5 Video Games You Should Never Let a Child Play

Child with cash in hand

Source: iStock

When searching for a video game for a small child, it’s important to remember that each experience can be much more intense, difficult, and confusing for a young developing mind compared to a teenager or adult. There are plenty of great games out there for kids, many of which are on this list of the best Wii U games, but some games are simply not suited for children. Whether it’s the obvious moral no-nos like violence, obscenity, and sexuality, or more technical roadblocks like high difficulty and game complexity, these five video games prove to be simply too much for most kids to handle.

1. Wii Sports Club

Wii Sports Club, Nintendo

Source: Nintendo

As with all physical activities with young children, there always comes the possibility that someone may injure themselves or others, simply lacking the coordination to attempt or complete required moves safely. So for youngsters interested in Wii Sports who quite haven’t synced their bodies with their minds, when attempting to hit a home run or bowl a perfect strike it’s bound to happen that a controller slips off a wrist and flies straight into a TV screen or grampa’s ashes resting on the mantelpiece.

Not only are accidents inevitable with a lot of movement in the living room, but the general lack of good form and expertise in each sport can cause a lot of frustration for kids who just want to win, or at the very least, perform well. Without a proper understanding of physics and movement, as well as having underdeveloped grip strength, it’s almost a guarantee that something or someone gets smacked by a controller. Want examples? See for yourself.

2. Rainbow Six Siege

Rainbow Six Siege

Source: Ubisoft

Rainbow Six Siege is one of the most dynamic and complex shooters out there. Not only does the main structure of how the game works provide a lot of options for camera surveillance and bullet penetration through multiple walls and surfaces, but each character choice by both opposing teams adds an even greater layer of variables to consider at any given moment. Sure, there’s always a few prodigies in child populations, but for the most part, simply having so many choices, threats, and concepts to constantly keep in mind, most kids who attempt to play with the big boys will have their faces shot in again and again to their dismay.

With so many ways to listen, observe, and anticipate your enemies, it’s no overestimation that young kids would become extremely frustrated and downright outraged by being killed through walls and by unexpected ambushes, likely prompting accusations of other players being “hackers” and “cheaters.” If Siege is like the chess of shooters, then perhaps something more akin to checkers, like a Call of Duty or Halo, can serve as a replacement. Though still difficult, at least in most contemporary shooters kids can hide behind walls with the reassurance that they won’t get sniped through them.

3. Slender series

Slender man

Source: Blue Isle Studios

With horror, the most effective experiences are often when the threat is hard to see, difficult to hear, and upon you before you can react. The Slender Man possesses all these traits. Defined as a supernatural being who prefers to stalk and abduct children, Slender Man serves to function like a bogeyman for the online world.

Though the Slender video games have come under fire by critics for their repetitiveness and lack of diverse content, those criticisms hold no weight for kids just looking to maybe survive an adventure with the thin one himself. Since children’s imaginations tend to run wild when faced with darkness and the unknown, the simplicity of the experience of slowly evading an impending and unidentifiable threat like Slender Man is what makes it a more effective and imposing idea rather than say, a Dead Space or Resident Evil, which, while scary, are more in-your-face and therefore easier to become familiar with. But just to play it safe, it’s probably best to avoid horror altogether with the little ones.

4. Assassin’s Creed series

Assassin's Creed

Source: Ubisoft

In terms of content, the Assassin’s Creed series isn’t the most graphic or inappropriate compared to its contemporaries, but it’s the clear liberty taken with history that will likely be lost on children, as the subject matter is likely all new to them. While the total disregard for accurate history may be fine by educated adults who know better, impressions may be set on young minds that are far from historical reality.

The creators of the series are of course not to blame for injecting fiction into historical events, but images from a fictional past for kids to draw from when discussing actual history could be a major disruption to forming an accurate understanding of what different times, cultures, conflicts, and significant figures were like. As many people draw their knowledge of different modern wars from the films and video games that represent them, Assassin’s Creed could be considered just as true for children who simply know no better.

5. Hitman series

Hitman video games

Source: Square Enix

In the Hitman series of murder simulators, much time is spent setting up the expiration of others, both via realistic and ridiculous means. So if anything on this list does deserve the typical condemnation for violence, it’s hard to defend a game where a main function of gameplay is to knock out or kill people so you can steal their clothes and progress to do it over and over again, which from an objective standpoint probably isn’t teaching the best interpersonal skills.

Though the violence is perhaps a little too close to reality for a young buck, the fact that so many missions throughout the series require an expert level of awareness and intuition, kids just might not have the patience, restraint, and ability to improvise to beat more than maybe one or two missions. As learning from the environment is key, be it through eavesdropping, recognition of A.I. character roles and routines, or different objects in the environment that can be used to distract, block, or kill both enemies and bystanders, not being able to absorb that much information all at once, much like Siege, may simply be too daunting. It’s not the killing that’s hard, but getting away with it, which again probably isn’t teaching the best of moral lessons.

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