#1 Posted by JazGalaxy (1576 posts) -

I'm listening to a video review on Touch Aracade right now and one of the Quicklook guys proclaims that he's not having any fun with the game he's playing and he doesn't know why. The other guy then responds that maybe the game is for kids and that's why he doesn't like it. Now, to even the casual observer, the reason the game isn't fun is because there's no challenge, no high level control, no real interaction and ultimately no reason to be playing the game other than that it works. Yet, they feel like kids would or should enjoy it? 
 
I feel like I grew up playing Metal Gear, Contra, Ninja Gaiden, and Castlevania. But as the industry as grown up, those games somehow became "m rated" franchises and, to compensate, the industry started making child-friendly games that are essentially brain dead. Comic books, to some degree, have done the same thing. When I was younger, I didn't read Avengers For Kids, I read the Avengers. Now, the avengers is equivalent to an R rated movie and they make child-friendly avengers books that are, in the end, far below the intelligence level of the type of kid who would be reading comic books in the first place. 
 
Is this a thing? When did this happen? Do those games actually sell well among the child demographic? Or is it just a giant sucker strategy to get kids to buy junk for their kids while their kids inevitably go play Halo and Call of Duty at a friends house?

#2 Posted by egg (1455 posts) -

Tell me more about these "kid friendly" Avengers books you mentioned. I don't remember hearing of those.

#3 Posted by believer258 (11776 posts) -
@JazGalaxy
I'm listening to a video review on Touch Aracade right now and one of the Quicklook guys proclaims that he's not having any fun with the game he's playing and he doesn't know why. The other guy then responds that maybe the game is for kids and that's why he doesn't like it. Now, to even the casual observer, the reason the game isn't fun is because there's no challenge, no high level control, no real interaction and ultimately no reason to be playing the game other than that it works. Yet, they feel like kids would or should enjoy it? 
 
I feel like I grew up playing Metal Gear, Contra, Ninja Gaiden, and Castlevania. But as the industry as grown up, those games somehow became "m rated" franchises and, to compensate, the industry started making child-friendly games that are essentially brain dead. Comic books, to some degree, have done the same thing. When I was younger, I didn't read Avengers For Kids, I read the Avengers. Now, the avengers is equivalent to an R rated movie and they make child-friendly avengers books that are, in the end, far below the intelligence level of the type of kid who would be reading comic books in the first place. 
 
Is this a thing? When did this happen? Do those games actually sell well among the child demographic? Or is it just a giant sucker strategy to get kids to buy junk for their kids while their kids inevitably go play Halo and Call of Duty at a friends house?
I like your last question. Kids of kids of kids...
#4 Posted by DarthOrange (3858 posts) -
@JazGalaxy said:
Or is it just a giant sucker strategy to get kids to buy junk for their kids while their kids inevitably go play Halo and Call of Duty at a friends house?
Kids having kids?!!?!?! O_O 
#5 Posted by JasonR86 (9653 posts) -

Because people view those not in their age range as everything they aren't and seem to forget what they were like in every age range they were before the age they are currently.

#6 Posted by mrpandaman (864 posts) -

@DarthOrange said:

@JazGalaxy said:
Or is it just a giant sucker strategy to get kids to buy junk for their kids while their kids inevitably go play Halo and Call of Duty at a friends house?
Kids having kids?!!?!?! O_O

Actually it's their kids having kids having kids.

Anyways it gives a choice for parents to give their children games that aren't actually made for them in terms of the content in them. Also this became a thing as soon as people saw that games could be ultra graphic in terms of violence and sexuality. Create games that are made for children and let them mature into playing the mature games. Not all child-friendly games are brain dead, I still very much like the Putt-Putt games :D

#7 Posted by Danteveli (1174 posts) -

Yeah we were hardcore as yungsters running with guns and punching dragons in the faces while jumping through demons castles. Right?

I have no idea what are you talking about. There are more "kid friendly games" since more people play games and parents are more interested in what their children are playing but overall the content is way more adult than it used to be.

Online
#8 Posted by BisonHero (6407 posts) -

I played good games when I was young because I'd heard of them, and I played bad games because I didn't know any better. Kids have little enough perspective that they can enjoy pretty bad games. I still don't think you should say it's for kids, because really you mean it's for idiots who aren't yet skeptical and discerning enough to spot a bullshit game.

#9 Posted by Tru3_Blu3 (3203 posts) -

It was quite a surprise to me as a kid that all the games from Rare that I've played for the N64 were actually masterpieces once I discovered Gamespot and game ratings.

#10 Posted by Video_Game_King (36272 posts) -

@JazGalaxy said:

I feel like I grew up playing Metal Gear, Contra, Ninja Gaiden, and Castlevania.

The fuck kind of childhood did you have, Kid Konami?

#11 Posted by mik_fox (10 posts) -

Play hard, go pro. When you were hit with a brick that was Ninja Gaiden or Battletoads at an early age, you sucked at first. Then, after some time practicing, trying over and over, learning to overcome difficulties, growing up in some sense... you still sucked. And THEN you maybe got better and actually didn't suck anymore - until sequel came out, presenting new challenges (rather than rehashing content). Overall, challenging kids with difficult tasks instead of hand-holding them at all times proves to be beneficial, that way they learn to fight and find a way to win, not whine about game being too hard or, in later life, problem being impossible to deal with.

That's the way things used to be. Not anymore.

I think this situation in game industry is indicative of situation in society. Look at modern games, even M rated, or movies, or anything really. Everything is being dumbed down "for your convenience" and to comfort "wider audience" of people who would rather find a reason not to do something, than a way to do it, who would rather die than have to use their brains. Publishers don't want to support anything that isn't a sequel because consumers can't be bothered to learn about available products and gain a wide enough perspective to form their own tastes and instead rely on reviews and sales of previous title in a given franchise, even if the sequel in question is being developed by different people with absolutely different goals and values in mind. It is a lazy strategy for a publisher, but it generates huge profit (look at Diablo 3 for example), so it's totally justified when you look at it from a big corporation perspective. Games became more popular as a medium, audience became wider and now includes "casual players" who are large in numbers, easily satisfied with dumbed down and rehashed content and prove to be way more profitable.

So, in my opinion, it's not about kids, it's about society being way more tolerable to idiots common masses less concerned with personal development.

Sorry if I came off rude or edgy, had to let off some steam.

#12 Posted by Krullban (1034 posts) -
#13 Posted by Branthog (7494 posts) -

When? Erm... What was the date the first video game came out?

Kids are always treated as being completely stupid. You can check this yourself by going back to all the things you loved when you were a kid through the eyes of someone who has grown up a little and developed a little bit of discerning taste (enough to not just love every cartoon because it's a cartoon, every game because it's a game, or every movie, because it's a movie). Going back, you quickly discovered how stupid Transformers and Snorks were. How idiotic Knight Rider is. How unwatchable almost everything you loved the most as a little kid is. How dumb almost all the toys you ever wanted and got (or wanted and desperately wanted even more, but never got) were. How shitty the music you were fed was. The candy. The commercials. Fucking almost everything.

It takes time for us to grow into even the most minimal capability to discern that kind of stuff and marketers and television programmers and creators of content all over the place aimed at kids take advantage of that.

#14 Posted by ectoplasma (973 posts) -

Holy shit, I love the internet!

Online
#15 Posted by ArtisanBreads (3789 posts) -

Atari, NES, etc.

This is a fallacy that this is a new thing. As a kid I played Deus Ex and Age of Empires and the Lucas Arts adventure games. And there were all sorts of dumb "kid friendly" and licensed games back then. Kids can play adult games too.

#16 Posted by ThePhantomStranger (354 posts) -

Well to be fair to your comics example I would have to mention that most "mature" comics are not fit for any consumption while a good portion of the "kiddy mckidsten" comics end up being pretty good.

Oh and on topic: Just let the kids be mystified with what they have before they get all disillusioned and cynical.

Like all of us.

#17 Posted by Superfriend (1541 posts) -

Kids these days are pretty dumb. Just look at an average message board thread.

Now, get off my lawn!

Online
#18 Posted by Humanity (9026 posts) -

Pretty sure by kids they mean ages 9 and below. When I was a "kid" meaning around 10 years old I was playing a lot of adult games back then but I didn't really understand a lot of them so I can see how a simpler title like the Arcade game could start introducing me to higher concepts.

Also yeah kids are by definition pretty dumb.

#19 Posted by MikkaQ (10281 posts) -

There was always kid-friendly stuff growing up. As a kid you learned to ignore it by grade 5 or so.

#20 Edited by Icemo (642 posts) -
#21 Posted by CrystaljDesign (149 posts) -

@mik_fox said:

Play hard, go pro. When you were hit with a brick that was Ninja Gaiden or Battletoads at an early age, you sucked at first. Then, after some time practicing, trying over and over, learning to overcome difficulties, growing up in some sense... you still sucked. And THEN you maybe got better and actually didn't suck anymore - until sequel came out, presenting new challenges (rather than rehashing content). Overall, challenging kids with difficult tasks instead of hand-holding them at all times proves to be beneficial, that way they learn to fight and find a way to win, not whine about game being too hard or, in later life, problem being impossible to deal with.

That's the way things used to be. Not anymore.

I think this situation in game industry is indicative of situation in society. Look at modern games, even M rated, or movies, or anything really. Everything is being dumbed down "for your convenience" and to comfort "wider audience" of people who would rather find a reason not to do something, than a way to do it, who would rather die than have to use their brains. Publishers don't want to support anything that isn't a sequel because consumers can't be bothered to learn about available products and gain a wide enough perspective to form their own tastes and instead rely on reviews and sales of previous title in a given franchise, even if the sequel in question is being developed by different people with absolutely different goals and values in mind. It is a lazy strategy for a publisher, but it generates huge profit (look at Diablo 3 for example), so it's totally justified when you look at it from a big corporation perspective. Games became more popular as a medium, audience became wider and now includes "casual players" who are large in numbers, easily satisfied with dumbed down and rehashed content and prove to be way more profitable.

So, in my opinion, it's not about kids, it's about society being way more tolerable to idiots common masses less concerned with personal development.

Sorry if I came off rude or edgy, had to let off some steam.

Your comments combined with your avatar made me smile. And I agree with you. Although my experience was with PCs, I never got the chance to sit down for weeks/months with one console game to try to beat it.

#22 Edited by I_Stay_Puft (3161 posts) -

Thought it probably started when Brad and Ryan couldn't figure out one of the first puzzles in the Lego Batman 2 Quick Look.

http://www.giantbomb.com/quick-look-lego-batman-2-dc-super-heroes/17-6255/

#23 Posted by MildMolasses (3218 posts) -

How exactly are we defining "kids" games? I would argue that Transformers and Spider-Man are kids games, but they aren't mechanically simple. Skylanders is most definitely a kids game but can also be difficult at times. I think a lot of kids games are defined only by the content, and not necessarily the mechanical simplicity of it. At the very least these games give their target audience some credit for their ability to play, rather than just thinking the worst of them and making it impossible to lose (Kirby's Epic Yarn aside)