Now it is an awful but inescapable fact that on account of the behaviour of a small number of unspeakable perverts society has come to regard any social contact between an adult male and a minor who is not his own child as wrong. Normally this isn't a problem - I don't have much in common with 14 year olds and I generally don't have much occasion to interact with them. In an on-line game however a clued in 14 year old can play just as well as an adult and short of a character bawling for their mammy there is no way to tell someone's age from the actions of their character.This poses a problem for an adult gamer like myself. I have no problem playing the game with an (able) 14 year old but I feel very uncomfortable engaging in chit chat or other social interaction. I generally switch off the social interaction if I discover a fellow player is in fact a child. I know that is totally fucked up and I know the world shouldn't be like that but it is. I have been lucky enough to find a mature guild for my Guild Wars adventures so I can comfortably chat away with guildies knowing that everyone there is over 21.
My way of dealing with the fact that some nasty people take advantage of children is to run away from interaction with kids. This is a knee jerk reaction. Sometimes I think about this and I realise that those of us who are not perverts and who do not pose a threat to kids should atcually make special effort to interact with young people in order to keep them away from the perverts and to and show them that most adults are actually decent people. We really need genuine committed adults to run football clubs and dancing classes. Perhaps my knee jerk reaction is wrong - mainly it comes from a sense of self preservation. I don't want some irate parent getting upset because their kid is chatting to a middle aged man.