The State of Games, Episode 7 – The One Rated PG-13

The State of Games, Episode 7 is way in, man. It’s, like, so in that it’s far out, you know what I’m saying? No? Well, open your ears and expand your mind, because we’ve got some heavy dope to throw your way. But don’t let the title fool you, this stuff is super groovy for the whole family.


No doubt after you’ve listened to the podcast, you’ll want to feast your eyes on the often-inappropriate imagery that Monkey238 was subjected to. To the right you’ll find visual reference to the psychedelic Shrooms in the upcoming SmallWorld Underground, and by following the links below, you can witness the visual orgy that is the attention-grabbing queens of the teen demographic game 7 – the Seven Deadly Pin-up Sins, Red Sonja, and Warrior Queen Badonkadonk.

Other links to people and things mentioned in the podcast:

Chris Norwood of gamerchris.com

Jonathan Liu of Wired.com’s Geekdad

Tom Gurganus of Go Forth and Game

Shawn Kirkham of Meet the Meeples

Games mentioned in the podcast that you should check out

Chronicle

Ascension: Chronicle of the Godslayer

Road Kill Rally

Pastiche

Survive!

Railways of the World

The special deal from Eagle/Gryphon games mentioned in the podcast:

Looking for a deal? Been wanting to pick up Railways of the World, Pastiche, or Defenders of the Realm for a discount? You’re in luck! For a limited time, get 20% off any new order from Eagle Games through their website (free shipping if over $30). Just write “Dice Hate Me” in the comments/notes section of the order when you submit it. Who loves ya?

Like what you hear? Subscribe to the State of Games podcast RSS feed!

Related posts:

  1. The State of Games, Episode 4 – The One About the 7 Deadly Sins
  2. The State of Games, Episode 6 – The One About Alf
  3. The State of Games, Episode 1 – The One About the Chinese
  4. The State of Games, Episode 2 – The One About Naked People
  5. The State of Games, Episode 3 – The One About the Death and Life of Monopoly
Comments
9 Responses to “The State of Games, Episode 7 – The One Rated PG-13”
  1. Ian Noble says:

    Here’s my $.02:

    Without having children, I’ve never thought about if the content of the game was appropriate for someone younger. In my opinion the video game ratings are ineffective because how does a game with human vs human violence compare to human vs aliens violence. Is one more appropriate for younger children than the other. I could argue the same thing for some boardgames. You mentioned Memoir ’44 and that certainly introduces the idea that your army is supposed to go kill the other armies. So is that more/less appropriate than 7 Wonders or Olympus where you just see nudity?

    The only thing I wouldn’t be opposed to seeing for more of the “controversial” games is to just add a small sticker saying this games contains adult images or themes. But coming up with an age rating would just not be effective and would probably cause more problems than it was set out solve. Especially since kids handle different things at different ages.

    Ian

  2. Chris says:

    Interesting discussion. However, it would be difficult for a board game to reach the level of controversy surrounding certain video games, since board games cannot depict violence or adult themes nearly so realistically as video games can. Even so, it is worth considering the content of ANY game (board games and video games alike) before exposing our young children to it. Perhaps, as Ian suggests, an indicator such as a sticker containing a warning might be useful in helping parents make the right decision.

    This video sums up the general public image of violence in video games versus that of board games. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qpWKtjgLqqQ

    Chris

  3. Shawn says:

    Hey “DiceHateMe” and “Monkey”! Thanks again for the the plug and the website link above :-) Glad you enjoyed RKR. I like the game too. I can’t wait to try the Railways game again sometime, now that we officially cleared up rules. :-)

    Had a blast playing games with you both. We need to do it again real soon!

    Shawn

  4. dicehateme says:

    Ian – I would partly agree that the videogames rating system is ineffective, but it’s also on a very subjective scale. The VG ratings system can be helpful for some parents who don’t play videogames and wouldn’t know if a game contained mature content. I think your sticker idea, or something similar, could work for board and video games, sort of like the Mature Content stickers on CDs. Of course, that’s if board games need those at all, hence the discussion…. :)

    Chris – Thanks for stopping by and listening! I agree that board games are light years away from video games in terms of controversial content. For the most part, the medium stays pretty true to the family game form. I do agree that designers and publishers should remain aware of their content and act and publish accordingly. Nice video, too. ;)

    Shawn – Glad you stopped by! We had a great time playing on Saturday, and we hope to do it again really soon. This time we’ll play both RKR and RotW with all the right rules!

  5. tomg says:

    Hi folks,
    This was an interesting discussion. As a father, game content is something that I always consider when I purchase a game. Suggestive art, foul language, and to some extent violence are concerns. I agree with Ian that a sticker would be nice. And Chris is correct regarding the realistic depiction of these subjects in video games versus the ‘static’ images in boardgames. I also agree with them both that a rating system is unrealistic at this time. We have to remember that this is a small, niche market and publishers do not want to necessarily (or unnecessarily) pidgeon hole their games. And we are also assuming that the age appropriateness ratings on games currently is solely targeted toward mechanical complexity. Though it would seem so for some of the games you mention.
    Regarding specific games mentioned.
    Memoir ’44 – I have a 9 year old boy. We very early observed that little boys will naturally gravitate toward playing war. Whether with army men, Legos, cars, Barbies, stuffed animals, or sisters, they like to battle. They will make a gun out of anything. Many is the night that we have to chase him out of the TV room because Lego Luke Skywalker and Indiana Jones are in a VERY loud battle with knights, ogres, and space marines. So perhaps I’m biased but I would say that Memoir ’44 is a natural extension of a boy child’s natural tendencies.
    Small World and the Shrooms image – my younger kids wouldn’t get this at all. Monkey’s comment about them being ‘funny men’ is probably how it would be.
    Stone Age – the baby hut would not be an issue.
    Pixar – grown up humor is very much appreciated and one of the reasons Pixar is the quality juggernaut they are. EVERY animanted feature post-Toy Story is injecting some in their stories now.
    Two last thoughts about publishers/designers making or focusing on family friendly games. Number one – Spiel de Jahres. This award has become more and more family game focused in recent years. While not a huge deal in the US, in Europe (especially Germany) winning the Spiel can result in a large increase in sales and popularity of a game and therefore a designer/publisher. And that leads to the next thought, money. Family games, like family films, make oodles more dollars. And are more likely to be placed in places like B&N and Target. I doubt that Olympos would stay on the shelves very long in Target.
    So nudity, foul language, blood and guts have their places in games. In a lot of cases I would play a game containing them IF not gratuidous. But I would not want my children playing them until they were older. Say 35.
    In the end, appropriateness of a game is the parents’ call. And parents need to be involved enough to make those calls.
    Now regarding Gameathonapocaloozafestacon 3 – Big Ole Game Day. Thanks for the mention. I’m really glad you both could play some games at my house. It would have been even better if we could have played some together. But we will next time. And you are right Survive is awesome. Look for a Big Ole Game Day wrap up and a review of Survive soon on Go Forth And Game (tomgurg.wordpress.com). Contest ideas – scavenger hunt is good. word puzzles/montage is good.
    Thanks.
    Go Forth And Game,
    tomg

  6. The_Seb_Perez says:

    Hello DiceHateMe and Monkey!

    The problem I have with any kind of rating system, on boardgames or video games or movies or what have you, is that they are entirely subjective depending on who the purchaser is. For me, I’m in the same boat as tomg above. My boy, now 9 years old, have been having mock sword and gun fights before he even knew what a sword and gun were. At the age of two he’d pick up random branches and sticks, and swing them around, all with the appropriate “Woosh!” or “Pewpew!” sounds. As such, I really don’t mind him watching movies like the Marvel movies (Spiderman being one of the earliest he enjoyed watching) since really he’d probably see worse violence on the news. Hence him playing a boardgame with assumed horror or violence really doesn’t bother me, since I’ll take the appropriate amount of time to sit down and explain the difference between the fake game violence and realworld violence as I do with everything.

    However, there are many parents out there, some very good friends of ours, that will not under any circumstances allow their boys, the same age as my son, to watch or play any material which includes anything resembling the shape of a gun. This pretty much means that when they visit the movies we watch are Pixar ones and video games are on the Wii. Which is no problem since we all like those!

    My point is if a parent thinks just the act of holding a gun is violent, then in their opinion that’s a Mature rated game. Which could lead to the parent buying a game they believe is inappropriate for their child.

    Nothing beats good old fashion research! There are literally dozens of sites out there that will tell parents exactly what to expect in any boardgame, video game and movie. Why leave it up to some business entity to tell you what’s ok for your child. As a parent, get up and go find out for yourself.

    A little long winded, but I hope my two cents means a little something. Thanks DiceHateMe and Monkey, love what you guys do. Monkey, keep beating Dice at all those games. Dice, keep calling it luck! ;)

  7. Joe Hines says:

    Here is my D6 worth of input: I do not think that the industry needs to have a rating system for age appropriateness of art in board games. My daughter is 2 and a half now and when it comes time to introduce her to games I will certainly pick the ones that are appropriate based on theme, art and difficulty for her age at the time. But it is my duty as a parent to do such things and not to expect other people to protect me and my family from the evils of “naughty bits”.

    I also wanted to make the point that many games advertise that they are “Family Games” or good for “Family Game Night”. To my mind this kind of advertising is all that is really needed. A family friendly game should say that it is good for all ages and then have contents and material that match. Beyond that you need to look at the box art, the box text and make an informed decision of what is good for you and your family.

    Joe H.
    Area 42 Games

  8. dicehateme says:

    Sebastian – Thanks for commenting… and for listening! I hear what you’re saying about how boys will be boys. I certainly played “war” all the time when I was younger and nobody thought a thing about it. It’s a natural thing, and quite healthy as long as parents instill the right ethics in their children. I, too, believe that research is key. Diligence is another value that effective parents must have, as well!

  9. Michael says:

    Granted I might be slightly behind on my podcasts so bare with me here.

    I also am concerned about images and other forms of inappropriate content in board games. It actually became enough of a topic for me that I started including comments along those lines in all my game reviews on BGG (under Grumsh there).

    While I don’t think we need a rating system with mandatory minimum ages requirements on them, I do think it would behoove publishers to maybe take a moment or two to include a simple sentence explaining game contents and imagery. This is a growing hobby and it will grow due to the excitement of the youth just entering into the hobby.

    I know I really enjoy playing games with my 2 sons (Cat in the hat and others with my 2 year old, Carcassonne and Quoridor with my 5 year old). I have seen many games that list a certain age on the side of the box and after opening it I learned that the age just didn’t always seem to fit. My 5 year old son is pretty sharp and really has no problem grasping some of the “older kids” games. By that I mean games that raised the age bar because of some perceived difficulty in learning a game versus some inappropriate imagery or themes.

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