Black Ops 2: The Return Of The Rage | Musings Of A Mild Mannered Man

Black Ops 2: The Return Of The Rage

“Argh, you f**king w**ker!”

“Piece of mother-f**king sh*t, I’m going to kill you!”

These and a few choice other phrases have echoed loudly round the house for the past week now. Normally late at night, and always accompanied with ever-increasing thuds, crashes, and bangs. I’m sure, any one passing the house would believe either a riot, or a murder, was taking place. (Though if it keeps up there will be a murder).

And what is the cause of all these explosive outbursts? What is happening for such aggressive swearing?

Modern Warfare 3: Call of Duty: Black Ops 2.

It’s a mouthful to say, and hard to understand. But more than anything, it’s a video game. The most popular one this year, and maybe in all time. A first person shooter set in the near future, based on US army deployments into a foreign country. You can use many weapons, mainly machine guns to kill the enemy, working as a team to complete goals, while in the process gaining experience to progress in rank/level to gain access to better and more powerful guns.

Fun for all the family.

Though it’s just a video game, a piece if software running on a gaming console. Software that is designed to entertain men and boys alike, it is causing something of an epidemic in the households across the land. I’m talking of ‘raging’ or ‘rage-quiting’. Where, because your timed shot did not hit and brutally kill the enemy player, or you were just mowed down by the enemy from an impossible place, you express a vast amount if frustration and anger in the most violent and loudest outburst that is possible. And let me tell you, it is very frightening to see your 14 yr old nephew essentially loosing control in wanting to smash, swear and hurt himself in sudden, sharp outbursts.

This is not helped by my nephew being autistic.

With most people, they will ‘rage’ while playing the game, grumble for a while after quitting the game, but essentially they revert to the normal human being they once were before settling down to play the game a few hours earlier.

Not my nephew.

One part of his autism is that he often becomes obsessed with objects, or perfecting a skill he believes he can do. With this game, he is convinced that he is the best player there ever was. As often as not, he finds it difficult to accept that possibly he is not and that some people use underhand tactics to kill him in the game. This does not sit well with my nephew and starts to feed into his autism in having him loose control and ‘rage’ at the game. He will explode in expletives, smash his hand against his head, and on extreme occasions, he’ll start smashing anything lying around him.

But then he will start to obsess over being the best at playing the game. He will think nothing of staying up 36 hours straight playing the game, all the time raging, until he finally collapses from exhaustion.

We have tried limiting access to the game. Refusing him time on the game. That has never worked. This would then feed his obsession in wanting to play the game that he would pester his mother any time of the day, demanding that he be able to play the game. And should he not get his way he would start to cause himself harm by hitting his head against walls and tables. Extreme, I know, but he does not understand that us denying him access to this game is good for him, all he sees is someone standing in his way from living his life. So we give in, and the cycle starts again.

I could cope with the raging, the outbursts, and swearing, what I am finding difficult is the obsession that comes with it. That seems more destructive and more frightening. He does not recognise the cause of his anger is the game and will do even more drastic actions to get his way in playing the game, and his rage is then directed at either his mum or myself. I’m sure he is going to hurt either himself or one of us at some point soon.

But, the one good side to his obsessions, they often fade as quick as they arise. So far this is day nine…

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