281: Rated E for Everywhere

Adam Greenbrier

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Rated E for Everywhere

The worlds created in children's games are as rich as those in adult games, but adult players don't always see that richness.

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Lord_Gremlin

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One seeks in games what one can't get in real life. What most of us can't do in real life? Exactly. Disembowel and decapitate our neighbors and/or enemies. And there you have violent games.
 

Lord_Gremlin

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HankMan said:
Lord_Gremlin said:
One seeks in games what one can't get in real life. What most of us can't do in real life? Exactly. Disembowel and decapitate our neighbors and/or enemies. And there you have violent games.
Well you can't dodge giant frosted donuts in a candy factory floating in the sky in real life either.
Well, the natural human desire is not to dodge food, but to eat it. Just as lust for blood and violence is also natural to humans. Although the latter is socially unacceptable and punishable by law.
 

goliath6711

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Scrumpmonkey said:
I find this argument slighty odd, every series has an ammount of expectation behind what it can and will be. Saying the "non childrens games" are dvoid of any veriety or innovation is simply WRONG. Or to put it in more detail is simply as wrong as saying that everything for the Wii/ Kinect audience is a mini-game fest of submediocrity. The majority IS. But the majority does tend to be slightly bland and crappy in most mediums.

You couldn't show a person a screenshot of STALKER and have them think it was Cod. You certainly coudn't show someone a screenshot of TF2 and have them think it was CoD. Infact there are hundreds of games like that; from the cell shaded RPG infusions of Borderlands to the Sci-Fi hills of Halo (M rated game, NO ZOMBIES!) there is a lot of veriety even in just the FPS genre.

This isn't even mentioning that bastion of colour; JAPAN. Are you going to sit there all call Beyonetta (m rated game, no zombies) destaurated?, Persona 4 (M rated game no Zombies), No More Heroes (M rated game, no zombies) hell even FF14 are all fgames that are busrting with vibracy and almost surreal design.

"Fantasy-themed games aren't much better. They all tend to look like minor variations on Tolkien's Middle-earth by way of the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual" Yes, if you just look at those games as a definition of "fantasy". There was this one series, you knoe people quite like, long history i don't know FINAL FANTASY.

Im not even going to go into M rated indie games.

Bottom line; Rated M does not mean less innovative, colourful or imaginative.
Are you really going with the argument that M rated games that involve killing things that aren't zombies counts as innovative???
 

Dastardly

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Adam Greenbrier said:
Rated E for Everywhere

The worlds created in children's games are as rich as those in adult games, but adult players don't always see that richness.

Read Full Article
I think the principal mistake they are making is calling these "games intended for children." The "E for Everyone" is an attempt to fix that, but they just can't seem to get past the notion of it being a "kid game."

In Western culture, anything that requires or speaks to imagination is for kids. Imagination itself is treated as a childish luxury. Adults have forgotten how to imagine, and thus have forgotten that it is not a luxury, but an essential life skill. It's like chopping off your fingers because they don't seem as useful as the thumb...

Take some random stranger as an example. Let's say this guy is successful at his job, he pays his bills on time, he loves his wife and kids and spends good quality time with them, and is a fine upstanding member of his community...

...and in the evenings, to relax, he plays with action figures. Oh, now he's a weirdo! There's something wrong with him! He's doing something that requires imagination (and is thus "for kids"), so we look at him slantwise.

Even I do it. Like right now, I feel a compelling need to qualify this statement by saying I do not play with action figures at 28 years old. Because I do not want people to be under the impression that I'm "that guy." I feel it, too, even though I can't pinpoint anything in particular that is wrong with "that guy." We shun imaginative people as childish, regardless of the evidence.

What makes a guy that goes to a sporting event wearing his favorite player's jersey and shoes, cheering the team and yelling, "WE won, WE won!" any different from the guy that goes to a Star Wars premiere dressed as a Wookiee? The usual answer--one is imitating a real person that makes real money, and the other is imitating an imaginary character. Okay, what makes sports so important? It's entertainment. A game. It serves no functional purpose in society, so it's just as frivolous as a movie. It's just that it doesn't require imagination (and you can bet money on it), so it's "grown up."

Imagination is a critical thinking skill. Without imagination, it's a lot harder to solve complex problems. How can you solve a word problem if you're not able to imagine the situation the word problem describes? How can you develop spatial reasoning skills for geometry-heavy jobs (like carpentry) without the ability to imagine complex three-dimensional figures and perform operations on them in your head. Yeah, it's possible, but it's a lot slower. Lacking imagination robs you of that mental flexibility.

How can you empathize with someone without being able to imagine yourself in the same situation and decide how you'd feel? How can you effectively communicate with someone if you're not able to do that? Wonder why so many people are so awful at communicating or arguing in any reasonable way? That's why--they are fundamentally incapable of imagining themselves on the other side, dealing with any abstraction.

This same logic applies to video games. For some reason, those that imitate real life in some way (and space marines are still imitations of real life, so most sci-fi games are in this boat) are considered more valid, more grown-up. Games that are more abstract and imaginative (look at Limbo for a quick example of an imaginative game clearly not meant for little kids) are written off as "kid games" or "casual games," or some other title that indicates they're just junk food without any real meat.

As we forget how to imagine (as a culture), we'll be less accepting of these imagination-based games. And as a result, the obedient market will make less of them, further leading us to forget. This downward spiral in an unfortunate product of a culture that forgets that the currency of the world isn't the dollar (or pound or Euro, to be fair)--it's the idea.

Teach kids how to manipulate money, and the world becomes the machine world of the Matrix without even having to make the machines. Teach kids how to work in ideas, and the world can improve. After all, how do you create a better world if you can't even imagine what that better world would look like?
 
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I've been replaying through the first Spyro game on the PS1, and I must say, the worlds are just far more charming and interesting then worlds in games today.

In Spyro there are four worlds, each with their own enemies, levels and art style. And its just fantastic. The game itself isn't too hard, but I don't mind, its funny, fun, and just a blast to play. The worlds are colorful and unique, the enemies are varied and fun to fight, the music is diverse, and its just a fantastic experience.

And then there's Ratchet and Clank, Sly Cooper, and plenty of other "kiddie" games that are all better then most "mature" games. Mainly because they're definition of "mature" is serious situations rather then swearing a lot and cleavage.
 

Dastardly

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Scrumpmonkey said:
I find this argument slighty odd, every series has an ammount of expectation behind what it can and will be. Saying the "non childrens games" are dvoid of any veriety or innovation is simply WRONG. Or to put it in more detail is simply as wrong as saying that everything for the Wii/ Kinect audience is a mini-game fest of submediocrity. The majority IS. But the majority does tend to be slightly bland and crappy in most mediums.

You couldn't show a person a screenshot of STALKER and have them think it was Cod. You certainly coudn't show someone a screenshot of TF2 and have them think it was CoD. Infact there are hundreds of games like that; from the cell shaded RPG infusions of Borderlands to the Sci-Fi hills of Halo (M rated game, NO ZOMBIES!) there is a lot of veriety even in just the FPS genre.

This isn't even mentioning that bastion of colour; JAPAN. Are you going to sit there all call Beyonetta (m rated game, no zombies) destaurated?, Persona 4 (M rated game no Zombies), No More Heroes (M rated game, no zombies) hell even FF14 are all fgames that are busrting with vibracy and almost surreal design.

"Fantasy-themed games aren't much better. They all tend to look like minor variations on Tolkien's Middle-earth by way of the Dungeons & Dragons Monster Manual" Yes, if you just look at those games as a definition of "fantasy". There was this one series, you knoe people quite like, long history i don't know FINAL FANTASY.

Im not even going to go into M rated indie games.

Bottom line; Rated M does not mean less innovative, colourful or imaginative.
There's a difference between games being devoid of innovation, and games being devoid of imagination. Zombies were once imaginative. They were the result of a thought experiment, sort of a "what would happen if..." And, man, what a compelling thought that can be! There are so many ins and outs to imagine and work your way around. It's really the ultimate doomsday scenario.

But games now? It's not about problem solving or imagining. It's about killing zombies when you've got pretty damned unlimited weaponry. These aren't zombie survival, they're zombie hunting games. Which puts the focus on the hunting, rather than the zombies, which isn't imaginative at all.

The problem isn't that games lack innovation--new game mechanics are popped out with every game on the shelves--it's that they tend to dismiss imaginative elements as "childish" or "immature," the sign of a bad game or a game meant for a lesser audience. But even this is just the symptom of a cultural problem, where people are forgetting the importance of imagination (see my post above).
 

Worgen

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Whatever, just wash your hands.
its a shame that something that looks "kiddie" cant get more respect.

but the weird thing is that its the kiddie looking games that can be the darkest and most disturbing because they look some colorful and lighthearted, like Im playing tho an old ds game called Magical Starsign and I just had a char commit suicide because she was depressed and had been abused. If the game looked like dragon age I probably wouldnt have cared but because its got this colorful atmosphere it comes off as pretty damn depressing and has a big impact
 

Dastardly

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Worgen said:
its a shame that something that looks "kiddie" cant get more respect.

but the weird thing is that its the kiddie looking games that can be the darkest and most disturbing because they look some colorful and lighthearted, like Im playing tho an old ds game called Magical Starsign and I just had a char commit suicide because she was depressed and had been abused. If the game looked like dragon age I probably wouldnt have cared but because its got this colorful atmosphere it comes off as pretty damn depressing and has a big impact
Look into the pen-and-paper RPG Little Fears. Highly-imaginative, centered around kids, but quite dark and disturbing.
 

K.

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Can anyone recommend a children's games for the DS that gives a sense of adventure, does not require reading and is actually good?
 

Falseprophet

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dastardly said:
I think the principal mistake they are making is calling these "games intended for children." The "E for Everyone" is an attempt to fix that, but they just can't seem to get past the notion of it being a "kid game."
As TVTropes informed me [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AvoidTheDreadedGRating], the G rating for movies was supposed to mean "General Audiences", AKA acceptable viewing for all ages. Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Star Trek: The Motion Picture were originally given G ratings, despite some pretty horrifying things in all of them. But G has come to mean "Grandmas and Babies", so even largely inoffensive animated or kids' flicks will throw in a "damn" to bump themselves up to PG. I imagine a similar mindset is at play here.

dastardly said:
In Western culture, anything that requires or speaks to imagination is for kids. Imagination itself is treated as a childish luxury. Adults have forgotten how to imagine, and thus have forgotten that it is not a luxury, but an essential life skill. It's like chopping off your fingers because they don't seem as useful as the thumb...
This. I read adult fantasy fiction fairly religiously in my teens and early 20s, but dropped the whole genre because every author was trying to be Tolkien, or worse, a "grim and grittier" version of Tolkien. This was around the time the Harry Potter books were building steam and prompting a whole new wave of children's and young-adult fantasy. And because they were "kids books", the authors were able to take chances and break away from the Tolkien formula. That saved the genre for me.
 

Boemmel

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dastardly said:
Adam Greenbrier said:
Rated E for Everywhere

The worlds created in children's games are as rich as those in adult games, but adult players don't always see that richness.

Read Full Article
I think the principal mistake they are making is calling these "games intended for children." The "E for Everyone" is an attempt to fix that, but they just can't seem to get past the notion of it being a "kid game."

In Western culture, anything that requires or speaks to imagination is for kids. Imagination itself is treated as a childish luxury. Adults have forgotten how to imagine, and thus have forgotten that it is not a luxury, but an essential life skill. It's like chopping off your fingers because they don't seem as useful as the thumb...

Take some random stranger as an example. Let's say this guy is successful at his job, he pays his bills on time, he loves his wife and kids and spends good quality time with them, and is a fine upstanding member of his community...

...and in the evenings, to relax, he plays with action figures. Oh, now he's a weirdo! There's something wrong with him! He's doing something that requires imagination (and is thus "for kids"), so we look at him slantwise.

Even I do it. Like right now, I feel a compelling need to qualify this statement by saying I do not play with action figures at 28 years old. Because I do not want people to be under the impression that I'm "that guy." I feel it, too, even though I can't pinpoint anything in particular that is wrong with "that guy." We shun imaginative people as childish, regardless of the evidence.

What makes a guy that goes to a sporting event wearing his favorite player's jersey and shoes, cheering the team and yelling, "WE won, WE won!" any different from the guy that goes to a Star Wars premiere dressed as a Wookiee? The usual answer--one is imitating a real person that makes real money, and the other is imitating an imaginary character. Okay, what makes sports so important? It's entertainment. A game. It serves no functional purpose in society, so it's just as frivolous as a movie. It's just that it doesn't require imagination (and you can bet money on it), so it's "grown up."

Imagination is a critical thinking skill. Without imagination, it's a lot harder to solve complex problems. How can you solve a word problem if you're not able to imagine the situation the word problem describes? How can you develop spatial reasoning skills for geometry-heavy jobs (like carpentry) without the ability to imagine complex three-dimensional figures and perform operations on them in your head. Yeah, it's possible, but it's a lot slower. Lacking imagination robs you of that mental flexibility.

How can you empathize with someone without being able to imagine yourself in the same situation and decide how you'd feel? How can you effectively communicate with someone if you're not able to do that? Wonder why so many people are so awful at communicating or arguing in any reasonable way? That's why--they are fundamentally incapable of imagining themselves on the other side, dealing with any abstraction.

This same logic applies to video games. For some reason, those that imitate real life in some way (and space marines are still imitations of real life, so most sci-fi games are in this boat) are considered more valid, more grown-up. Games that are more abstract and imaginative (look at Limbo for a quick example of an imaginative game clearly not meant for little kids) are written off as "kid games" or "casual games," or some other title that indicates they're just junk food without any real meat.

As we forget how to imagine (as a culture), we'll be less accepting of these imagination-based games. And as a result, the obedient market will make less of them, further leading us to forget. This downward spiral in an unfortunate product of a culture that forgets that the currency of the world isn't the dollar (or pound or Euro, to be fair)--it's the idea.

Teach kids how to manipulate money, and the world becomes the machine world of the Matrix without even having to make the machines. Teach kids how to work in ideas, and the world can improve. After all, how do you create a better world if you can't even imagine what that better world would look like?
Very well said, thank you :)

I just want to add one thought in regards to this topic that always bugs me as well: In my (admittedly only anecdotal) experience, people who treasure and nurture their imagination might like those games intended for children for their imaginative ways, but they still tend to appreciate the other, "mature" stuff as well and enjoy both types without excluding one or the other.

At least this is how I tend to do it: I really enjoy some of the "wacky", colorful games supposedly intended for children and think they are a wonderful addition to my gaming experience, even if they might have some sort of "childish" background and may not be very challenging (which is good for me anyway, I am getting too old for this ;). However, I also can simultaneously enjoy the slick, mature and somewhat generic Space/Military/Whatever game, especially if they are particularly good in their execution of "universe realism" (meaning they might be in some non-realistic setting, but fill that setting believably and internally consistent).

Sadly, my experience says that the other way around is much rarer: The "mature/realistic" crowd seems to shun and even ridicule other games types, so they never get to experience then. It also seems that it is always this way around, I think I have never met a grown-up gamer still enjoying supposed "children games" who does so exclusively, they all dabble in other games and genres as well.

For me, that is the much better and richer gaming experience and I always found it sad and kinda infuriating that people from the "mature/realistic" camp were so dismissive about other games without even really trying those games out and being unwilling to broaden their horizon. Again, this are only my personal anecdotes, but that always bugged me.
 

Dastardly

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Boemmel said:
In addition to being able to enjoy two different types of games (the two you listed), I imagine you also find you're able to enjoy each of them differently because of your more open tastes. That is to say, there are things in the "realistic" games that you can appreciate on a different and deeper level because you're more open to the whole experience, not just "the business."
 

Dastardly

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Falseprophet said:
dastardly said:
I think the principal mistake they are making is calling these "games intended for children." The "E for Everyone" is an attempt to fix that, but they just can't seem to get past the notion of it being a "kid game."
As TVTropes informed me [http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AvoidTheDreadedGRating], the G rating for movies was supposed to mean "General Audiences", AKA acceptable viewing for all ages. Gone With the Wind, The Wizard of Oz and Star Trek: The Motion Picture were originally given G ratings, despite some pretty horrifying things in all of them. But G has come to mean "Grandmas and Babies", so even largely inoffensive animated or kids' flicks will throw in a "damn" to bump themselves up to PG. I imagine a similar mindset is at play here.

dastardly said:
In Western culture, anything that requires or speaks to imagination is for kids. Imagination itself is treated as a childish luxury. Adults have forgotten how to imagine, and thus have forgotten that it is not a luxury, but an essential life skill. It's like chopping off your fingers because they don't seem as useful as the thumb...
This. I read adult fantasy fiction fairly religiously in my teens and early 20s, but dropped the whole genre because every author was trying to be Tolkien, or worse, a "grim and grittier" version of Tolkien. This was around the time the Harry Potter books were building steam and prompting a whole new wave of children's and young-adult fantasy. And because they were "kids books", the authors were able to take chances and break away from the Tolkien formula. That saved the genre for me.
Indeed. Adults are stubborn. They know what they like--and they like what they know. Some people think we appear to lose our imaginations because, as we mature, we become less prone to flights of whimsy and have a firmer grasp on reality. I think it's nearly the exact opposite. As we grow, we put aside imagination... and as a result, we can only grasp an inflexible view of reality, because we are no longer able to imagine it any other way.
 

daedrick

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http://img49.imageshack.us/i/conker3fd0.png/

Picture of conker bad fur day to emphasis the other people point about the fact that ''mature'' game can be just as innovative and imaginative as kids games. The problem isn't the labeling anyway the problem is that developers themselves SUCK BALLS recently and Im craving for good games... My god its been a long time since I felt good playing a GREAT game. Something truely new and not something to make more cash and more cash... f$?*"%g developers.

PS: Can anyone tell me how to insert a picture in this forum, the classic
Doesn't seem to work.