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Alan Lynott
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Hi all,

this game sounds fascinating and I'm wondering if anyone plays this with their kids. My eldest son is 9 but is mature for his age, and I think he would love this type of game with some role-playing aspects.

Can anyone offer any advice of playing it with their children?

Cheers, Al.
 
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David C.
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There is a review here on BGG or on the offical forums about a guy playing with his very young son and daughter. They had success
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Even though there are "zombies" (and pregnant ones at that), and "torture", a "post-apocalyptic world", some themes that may seem heavy and mature on the surface, they're really all just light flavor for the game and it depends on you, the parent, how much you want that flavor dripping into the game experience or not.

When my son was 9, this game would have been no problem for him (he's almost 13 now).

-shnar
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Steven Wells
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I play Earth Reborn with my son who is now 10. He's surprised me on a few occasions with thinking outside the box which is very cool.

He started with Arkham Horror at 7 (it's co-op and we always have a blast weaving a story together). And has been playing Last Night on Earth with me since release. His favorite remains Galaxy Trucker though.

At 7, we played together because he wanted to spend time with me. At 10, he's certainly not a seasoned veteran, but he's also not a push-over. He gives me a run for my money and knows the rules of all my games better than me.

Adjust the storylines to your taste and have fun with your kids.
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Purple Paladin

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Just me, but I would say "PG-13", and even then I doubt my sister would have allowed me to play this with my nephew untill he had been about 15-16.

Sorry, but no way I'm playing a game with torture, blood covered saws or mating zombies with a little kid.

I still am perplexed by American values about sex and violence as far as kids go. I hear "Oh my God! What if little Jimmy see's those two women hold hands!" Then an hour later little Jimmy is watching people getting murdered via disembowling while the parents yawn.
 
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Steven Wells
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I'll ignore the completely inappropriate and inaccurate stereotyping.

If you wish to remove torture from Earth Reborn, you can. It was easy to do with no impact whatsoever to my enjoyment. The modularity of the rules allows you to mix and match with this game better than most. Indeed, you could also remove searching or ranged combat or equipment or or or.... That may change the balance but you can still have an enjoyable game and I encourage experimentation.

I clearly stated that you can adjust the storylines to best suit your audience? Adjust the objectives. Tone down the descriptions. Add your own descriptions. You can skip whatever someone might find offensive. Or you can make up a completely new scenario if you feel it's necessary. Or...wait for it...you can use games as a springboard to discuss some uneasy or socially/politically/ economically/philosophically awkward topics.

Kids are fun to play with. Find a balance that you (or in your case, your sister) feel comfortable with and pick your games accordingly. Enjoy.
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Alan Lynott
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Purple Paladin wrote:

Sorry, but no way I'm playing a game with torture, blood covered saws or mating zombies with a little kid.


We live near Manchester so that seems quite tame
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Ade Lewis
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alanlynott wrote:
Purple Paladin wrote:

Sorry, but no way I'm playing a game with torture, blood covered saws or mating zombies with a little kid.


We live near Manchester so that seems quite tame


I'd concur, Manchester has all three in spades, mostly the kids too.
The problem is you can't take those elements out of Manchester but in Earth Reborn you can thats why this game is so great and Manchester is not. whistle


Maybe an expansion 'Manchester Reborn' where theres absolutley nothing in the middle of the map apart from taxis and drunk people and all around the outside its a wasteland.
The goals are to get from one side to the other without getting raped, murdered or gangbanged. LOL
cool

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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Purple Paladin wrote:
Sorry, but no way I'm playing a game with torture, blood covered saws or mating zombies with a little kid.


Torture is just the name. Mating zombies is the back story. Blood covered saws are only if you paint your minis (and on Jack's pic, sure but that's tiny). You don't actually describe how the zombies are mating (imagine that birds n bees story), nor how the "torture" happens, and if it makes you feel better you can call it questioning, since that's all you're doing. Hell, I have yet to get to a game where the Torture Rules were included.

Point being, most of the "mature" content in the game is background fluff and depends on you the parent telling the child all the background as to how much the child will be exposed to.

-shnar
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Dennis Gadgaard
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I suppose in a pinch, you could pitch the bloodcovered saw as an industrial paintcan opener...
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J P
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shnar wrote:
Torture is just the name.

...
shnar wrote:
if it makes you feel better you can call it questioning, since that's all you're doing.


It's a boardgame. If you like you can entirely swap or erase the theme and play the "abstract game". Everything besides the abstract mechanics in board games are just names (unless narration is a game mechanic as in Dixit or any Pen and Paper RPG).

The inclusion of a torture mechanic is the reason why I didn't pick up a copy at Essen. It strikes a boundary for me. I would not want to play a game where the best course of action (in order to win) might be to engage in fictional acts of torture.
As much as I respect Chris Boelinger for his excellent Dungeon Twister, in my eyes the inclusion of torture makes this game as distasteful as one having active rape as a core mechanic.
 
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Bryce K. Nielsen
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Wow, you're going to let the choice of a word keep you from playing such an excellent game? Chalk it up to translation error, the character isn't being tortured since you're not removing any health from him. Really he's being "questioned" and the mechanics reflect that. One character spends a turn with the other character and gets information from him. That's it.

But you know, if that bothers you, stick with your Candyland and Chutes & Ladders. I'll keep playing this excellent game.

-shnar
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Ade Lewis
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thirteenthirtyseven wrote:
shnar wrote:
Torture is just the name.

...
shnar wrote:
if it makes you feel better you can call it questioning, since that's all you're doing.


I would not want to play a game where the best course of action (in order to win) might be to engage in fictional acts of torture.
As much as I respect Chris Boelinger for his excellent Dungeon Twister, in my eyes the inclusion of torture makes this game as distasteful as one having active rape as a core mechanic.


A bit harsh, you dont have to go far to find all sorts of unsavoury acts, actions and choices in most games, required, inferred or otherwise.
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J P
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It's a personal boundary, I'm not imposing it on anyone and I'm holding nothing against people that can enjoy it.

This is thread on the suitability for children and I'm merely throwing my my perspective. A game is not the environment I'd like my children to learn about torture, especially not in an active role.



Also, it's not a translation mistake.
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John McKendrick
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I saw the whip .... no damage can be given to the characters .... I assumed it was a tickling stick .... Am I wrong?
 
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Tycho Terziev
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thirteenthirtyseven wrote:
[ I would not want to play a game where the best course of action (in order to win) might be to engage in fictional acts of torture.



I respect your opinion , I really do.But this statement is beyond my understanding.Are you ok with combat in games?Are you ok with a fantasy hero plunging that rather dirty sword into the guts of his unfortunate victim?Are you ok with the said hero being eaten alive by some unpleasant monster?Are you ok with the image of a soldier torn by a direct bazooka shot?We can go on.Like it or not,but violence plays a great part in humanity's entertainment.We are lucky that we can satisfy that urge by devoting to such beautiful , warm and social hobby such as boardgaming*.It's definately better than going to a show at some bloody gladiator arena...

It is not a jab at your personal beliefs, I am just trying to understand how being ripped apart by a machine gun is not that sensitive as a topic,but torture is.I don't really see the difference-they both should be sensitive topics,but it seems that we are (sadly) desensitized for some things.

I am sorry if I sound somewhat harsh on you.

*I understand that there are countless different reasons to play games with violence/competition/elimination.
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J P
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Nono, I don't have any problems with many other kinds of violence in boardgames. I'm not sure I'd want to fire bazookas at my (fictional) 9yr old (insert distinction between player and character in boardgame controlled by the player here), but I'm happy to do so in an adult gaming group.

As I said, torture is a personal boundary. I don't think I need explain what the difference between torture and being blown up by a bazooka in combat is.

It's the same for vide-games. I don't mind killing in first person shooters, but would I want to play one where I have to torture (or rape) someone to progress or, say, get a bonus item? No thanks!

Tycho, I do agree with you on the matter of boardgaming being better than a gladiator arena, but I can most assure you that I have no urge to torture that I would need to satisfy in a boardgame.

Lastly, before someone says "But Dominion has torturers!" I admit that it is hypocritical to some degree. Still, in Dominion the representation of torture is much less direct. There are not two plastic figures in a room "spending time together". A card is played and someone from your kingdom tortures people other players' kingdoms. I still don't like it, but I find it less repelling that ER's implementation. I would take it out when playing with kids.

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Luke Morris
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shnar wrote:
Wow, you're going to let the choice of a word keep you from playing such an excellent game? Chalk it up to translation error, the character isn't being tortured since you're not removing any health from him. Really he's being "questioned" and the mechanics reflect that. One character spends a turn with the other character and gets information from him. That's it.

But you know, if that bothers you, stick with your Candyland and Chutes & Ladders. I'll keep playing this excellent game.

-shnar


Wow, you're going to let his uncertainty of playing a game including torture with his kid lead you to slag him off?

I wouldn't play it with any young kids of mine but there are hundreds of great games out there that I would play with them, without the need to descend into the hyperbole of your suggestions.
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Ade Lewis
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So, based on comments its the same as buying a book.
Read the overview, if it does not tickle your fancy then look for another book.

I you are unable to decide if the books in the area are right for you then maybe you should move to another section, say from crime to religion or even to the childrens section and check those out.

I would suggest a book suitable for your childs age, one you can read them at bedtime that does not give them nightmares.

If you dont know whats good for your kids there are raft loads of people out there willing to tell you what is. Normally pushing their agendas or beliefs like a wake before them.

Its your kid, you should know best, the informations readily available for you to make an informed choice without resorting to a BGG Yes/No vote from posters who may not even have kids or are kids themselves.


The manufacturers suggested minimum player age is 13

Its not that for no particular reason like its some random age pulled out of the brainless hollow skull of a torture victim... devil
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Purple Paladin

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Yep Ade, 13 is about my suggestion too. Every child is different though (I have a friend in his 40s that should not play this game).

Who wants to play the new Vassel AP "Manchester Reborn" with me?
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Alan Lynott
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Necker wrote:


The manufacturers suggested minimum player age is 13

Its not that for no particular reason like its some random age pulled out of the brainless hollow skull of a torture victim... devil


I must admit I tend to read minimum ages as related to the complexity of the game, rather than the content - in which case ASL should be rated as a 45 :-)

Anyway, thanks for all the feedback.

Cheers, Al.
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Mark Mitchell
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thirteenthirtyseven wrote:
Nono, I don't have any problems with many other kinds of violence in boardgames. I'm not sure I'd want to fire bazookas at my (fictional) 9yr old (insert distinction between player and character in boardgame controlled by the player here), but I'm happy to do so in an adult gaming group.

As I said, torture is a personal boundary. I don't think I need explain what the difference between torture and being blown up by a bazooka in combat is.

It's the same for vide-games. I don't mind killing in first person shooters, but would I want to play one where I have to torture (or rape) someone to progress or, say, get a bonus item? No thanks!

Tycho, I do agree with you on the matter of boardgaming being better than a gladiator arena, but I can most assure you that I have no urge to torture that I would need to satisfy in a boardgame.

Lastly, before someone says "But Dominion has torturers!" I admit that it is hypocritical to some degree. Still, in Dominion the representation of torture is much less direct. There are not two plastic figures in a room "spending time together". A card is played and someone from your kingdom tortures people other players' kingdoms. I still don't like it, but I find it less repelling that ER's implementation. I would take it out when playing with kids.



Plastic figures "spending time together" lol is this for real? Also why do you keep using rape as being akin to torture. Torture has a military use against the enemy and with some black humour (which ER has bucketloads of) it can be quite humorous. Rape however is never going to be funny or tongue in cheek. ER's chock full of cheeky humour, lighten up.

It's not like the games called Guantanamo Bay.

I do think purple paladin makes a good point. I don't think its a US thing either, but people do seem to accept representations of violence far easier and much more casually than of sexuality and sex in general. It's such a stupid world.
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Paul Bauman
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Using war and wartime tactics as tropes for game tactics is a discussion you're going to need to have with your kid sooner or later. The right time is up to you, but this game will obviously press the question. If you're drawing a line at torture itself, I think you're drawing it a bit late. Any introduction of a war game with killing, injuring, capturing, to a kid needs to be preceded by a debrief about what war really is, and what your opinions are about using it as an abstracted trope device for tactical gaming.
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Chris Lear
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This is an interesting discussion. I recently bought ER and have played the first 5 (or 6 - I forget) scenarios with my 10-year-old son. He is enthusiastic about learning the torture rules. I am very squeamish about it.

I plan to refer to it as "interrogation", or maybe the comfy chair. Yes, this does make a difference to me, even in a game that clearly, and from the outset, engages the players in a war without much influence from the Geneva Convention. I want to play the rules, in the abstract, but I don't want to be play-acting torture.

Does it bother me that my son is keen on games involving killing and torture? Yes, it does to be honest. Does that make me not buy them? Almost [I loved the one game of Chaos in the Old World I played, but find the theme just a bit too icky], but in this case not quite. Will it do him long-term harm? I hope not, and I doubt it.

I stick (almost always) to the classification guidelines when choosing films or computer games for my children, so probably would not have got hold of this if similar classifications existed for board games (because surely it would be classified at least 12).

Finally, do we enjoy playing it? Absolutely. It's a great game. I like the multiple routes to victory, the strategy, and the occasional randomness. He likes blowing stuff up and beating his dad. Everyone wins.
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Fabio Calzolari
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I find funny how rationality sometimes "fail". I was thinking at J P post about not buying the game 'cause the torture mechanics, saying to myself that "it was a bit too much" when i recall that i ceased to play Overlord 2 from when you have to bash baby seals, which really erased all the fun.
The fact is that games like E.R. or (as it happened yesterday, Heroscape) rely on emotions raised by the theme (when you'll scream of joy or angry when your "character" do something great or die miserably). So, when the theme is somewhat "more" than the average, it may "hit" someone for whatever reason.

Back to the kids, i think is wrong to talk generally: each kid have his own maturity and tastes, so we (the parents) have to measure how a game can fit to them just like a pair of shoes. As an example, my daughter watched all "Bones" episodes, but she fear Gollum from the LotR trilogy and don't want to hear that voice (which being dubbed in Italian, i don't know if it is more fearsome than the original or not). She have no problem describing gore when she plays her D&D shadowdancer, but don't like when my son kills animals with his Ranger.
My son (12yo, which is the one that plays E.R. with me) don't really care about torture or other gore 'cause he feels none of the characters as bein "real". He was much more worried about the amount of soldiers died when he played the D-Day scenario in Call of Duty.
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