Children and Tomb Raider

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magpie272
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Children and Tomb Raider

Post by magpie272 » 14 Aug 2011 11:16

I am a confirmed bachelor with no children and i have no plans to ever have children. However, i do have a 3yr old niece that i oneday hope to introduce to Tomb Raider. I plan to start with the original Tomb Raider game and slowly work through the later games and eventually show her the TR games that i have created. The "recommended" minimum age to play TR (according to the game rating system), is 15. However, i was thinking of starting somewhere between age 8 and 12 depending on her maturity. My reasoning is that 8 is the likely earliest age that a child could understand the game and that over age 12 girls are more likely to be interested in hair and makeup and all that jazz and be unlikely to want to hang out with me.

However, it occurs to me that i may be wrong. Perhaps TR is too violent or too complicated for a child to understand? I was in my 20s when i was first introduced to TR so i can't really relate. I was hoping that some of the younger TR gamers could give me their opinion. Is Tomb Raider too violent for children? Maybe some of the later games are but i can't see much harm in the earlier games. At what age should i introduce her to Tomb Raider? What do you think?

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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by Horus » 14 Aug 2011 11:40

Well, I was 9 when I was introduced to TR. At first I only watched my older brother play TR2, later I had TR2 myself and then TR3 and so on. I wasn't overly scared nor distressed by the violence, shooting and whatnot. Some things freaked me out alright, and I hated the high security compound in TR3 as I just felt helpless having no guns :D But I don't think I took any serious psychological damage* from playing those games so early.

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* just kidding, of course we all know I'm a lunatic :cheesy:

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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by QRS » 14 Aug 2011 13:48

Maybe I'm too liberal about stuff like this, but why wait until a certain age? It is not a horror game :) If it were a Resident Evil game I would not recomend it but Tomb raider?

It was all the same when I was a kid. You can't watch that or play that. Heck, even Space Invaders was "dangerous" for the kids back then :)

Why not play a causual game of Tomb Raider and see her reaction? Maybe without using the guns? If she is interested it is fine. If not she will not play. My niece has played games since she was like 3 and it has not only been dolls and cuddly things on the screen. She is a perfectly healthy young girl of 15 now :)

Just my two cents :)
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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by Gerty » 14 Aug 2011 14:13

Or start with some levels made for kids?

Xxenofex, Agnes and Juttae made some. :)
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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by JesseG » 14 Aug 2011 23:04

I was still in elementary school when I found my first demo of Tomb Raider 3 (around age 10) and I was never shocked by anything I saw in the series (I was more creeped out by games like Doom :lol: ) When you think about it, really the only violent thing you see in the classic Tomb Raider games is the pixels of blood, which is not scary at all. No one loses body parts or anything. There's no sexual content as far as I remember. Not even the language is very violent. As a child the early series was very easy for me to become comfortable with. :) (I'm speaking of the first five games)

The one game you might consider holding off on is the sixth one, "Angel of Darkness", since it has some rather graphic sequences in it in my opinion.
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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by magpie272 » 20 Aug 2011 18:55

It seems that most people are in agreement that the early TR games can do kids no harm and that age 10 should be the minimum age for Tomb Raider. That puts my mind at rest so i think i will wait until she is 10 and start then.

However, what Gerty said about Tomb Raider games designed especially for kids :baby: has got me thinking. :idea: That's something that never occurred to me. Let me pitch you this game idea: Lara goes off on another adventure in an exotic location, Egypt?, Cambodia?, South America? No! Lara goes to Sesame Street! :D Monsters have taken over the street and Lara must rescue the humans. Lara fights her way through the booby-trapped and barricaded street dispatching monsters with her shotgun as she goes. She shoots her way through Grover, Bert and Ernie and the Grouch. She blows Big Bird away with her bazooka showering the street with yellow feathers. Finally, she has a showdown with the biggest boss monster of all - Elmo! :lol:

Wouldn't that be a fun game to play! :lol: Nah, i'm just kidding! :D

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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by QRS » 20 Aug 2011 23:27

Approx. 10 years of age just happened to be the age many discovered Tomb Raider (based on this thread). That doesn't mean it is the minumum age to try it out ;)
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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by Jawi » 23 Aug 2011 10:50

I started playing TR at the age of 6, so as you see it's not an age problem. More likely you should decide if your niece is ready or not, observing her behavior, i. e. if she watches action movies with interest and no disgust and so on. She can be ready at 5 or at 15.
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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by magpie272 » 23 Aug 2011 22:19

I disagree with some of you who claim that there is no age problem with children playing tomb raider. Just to clarify, i don't think that tomb raider (or at least the 1st 5 TR games), are too violent or have adult themes. That might become an issue from Angel of Darkness and onwards but the early TR games are fine for children as far as that goes.
No, i was thinking that Tomb Raider is too complicated for small children to understand. For example, the child needs to be old enough to READ the instructions that come with the game. As someone who originally trained to be a primary school teacher (i come from a family of teachers), i know that children learn the alphabet in grade 1 (age 6), learn how to read and write basic printed words in grade 2 (age 7), and learn cursive writing (also called running writing) in grade 3 (age 8 ). I am of course referring to the Australian Primary School system here it may be different overseas.
Furthermore, to play Tomb Raider children need to have matured enough to have learned to count, learned logic, developed fine motor skills and last but not least to have learned patience. A lot of very young children would not have the attention span to explore a vast level (they would get bored) and they would throw a tantrum every time Lara got killed. In short, (drawing on my experience of working with young children), i stand by my assertion that the earliest time to introduce a child to TR would be between ages 8 and 12 (average age 10) depending on their maturity.

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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by mugs » 24 Aug 2011 02:59

when you get to the discussion about when you're too old to play the game, give me a whistle. :D
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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by QRS » 24 Aug 2011 11:00

The best way to see if a child can play and understand a game is to let her/him try it out...not wait for an age that might suit him/her. You will be surprised to see how well a child of 5 can play and learn games (if they are interested and want to.) Also, it is about having fun, right? The child doesn't have to master and understand everything...just enjoying what he/she does.
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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by magpie272 » 24 Aug 2011 21:20

I will concede that playing games is about having fun and that the best test to see if a child can play a game is to let them try it out. However, when you say that the child "doesn't have to master and understand everything in the game", that is where you and i disagree. I mean, what is the point of playing the game if you don't understand half of it. If a child doesn't understand logic how will they solves puzzles in the game? If a child doesn't have fine motor skills how will they perform jumps and the like to get past difficult obstacles? If they can't read very well how will they understand the written instructions that come with the game?, how will they comprehend any texts they encounter? And you can't say, "well they can just pick and choose which parts of the game to play" because many of the early TR games are very linear. You can't go on to section B without completing section A. When i introduce my niece to TR i want her to have the same experience i had when i first played the original TR game. I look back on that day as one of my happiest memories. I want her to be an autonomous player, someone who can figure it out on their own. If i were to help her out and tell her how to get past certain sections of the game i would be "robbing" her of that feeling of satisfaction we all get when we complete a TR level. That is the real "fun" part of playing TR. If i were to let her try it out before she was ready, she would be missing out on at least half of the game experience - and after experiencing the frustration of failure, be unlikely to want to try it again when she was older. I think i owe her better than that. 8)
P.S. Oh and Mugs as to when u are too old to play that would depend on your RSI - but that's a whole another discussion. :D

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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by Alexandre Simões » 18 Sep 2011 10:29

It's not really the age that matters, it is the personality. I play since I was 3 (of course back then I didn't understand a thing of what I was doing). I started to understand those games when I was 7. But the thing is: TR was always an important part of my life. Before I actually played and understood the game, I used to watch my dad play the original tr's and some games from trle. If she enjoys the game, she only has to understand it to be able to play. And tr isn't in anyway violent, but depending on your niece's personality she may or may not enjoy it and find it violent...
Let me think about that... No.

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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by Jorge22 » 29 Sep 2011 16:26

You... played TR since the age of 3? :-o I must say I'm surprised. Weren't you perchance afraid of the TR5 mechanical serpents in Rome by that time? Well, 'nuff said. I'ts always nice to see your English abilities when most kids your age simply don't have a good enough clue. :D

Yes, I agree it's up to the parents to keep an eye and I also agree children simply won't "get it" mostly, hence becoming easily and potentially bored. Especially with most trle levels these days, growing more and more complicated in wider and wider areas all the time. Other than that, I don't think TR is particularly violent - nor is it intended to be so, safe for a few "survival horror" levels (but a little too "brain-directed" - as always).
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Re: Children and Tomb Raider

Post by DJ Full » 29 Sep 2011 21:12

Jorge22 wrote:You... played TR since the age of 3? :-o I must say I'm surprised. Weren't you perchance afraid of the TR5 mechanical serpents in Rome by that time?
I've started with TR2 at age of 11, my dad started at age of 47... and the Living Quarters snake scared the crap out of us in the same moment :D So Yes, I Am Sure Age Does Not Matter.
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