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Games that Are Not Made for Children

There are so many video games that come out each year that it is hard for parents who don’t play them to keep up with them. If you’re one of the many parents who buy their kid’s video games based on what your kids tell you about the games- this article is for you.

While your kids may not intentionally lie to you about what kinds of games they’re interested in, they’re not likely to tell you about copious amounts of gore or profanity in those games. This is either because they’re uninformed or they don’t want to ruin their chances of getting the game.

So here are some of the more popular Mature-rated games like Minecraft alts, that kids are likely to ask for. I know kids who play each of them, often without their parents’ knowledge of the kind of content each game has.

Call of Duty Series

It’s the world’s most popular video game series, selling millions of copies each year. If you have kids who play video games, odds are they either have one of the Call of Duty games or they’ve asked for one repeatedly. In my experience, parents buy Call of Duty games for their kids because their kids told them that all their other friends are playing them.

While most parents know that the Call of Duty series is about guys with guns shooting each other, they may not realize that the games are about realistic depictions of wars- both real and fictional. The most recent game, Call of Duty: Black Ops covers covert missions in the Vietnam War and the Cold War. The main menu is a torture room. The violence is realistic-looking, and the action generally has lots of blood and profanity coming from every character.

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 featured a mission where the player can gun down innocent civilians at an airport. While the game does not condone acts of terrorism or the slaughtering of innocent people, kids aren’t going to catch the kind of nuance. But this game was not made for them. Nearly all of the Call of Duty games are rated “M” for Mature players.

God of War Series

The God of War games may be based on Greek Mythology, but they are not interactive history lessons or even a Disney’s Hercules-like retelling of ancient stories. Greek mythology was full of violence and sexual deviance, and the God of War games are modern exploitation of those themes.

That basically means the series is about very little other than violence and sexual deviance. Group sex and decapitations are common gameplay elements for every game in the series. Nearly every enemy (and there are a lot of them) is able to be defeated in a spectacularly gruesome fashion, including dismemberment and eye-gouging. They are not games for the squeamish, and certainly not for children.

Gears of War 2

You might think that a game with the word “war” in the title would denote that it is violent and not made for kids. Yet if you were to join an online game of Gears of War 2, you’re likely to find at least a few players who are well under seventeen.

While the game includes filters to curb both the profanity and gore of the game, it does nothing for the constant profanity commonly shouted by other gamers in online matches. It also does not filter out that partway through the single-player game, players are instructed to use a chainsaw to slice through a creature’s heart and then wallow in its copious blood flow. Once again, it is a game made for adults, yet often played by children.

There are plenty more games out there made for mature players that kids are actively playing. It’s easy to see if a game is appropriate for your child by checking the white box on the corner of the packaging. More information about game ratings can be found at the ESRB’s website.

The best way to keep your child from playing games not meant for them is to let them know what kind of content is appropriate and to read the content descriptors on the back of the game box before purchasing a game. If you’re unsure of whether a game is suitable for your child, it often helps to ask the store clerks, as game-specific retailers make sure their employees are informed on the products they sell.