Beta

Slashdot: News for Nerds

×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

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

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the more-or-less dept.

Games 189

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."

cancel ×

189 comments

list (5, Informative)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400094)

And the list:

Assassin’s Creed II
Borderlands
Brutal Legend
Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2
Dead Space: Extraction
Dragon Age: Origins
Grand Theft Auto IV: The Ballad of Gay Tony
Demon’s Souls
Left 4 Dead 2
Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars

Looks like a list of all the fun games of this year.

But oh, the fun just starts. Check out the alternatives list:

Alternative: Mirror's Edge
Alternative: Infamous
Alternative: Ghostbusters: The Video Game
Alternative: Battlefield: Bad Company
Alternative: Deadly Creatures
Alternative: Braid
Alternative: Batman: Arkham Asylum
Alternative: Uncharted 2: Among Thieves
Alternative: Overlord II
Alternative: C.O.P.: The Recruit

Many of the games on the alternatives list have exactly the same kind of violence. Hell, in Overlord you're taking control of a evil god like character that controls his minions to destroy and kill enemies, the good people.

I bet many of us played games that had gore as teens. They should had have sex too - it's even a natural thing, while violence is not (or shouldn't be). 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.

Learning about the world takes time. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30400136)

Why, if a game is too adversarial for a child, would you think it was okay for you?

Have you noticed that people who play video games a lot tend to be unusually socially backward? When living in a fantasy world, you learn nothing about the real world.

Re:Learning about the world takes time. (4, Insightful)

jbezorg (1263978) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401412)

When living in a fantasy world, you learn nothing about the real world.

That's why the "Troll" mod was invented.

Re:Learning about the world takes time. (1)

mcvos (645701) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401414)

I learned all my social skills in fantasy worlds.

Re:list (1)

rumith (983060) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400150)

I suggest we ban all games with guns and nudity... What do you mean by "nothing left to play except Tetris"?

Re:list (1)

craagz (965952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400270)

Yeah, Tetris!! improves brain too..!

Re:list (5, Funny)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400926)

but all those moralists that are actually sick minded pervs can see the fitting of tetris pieces together to be a vaguely sexual act!

With all those pieces fitting perfectly together it's probably the most sexual game ever! Oh baby!

Re:list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401140)

in that case I guess it may prove that homosexuality is not an abomination.... because getting 2 straight line pieces stacked on top of each other usually works out pretty well!

Re:list (2, Informative)

Gamer_2k4 (1030634) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401686)

No it doesn't. For a straight piece to be truly useful, you need to put it in the right sized hole.

Let the porn flow through you... (4, Interesting)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#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]

Re:Let the porn flow through you... (4, Insightful)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402246)

While I laud your post as one of the clearest voices in this thread, I'd just raise one question. If we are to presume rape cases in the US are higher because we have suppressed sexuality in our media, then shouldn't violent crime be higher in Europe because they suppress violence in their media?

In any case, I don't think either are caused by media, only that our respective media are mirrors of our society, not the cause of our societal ills.

Re:Let the porn flow through you... (1)

DJRumpy (1345787) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402326)

Yes and no. I think sexuality takes on an entirely different aspect when it's hidden. The same sort of appeal that a clad person will evoke rather than a naked one.

Violence on the other hand seems to be more of a learned response, especially when it comes to homicide, peer pressure, gang related activity, etc, where sexuality is a more natural response due to natural curiosity, hormone changes during puberty, etc.

Personally I don't think people have a deep urge to kill, where they do get a deep urge to jump their hot neighbors bones ;)

Re:Let the porn flow through you... (1)

Canazza (1428553) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402362)

I like how Scotland's independent from the UK... wait... I never voted for that...

Re:list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30400342)

Don't forget Pong!

Re:list (1)

grapes911 (646574) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400480)

Don't forget about Dr. Mario . . . What do you mean Dr. Mario isn't really a licensed gynecologist?

Re:list (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400532)

If you ban all sex and violence from newspapers or TV, we end up with VERY thin papers and a lot of test pattern TV.

Why's games different, I ask?

Re:list (3, Funny)

darthvader100 (1482651) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400790)

Tetris is a comunist look at destroying the building blocks of modern society. This is why the straight piece which clears all those lines is RED.

Don't let the simple graphics fool you.

It could also be a FPS in which you play a block trying to kill other blocks and keep respawning as new blocks every few minutes :R - the tongue in cheek smilie

Re:list (1)

jeffehobbs (419930) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401340)

I dunno, that dangling L shape has given me some pretty salacious ideas from time to time. Just to be safe, I'd ban Tetris too.

Culture Shock (1)

ArundelCastle (1581543) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401990)

I suggest we ban all games with guns and nudity... What do you mean by "nothing left to play except Tetris"?

"FYI, they've banned communism too. Oh, you meant Nintendo Gameboy Tetris. Well that's okay I guess. It's only one colour.
Just keep St. Basil's Cathedral out of it before the kids try to learn something about Russia and get recruited by the KGB."
(tags: slipperyslope satire punditry)

Re:list (5, Insightful)

Grr (15821) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400216)

Many of the games on the alternatives list have exactly the same kind of violence.

If by 'the same kind of violence' you mean 'a different kind of violence'.
The NY times article refers to the ESRB rating. I'm pretty sure the article with the alternatives went by those. In your example the alternative, Overlord II, is rated Teen while its counterpart, Left 4 Dead 2, is rated Mature.
There are standards [esrb.org] for these ratings. Now you may disagree with the standards, but dismemberment, animated blood and gore fall in the M category. Morality choices, like playing on the side of evil in Overlord, are not totally excluded from the standard, but usually have less impact.

Re:list (1)

craagz (965952) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400276)

Don't any of these games have parental control?

Parent can turn them off and the game is good to go..

Re:list (3, Funny)

ConceptJunkie (24823) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401864)

Funny, all my kids' games have parental control? Don't everyone's?

Re:list (2, Funny)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402050)

animated blood and gore fall in the M category

M for "Mmmmm..."

We all know how effective the X or M ratings are for movies. If you're 16 and at the Cineplex Engorgia, are you going to go to see the film with the big "R" or the one with the "GP-13"?

The GP stands for "Good Picture" and the "R" stands for "Really Good Picture". If you're lucky enough to find NC-17, it means there are "No Clothes on the 17 year-old Girls".

Re:list (1)

A Friendly Troll (1017492) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400282)

Many of the games on the alternatives list have exactly the same kind of violence. Hell, in Overlord you're taking control of a evil god like character that controls his minions to destroy and kill enemies, the good people.

Furthermore, in Overlord II you can have a foursome. I think it even gives you an achievement for it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gLYBGqwT7Tg [youtube.com]

I don't recall a single other game that allowed you to do that.

Re:list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30400316)

I don't recall a single other game that allowed you to do that.

I have done it in the game of RL.

XD

Re:list (2, Funny)

db10 (740174) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400702)

you scrumming with three guys isn't the image we needed

Re:list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30400676)

Dragon Age is on the list if you need a game where you can do that (no spoilers though)... and get achievements for "conquests"

Re:list (1)

SuiteSisterMary (123932) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401846)

I don't recall a single other game that allowed you to do that.

Dragon Age: Origins. Admittedly, OL2 came first.

Re:list (1)

meyekul (1204876) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400498)

I bet many of us played games that had gore as teens. They should had have sex too - it's even a natural thing, while violence is not (or shouldn't be).

There was a whole series [wikipedia.org] of games based pretty much entirely on sex (or the pursuit of) back when I was a kid. I don't think I've had the simulated uncomfortable experience of purchasing a condom in a game since then...

Re:list (1)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400500)

"I bet many of us played games that had gore as teens."

Agreed, I was into Aussie rules football back in the seventies.

Re:list (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400508)

I see Borderlands, being probably the mis-purchase of my year (bluntly, that game lacks on so many levels it's not even funny anymore), so I second that motion. But the rest of the games, at least the ones I know, look pretty decent, what's wrong with them?

Re:list (1)

loutr (626763) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400540)

And some of those "alternatives" don't even have anything in common with the original game : I can't see any similarities between Braid and Dragon Age, or between Dead Space and Deadly Creatures.

Hmmmmmm...... I'm curious (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400554)

If someone has too much spare time on their hands, maybe they can find out who are the studios/publishers to those games, maybe there's a pattern to the "avoid"/"get" list? Just curious...

Re:list (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400752)

Dragon Age: Origins
Alternative: Braid

Left 4 Dead 2
Alternative: Overlord II

Anyone else think these are the worst possible alternatives? "My son asked for a fantasy RPG and a zombie apocalypse FPS, so I got him a 2D platformer and a 3rd person strategy game. I done good!"

Re:list (1)

GrubLord (1662041) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401042)

I was just thinking that!

It also might be the most dramatic contrast I've yet seen in terms of the duration of the experience. I mean... Braid is at least twenty times shorter than Dragon Age, and even a kid will drop the stale mediocrity of Overlord II like a hot potato long before anyone would get sick of Left 4 Dead 2's infinitely-replayable co-op zombie action.

Even supposing this plan works, the kid will be asking for DA:O and L4D2 again within a week at the most.

And what genius of child-safety decided clubbing baby seals was better than shooting zombies anyways?

Re:list (2, Interesting)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400780)

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.

Re:list (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401194)

Thank you Ayn Rand sycophant.

Re:list (1)

ckblackm (1137057) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400892)

I bet many of us played games that had gore as teens.

I don't think my Intellivision nor my Atari 2600 had nearly the gore level of these games.. :-)

Re:list (1)

kj_kabaje (1241696) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401090)

makes you wonder what financial connections NY Times has to the games publishers or the nice and naughty lists...

Re:list (1)

Reapy (688651) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402064)

If I were a child and had any of those titles replaced with the alternative I would probably start crying :)

Re:list (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402120)

Just reminds me that children are being steered away from valuable life training for the future. I pay attention to the real news at:
http://www.theonion.com/content/video/are_violent_video_games

Re:list (1)

mehemiah (971799) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402202)

you should have alternated the alternatives, like they did in the original article, for maximum effect. Then we can see the close comparison of Overlord 2 over L4D or Battlefield over COD

Here we go again.... (4, Insightful)

El Lobo (994537) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400106)

Another list, product of the neomoral of today...

Interesting, with all the graphic violence in Modern Warfare 2, it's funny that the only objectionable aspect of it is that the player can opt to go "undercover as an enemy terrorist."

Re:Here we go again....(SPLR) (2, Interesting)

chronosan (1109639) | more than 4 years ago | (#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:Here we go again.... (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401312)

Modern parents need to enforce moralistic killing quotas. x number of people need to be shot dead, so it's the onus of our children to ensure it's the bad guys from other countries who take the brunt.

Not a particularly helpful summary (5, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400108)

Actually, the article is far less irritating than the summary had led me to believe. Yes, it points out 10 games that are not recommended for children and teens. But it isn't trying to get the games banned (the original commonsensemedia article actually points out that these are good games), just trying to help parents make informed decisions. This, I believe, is a good thing.

Moreover, the "suggested replacement" games aren't all of the "Barbie Horse Adventures" ilk. While a few made me raise an eyebrow, most of them are reasonable enough replacements.

Let's take a look at the list:

Assassin's Creed 2 replaced by Mirror's Edge: I haven't played AC2, but I would probably agree that the original AC is "not for kids". Mirror's Edge doesn't seem outlandish as a replacement; it's not some twee kiddy game and it does contain violence. It's just a bit less "in your face" with it. So no problems with this one.

Borderlands for Infamous: Ok, this one made me go "hmm". Borderlands has highly cartoonish violence, while Infamous is actually quite dark in its theme and has highly morally ambiguous characters. Weirdly, I think the game they've recommended is actually less suitable than the game they're replacing.

Brutal Legend for Ghostbusters: I'd have no problem with this, particularly as Ghostbusters is actually the better game provided you avoid the dismal PC version.

Call of Duty MW2 for Battlefield Bad Company 2: Fair enough. I believe a lot of PC gamers already made this switch due to the dedicated servers issue anyway. Both are respectable but unspectacular games, once you get past the hype.

Dead Space: Extraction for Deadly Creatures: I've not played Deadly Creatures, but I have played Extraction (which puts me in a small minority, judging by its dismal sales figures). While it's a "light gun" game, Extraction is absolutely and emphatically not for kids. It is dark, scary and gory.

Dragon Age: Origins for Braid: This one's deeply weird. Dragon Age isn't exactly your average hack-em-up arcade game. I suspect that any under-18s asking for Dragon Age and patient enough to stick with it past the first 10 minutes are probably mature enough to deal with it. And Braid as a replacement? A platform/puzzler as a replacement for an RPG? No, I don't think so. If I were to suggest a replacement, it would probably be Last Remnant, Lost Odyssey and Blue Dragon, which are at least RPGs. Or get them into the whole retro thing with a copy of Baldur's Gate 2 - the themes are still as mature, but it's harmless if it's just little sprites, right? :)

GTA IV for Batman: Arkham Asylum: Again, the games aren't quite the same genre, so this is a tricky one. However, GTA is not for kids, end of story. The Batman game is awesome, and probably dark enough in its theme and style to satisfy most teenagers. So yes, you could do worse than this.

Demon's Souls for Uncharted 2: Yeah, no real problems with this. To be honest, I prefer Uncharted 2 as a game anyway (though this may put me in a minority).

Left 4 Dead 2 for Overlord 2: Another strange one. Overlord 2 is not an fps. Nor is it a particularly co-operative game. Nor is it fantastically good. Nor is it morally squeaky-clean (though the violence is cartoonish). I guess you could always try to track down the Australian version of L4D2.

GTA: Chinatown for C.O.P.: well, at least it's one sandbox game for another. The problem is that the reviews all seem to show that C.O.P. is basically rubbish. It's probably your best option while staying within the same genre on the same platform, but you can still expect a lot of disappointment on Christmas morning with this switch.

So yeah, at least some of the switches recommended are sensible, and this isn't a dreadful guide to parents who might not be massively savvy in these matters. On this basis, did the article summary really need to take the tone that it did?

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

Loomismeister (1589505) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400394)

Call of Duty MW2 for Battlefield Bad Company 2: Fair enough. I believe a lot of PC gamers already made this switch due to the dedicated servers issue anyway. Both are respectable but unspectacular games, once you get past the hype.

MW2 was spectacular in many ways. I am wondering if you've even played it?

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (3, Informative)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400514)

Yes, I've played it. It was basically the original game with a stupid plot. It's certainly not bad; the engine feels slick, the weapons are nicely modelled and the graphics and sound are pretty good (though the former still fall short of the standard set by Crysis more than 2 years ago).

But it's absolutely nothing special. The set-pieces are less impressive than the original's (there's certainly no counterpart to the infamous nuke sequence), the plot goes off the deep end into the kind of lunacy that even Metal Gear Solid probably wouldn't stoop to (which is a real atmosphere killer) and the singleplayer campain is devastatingly short.

It's a 7.5/10 sort of game. Maybe an 8/10 if you want to be kind. That's solid, but it's not spectacular.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401014)

(there's certainly no counterpart to the infamous nuke sequence)

I found the nuke-ing in the new game to be much more unsettling than in the first game. You do have a point in that it was not new, and thus not a surprise, but it depicted a much more horrific act with much greater (virtual) implications.

You are right though that the game was short. COD games have always followed that model; very short but wonderfully exciting single player campaigns. Personally I love it, I don't like spending 40+ gameplay hours to tell a story. But that's a personal preference.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

sopssa (1498795) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401036)

I would agree it's probably 8/10 on the single player. It's good moments, movie-like experience, but the real fun really is in multiplayer with all of its levels, perks and tactics. The difference in classes you can build and tactic with really shows. Another great non-sp aspect is the co-op missions, especially the sniper ones. We had tons of fun in those, and they actually get really hard but still fun on the hardest levels.

The co-op and multiplayer aspects combined I would give it a 9.5/10, considering I still haven't got the time to play left4dead2 because MW2 multiplayer just seems so fun always. If you're just playing the single player aspect, you're losing a lot.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401136)

but damn it the multiplayer if you are on console can't be beat
me and my friends without knowing it blew 7 hours on splitscreen without even realizing it
To me, it makes halo look like goat balls

let me guess, no friends to play with?

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

quanticle (843097) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401866)

If by spectacular, you mean spectacularly bad, then yes. For a game that purports to portray "modern warfare" with a semblance of realism, how does allowing for infinite sprint

make sense? How does a knife take out a riot shield, when even a submachine-gun barely dents it? What of the dual wielded shotguns?

Oblig. (1, Funny)

TapeCutter (624760) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400542)

"Actually, the article is far less irritating than the summary had led me to believe."

You must be new around here.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400638)

GTA IV for Batman actually makes a lot of sense. Neither one is about story (or if GTA IV is about story, it's an epic failure) and both are about the "did you see that" factor (at least once it comes time to get some replay value.)

On this basis, did the article summary really need to take the tone that it did?

I'd say you must be new here, but someone else beat me to it.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30400782)

Dragon Age: Origins

I wonder if it isn't solely for the blood that will cover all your characters after even a minor fight. It made subsequent conversations with the characters rather surreal... there never was a conversation choice "Eh, do you know you are completely covered in blood?".

At least until I found the configuration option that turned this 'feature' off.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401112)

My 13 year old has four or five L70+ WoW characters and wants Dragon Age for Christmas. Seems like a no-brainer to me.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401352)

Actually, a basketball or a bicycle seems a little more appropriate. If your 13yo has 4 or 5 L70+ WoW characters, they bought them or they are spending too much time with their PC. The plastic box should not replace sunshine, real interpersonal relationships, all aerobic activities, or act as your babysitter. Don't let random strangers raise your child for you in a virtual reality.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402036)

Seconded, with a vengeance. I'm very glad that MMOs weren't around for most of my childhood and that when they appeared during my college days, I was sensible enough to know I needed to avoid them until I was in full-time paid employment.

I was always nerdy as a kid, but even then I spent around as much time on my bike as on my PC (all the better for out-running the swarm of wannabe-jocks chasing me throwing stones).

The computer games I played as a kid were addictive in their own way, but none of them had the utter timesink potential of a modern MMO.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401354)

Assassin's Creed 2 replaced by Mirror's Edge

It depends on the age you're recommending to, but I just finished Mirror's Edge and I wouldn't recommend it to kids under 16. It's got gunplay and blood, you perform dangerous acrobatics in a typical urban setting, and the characters are rather foul-mouthed. Honestly, it's the acrobatics that would make me most nervous as a parent (if I were one).

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

aj50 (789101) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401884)

Really?

I wouldn't have recommended it to kids because it's pretty difficult and frustrating.

I thought Mirror's Edge did a pretty good job at making you fail a lot and feel very dead when you did so.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (1)

RogueyWon (735973) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401978)

I mostly enjoyed Mirror's Edge, though I acknowledge the issue you highlight. There were certain sequences where I could see what I had to do and it felt like I was doing it properly, but try as I might, Faith just WOULD NOT grab onto that ledge or pipe.

I had fun with the game in the end, despite a few niggles. My biggest frustration was that despite the apparently open cityscape you have to play with, a lot of the levels are actually very, very linear, with only 1 path you can follow. I think the game was good enough and novel to deserve a sequel, so hopefully these are issues they can work on for that.

This is often the way with games that try to be different; they have a good central idea, but the execution is flawed enough that they don't always get the feel right on the first go.

Re:Not a particularly helpful summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401764)

These are two lists of ten games, not direct replacements. They aren't saying get Arkham Asylum instead of GTA IV, they are saying instead of picking from list 1, pick from list 2.

Call Alanis, again! (1)

Bakkster (1529253) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401824)

Actually, the article is far less irritating than the summary had led me to believe. Yes, it points out 10 games that are not recommended for children and teens. But it isn't trying to get the games banned (the original commonsensemedia article actually points out that these are good games), just trying to help parents make informed decisions. This, I believe, is a good thing.

It's also hardly ironic that a list of "games not to buy your children when they ask for them" would be populated by good games worth asking for. It's not like everyone's kids are asking for shitty games.

Read the ESRB Rating (3, Insightful)

c0mpliant (1516433) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400190)

Seriously, anyone who needs to read this review shouldn't have the responsibility of children. A quick look at the ESRB rating of each of the above games will tell you that little Johnny who is 8 shouldn't be playing Dragon Age, GTA or assassins Creed!!

Re:Read the ESRB Rating (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400330)

The whole point of the article is "You know from the ESRB ratings that these games aren't for kids. So for each one, what's a good substitute?"

Re:Read the ESRB Rating (1)

tophermeyer (1573841) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401138)

That would actually be a wonderful opportunity for retailers like to step in and take more responsibility for where the product goes. GameStop's and Walmart's could very easily display like games together, offering parents the opportunity to compare a Mature game with a similar less mature game.

Re:Read the ESRB Rating (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401162)

ESRB ratings can shove it. I'm far more qualified to know what is good/bad for my kids than a bunch of bible-thumping moralist lobbyists.

America needs to get over it. We are conservative, uptight little bitches in the eyes of the rest of the western world, deservedly so for shit just like the ESRB, the fact that shit is a "dirty" word, and the fact that entire networks are nearly shut down for displaying a nipple.

Re:Read the ESRB Rating (4, Insightful)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401394)

ESRB is a private organization which was formed so that the games industry could self-regulate. Its intent is to keep the government out of the ratings process. ESRB ratings are a suggested watermark for entry with a summary of potentially objectionable material. It's a tool to allow parents to shield their children from specific content. Nothing is forced upon anyone.

If there is any censorship going on it's from stores like Walmart that refuse to carry games based on that rating. You can still buy those products elsewhere.

Not really sure what your objection is here.

Re:Read the ESRB Rating (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401926)

My objection is to the inherent stupidity of "ratings" schemes. They should just say what's in the games (blood, sex, violence, drugs, whatever) but leave age ranges out of it.

My main objection to ESRB is that games have varying levels of potentially offensive content, but due to the broad strokes of the ESRB ratings, there is no difference between a game like GTA IV Halo 2, and Resident Evil.

In MY family (key word, MY) there's nothing wrong with a little mindless FPS fragging. In other families, there's nothing wrong with a little scary zombie action. To each their own so screw the ESRB and their arbitrary age recommendations.

At a deeper level, the real problem with the ESRB is it gives parents a free pass from parenting. Oh, this one is rated 10+ so my emotionally unstable 11 year old can play it! I personally play all the games first, then deem what is ok for my kids.

I'm sorry if I take offense when I'm patronized by such well-meaning "boards" like the ESRB or the movie rating people, but I think I'm pretty much the norm for intelligent, free-thinkers of the world.

Re:Read the ESRB Rating (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30402426)

I'm sorry if I take offense when I'm patronized by such well-meaning "boards" like the ESRB or the movie rating people, but I think I'm pretty much the norm for intelligent, free-thinkers of the world.

No it's only the norm for intelligent, free-thinkers of the world who have chips on the their shoulders the size of two by fours. Those without the wooden shoulder pads realize the rating schemes are intended for them and use their own criteria (whatever it may be) without much comment.:p

Re:Read the ESRB Rating (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402074)

Also, I just saw that Guitar Hero is rated Teen (13 and above). My 10 year old has played every version of Guitar Hero. I think he was ok as a SIX year old playing a 13 and up game?

I think this pretty much sums up my objection to the ESRB.

Obligatory Quote (1)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400208)

"I mean, if computer games really had any effect on our behavior we would be sitting in some dark room, bobbing our head to monotonous repetitive music while popping pills all night. ..."

Re:Obligatory Quote (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400574)

Hmm... would explain the appeal of rave parties, but the kids there ain't old enough to remember PacMan...

I agree with Demon's Souls being on the list... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Gee, how were they supposed to know? (0, Troll)

meerling (1487879) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400218)

Without out that list, how could parents ever know that an M rated game wasn't appropriate for kids?
I mean, it's not like there is a rather visible ESRB M logo which says Mature 17+ on the front or back of the game case, if not both.
Or that most stores tend to post an ESRB list by their games.
Or even that the ESRB has been around for 15 years.
I mean really... if even one of those things had been true, that list would be totally inane.

Errr, sorry what? Are you sure? No, really, it can't be...
Ummm...
Excuse me everyone, apparently I was mistaken.
It seems that all of those, um, examples are in fact true. Boy is my editors face red for letting that one slip through.
I'll return you to your previously viewed ranting as soon as you stop reading this.
>^_^<

Re:Gee, how were they supposed to know? (4, Insightful)

slim (1652) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400346)

Yeah, you'd have thought everyone would be able to read the little label next to the ESRB 17+ mark, suggesting a Teen rated alternative to the game you're looking at.

Errr, sorry what? You say there isn't such a label?

Oh, maybe this article has some merit then.

Very misleading summary (5, Insightful)

xIcemanx (741672) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400262)

First, it's not the NYT. It's a blog of the NYT. Big difference.

Second, the NYT blog simply asks readers to discuss a list compiled by Common Sense Media of ten games not to buy your children.

So to ascribe the list to the New York Times itself is incredibly misleading.

Re:Very misleading summary (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401188)

First, any blog on the NYT web site carries the implication that it is backed by the NYT itself. Second, the article is overtly biased positively towards the common Sense Media's list. Since the NYT allows this blog (unless there's the standard OP-ED disclaimer, which I didn't look for), then there is nothing wrong with attributing this list to the NYT.

Oh the Irony within the first sentence.... (-1, Troll)

Jackie_Chan_Fan (730745) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400380)

"When it comes to video entertainment, my daughter still prefers wholesome sports, arcade and music-themed games."

"Sports games" arent exactly "wholesome". More people die or get injurred playing highschool football and its been apart of of culture for a long time. It's also heavily supported by your local public school and the parents within your community.

I dont know about your town, but around here, we're famous for shoving a pine cone up a highschool football players asshole. (National news story) The poor kid has been far more damaged by football, than videogames. OH I know it wasnt on the field, but does that really matter? If you want on the feild, look up the recent college basketball player that broke his spine or the deaths that have taken place on the highschool football field.

NEXT

Music themed games? You mean those games with thrusting pelvises and celebrity worship? Celebrities that do massive amounts of drugs, pay professional hookers, and use the naughty words in their music?

Not wholesome either.

NEXT

"Arcade"

Lets hope the author of this article doesnt recommend UNO on xbox live, for children... Can you say "Cock pics?"

NEXT...

Call of Duty Modern Warfare 2 is F'n incredible. OK Perhaps i dont recommend it for the incredibly young, but its just a game people. If you're afraid that a videogame will turn your child into a murderer, you should be praying Santa brings the kid some new parents that will teach their child what right and wrong is, and what entertainment is... and what REAL WAR means. It should be easy now, if only the news media actually covered the war. Perhaps the New York Times has better things to write about, like what you should and shouldnt be doing as a parent.

Oh well.

Obama is a fucking sell out.

SINGLE PAYER UNIVERAL HEALTH CARE NOW....

The Option is dead. Fuck em all.

Re:Oh the Irony within the first sentence.... (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400830)

The world "wholesome" needs to be retired. It has been misused for decades now.

It's also one of those words what indicate that you should listen with skepticism. It differs greatly from person to person and generation to generation. I'm sure that in pre-civil rights era south (and even today as we see sometimes) they considered their antics "wholesome."

A useful list (5, Insightful)

davide marney (231845) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400386)

You're a parent, an uncle, a grandfather. You don't play video games. You want to give something the kid will like. You hear he's "into" video games. You step into the local gamer store, and ...

YOU HAVE NO CLUE

The one thing you want to avoid is buying that game with "blood spurting out of victims' bodies, human carcasses littering the floor, blood-stained walls and floors, and copious screams of torture" (Dead Space: Extraction). Otherwise, your sister Jenny will have your head on a platter ... for real.

Katamari Damacy is still good (4, Insightful)

Lord Bitman (95493) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400404)

If you don't have it, get it now. Child-friendly, and great for adults too.

Re:Katamari Damacy is still good (4, Funny)

witherstaff (713820) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400584)

Yeah, it teaches kids that getting drunk, wasted, and trashing the universe is alright.

Re:Katamari Damacy is still good (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401450)

If you don't have it, get it now. Child-friendly, and great for adults too.

I agree with this 100%. This game is all about identifying seemingly insurmountable obstacles and planning incremental steps to surpass them. It's a great lesson to reinforce.

Well, duh! (1)

ndixon (184723) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400464)

Obviously, you wouldn't give these games to kids.

The article (yeah, I did RTFA) points out that those games are rated for age 17+, so I don't see what the issue is.

I wouldn't want my kids playing COD-MW2 or L4D2, but to be honest, they wouldn't want to play them anyway - they'd be much happier with the latest cutesy Wii party game, or something for the DS involving ponies.

Yet again, the mainstream media make the assumption that all games are for kids and are therefore completely shocked to see that some games involve blood, gore and subversive naughtiness.

Actually, I don't think they're shocked at all. They just think that their readers will be, and that's what sells papers and generates click revenue.

FTW! (1)

Ipeunipig (934414) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400518)

Nazi zombies riding velociraptors!! I wanna play THAT game!

Re:FTW! (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402248)

WoW has troll zombies riding velociraptors. That's really close. Maybe someone else can find you one with Nazi zombies.

Ohhhh, what I'd pay to be there on xmas eve... (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400620)

...when the kids open their presents and find out they got nothing nearly close to what they wanted, maybe even the game that everyone in their class already turned up their nose at.

Yeah, it sure gonna be a peaceful, holy night. Well, ok, it wouldn't be for them either way, since L4D2 sure ain't peaceful and anything but holy, but at least the rest of the family would have some peace.

Not the NYT's List (4, Interesting)

Colonel Korn (1258968) | more than 4 years ago | (#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.

Define "proven" (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400952)

FTA:

...things that have been proven to have a negative effect on children

This tired argument again? I won a writing award when I was 17 debunking the myth that video games and violent cartoons have a "negative effect" on kids. Of course when I was 17, video games were: Zork, Pac-Man, Donkey Kong (super violent and sexist), and Asteroids.

Think of the Dragons! (1)

stewbacca (1033764) | more than 4 years ago | (#30400980)

the game features combat, decapitations and swords plunged into the chests of both people and dragons.

This is a non-story (1)

Liambp (1565081) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401028)

The New York Times article merely says that these games are not suitable for children and if you read the list they aren't. The NYT does not make nor even imply any judgement about the quality of the games in question.

Most of you miss the point. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#30401058)

We've had friends/neighbors/family that have let their first grader watch CSI. Movies, such as "Transformers" (it's rated PG-13 for a reason folks) are being watched by my in-law's five-year-old. I've seen many well-meaning grandmas in the store buying whatever music/movie/video game their sweet little sociopath of a grandchild has on their wishlist.

While I don't necessarily believe that watching hours of video game/movie killings makes little Johnny a mass murderer, it does do "something", and at the very least desensitizes them to what they see.

Not news (0)

z80kid (711852) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401094)

Smug elitists in NY paper disapprove of entertainment that is most popular with the consumer.

Film at 11.

Braid? (1)

sidesh0w (32371) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401096)

Are they really recommending Braid [braid-game.com] as a "kid-friendly" game? Braid? [commonsensemedia.org] I'm generally impressed with Common Sense Media's take on reviews in that they look at all aspects of a movie or game when judging its appropriateness. But with Braid, the themes of the game are going to be way over the heads of most kids. I guess if your 12-year old really wanted to play it, why not. But as High Fidelity taught us there are other dangers of exposing impressionable teens to this kind of thing:
What came first, the music or the misery? People worry about kids playing with guns, or watching violent videos, that some sort of culture of violence will take them over. Nobody worries about kids listening to thousands, literally thousands of songs about heartbreak, rejection, pain, misery and loss. Did I listen to pop music because I was miserable? Or was I miserable because I listened to pop music?

synthetic offspring? (1)

spyrochaete (707033) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401210)

FTA:

[blockquote] if you need gift ideas for the surly, pale teenager in your home whose body contains more plastic then your average d20[/blockquote]

What on earth is this supposed to mean? Is there some kind of gamer fad to get nose jobs or something?

six legged creatures (1)

amoeba1911 (978485) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401416)

I was reading about one of the recommended games on the linked site [commonsensemedia.org] and my brain exploded when I read "six-legged creatures: a scorpion and tarantula"

By the way, Braid is a great puzzle game.

good article actually (1)

DaveGod (703167) | more than 4 years ago | (#30401782)

If you go to the source article [commonsensemedia.org] it's quite clear they are offering alternatives for what they consider to be very good games that (according to the age rating) are unsuitable to kids.

In kid logic, games are "cool" when they have awesome graphics and gameplay, envelope-pushing storylines, and all manners of weaponry. And they aren't wrong. The games they want typically are well constructed, thoughtful, and exciting. But they're often inappropriate for the teens who hunger for them.

The descriptions of the games are also generally very positive with the only issue being the suitability for minors. I wouldn't be at all surprised if the article inspired some parents to make a few orders for when they "confiscate" the xbox at night:

Authentically recreated Renaissance cities, near photo-realistic action, and historical accuracy make this a great game for mature players. But playing as an assassin who relies on an arsenal of weapons makes the violence excessive.

I don't see what is at all objectionable about that. Perhaps you disagree with the ratings system, but that's another issue.

Now, it's a shame the NYT article is less than clear about the games and is lacking in the good substance of the original article, but they had to change something in an otherwise plagiarised article. Still, my criticism is limited since if you want appalling media you have no better example than this here on Slashdot. It leads to a derivative article that adds nothing whatsoever to the original source on CommonSense. There is no justification for not "going to source" unless the objective is to ignorantly trash the NYT for ignorantly trashing violent games (well, at least the "irony" does have some relevance after all). I'm also unsure why, despite evidently being aware of the source, the OP actually states "the NYT names its list of big bads". Objective assertions like "provokingly" also seem unnecessary.

All this is quite bizarre given the same criticism can't be said of the hothardware article the OP lifts from (by the way it seems rather bad form to lift so heavily from an article when it is not prominent). His name in the OP linking to hothardware implies MojoKid is from the site though I can't see anything to corroborate that and am included to assume that is another error.

Is this not proof? (1)

flyneye (84093) | more than 4 years ago | (#30402332)

Is this not proof of my statement in posts a few days ago that the New York Times is as equally reliable a news source as the National Enquirer?
Is it any surprise that Network news all the way to print media is playing to lowbrow "Maury Povich" interests just to get anyone to look at them in light of their imminent demise and publicly heard death rattles?

Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...