Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Biting My Tongue

I'm guessing I shouldn't recommend Sword and Skull to this lady.

Mothers in Gaming
So as the Organizer of Orange County Board Gamers in California, the wife of a long time gamer, and the mother to 2 up and coming gaming boys, I spend a lot of time CHOOSING games for my kids.

I am VERY consciencious about what is "appropriate" for them to be playing, not just where their skill level is at.

My sons are 3 and 6 and we started them off with. Snails Pace race, and Chicken Cha Cha Cha. We then moved on to Jr. Labyrinth. I love the game Jr. Labyrinth for what it teaches about spacial reasoning and logic, but have always been bothered by the "pistol" as an item the kids are supposed to collect. So we just removed that token. Although it is still on the board, the kids are no longer trying to "pick it up".

But it isn't just guns. It's things that "teach" violence that I'm concerned about. Boys are all about jumping, kicking, running, climbing, throwing, moving, and playing. But in the continued effort to raise boys with good charater and values. I feel the need to be "choosy".

Recently I played Mr. Jack, and I enjoyed the game. I thought in general, it would be a good deduction game for kids. Even the "Cartoony" graphics made it FEEL appropiate for kids. HOWEVER, I was VERY dissapointed that they choose to make the villian "Jack the Ripper" instead of Sherlock (who is a charater in the game) Holmes' arch nemises Professor Moriarty. Jack, who's only claim to fame is the Murder of female prostitutes, is depicted as a dark figure with a bloody knife throughout the game. There is even a dead body on the front cover of the box.
Moriarty, although a murderer, was also a villian known for underworld crime. This latter theme could have easily been replace to make it more accessable for kids, and the murder aspect played down. I think the suggested agae of "9 and up" is rediculous. I believe strongly, content SHOULD be taken into account when these age recomendations are made. However as it is, I would definately not recomend it to other mothers for their children age 9.

Likewise am by no means a "puritanical" sexually repressed woman, but I find a lot of the disrespectful "oogling" art of women in some games not something I want my sons to think is "ok" way to represent women.

Also just to be clear, I have NO problem with these themes for adults. They have the education and maturity to understand these issues. In fact, once the kids have gone to bed I'm the first one to bring out BANG!

Just some thoughts for the day.
Heather Hughes

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