JMT - If your sons are on the phone then you might want to help them out a bit.
If you have a small desktop that is unused - set up Linux in it and install TeamSpeak. This is a software that will allow these kids to communicate using headsets (headphones with mic) while playing the game.
I use teamspeak and a $20.00 plantronics headset when I play Battlefield Vietnam with my friends. BF1942/CS/UT2K4 etc. Stunning!
A friend of mine on the UT team I play on has been after me to try AA but dialup is the only service available where my wife and I just moved so I haven't been able to do any online gaming (with the exception of kicking my coworkers butts in MOHAA at lunchtime
I started getting into it a few months ago, only going through the training missions, but never played online. I'd try it now but my computer is in dire need of a new case and power supply and every time I do anything CPU intensive for more than a few minutes (gaming, even pressing pause on my All-in-Wonder during TV playback) it freezes
AA did seem pretty cool, but I'm concerned about the online play part. I have only tried an online game once, and that was the original UT on 56K dialup and the experience was awful. It lagged like crazy and I got my butt kicked quickly and I the server I was on was labeled as being newbie friendly, but I think it was more for an experienced player to set up a turkey shoot at newbies. I never tried online play again. Is there any newbie friendly servers out there? Or maybe a tutorial on how to choose servers and find newbie friendly stuff for any online FPS? I feel a bit intimidated to try online play for any game. I do have DSL now so the lag part shouldn't be much of a problem.
If you look around the server lists, you can find beginner servers that limit entrance based on honor (usually 15 or 20). My advice is to jump straight in and get your butt kicked - its the only way to learn.
I haven't played in awhile. I got my ass kicked by Special Forces. I got sick of futilely trying for hours on end to raise my honor enough to be able to play as SF. But no luck on those so-called "honor" servers.