• September 16, 2014

Smack talk is OK, but there’s a time and place for it

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Posted: Friday, August 16, 2013 4:30 am

I can appreciate my 15-year-old stepson’s sarcasm. It is great, in fact. His wit is almost unmatched, and his comebacks are faster than Eminem’s rap battle moments in “8 Mile.”

But like most teenagers, he needs to learn when to use his sarcastic remarks by reading people’s emotions and getting a feel for the room’s atmosphere.

There are times this summer where he thought he was being funny, but instead he upset people or made them more angry by topping the conversation with a witty retort.

But then there are the other moments that equally drive me crazy.

When he gets competitive, his lips constantly continue to move with such remarks. It doesn’t matter if it is with a recreational sporting activity or playing a video game.

Comments like “you’re going to need ice for that burn,” and “that’s right,” are always coming out his mouth.

Don’t get me wrong, I am in favor of some good smack talk when it is in jest and among friends. Heck, a weekly gaming tournament in college led to probably the best name calling ever.

The mood was intense as everyone laughed at the obscene amount of kills we were racking up against each other in a bout of the original Halo, Xbox’s first first-person shooter.

Scores were neck and neck, and someone shouted “oh, you butt-face” as they dropped from having the lead score.

The name calling continued with other body parts being attached to the face, but finally someone arrived on the inevitable.

“OH MY GOSH, YOU FACE-FACE!” someone shouted. The room stopped, and we all died laughing.

Well, still being the nerd that I am and my stepson being the teenager he is, I thought it would be some good bonding to join the Central Texas College’s Geek Fest Halo 4 tournament this weekend on campus.

After a week of practicing with each other for about two hours every evening, I am a little worried. He has succumbed to competitive video game culture too quickly.

Despite it no longer being popular in team battle games, he started the hated, celebratory victory taunts by crouching repeatedly over characters’ heads after they died.

Then there is the barking of orders at me and the trash talk with people clearly not in the room.

While he is just jesting and trying to cut up for a good time, some of the smack being spewed is just slightly less than something that would have offended me in high school, and it made me stop playing with him.

But don’t worry, fellow Geek Fest goers, we have already had one talk and will probably have another about gaming etiquette.

“You don’t trash talk people you don’t know. You need to be polite,” I said.

“I would never,” he said.

Now let’s just hope he refrains from crouching on someone’s head because it is habit.

But look out, CTC, he’s gotten pretty good at the game during our little training sessions.

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