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Games

NYT's "Games To Avoid" an Ironic, Perfect Gamer Wish List 189

Posted by Soulskill
from the more-or-less dept.
MojoKid writes "From October to December, the advertising departments of a thousand companies exhort children to beg, cajole, and guilt-trip their parents for all manner of inappropriate digital entertainment. As supposedly informed gatekeepers, we sadly earthbound Santas are reduced to scouring the back pages of gaming review sites and magazines, trying to evaluate whether the tot at home is ready for Big Bird's Egg Hunt or Bayonetta. Luckily, The New York Times is here to help. In a recent article provokingly titled 'Ten Games to Cross off Your Child's Gift List,' the NYT names its list of big bads — the video games so foul, so gruesome, so perverse that we'd recommend you buy them immediately — for yourself. Alternatively, if you need gift ideas for the surly, pale teenager in your home whose body contains more plastic then your average d20, this is the newspaper clipping to stuff in your pocket. In other words, if you need a list like this to understand what games to not stuff little Johnny's stocking with this holiday season, you've got larger issues you should concern yourself with. We'd suggest picking up an auto-shotty and taking a few rounds against the horde — it's a wonderful stress relief and you're probably going to need it."
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NYT's "Games To Avoid" an Ironic, Perfect Gamer Wish List

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday December 11, 2009 @07:14AM (#30400214)

    Not because of its content being age inappropriate for children...but because of it's difficulty. While the game is tremendously rewarding if you invest time in it, the game can be furiously frustrating if you aren't a veteran gamer. Casual gamers, especially younger gamers, should avoid this game without question.

  • by chronosan (1109639) on Friday December 11, 2009 @08:32AM (#30400736)
    And potentially mow down masses of civilians in an airport with a light machine gun while walking very slowly..., without.. you know, any attempt to stop the massacre from happening.
  • Re:list (Score:3, Interesting)

    by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Friday December 11, 2009 @08:37AM (#30400780) Homepage Journal

    They should had have sex too - it's even a natural thing, while violence is not (or shouldn't be).

    Rape is sex which occurs naturally in "lower" animals. But it's also violent.

    Violence is very much natural. Even a class system is a kind of violence, and it [ostensibly] replaces the physical jockeying for position done by other pack animals — which humans very much are.

    The problem isn't the gore and it wont turn a teenager in to a mindless massacer - if it is, then he has other problems that the parents should be taking care of.

    The problem is nearly always the parents to begin with.

  • Not the NYT's List (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Colonel Korn (1258968) on Friday December 11, 2009 @08:52AM (#30400948)
    If you RTFA, you'll see that this is a list from Common Sense Media being reported by the NYT, not the NYT editorializing. In fact, the very first item on the list, Assassin's Creed 2, just got an almost ridiculously glowing review (that even sort of recommended it for high school students because it might enthuse them about Renaissance Italy) from the Times this week. The Times' "conclusion" is to ask you what you think about this list and recommend discussing it below.
  • by DJRumpy (1345787) on Friday December 11, 2009 @09:52AM (#30401692)

    I never understood the puritan view we have in American in regards to Sex and Violence. I actually agree that we should minimize exposure to violence for children. I have to wonder if we're a bit backward. It seems like Europe has a much better view on things. Minimize exposure to violence for young children, but don't be so paranoid about sexual content. Violent crime has always been out of control in the US as compared to similarly developed countries overseas. We allow our children to watch all sorts of violent movies, play violent games, yet we shelter them from any exposure to sexuality like it was some sort of dirty secret.

    (note, the difference is rape rates between the US and Europe is even more pronounced, with the US showing about 7 times the rate of European nations).

    What's wrong with this picture?

    Homicides for every 100,000 persons:

    Ireland [0.9]
    Germany [0.9]
    Norway [1.0]
    United Kingdom [1.4]
    France [1.6]
    Canada [1.9]
    Scotland [1.59]
    United States [5.6]
    Russia [20.15]
    Venezuela [31.61]
    Jamaica [32.41]
    Colombia [61.78]

  • by iceperson (582205) on Friday December 11, 2009 @11:04AM (#30402656)
    The reason I don't think it's appropriate to expose children to sexual material at a young age has to do with them not being mature enough to understand the full consequences of sex. It's easy enough to tell a child not to kill your brother or one of the other kids in class, but they simply aren't mentally prepared to understand the nuances of sex and when it's appropriate. When given a choice between telling a child sex is bad, don't do it, or avoiding the discussion until they are more prepared to understand I'll chose the latter.

    Note: Nudity and sex are not the same thing. I don't agree with the puritanical position that nudity is bad and kids should be protected from it.
  • by misexistentialist (1537887) on Friday December 11, 2009 @12:59PM (#30404486)
    Many European countries have public dole, insurance, education, and transportation that mollify the poor. They also usually require ID papers, police registration, and disarmament of the population. I suppose sexual frustration does lead to some violence in the US, but thinking that changing censorship is the answer is ridiculous (Japan seems to censor sex more than violence and has a very low homicide rate. Though they do this by banning even kitchen knifes). Personally I would rather live in Jamaica than Scottland, or Russia than the UK, so I don't know what to conclude from your list, except that Europe needs to encourage violence more, though I can see why they don't since they tend to go overboard.
  • warning! omission! (Score:2, Interesting)

    by archangel9 (1499897) on Friday December 11, 2009 @01:09PM (#30404616)

    This list won't be complete until they list Infocom's "Leather Goddesses of Phobos"

    Talk about interactive, this game was scratch-n-sniff [wikipedia.org]

  • by MBGMorden (803437) on Friday December 11, 2009 @02:31PM (#30405746)

    The reality is kids aren't stupid, and even pre-puberty they are interested in such things. Just because you choose to ignore the issue doesn't mean that THEY will.

    As an example, despite growing in a strict Baptist household (my mother still cringes if a tit flashes on screen and my youngest sibling is now 22) who refused to mention a thing about sex (I never even had "the talk" - ever), I still was curious about it because that's human nature.

    I wasn't 5-6 years old before I was playing "I'll show you mine if you'll show me yours." with the girl that lived next door to me (she was roughly the same age - 2 months younger than me). After being given some dirty magazines by some kids at school and learning by word of mouth from peers what sex was, the same girl next door and I decided to "try it out" one day when our parents weren't home. I think we were around 12 at time - maybe even 11.

    Neither of our parents ever found out about it, and I can't say that I feel particularly traumatized (the girl and I were best friends at the time - she moved away a few years later - I've talked to her once or twice after we were grown up and she seemed fine, though we've never brought up the sex issue). Still, looking back, it was a foolish thing that I may have known better than to do if I'd actually been taught about the issue other than by my equally clueless classmates.

    Ignoring the issue simply won't make it go away. Instead you throw it to random chance and let kids figure things out on their own rather than having some guidance. In some things that's not so bad (finding one's path is a good thing), but with the prevalence of STD's, teen pregnancy, and a myriad of other issues, kids typically just don't make wise decisions on their own when it comes to sex.

10.0 times 0.1 is hardly ever 1.0.

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