Poll: The 12-year old Screaming Kid Myth


Elite Member
May 11, 2020
One criticism some people love to throw at CoD, and sometimes even consoles, is that they are full of screaming 12-year olds insulting your parents/sexuality in online multiplayer games. How did people even decide on age 12? Why not 13 or something, a teen age? I for one I have never encountered even one of these types before. I now want to see if this is a valid criticism.

EDIT: Wow, based on the results I'm surprised I still haven't met any squeakers yet (Apparently that's what they're called) Oh and, damn, you guys are literal! I just called them 12-year old screaming kids because that's what I thought everyone called them. Obviously you don't have to know that they're exactly twelve, just too young to be playing the game, or plain annoying because of factors related to their age.


Censored by Mods. PM for Taboos
Mar 1, 2009
I think they exist, though not in such numbers that you expect to find them in every MP game.
There are other obnoxious players with "whiny" or high pitch voices that aren't 12.
Competition and sore losers or pesky braggers do bring out the worst in people, or at least that's what I've always assumed.

Then again, I don't play multiplayer games so don't take my word for it. ,)


The Laughing Arsehole
Dec 29, 2009
I don't play multiplayer on consoles, but I know that on PC the angry, belligerent and generally discourteous players are overwhelmingly angry males who are, judging by the pitch of their voices, 15 at the very least, in many cases well into their 20s, and sometimes 30s.

In fact, I can only bring to mind a bare handful of troublesome individuals who could conceivably have been 12 years old, and most of them were petulant and whiny rather than angry and screaming.

Of course this is only taking into account the ones with microphones. I cannot speak for (hurr hurr) the text-bound keyboard warriors, they could be 6 year olds for all I know.


New member
Dec 25, 2008
No, but I don't play on consoles. The myth usually refers to Halo/CoD players on Xbox live.


Sep 23, 2014
It does seem to be a console phenomenon, and beyond that related to Call of Duty and Halo.

Play Unreal Tournament or Doom online and you'll experience far less of that shit. Probably because the games actually demand your attention.


Seriously though, in UT you need complete attention.

Counter-Strike seems to be the middleground between console shooters and the faster PC shooters. As a result you will get annoying children from time to time but not as frequently.

And even then I'll just disable voice chat because I don't want to hear barely-comprehensible distorted screaming. I'll let that remain in the music I listen to, not my gameplay experience.


Don't mind me, I'm just a NPC
Aug 23, 2010
Whenever I'm in a store that sells games there always seems to be atleast one parent buying GTA/CoD/some other popular 18+/M-rated game for their 9-13 year old son. How do I know? Because the kid is often there with them, asking his parent(s) to buy the game for him.

Now, I've have no idea if these kids are actually allowed/able to play online, but I wouldn't be surprised if they were.

As for why you don't see them (as much) in other games like UT or CS, maybe because those are 'old people games'? Stuff like CoD has flashy commercials. That's the type of game they know about. And it's shiny and new. Kids love shiny and new. Playing last year's game isn't cool, let alone something that originally came out over a decade ago.


New member
Aug 21, 2011
I've encountered them on both PC and the consoles but i don't really have a problem with them. I can't narrow it down to one or two games to match my bias either, it happens on most game types in most genres. I've had real problems with children playing Battlefield on the PC, children playing Syndicate on the Xbox, children in Red dead redemption...I just wish their skills were good enough to warrant their attitude but that problem exists for all age groups.

I don't blame the kids, i blame the companies who fail to moderate their age restrictions to the point where having age warnings on games is just a dishonest attempt to prove they care when their actions speak of the opposite being true.


New member
Apr 14, 2008
If your balls haven't dropped and you sound like a high pitched little girl, then people will call you a 12 year old regardless.


"You're not cleared for that."
Jan 30, 2012
DizzyChuggernaut said:
Counter-Strike seems to be the middleground between console shooters and the faster PC shooters. As a result you will get annoying children from time to time but not as frequently.
Yes, way back in the day, I actually was friends with a couple of 12 year old screaming kids who played CS. I used past tense, because they aren't 12 any more but we're still friends, I just wanted to clarify that.

At any rate, aside from my friends, when online multiplayer started gaining more popularity I was already somewhat out of that, so technically I actually didn't encounter any "12-year old screaming kids in online multiplayer" as the question on the top of the page asks, however, I have met them IRL. Computer clubs were popular back then and LANs in said clubs, hence I've been at the same place as them and have been screamed at in person. I am pretty sure I can still count those as a "Yes". And, yes, I am pretty sure they were 12, as well.

Bob_McMillan said:
How did people even decide on age 12? Why not 13 or something, a teen age?
Umm, actually, I've heard them referred to as 13 year olds. And also 12. I didn't think there is much of a convention - I think the stereotype is of a young kid barely in its teens. For the record, I've also met screaming 13 year olds. And pretty much people of any age, to be honest.

Rayce Archer

New member
Jun 26, 2014
It's rare, but at least 3 times.

I also went to a LAN party, all late 20s to 40s people, where one guy brought his whiny adolescent kid. It was... not great.

Colour Scientist

Troll the Respawn, Jeremy!
Jul 15, 2009
I've only ever played Halo multiplayers and, to be honest, most of the vocal aggression I experienced was from older men when their team was losing. I mean men who sounded upwards of 30-35.

It wasn't that frequent though. I just mostly experienced an abundance of friend requests, game invites and messages for tits but the latter was pretty rare. Funnily enough, the better I got, the less friend requests and messages I recieved. XD


don't upset the insane catgirl
Apr 11, 2009
I can't say I've ever come across it personally, though that's hardly a surprise given I don't tend to play the games where it would come up.

On the other hand, for some reason this same mentality seems to extend to people doing youtube videos... (Not that they are annoying 12 year olds, but that high-pitched voices are annoying to listen to)

I try not to think about that one too much, but it does get a little worrysome. Because 'high-pitched 12 year old' can also be applied to female voices in general in a lot of contexts...
So... That makes things a little difficult... XD


Sailor Jupiter Woman
Jun 10, 2011
Colour Scientist said:
I've only ever played Halo multiplayers and, to be honest, most of the vocal aggression I experienced was from older men when their team was losing. I mean men who sounded upwards of 30-35.
Same here.

I hear about the `12 year old` thing but honestly it's just used as an excuse most times. `Oh someone was harassing you? Probably some 12 year old right?`. Nope.

To be honest, I'm more likely to be nicer to people who I think are children or young teenagers. I don't understand the hostility towards them. I have a younger brother who plays games and I'd want people to be nice to him.

Eclipse Dragon

Lusty Argonian Maid
Jul 7, 2020
United States
When somebody acts immature online, it's a regular assumption that they're twelve. It's not exclusive to immature people on Xbox Live, it also applies to internet trolls and any other distasteful internet personalities. It's much easier though to make this assumption when you can't hear their voice for obvious reasons.

As for why twelve is the age (although thirteen can also be used), because it's pre-teen, or in the case of thirteen, the beginning of the teen age years, when kids are at their most stereotypically obnoxious.

Now if they act this way and they're obviously not twelve, they're called "manchildren"
Either way, it all goes back to "This person is acting immature, so therefore they must actually be a child, or an adult who hasn't grown up."

Personally, I avoid online multiplier for the most part, but I've still encountered a few of these types and they tend to be older (20 somethings), only one of them I think was actually younger and that was around fourteen rather than twelve.


New member
Jun 21, 2012
I hardly ever play games that this kind of audience favors.
But, I suppose, I've encountered characters of the sort.


New member
Dec 11, 2013
I didn't really encounter any screaming preteens until CoD:MW2 and CoD:BlOps. Before then it was mostly stoned guys chatting publicly, a person or two calling out objectives that need covering, or dead silence. Every time I was in Halo multiplayer I was usually privately chatting with friends so I couldn't hear everyone else anyway.


I've Been Having These Weird Dreams Lately...
Apr 10, 2020
United States
I've experienced some on multiple games

Sometimes the people I thought were 'squeakers' actually turned out to be lesbian (her words, not mine)

That was the day I learned to not immediately jump to conclusions. Thanks Internet!

I still think this shows the usefulness of screaming kids



Oct 28, 2013
I think the criticism is more that said individuals continued to age physically, but hit a mental wall during their teens and have been there since.

Still, things have gotten generally better in the online games I've played; I have to play much longer before I hear the first use of "fag", "rape" or "haxxors".


Elite Member
May 7, 2020
Yep, I've encountered a few kids in various online multiplayer games that were unable to control themselves. Were they twelve years old? I dunno, probably younger honestly, but I'm basing that purely on the pitch of their voice over chat. Most of the kids I've heard playing online were well behaved kids who just wanted to play the game and have fun, but every once in a while there would be some high strung freakball ranting and spewing insults at the other players.