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What age is Halo suitable for?

10 replies

CurlyhairedAssassin · 25/01/2015 19:31

DS is 11 and loves playing Plants Vs zombies which has a Pegi rating of 7. DH has Halo (Rated 16) for himself but tonight the kids have watched him play it because DH says he can't really see much difference between it and PVZ. There is no swearing and the enemies are just aliens. What's the difference between aliens and zombies?!

I'm not much of a gamer myself but I'm very strict about not letting the kids have access to GTA and the like. (Won't have it in the house). But why is a game about shooting aliens rated 16? Confused

I could understand if there was too much tension, or any swearing or "suffering" but the aliens just kind of get blown up and the blood or whatever is purple, and they don't scream or whatever.

A friend of DS2 is 8 and his sensible mum plays it with him! She says "it's just shooting aliens."

Can anybody tell me what age they've allowed their DC to first play it and secondly why it's rated 16?

OP posts:
Chewbecca · 25/01/2015 19:41

I sometimes refer to this website to 'explain' why a game is rated as it is and find out what others think.

It seems Halo issues are violence related but some versions seem to be considered more ok for younger ones than others.

AuntieStella · 25/01/2015 19:42

This is what Commonsense Media says about one episode of the Halo:

"Parents need to know that Halo: Reach is a sci-fi-themed first-person shooter. Unlike other popular first-person shooters that strive for hyper-realistic action, the violence depicted in this game is more fantastical; player aggression is directed at exotic looking aliens that bleed blue, purple, and green. Note, though, that online play sees human avatars fighting other human avatars, and that our characters leave bloody red patches on the ground and walls when shot. Also, online play supports non-moderated voice communication, leaving the door open for players to share personal information and be exposed to inappropriate or offensive language and ideas."

And what it said of PvZ

"Parents need to know that Plants vs. Zombies is a cartoony strategy game with farcical violence. The undead invaders are destroyed in creatively wacky ways, similar to the violence you'd see in an "Itchy and Scratchy" cartoon on The Simpsons -- but without any of the blood. It's certainly not meant for very young kids, but despite its horror-film atmosphere, it's a far less disturbing game than any of the real-time strategy games out there that are based on "realistic" warfare."

I'd be happy for an 11yo to have PvZ, but I'd wait until well into the teens for Halo.

myotherusernameisbetter · 25/01/2015 20:46

I was told that as soon as a game features a realistic gun action then it is rated 16 - that might be nonsense though. i haven't played it but my sons have and they are under 16. I think they were probably about your son's age when they first played it. My line is what they are shooting, aliens/zombies/orcs i.e. fantasy figures I am okay with, humans I'm not. That's just my personal view though :)

But surely your DH has some say in whether he is allowed to play or not? What does he think?

ItsAllKickingOffPru · 25/01/2015 20:54

It is just a strategic shooting aliens game. Can get a bit intense so set a limit on playing time that they stick to, but as far as the violence goes it's not CoD. Have never heard swearing when DS plays it (12, been playing since 11), but I suppose that depends who they are playing with.

lazydog · 25/01/2015 20:55

For the same reasons that myotherusernameisbetter gave (i.e. it's violence against aliens, not humans) I have allowed my 11 year old ds to play Halo. He only plays it offline. I don't let him play online because of the likely bad language from other/older players.

He doesn't have any of the COD games despite his regular nagging

CurlyhairedAssassin · 25/01/2015 20:56

Thanks, all.

DH himself thinks it's ok for them to play it and I didn't know whether there were aspects to it that we were both unaware of so far, so we both really wanted the opinion of other "sensible" parents who are gamers themselves to convince us that we are along the right track.

I do think having seen it myself (it is Halo CE by the way, not the Reach one), that it looks ok for DS to play on offline. I am not happy for him to go online with it at all so we'll veto that completely. May mean hiding the game somewhere as they sometimes get up before us at weekends and go and play on minecraft and FIFA etc so don't want to put temptation in their way.

OP posts:
dementedma · 25/01/2015 20:57

My 12 year old plays Halo and seems to spend a lot of time building tracks and runways and stuff. Doesn't seem too bad to be honest.

CurlyhairedAssassin · 25/01/2015 21:00

Will also take ok board the intensity and put a time limit on, but then we do that with any of his games really as he can easily get into the fixated zone.

It's difficult as he is already saying he wants to be a programmer/game designer when he's older - he loves making programmes on Scratch and has done a bit of Python so I do think Computers and gaming are where his natural ability (not just his interests) lie.

OP posts:
gamerchick · 25/01/2015 21:01

I don't have any issue with halo. It's an old old game and pales into the distance compared to today's games imo.

As always it's up to you though.

myotherusernameisbetter · 25/01/2015 21:04

Yes, i understand that Halo is definitely on the tamer end of the spectrum.

My two are 14.5 and 13.5 now and I've really relaxed more over the last year or so and they have some some 18 games. My reasoning is that they are both very polite, well behaved boys - they get fantastic reports from school and other activities they attend, they never give us any bother at all and I think to a great extent that their personalities are set. They don't seem to have developed violent tendencies and don't swear (certainly not in adult company anyway), they know right from wrong.

If they were younger and there was any change in behaviour, the game would be removed and they wouldn't see it for many many years.

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