the shit pot was getting. Would that be fair to say?


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Well, the hub was about looking out for kids in the world of online gaming, period. Misha drove it into this area himself and there was no reason to go there. He wanted to start this conversation so I don't think it can be said he was "railroaded" into anything when he was the engineer on the train. He came back over and over with absurd accusations and conclusions.


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

No, no, I'm not saying we should allow victimization.  I'm trying to separate Misha's statistical evaluation of Spryte's statistical evaluation from the "common sense" parenting vs. teaching our kids to be afraid of their world too much issue.  There are several sub-issues here and they're all being slopped into one yucky pile which is making me tense.  I like for friends to debate, but as hackles raise, I just want to jump in and try to point out stuff I'm noticing as underpinning the tension.

Misha being stubborn isn't helping, but perhaps I've been able to excise his actual point from the one he's been accused of and even railroaded into defending, and which I don't believe he ever meant at any point.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

I can't speak for shades, but since I've had lots of Fosters, I'll try a Crown.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Shades nice to see you enter the debate.

I for one did not detect a note of hysteria, I thought we were having a nice quite discussion. 

What you seem to be saying is that we should wait until the stats show a more alarming trend. What would you suggest, say 10%???. You would know that you can make stat show whatever you want them to!

Now come on man, tell us what you really think?

So Fosters or Crown?


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Sorry I missed out guys. I had been away talking to my sister about my other sister, and nayway I apologize for showing up late.

I just wanted to say that when I first started using the internet my online name was gwendygirl, I changed that name very quickly because I could not go into a chatroom or play online games without being harassed by someone wanting to know my age, where I was from, etc. etc. The funny thing is that when I decided to change my online name to gwendymom, I was not getting harassed at all. There are people out there who are looking for young children to tajke advatage of. Being naive enough to think that the world is filled with people who won't harm children is just insane. The phrase better safe than sorry applies here. I would never let my children on the internet without knowing not to give personal information and the tricks that these kind of people use to lure and extract that kind of information from them.

Misha, I am not sure why you do not believe that there is a real danger out there for kids in the online community but there is. I hope that your children know how to be safe online.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

It would be a dreadful shame if this escalates too much further and we end up falling out with Misha. Like the beers idea Shades :)


Shadesbreath profile image

Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

Well, while I agree that there is enough evidence out there to prove that pedophiles are in fact a very real danger to our kids; I think Misha's point was that the amount of alarm is disproportionate statistically to the number of kids abused.

His point being, I think, that the statistical likelihood is statistically "insignificant."  Statistical insignificance is any percentage under 5%, and I think that's what Misha was driving at.  Using the 1500 people in that original survey and the 2 cases that did occur - if we assume they were actual for the sake of argument - that would bring the percentage in that theoretically representative survey to 0.00133 of 1% or a little over one one-thousandth of one percent, far below statistical significance. Meaning, in a room of 1300 strangers, there is one stranger your kid should not talk to and 1299 of them that would help him or her out in a bind. Statistically speaking, talking to strangers is actually not something we should prohibit entirely.

I agree that one kid in a billion is too many, but I think Misha's point is that the level of fear we project onto our kids is disproportionate to the actual threat.  If we calmly teach our kids to be wary, and if we watch out for others kids (as Spryte did with Timmy and as I and KT have done in MMORPGs as well), then the hysteria that is accorded this issue can be abated some.  While some kids remain ignorant of the threats, others are rendered timid and fearful.  This whole thing is encompassed by studies done on the "CNN Effect" some time ago.

So, bottom line is:  I don't think Misha is as villainous as he's being made out to be, although he is being stubborn as hell (because I think he's been pushed into a corner in part by stubbornness and in part by the CNN Effect driving a few people into a bit of an emotional furor).  So, everyone needs to play nice now.  I suggest beers around the room.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Chis of course you are right I just could not let Misha off the hook quite so easily.

at least now he has something that will eat away in his subconcious!

If he chooses not to believe, that now is his problem, we have done our best to educate him!


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

LOL, Awwww thanks Spryte, I adore you too :)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Shibashake - Oh for sure!! Although I've met some really bratty kids online, the majority of them are just absolutely incredibly sweet. It makes me want to hug them they're so adorable.

I had the same experiences regarding the concept of "old"...until I met the oldest EQ player alive (I think). He was in his 70's....LOL!

Shirley: Thank you! I'm keeping my fingers crossed...and I'll let you all know if my request for submission yields anything. Constant also gave me a great link to a source for publication...so we'll see.

Misty: Have I told you today how much I adore you?

Christoph: Well...we did have one person complaining about lethal coconuts and seagulls dropping oyster bombs. :)


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Ag: You are right, but a "healthy argument" assumes a healthy contingent on both sides - not just one lone turnip that you can't squeeze blood from. All of these people with their blood boiling (hey, mine boiled over at the beginning of the whole thing, you can go look) and no place to direct their anger and frustration, so it just simmers and festers. I wonder if Misha is comforted knowing he is standing side by side with the molesters, making their arguments for them.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Aggie - No need to apologize. You know how I feel about this particularly subject as well.

Actually, I'm probably in the "shocked as much as Christoph" category. At first, I thought Misha was just taking the opposite side to bring more interest to this topic and I was rather glad. The more interest, the more people become aware of an issue.

But I don't think he's arguing for arguing sake anymore. And that is what is puzzling to me. I simply cannot understand a person that closes their eyes tightly despite proof to the contrary and it makes me wonder why.

It could be for a lot of reasons. Fear could be a good reason. Sometimes people who feel that nothing can be done will deny that there is even a problem...and I can understand that, oddly enough.


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

More good examples of actual abuse resulting from Internet Chat Room contact being made:

http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/uk_news/england/2969020...

http://www.lancashiretelegraph.co.uk/news/issues/k...

http://www.davidrowan.com/2002/08/times-rise-in-in...

http://www.mirror.co.uk/news/2006/11/09/internet-p...

These involve actual cases where after Internet Grooming' the children were raped or abused. I can produce many many more examples if you want me to.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

Spryte, this is a really good hub, both in the way you crafted it, and in the subject matter. I agree, that you should get it published elsewhere.

If anyone needs solid proof, watch all those Dateline: To Catch a Predator programs of exactly what you are all talking about. They did tons of those, catching dozens of pedophiles that met young people online, then arranged to meet them for sex offline. The sheer numbers of them ... that's what made me sick. For how many show up, how many don't?


shibashake profile image

shibashake 8 years ago

Really enjoyed your hub Spryte! While there are some dangers, I think that online RPGs have great potential. I think when properly supervised, these worlds can be a great learning experience for kids. They get to learn about socializing with others, working in a team, dealing with guild politics, and most important of all they get to learn about leadership.

I really liked your story about when Timmy revealed his age. I have experienced many such occasions. There was this great group I got into at FF online, and we got to talking about age. People in the group started saying that the leader of the group is REALLY REALLY old. So I was thinking, awesome, maybe someone older than me. And he turned out to be 29! I declined to reveal my age :)

Finally I have to say that certain single player and online FPS games disturb me A LOT more than games like Everquest. These games are so steeped in violence, and not only that, they depict women in sexually degrading imagery. I think these games are a lot more dangerous for our youth.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

spryte I apologise if I have brought any heat into the debate. But child protection is a very emotive subject and deserves to be aired with healthy debate.

We are all big kids now and should be able to cope with good healthy swipes at our egos?

I think it was you that said you do not suffer fools lightly.

Personally I don't mind fools so much, its natural for them, It's the people prentending to be fools that I can not suffer!

 Aw now Iv'e ruined my reputation with An65.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Aggie, Christoph, Ajcor - Thank you.  I realize it's a lost cause...but damn it bums me out that even one person, and a parent at that, could so cavalierly ignore the facts and even when presented with them still does not see.  

But it means a great deal to me that you would take the time to look up more proof and post it here.  Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

*gives Marian a hug and smile* Thank you! I was pretty sure that was how you felt, but the way this argument was going...I guess I was fishing for assurance. :)


Marian Swift profile image

Marian Swift 8 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Spryte ...

In NO WAY did I think this Hub was an attempt to stoke up hysteria -- quite the reverse, in fact.  It's a needed wake-up call, and thank you for it.  Sorry if I did not make that clear.


ajcor profile image

ajcor 8 years ago from NSW. Australia

Thanks Spryte - a subject well worth writing about - all the children have to be protected from predators and also their own ignorance and naivety. So having just read all the comments on this hub thought I would throw my threepence worth in - these articles and links show how children are contacted online and then groomed for sexual favours by pedophiles. You can even find on one link a list of the predators and the crimes they have committed.

I hope the following information sways your argument - Misha

1.

http://www.freedomtodiffer.com/freedom_to_differ/2...

from USA re. a young man who after trying to rid himself opf online problems in a yahoo chatroom became an online crime fighter to protect others.

2.

http://www.aifs.gov.au/nch/pubs/issues/issues15/is...

the above link leads to an article from Australia an\bout internet pedophaelia.

3. Click on this and then go to

http://www.metafilter.com/27883/goodguy123474-its-...

Click on the *read this* segment to find out who are the worst ONLINE offenders.And they are gross - site comes complete with chatroom downloads showing how these people groom their innocent young victims - Actual documented cases.

4. And again from wikipedia - an article on

Child grooming over the Internet - I know that this site can be changed at will by users but at least it gives a good explanantion on the topic.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Child_grooming

cheers.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

I can't believe you are still arguing with Misha about this. The sad thing is, he is not just playing devil's advocate this time, he is serious. He won't see because he doesn't want to, and he never will. He has already made up his mind. He can't be saved. You'll be banging your heads against a wall until blood comes out your ears. There is no one else who is sharing his views, so maybe we can find some hope there - that Misha is just a very, very, tiny ignorant (unlearned) minority.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Misha just to quote your last comment so there is no misunderstanding.

"Ag, I will gladly change my stance if I see the evidence to the contrary. So far I did not see any. We may count your single link as half-evidence, cause the story may be interpreted in both ways.

But, even we interpret it your way, this means we got a single case for 30,000,000 kids surfing the net. Hardly something I would worry about. Call me idiot if you will :)"

Even if it is only "half evidence" as you say and we only get "one" case. Would you not feel just a wee bit upset if that one case just happened to be your own daughter after having this debate.

And I will not call you an idiot, I have too much respect for them!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Misty - Thank you as well :)

And you are right, this hub is getting too heated and I don't wish for any angry feelings because of it. So let's all take a deep breath...okay?


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Marian - Thank you SO much for those links. I agree with you completely.

Sting operations do tend to clean up things temporarily and perhaps give some predators a bit of fear (are they being set up...will they be caught on camera) but it raises the question (Shadesbreath would be proud of me) that would these men have taken the bait if none was offered.  So I agree with the questionable aspect of that.

The intention of this hub, and I'm sure you caught it, was not to raise this issue to a level of hysteria but to encourage parents to be aware of the risk and to take more interest in their children's online time.  Educate your children...

...I wouldn't want children to think that this was a guaranteed outcome and have them fear the internet either. 


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Okay, I am going to join in this to a degree now as I think it is getting out of hand and there is a danger of good friends falling out over this.

Misha, I hate to say this to you, but on this occasion you are coming across as very naive as to what actually happens with regards to paedophiles on the Internet. If you follow this link, and check out the last section under the heading 'Alarm' you will see it quotes 15 cases of children being raped or abused by adults they met on the Internet.

http://www.preda.org/archives/2002/r02112201.html

I am going to try to find more examples, but this one I found on my first search within the first site that came up.


Marian Swift profile image

Marian Swift 8 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

Please check the links I just sent, above. (Our messages crossed.)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Ag, I will gladly change my stance if I see the evidence to the contrary. So far I did not see any. We may count your single link as half-evidence, cause the story may be interpreted in both ways.

But, even we interpret it your way, this means we got a single case for 30,000,000 kids surfing the net. Hardly something I would worry about. Call me idiot if you will :)


Eric Graudins profile image

Eric Graudins 8 years ago from Australia

Misha,

I just can't can't believe your stance on this issue.

I'm very tempted to say more, but I'll leave it at that.

Eric G.


Marian Swift profile image

Marian Swift 8 years ago from San Francisco Bay Area

I have major problems with "sting" operations of any kind.  Often they go over the line and into entrapment.

And ... parents are often urged to fear anything and everything around them, and that is far from healthy for parents, kids and society at large.

BUT ... molestation really does happen, as I know all too well.  And it appears that internet molestation has become a real concern.

This from Los Angeles:

http://articles.latimes.com/1998/jul/23/local/me-6...

And from Seattle:

http://community.seattletimes.nwsource.com/archive...

Georgia (the state):

http://sadlynormal.wordpress.com/2007/01/04/ga-man...

All in a 5-minute Google search.

Paranoia and hysteria are counterproductive.  Vigilanteism creates its own horror. But awareness on the part of parents, kids and responsible adults is key.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Understood.  I'm leaving all together.  I'd suggest you just forget it.  You cannot talk to those who will not listen.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

CW, spryte, you might as well be talking to a brick wall.

Misha do you not read ALL of the comments or only the ones that suit you to read. YOU tell us how this Macalindong animal met his victim?


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

CW - Excuse me for a bit...I feel the need to go outside for some fresh air, but I'll be back. It's either that or I'm going to lose my temper.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Laurie, this is for you - where exactly in the text it says that? Press release headline has to be catchy, you know - the story is in the text though...

Macalindong was convicted of enticing a minor into having sex with him in August of 2006 and then threatening to expose the nude photographs to the victim's friends and classmates if the sexual encounters did not continue. Macalindong also videotaped another minor victim on two occasions and threatened to show the nude images to the victim's high school football team, as well as post them on Facebook, in an effort to persuade the victim to continue meeting him for sex.

CW, what you saying is THEORY, that may or may not be supported by real life examples. So far it found no support :)


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Misha-  I know damned well your are not this stupid.  The child is LURED, via a minor-friendly chat room (such as facebook, etc), on the INTERNET, then, the child is molested, raped, kidnapped, tortured or killed.  Any or all of the above are very real possibilities.  If the parents are lucky, the child is ONLY molested.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

CW, sorry, it does not answer the question. Where was the act of child molesting that started on the internet?

As for those "sting" operations - I am a stong believer that ends don't justify means. And means suck royally in this case. And again, not a single case on a child actually molested...


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

*throws up my hands*

I give up Misha...you do not want to see and although I'd like you to be able to open your eyes, wake up and take a good look around you, I can't force you to do so. 

What "social networking SITE" did you think this man used to find his original victims?  It started online...the molestation took place offline (otherwise it would be just cybersex)...and then he blackmailed the minors into continuing the relationship by threatening to post their previous encounters online.  The man deserved far more than the 35 years he got in my opinion.

So yes...I read it. Did you?

And Misha...I certainly did NOT call you any names. Please feel free to point out where I did so and I will be happy to apologize.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Misha-  Ok, I see what you're looking for (but, you DID sound disturbingly cavalier).  This is a news piece from Silicon Valley titled "1,491 CHARGED IN INTERNATIONAL INTERNET PEDOPHILIA CASE"   http://www.operationlookout.org/lookoutmag/1491_ch...

And there is a show here which airs several times per year in which offenders who prey on minors and are looking for sex, are lured (via a teenage chat site) into a filmed sting situation and arrested.  These are not staged or re-enacted.  We see the actual predators and pedophilias as the trap is sprung.

PS: It took about 10 seconds to find this site.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Well spryte Misha does have a car licence so he can't be blind. So I guess I must confess to being wrong about something.

Misha you will find that the methods that predators use are not permitted to be published because it will encourage "copy cats". In my reading of that article it was apparent as I'm sure it would be to any reasonable person that the man established contact on Facebook, and the severity of the penalty indicated just how serious the offence was regarded.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Laurie, did you bother to actually read the article, not only the title and headline? The case was all offline, the guy just threatened his victim he will publish pics on Facebook. Other than that, it did not have any connection to internet whatsoever...

I guess we will have to agree to disagree then, and I will comfort myself by the fact I did not call you names...


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Misha...there are several examples here that show situations that started on the internet.  Specifically Agvulpes first link.  The reason we are being so harsh is because you keep insisting on not seeing what is right before your eyes.  We're not sure whether you need actual proof or an optometrist. 

First line:

"CHICAGO - A Fox Lake, Ill., man who used a social-networking site to lure teenage victims into having sex, then threatened to post the sexual videos on the Internet, was sentenced today in federal court to 35 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervised release. This sentence resulted from a criminal investigation conducted jointly by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Lake County State's Attorney."

Sorry your feeings are hurt, but it's a sensitive subject for some (myself included) and your questions do come across as rather callous.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

People, will you watch your language please?

I actually have a thick skin on the net, but you are the group I was not prepared to receive such a bashing from, and it really hurts.

If I was not too clear in formulating my doubt and question, I am trying to repeat and rephrase here:

Despite of several links posted here, I still did not see a single confirmed case of child molesting that STARTED on the Intenet and then went offline. Not a single case. And that was exactly my point - the fear of predator on the Internet is irrational.

I do not question the existence of child molesting, people, I am questioning if there were cases when it originated on the net, only this particular part.

KT, if I somehow offended you, I beg your pardon, I did not have such an intention. I really feel for you, and looks like you managed to recover, which is great. :) But your personal example is not the answer to my question, and you know it yourself.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Well, CW - I have to admit I'm baffled myself. I wonder if this is the same reaction people got when trying to convince others that the earth was round?


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

To chime in on this: I'm finding it difficult to believe Misha is a parent. Does he live in a perpetual Disneyland? And I'm with you, Spryte, I'm nausiated at his callous attitude... and speechless at his naivete.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

TMG: LOL @ the seagull bomb. Yeah, you are right...shit happens. When it happens, it's up to the individual to decide whether or not it could have been prevented and whether it's worth trying to prevent from happening in the future. I happen to think protecting children from internet predators is a viable and worthy cause.

Misha - I have to say I'm rather nauseated at your callous treatment of KT in here. But on the other hand, it's a perfect example of why a lot of victims remain silent. You probably wouldn't find the graphic details that I have a feeling you are demanding, since once a case has been prosecuted, the records are sealed to protect the minor.

Having worked with children who have been abused and sexually molested, I can tell you that the damage is tremendous. And no...I won't give you any specific instances because the need to preserve the bond of trust between myself and these children is greater than my need to convince you.

The fact remains that it is against the law in this country to engage in any sexual act with a minor...and I fully support that law. The fact that so many internet predators are being snatched up in sting operations before they have a chance to commit a crime beyond solicitation of a sexual act is all the evidence I need. I don't need to see another child that has actually been the victim of a successfully perpetrated assault to be convinced.

KT - I'm so very sorry about what happened to you and for the response that Misha, in his ignorance, gave. You have my complete understanding and empathy.

Aggie - Thank you for looking up those examples. I found that first one too within 5 minutes of googling myself.

Madhavi - I've come across some of that as well in my research. It's amazing what lengths some people will go to, isn't it? And that's the whole purpose of this...to make people aware that all a predator needs is opportunity to take advantage. Thanks so much for stopping by and I'm truly flattered that you would add this :) Thank you!


madhavisb profile image

madhavisb 8 years ago from New Delhi

Dear Spryte, i wrote an article on child sex tourism some time ago for my wiki and i am definitely going to add this as a must read.

thanks so much

Madhavi


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Misha If you don't believe these dangers are real,just have a browse through these links and get some idea what goes on in the world:

http://www.ice.gov/pi/nr/0810/081021chicago.htm

http://www.interpol.int/Public/Children/Default.as...

This is just a tip of the iceberg, its enough to make you feel sick.

KT very brave to come out and talk about your experience. Just as police and parents are becoming more aware and open about this sort of abuse the "predators" are becoming more devious in the way they look for their victims.


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

Oh, and in my case, the guy was my mom's skanky boss at her part-time telemarketing job, the place was out in the middle of nowhere, and my mom was present, had arranged to meet with him there, and had brought me along, even knowing how he had talked with me on the phone, because (in her own words) "to protect me (my mom) so he wouldn't molest me". Yes, my mom was stupid. But still, it happened. I was 7 at the time.


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

I'm done arguing with a stubborn disbeliever. :P Misha, I can tell you a concrete example, but it's not internet. It's phone, and it happened to me (sexually molested) in the early 1980's. No writeups, because we didn't prosecute. If it happened by phone then, the internet is even more personal and for sure it happens now. :P


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

You're wrong, Misha. :P By the way, check the archives on http://www.oregonlive.com

Lake Oswego coach's sexual abuse trial begins 03/06/2008 ALBANY --If you believe prosecutors, Lake Oswego coach Don King touched and caressed junior high girls on his swim team, kissed them on occasion and professed his love in e-mails. But if you believe the defense, King, a widely respected coach, ma...


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Wow KT, this is what I was talking about - that kind of thing really really stinks. No democratic state can allow itself to use such practices IMO.

Where is the molesting here?

Anyway, good night everybody :)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Ag, I definitely protect my kids - but since my and their resources are limited, I prefer to protect them from real dangers :)

KT, I am sorry, I can't believe it happened and did not leave any track on the net...

We still stay without a single example :(

Ok, I am heading to bed, I will check on examples tomorrow :)


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

Here's a link to a successful sting operation in Medford, OR. http://www.oregonlive.com/news/index.ssf/2008/10/m...


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

No links, sorry. That was three years ago, so I don't have a link for it. It was in Vancouver, WA, though. The Columbian is the local paper. Their online records don't go back that far, though.


TheMoneyGuy profile image

TheMoneyGuy 8 years ago from Pyote, TX

I have never actually been hit by a coconut; however, I used to work in a Shipyard in Bremerton, WA. I stopped and took of my hard hat to have a cigarette.

You would think that would be relatively safe as no operations were going on. Only for the lights to flash, A few minutes later as the guys helped me to regain my senses, they told me a seagull dropped a clump of oysters on my head from about 50 feet.

It didn't kill me, but to date it is the closest I have ever come. Point to all of this is "SHIT HAPPENS" and it can happen to anyone at any time. Even you!!!!!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

*Hugs ya back*   I really think that misha is playing the "devils advocate" I'm sure he would be as protective as any of us!


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

I thought you were talking about kids driving Ag :)

Yes, I do question this. I do not question that child molesting happen - unfortunately it does, and it would have happened way less often and way less traumatic, if our society would take sex more lightly - but this is a serious off-top anyway.

What I am exactly questioning is the continuation of online relationship into offline molesting. So far nobody submitted a single credible example of that.

PS KT - care to give a link? Newspaper, court - something more or less credible?


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

KT - Thanks for giving that example. Sometimes the mysterious person on the computer is not necessarily a stranger.


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

About three years ago, a middle schooler in the town I grew up in got kidnapped by a stranger they "got to know" in a chat room. One of the student's friends who had been chatting with the person as well told the police that there was cyber sex in the chatroom, and that there had been offers to meet in real life.

So, it's real, it happens. One of my former teachers was the student's teacher.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

*gives Ag a big hug thinking about the last email*

You understand.


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Misha I don't take child protection lightly. Once a child has lost its innocence it can't be given back, its too late once its happened to ANY child. The more people that are out there doing things like Laurie the less likelyhood there is of a predator succeeding!

You do seem to question whether these offences actually happen is this correct?

 


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

What exactly happened, KT?

Someone got violently molested?


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

I agree with Ag. Misha, you are either very naive, or stupid. Yes, I will say it. Children being approached by sexual predators online is a serious issue. I have personally known of more than a few cases where it has happened.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

LOL That last video was good :)

I was going to let the video go, but since you insist - I actually think this show hurts the case instead of helping it.

The old question about ends justifying means, you know... Provocation is never something that could be justified...


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

OMG...this one is just going to repulse people. 

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=xaUcq-OUatA

that poor old man never had a chance...

Just finished reading the responses....

LOL! Ummm...obviously you didn't watch the video showing the number of predators they picked up just in your neighborhood alone Misha...VA/DC area.

Perhaps you should check it out...you might recognize somebody.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Yeah Gwen, I do understand that Spryte is not for a total kids ban from the net, that rhetoric was rather directed at the crowd that is pro that :)

Ag, I probably misread you - or you misread me :)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Misha are you being deliberatly provacative or just ignorant and maybe naive.

I was gonna say stupid but thats the problem because I don't think your stupid!


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Umm, I have to say driving a car is just a tad more dangerous and skill thursty thing than surfing the net :P


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Misha that was the point, you would not let your kids drive a car on their own would you ?. So why let them surf the net on their own!

Some people have become complacent about the Internet.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Laurie, I got through all that stuff finally...

Well it looks like this was more or less serious survey, while some questions still remain. They main one is that those two cases are not confirmed crimes, what actually makes the whole idea questionable :) Do we have those cases or not? That makes a whole lot of a difference.

I know, you all have a bunch of sexually abused neighbors, only myself has to settle just for alien anal probe :D

So real numbers are still unclear. Aside from TV show, did anybody ever hear about a real confirmed case of child molesting that started on the Internet? I personally heard about one case of suicide because of bullying - and no single case of rape or molesting.

That said, I think we are pretty much on the same page about teaching kids safe surfing technics. :) I was just hit by your honest display of fear, as rational ( I still think ) as my fear of sharks (here comes a coconut from TMG :)) We are just teaching slightly different things :)

And yeah, we definitely try to minimize the chances of kids being hurt in auto crash - albeit every one of us may approach this task differently. We still accept the risk, though.

Ag, I was not talking about kids driving a car, I was talking about them just being in the car :)

Sixty, I came from Moscow. I don't know about South Africa, I heard horror stories about it. Moscow never been a safest place on the earth, but kids and women were and are on the streets, albeit some areas are definitely not safe to show up without a guard after dark :) Now I live in US, and the place I live is one of the safest in the country - it's just less than a mile from CIA, I guess it makes a difference :D


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

never be seen wearing the stuff myself!

Must have frightened Misha off.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Damn...you are right. I despise the stuff. :) Unless I'm going to a family reunion and plan on kissing my nephews and nieces on the cheek...then it's a good idea to leave gooey lip imprints on them just like my aunts and grandmother used to do to me!


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

I just had my last comment sent to comment heaven!

Sorry Misha you gotta protect the kids. Your car anology does not work.

Kids are not allowed to drive cars on their own because it's to dangerous.

This supports spryte's arguement not yours?

sorry score still 40/love.

spryte you were not wearing lipstick last time I checked!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Thank you Sixty! Well said!


sixtyorso profile image

sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

Misha I sure you come from a pretty safe country where kids and woman can safely walk the streets. However the internet is about the world wide web and that is potentially dangerous territory. I guess all of our perspectives are coloured by our backgrounds and experience and I sometimes think perspective brings a diferent aspect to a debate. I do not believe you are trivialising internet predators but even here in South Afric we have cases where abductions are preceded by intial internet content.

We have a cell phone contact group called mixit which is like an internet chat room but on cell phones (we have one of the highest number of cell phones per capita in the world) which is a cause for much nedia debate and Government concern ( Mixit that is). But we don't say take away the cell phones! Just use them responsibly and monitor you kids usage.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

It's close Misha...but I still look just a weeeeee bit better in lipstick than you do. Aggie just realizes this :)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

LOL it's unfair scoring, fair should be skewed in my favor! :P


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

*waves to Aggie*

'Bout time you showed up here! :)


agvulpes profile image

agvulpes 8 years ago from Australia

Misha old buddy when was the last time you let a child drive (without supervision) a motor car.

It seems almost nightly we have underage drivers killing themselves on the road.

Sort of shoots your analogy down in flames !

I'm enjoying the debate. score so far: spryte 10-------Misha 0


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Misha:

 Just in case you wanted to see the show that MM & I were talking about...here's a Youtube clip of sort of their "greatest catches."

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=EwFr_VcGMKQ

This one is even better...you can see just HOW many they nailed in one operation

http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=HWUJp8ZOtIY&NR=1

Still think it's not a problem?


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

:) Misha -

You know I do adore you and actually I say thank you for bringing such a spirited debate to this hub.  I'm flattered that you would take the time to actually look into it and that you are keeping an open mind.

As far as I'm concerned, that gives you a big thumbs up in my book.

And I did understand your comparison. I would point out to you that we try at all times to MINIMIZE the risk by putting our children in safety seats, making sure their seatbelts are buckled, that we drive safely...in other words, we have given our child every bit of our ability to protect them other than never putting them in the car.

The same with the computer. If we do everything within our power to protect them, it descreases the chance they'll ever become a victim of an online crime. However, the only way to GUARANTEE that result is to never let them use a computer...which I find about as appealing as never letting them get into a car.

That's what this hub is all about. Giving your child everything you can to help protect them and decrease those odds. Not to pull the plug...unless it becomes necessary.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

LOL, sorry Chris, send me your dentist check, I'll pay it ;)

Laurie, since I got myself into this argument I'll go and carefully examine the evidence, cause statistics is very interesting science that can pretty much prove anything that needed to be proved :) It will take some time, ok?

And you missed my point with car accidents. All our life is risky - but some risks we deem serious, and some are acceptable or negligible. If we accept the risk of our kids being killed in a car accident, which is obviously higher than 2 in 30,000,000 - and we do accept it the moment we put our kids in the car - than there is no reason not to accept 2 in 30,000,000 risk of molesting.

Anyway, let me examine the numbers - I may as well agree to you after that :)


gwendymom profile image

gwendymom 8 years ago from Oklahoma

Misha, I don't think that spryte is saying "don't let your kids use the internet, it is evil and no kid should ever be on it." What she is saying is that parents need to teach their children how to use the internet with caution. There are people who are using the internet to lure children for their various reasons, if that is to molest them or harm them in some way. It's the same thing as telling children not to get into a vehicle with a stranger, it's just not safe. The same thing applies with this situation. It is sad that children have to be careful, but that is the world that we live in. There are people out there who are wanting to do harm to children and they will use any advantage they can to get what they want.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

The sky is falling the sky is falling!!!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Christoph - Actually I think TMG is worried about coconuts...although I'm not sure why.

MM - Well 1500 refers to the number of children in the survey. Seems they had a pretty well-rounded mix in there too. They have statistics for things like race, age, household income (provided by their parent or guardian) and other socio-economic things that might show a trend.

What was really disturbing was other things I read...like, more children are not reporting this behavior and they are becoming immune to it. They've begun to think this is acceptable or expected behavior. Which on one hand shows that they've been educated on this issue...but on the other hand worries me about the message that is being sent to these kids.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Well, I'm sure Misha is the only person here that feels that way (or at least admit to it. Wouldn't want to make it more difficult for the poor molesters, would we?) I have to go do something else. Besides, my jaw hurts from dropping and hitting the floor.


Mighty Mom profile image

Mighty Mom 8 years ago from Where Left is Right, CA

I'm actually surprised the number is a low as 1500. It must be a bona fide problem if they make an actual TV show called "To Catch a Predator" out of real pervs showing up to molest people they know are underaged. This was not a 1x special. But a regular show. And those are just the ones they were able to snag for their show.

To me it doesn't matter if it's 2 kids or 200 or 2 million. Being on the Internet requires caution. We teach our children not to talk to strangers and how to be safe and run from anyone who seems suspicious. The problem is, online, people can hide so easily and seem nice and innocent. They're not following you down the street in a black van. That doesn't mean they don't have evil motives.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

*rolls my eyes*

Don't get all emo on me Misha -

Just because something else kills more frequently than one thing, still does not excuse the latter.  It's like saying, the next door neighbors have 20 cockroaches and we only have ten...let's send the exterminator over there instead.

I can send you the entire PDF file if you would like. 95 pages downloaded straight from National Center for Missed or Exploited Children.

This link should also work.

http://www.missingkids.com/en_US/publications/NC16...


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

If I see the mothers, I definitely will try to help them - as I always do :)

And please, stop driving your kids in the car, the number of kids killed in auto accidents every year is unfortunately much higher than 2 to 30,000,000...

Posted before seeing your second post :)

Could you link me to the stats?

And I am always for education on survival and common sense, too :)


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

It looks as if the magic number is 1500. So there you have it...1 in 750..not 1 in 15,000,000. You want to pick them out or shall we educate our children to be more aware of the danger?

Notice I don't say to deny them the medium...but it's really our duty to educate them on self-preservation.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Misha: The % is based on the number of children on the internet, but they didn't interview all 30 million of them. I'll look up the actual number of children that were in the survey to get a clearer picture and post it here.

Perhaps then, finding just two will make more sense, because I certainly don't believe it's 2 in 30,000,000 children either. I certainly do agree with Christoph that two...is still two too many. If it doesn't bother you all that much, tell you what...you go out there and tell their mother's that they're just a small statistic.


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

Chris, we are all grown ups here, and we all know everything comes with a price tag.

So it is not just throwing 2 kids vs nothing. On the other side is denied freedom of surfing to 30,000,000 kids, the very thing we hate when Big Brother tries to do it to us - yet we gladly do the same to our kids.

I don't know is this stats off or not, that's the only one I seen so far. If you give me another, we can look at it, too :)

TMG, I know it is irrational, and working on eradicating it. At least I admit to that :D


TheMoneyGuy profile image

TheMoneyGuy 8 years ago from Pyote, TX

Misha,

Falling Coconuts kill more people per year than sharks, and you don't even have to be in the water for them to get you either. Something to think about the next time your out on the beach. LOL

TMG


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Misha: Kids who wind up being molested - or close to molested - is way, way higher than 2 kids in 30 million. I can name several cases right off the top of my head and I haven't studied the issue much at all. I'm not sure where the math is coming from here, but it's off. In your mind, how many kids would it take before it should be taken seriously? 20? 100? 1000? 10,000? Just wondered, since you apparantly think it's OK to throw 2 kids to the pervs, how many can we throw and still have it be OK according to Misha?


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

LOL Laurie, I do the math.

30,000,000 kids on the Internet

And 2(two!) of them actually assaulted. And it is not even clear if they were assaulted at all - reported to law enforcement and convicted in crime are different things, I hope you agree on that.

Are you serious? This fear is probably more irrational than my fear of sharks, you know :D

And because of this irrational fear we deny our kids freedom we ourselves enjoy? Are we nuts or what?


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

KT - That's right...we talked about it on somebody else's hub, didn't we? :)

Misha - I simply don't know what to say then.  I sincerely hope that your children remain safe and that you never have to know what it's like to have a child abducted, sexually or physically assaulted and abused, raped, mutilated or murdered because they trusted the wrong person.  The statistics aren't good though...

According to the most current statistics available (2006) from a study done by the National Center for Missing or Exploited Children (ages 10 - 17):

More than 30 million children in the United States use the Internet.

1 in 3 had unwanted exposure to sexually explicit pictures.

About 1 in 7 received a sexual solicitation or approach.

This was their 2nd study, the first done 5 years previously so that they could follow trends. 

Another disturbing set of results from this second survey is the following:

Close to one-third of the solicitations (31%) were aggressive meaning the solicitors made, or attempted, offline contact with youth. Some of the aggressive episodes (26%) involved solicitors youth knew offline, but most did not. In aggressive solicitation incidents:

Seventy-five (75) percent of solicitors asked to meet youth in person

Thirty-four (34) percent called youth on the telephone

Eighteen (18) percent came to youths’ homes

Twelve (12) percent gave youth money, gifts, or other items

Nine (9) percent sent offline mail to youth

Three (3) percent bought travel tickets for youth

In the first study, (5 years ago) none of the solicited youth were sexually assaulted as a result of an online sexual solicitation. This was not true in this study, although the number of youth who were assaulted was small — two girls. In 1 case a 15-year-old victim formed a close online relationship with a man in his 30s. He urged her to run away from home and stay with him. She stayed with him for several days and was sexually assaulted. In the other case a 16-year-old girl was at a party with a man she met online. He tried to rape her. (Both of these cases were reported to law enforcement.)

You do the math, Misha...

Misty: I'm really glad you enjoyed this :)

 


mistyhorizon2003 profile image

mistyhorizon2003 8 years ago from Guernsey (Channel Islands)

Great Hub Spryte, and such a good way of getting the message across as to how we need to educate children not to give out their personal details online, just in case. Luckily for Timmy he found a safe person such as yourself to interact with and advise him accordingly. Good luck in getting this published more widely, it should be :)


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

No, I did not watch the videos - nothing personal, I don't watch videos unless I absolutely have to :)

I actually have an experience of riding a truck for a few hours with the guy I saw for the first and last time in my life - and I just loved it. I think I was between 8 and 10 at this time :)

IDK, I may be way off - but I don't know anybody personally whose kids or themselves were sexually abused with the help of Internet. Is this kind of abuse that bad as we got used to think of it is altogether different story, too :)

And no, I don't teach my kids to not talk to strangers, it's a wrong message for the whole life. I teach them our home address, so people can bring them back in case they get lost :)


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

I'm Kareal (Horde) and Pwnytail (Horde) on Bonechewer. Also Kaileiana (Alliance) on Antonidas.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

KT - WoW :) I'm on Norgannon these days...you? And I'm impressed by how your guild members handle their son. That's the best of all scenarios.

Constant - Thanks for that referral. I'll do that!

Misha - Did you watch the videos at all? If not, the "guide to" one alone should give you a frightening idea of the statistics involved. Children have been taught not to talk to strangers and definitely to not get into a stranger's car...but with the computer as a medium, a child only sees what a predator shows them and is able to gain their trust and confidence.

It's not an irrational fear based on parental paranoia. I wish it was...but we're not talking the boogeymen here. Look at how easily and without prompting, Timmy gave me enough information to find him. There's even been a number of shows where they actually set up child predators by using children as bait and then catch them with sexual toys, alcohol and other twisted paraphernalia showing up at the kid's house with ill intent.

Definitely NOT a laughing matter. It might appear far-fetched to a person who would never contemplate doing such things...but unfortunately, not everyone has such good motives as you might have.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Misha-  Kids are lured into dangerous or deadly situations by pedophiles, or worse, who trick them into trusting them.  Sometimes by lying about their age, or coming off as a "really cool adult."

Have you heard nothing about this?


Misha profile image

Misha 8 years ago from DC Area

LOL Spryte, I really don't grasp the concept - and since you raised this issue - tell me, what is this dangerous for kids in those online games? Experience that you shared here directly contradicts such view. Isn't this is just another one of our irrational fears?


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Spryte, send your article in an email (in its entirety) to this address:  rgletters@registerguard.com.   I'm pretty sure they'll run it as a "guest column."  They do it all the time.

It's the Eugene RegisterGuard newspaper.


KT pdx profile image

KT pdx 8 years ago from Vancouver, WA, USA

Great one, Spryte!  I hope you do get it published somewhere.  I, too, have the "puppies" following me around in WoW (World of Warcraft, for those who don't know).  Once, an 8-year-old, once a 13-year-old, and all ages.  I agree, at least they latched on to careful adults, not the perverts.  I try to clue them in, too, to who they should and should not talk to.  Glad there's people like us watching out for them in the gaming world, but it is uncomfortable a lot of the times when you realize how young they are.

Two of my husband's guildies have a young son who they let play on one of the accounts. He runs around with his parents, and is only allowed to group with other guild members. He doesn't mind the restrictions at all.


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Okay...I stuck my big toe into the publishing pool and sent off a request to one of my favorite publications. Let's see if I get a nibble or any response. I've never published anything other than online...so I'm a bit queasy right now.


Christoph Reilly profile image

Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Click, click, click. You should definitely submit as suggested above. It's a natural. Toodles!


spryte profile image

spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Sixty - I sense that you will be talking to your grandchildren in the future :) Good on ya!

Constant - Morrowind...now THAT rings some bells for some reason. I'll have to check it out. Although to be honest, one of the reasons I really love fantasy games is for the social aspect of it. When I play games alone...it's usually solitaire on my computer. My hubby on the other hand, would prefer no social interaction, so I'll pass that link on to him! (He's a curmudgeon) :)

Rochelle - Hmmm...that IS a good idea. Now the cog wheels are turning in my brain wondering how to accomplish that. Normally, I shy away from approaching other people with my work...but in this case I feel differently. Perhaps it's because the message is so important. Thank you for that input! As always, you manage to make me think one step further. :)


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Rochelle, that's an excellent suggestion! Spryte, you should submit this story to a parenting magazine and/or to your local newspaper. They print these kind of "human interest" very improtant pieces all the time.


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

Great job Spryte, both in the hub and in real/fantasy life. This-- or a near approximation should be published in a parents or gamers magazine.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Spryte- Elder Scrolls Morrowind is an RPG game, just like the one your playing, but the other creatures and humans are computer generated. If you like RPGs, you'll love this game:

http://www.amazon.com/Elder-Scrolls-3-Morrowind-Pc...


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sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

The pleasure is mine Thank YOU so much for bringing this topic forward and making me (and others I am sure) aware of this plague.


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spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Sixty - While writing this hub, I chose the high road and decided to point out how a typical adult could feel when associating with a child in the game.  You would have been more frightened if I told you how many times I'd been approached as an adult by the scumbags that are out there. 

It surprised me how quickly they (children) attached to an adult who would give them even a second of their time.  Imagine that power in the hands of somebody with less than altruistic motives.  Even the "tough" ones eventually lowered their defenses if you spent enough time just listening to them and talking to them in a way that showed you valued their opinion. 

So yes, you and every adult with or without children should be worried.  The statistics are mind-boggling.  Thanks so much for reading this and commenting! 


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sixtyorso 8 years ago from South Africa

Hi Spryte. I do not play Cyber games but your hub has raised a level of awareness of a scary dimension out there and I guess I need to be sure that my grandchildren are not suckered into this potential nest of on line predators.

Excellent but scary hub.


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spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Hi Constant:

I've never heard of Elder Scrolls! Every game I've ever played has been online...although my husband had played both MMORG and single player type games (more so than I do). Right now he's behind me playine World of Warcraft...tempting me to join him. :) Oooooh it's hard to resist. LOL!

There are a ton of kids in that game too, which at times can be fun...or annoying depending on your mood at the time. A lot of guilds will specify adult only for two reasons...one, they like the freedom to get raunchy if they choose to in their guild chat and two, sometimes players don't want to run around holding the hand of a little kid all day helping them to do whatever they want so they can circumvent the system and just grab the goodies. Older players have a tendency to want the acheivement more than the actual prize all the time.

I'm not a parent, but if I was...Little Timmy wouldn't be left to amuse himself online as much as I've seen most children do these days...it would be "get your butt outside and enjoy the day" or "Open up a book!" I really think that some parents allow the computer to "babysit" their children far too much...and it's more dangerous than the television EVER was.


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

This is a great story, Spryte.  I've played games like this (my favorite is Elder Scrolls) but not in an online world, so I didn't even know this sort of thing was going on.  And it's extremely cool that you became Timmy's mentor.


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spryte 8 years ago from Arizona, USA Author

Y'know, Christoph...that actually makes me wonder if there shouldn't be a job called the cyber nanny. Or the big brother equivalent. Parents could hire me to watch their kids online! :) I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

Shade: I was this veritable puppy magnet and not just boys either. Teenage girls, especially the rebellious in your face types, seemed to want to hang out with me all the time. I even had this one little boy (he was soooo adorable) who used to forage for me and then he actually proposed. He even knew I was about 3x his age too. I had to let him down very gently...lest I scar him for women in the future. LOL!

Generally I assumed everyone was in their 20's...and I behaved accordingly. Luckily for little Timmy I was more into the moment of flying than flirting or I might have embarassed myself. So I'd rather know so I can gear the conversation appropriately.

I'm glad you enjoyed it too :)

Cheers guys...I'm gonna check out hubtivity quickly and then go pass out!


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Shadesbreath 8 years ago from California

I've had more than one "puppy" follow me around too in online games. Comes with the territory. I watch out for them when I know too. I think you hit it on the head when you say you kind of wake up and get this "responsibility and maternal [paternal] instinct going."

Frankly, I like it better not knowing, but once you do, you can't help but keep an eye out. And it's funny, I couldn't tell you how many times I heard the same line, "I wish my dad was as cool as you." I usually end up saying something like, "He would be, but he has to be your dad right now. Check him again when you're 25, it will be different."

Good work on this. Brought back a lot of different memories from over the years and different games.


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Christoph Reilly 8 years ago from St. Louis

Sprte: This is totally awsome. Such an interesting angle to look at internet predators. I know nothing of these games, but I understood what was going on. Your actions in the game also make for an interesting parable into how adults, and parents, can be more responsible. When the parents aren't there, are simply not involved in their childrens activities, it is critical that nice adults help to look out for kids, otherwise, kids are walking invitations to all the creeps out there. Thanks for a great read!

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