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Games that touch on very real and significant social issues tread uneasy ground, and one of the largest audiences for games is players in their adolescent years. Therefore elements of child labor in games normally manifest in very straightforward and uncontroversial ways.
One example may be to have an "ex- orphan" happily acting as a traveling vendor and quest giver, as seen in DeathSpank. In Xenogears a small child in Bledavik, who can barely see over the sales counter, is helping out his family by running a weapon shop while his father is "away in the army". This is taken to a new level of core plot device in Recettear, where a young daughter must help pull the family business out of debt. In Stacking, headlines of child labor set the scene for a game taking place amidst the crushing poverty of the industrial revolution, and rescuing his family becomes the main goal of young protagonist Charlie Blackmore.

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