There was a time when Trav worked at a national chain video rental store. This particular store had a small section of games available for rent, including a Leisure Suit Larry title that had just released.
When a boy who looked to be about 10 brought this particular game up to rent, he wasn’t able to rent it because of its M rating. Seeming unfazed, he went back to the shelves and picked out some other game to take home.
Apparently his mother heard the story at home and was furious. She brought her son back to the store and demanded that Trav put a note on the account that her young son could rent anything he wanted. Trav explained to her that he was unable to rent a M-rated game to a minor, but she insisted. He tried to explain why games have ratings and what they might indicate, but he was cut off.
Once she finally realized that she wasn’t going to win, she relented and just rented the game herself. With a sneer firmly planted on her face, she exaggeratedly shoved the game at her son, showing this lowly video store clerk that she had control over her son’s media consumption. She then stormed out as haughtily as she’d stomped in.
About an hour after they left, the little guy returned to the video store, game in hand. He unzipped his little backpack, pulled out Leisure Suit Larry, and handed it in to be returned. He whispered to Trav, “This is a bad game.” His little voice was thick with the shock that had come from his clearly naive eyes. “They should have more warnings on that game,” he told Trav before wandering off to find another game to check out.
Trav checked the game back in and returned it to the shelf. A guy in his late 20s, who was coincidentally hoping to rent this same title, was already in the games section as it was being returned and grabbed for it. The sweet little boy went straight up to this stranger and tried, in vain, to warn him. Again he said, “This is a bad game. You probably don’t want to rent that one.”
At least the kid learned something that day about parenting even if his mom didn’t.