What is it with Gen Z, the Millennial Generation – they want everything NOW. Take my men-children. Last night they asked if they could buy the latest PS3 COD (Call of Duty) game (“Black Ops”), apparently due for release today. My first response was a simple “no”. This was followed shortly afterwards by “Put it on your Christmas list”. They thought I was joking – I wasn’t.
Now let me explain my problems with this request. Firstly, the current COD game (Modern Warfare 2) is in my mind quite repulsive. It’s rated MA15+, as it should be, and is a modern war game with explicit violence. So lots of shooting, guns, soldiers, artillery, etc, but the piece de resistance is the blood splatters on the inside of the TV screen each time the player is shot. Gross.
My second problem is the compulsion amongst today’s teenagers to have everything ASAP. They are constantly seeking gratification – instantly. They can’t wait for anything. Unlike their parents (or more realistically their grandparents) they SAVE for nothing – they want to buy right now, with my money of course. Give them a few years and they’ll buy everything on credit, or worse still on an “interest free” deal with hideous interest charges hidden in the contract. Harvey Norman stands to make a fortune on them in years to come!
Of course in some ways they are a product of their environment – with the internet, they wait for nothing. Information is at their fingertips, their friends are en masse via social media, news and gossip is instantaneously communicated via Twitter, Facebook, or worse still published for posterity on Youtube. No wonder the thought of waiting for anything is ridiculous to them.
I asked the boys if any of their friends got the game today – yes it seems. One of them (also 14 years old) was apparently allowed to go and queue at a store from midnight last night. Another’s Mother dropped him at a store this morning at 5am to queue to get his order. I’m not sure what they were thinking, but their priorities and mine don’t match.
And with Year 8 exams just around the corner the last thing mine need is another mind-numbing PS3 game to play 24/7. In fact I’ve just unplugged the wireless modem to ensure there’s no internet for the rest of the month, and therefore no Facebook, but plenty of time for practice exams and revision. I kid you not after 15 minutes sans internet both my boys are wondering around looking completely at a loss as to what to do, and searching for ways to avoid homework. Clearly we should have done this sooner!