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What are your thoughts on children playing strategy type war games?

(7 Posts)
IDrinkFromTheirSkulls Wed 15-Jun-11 20:42:58

Has there ever been any research or even thoughts on the effect that strategy type war games, such as Medieval Total War (which is just a bit like Risk but more complicated) or Civillisation, have on children?

How old would your child have to be before you let them play these types of games, if at all?

Does the fact that there is only the implication of violence (armies conquering each other etc) make them less unsuitable, even though the player still directs the action?

I'm only asking because dh has been playing on MTW today and it struck me that while I don't want ds exposed to his more mature video games for a long while yet, I really wouldn't have a problem with ds playing this type of game with dh once he is old enough to understand how to play.

bubblecoral Wed 15-Jun-11 20:49:37

Interesting question. My 8 and 10 yo's are currently obsessed with Grepolis, which as far as I can tell seems to be about constructing cities and declaring war on others with all the strategy bits tied in there. It's designed for children, but there is too much of a war element in there for me to really like it. Give me super mario cart any day!

I was quite sceptical at first and I wasn't sure I wanted them to play that sort of game, but I have decided its fine now as long as it's not about direct physical violence being shown by the characters on the screen. They enjoy it, and swop strategies with eachother and their friends, so while I'm not a fan of the fact that they play this game, in moderation I can't se how it's going to do any harm. It would be a battle that I don't think is worth figting if I tried to ban it, but I would ban a game if I thought it went too far.

Oakmaiden Wed 15-Jun-11 20:56:58

I think they are not too bad. In fact there has been research to show that these "strategy" type games can actually teach older children useful skills - like planning ahead, managing resources etc.

I can see why people might have issues with the "war" theme of most of them, but they are not actually "violent" as such (or not in the same way that fps games are).

TantePiste Wed 15-Jun-11 21:04:36

I think strategic war games teach certain thinking skills (evaluating, planning, executing/modifying a plan) and prefer them to a first person shooter any day. I do expect my dcs to play such games, but can't provide thoughts on appropriate age because they are far too young yet.

We are part of a social circle where all the men are long time gamers though, so it is bound to happen.

I am also hoping my dcs will be interested in playing card games with me, partly because I like cards, and partly because I think cards also teach certain useful life skills.

LadyFlumpalot Wed 15-Jun-11 21:16:19

Not quite the same but I have been a member of an English Civil War re-enactment group since the age of 6. I have watched the battles for as long as I can remember and participated in living history demonstrations from the age of 9 and the actual battles from 16. If anything it has given me a keen interest in history and a healthy respect for the tragedy and violence of war.

I shall certainly be signing DS up next year!

IDrinkFromTheirSkulls Wed 15-Jun-11 21:48:25

That's really interesting LadyFlumpalot I hadn't even thought about actual reinactments! I'll look into that (because I like the sound of it and dh probably wouldn't moan as much as when I drag him around the shops!)

MrsTwinks Wed 15-Jun-11 21:55:09

there has been research. Some of the more stratagy games can be good, infact I read once they used Neverwinter Nights in schools to develop certain skills. I remember playing Civilisation as a kid and it was more about making sure you have the right things in place to build rather than war, not sure these days or other titles thou, im a mario kart girl.

I personally have no problem. what I have a problem with are parents letting young kids play certificated games like call of duty and GTA .Its a bugbear because i used to have to sell them, against my better judgement, knowing where they were going. grr angry

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