Wyatt and I have yet to delve into the blocky depths of full blown Minecraft. The first-person shooter (FPS) control scheme and complex user interface (UI) are obstacles. Barriers that have kept us from moving beyond the demo.
Telltale Games recently released Minecraft: Story Mode. The game received an Everyone 10+ rating for “Fantasy Violence” and “Mild Language”. I visited the Entertainment Software Rating Board’s (ESRB) website to verify rating and descriptors.
EVERYONE 10+Content is generally suitable for ages 10 and up. May contain more cartoon, fantasy or mild violence, mild language and/or minimal suggestive themes.
Violence – Scenes involving aggressive conflict. May contain bloodless dismemberment
Language – Mild to moderate use of profanity
The ESRB site fails to illuminate exactly what I am putting in front of my son. What does “Mild Language” mean? Common childhood words such as: Jerk, Stupid, Buttface? Or are we moving into the territory of: Hell, Damn, and Ass?
Story Time: When Wyatt was still learning how to talk, he started saying the word “dammit”. Now he wasn’t around other kids at the time. My wife and I watched what we said around him. But this was his favorite word. Even after telling him not to use it, he would mutter it under his breath when angry. Kind of funny looking back. Kids repeat what they hear. Even if the parents can’t figure out where they are hearing it.
Nebulous content descriptors are a poor tool. So I decided to go to a source I could trust, I talked to my friend Josh, who had recently played the game. Josh told me that there are instances of:
“What the hell.”
“Freaking.” A lot.
My wife and I have a decision to make on this game. Do we allow it in our home? Are we ready to let our 6 year old hear things above the school playground? I’m not sure. Each family has to decide what they let into their home. Even if it is as minor as a little freaking hell.
I am one of the few, the proud, but not one of the gaming Marines who have stormed the blocky beaches of Minecraft. Now, with the help of developer/creator @Notch and PC Gamer magazine, I can experience Minecraft in a 90 minute demo. This is one of those games I am afraid to even delve into.
So, you’ve just shattered a six year old game Blizzard Entertainment, what are you going to do next?
1. Release expansion packs that build upon the new Cataclysm content. Expansion packs are like the carrot on the end of a stick, enticing gamers to hang around for new content. Will there be new races and lands announced in the future? You betcha ya! 2. Find ways to further grow the current player base. Research into video game addiction and recruiting your grandma will no doubt be internally announced soon. “What are the kids into these days?”, they’ll ask. Hopefully the addition of Silly Bandz, Webkinz mini-games, or anything remotely related to cutsey talking animals are added to the Azerothian landscape. 3. With the release of Cataclysm, the ablity to fly all over the Warcraft world will finally be attained (or soI have been told/ lied to). The next logical step, in WoW’s development, will be to add an underground kingdom. Imagine riding around on mole mounts past vast underground cities and luminous lakes. Let the current Minecraft game/ craze be your guide! 4. In-game advertising! Always remember, a druid likes to be reminded of the latest hamburger available at Burger King. 5. Celebrity designed armor sets. Wait, never mind. 6. Drop the current monthly pay structure. Free is the way to be.