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Subject: Age Rating rss

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Matt Thrower
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Simple question - does anyone think that there's much mileage in having an age rating included amongst the game data? There seem to have been a few geeklists recently about games to play with kids, or to introduce the very young to gaming. An age rating might help people pick out suitable candidates.
 
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Brad Harmer-Barnes
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I think this sounds like a good move...although I quite like the idea of playing Hentacle with my four year old cousin.

Would it be what was written on the box lid, or a recommendation from various BGGs?
 
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Mark Mahaffey
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To my mind, age ratings are almost useless. You know your kid, what are they cpable of? What do they enjoy? What do they read? I know I was playing AH's CIVILIZATION before I was ten. But I know I'm a geek. You should be able to tell what they would be interested in and could handle complexity-wise... cool
 
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Tootsie Roll
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I don't think it would be that useful. I have run into many kids who play games that are rated 6 or more years older on the box rating. Kids vary in reading, critical thinking, and interests levels so much that age ratings would simply be a guess as to when they can start. Exposure to games also plays a role in what games a child is ready for just as it does with adults. For us, our five year hold caught on to Shadows over Camelot in a couple of plays, played Settlers of Catan over a year ago, and currently chooses chess as his favorite. Other kids I have known who are 6 or 7 are not ready for these games. I have seen recommendations for starting these games as early as 4 or five to as late as 12 (what is recommended on the box of Settlers and Shadows). An age recommendation would not be very helpful based on many of these variables.
 
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Don't Panic!
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It wouldn't hurt to put the recommendation from the box into the game details page - this at least gives an indicator. I am really tempted by Mall Of Horror for many reasons, but as my main gaming buddies are 12, 10, and 8 and the game says 14 (I think) I've not made the purchase despite them all coping with Runebound, and Settlers (rated 12+) with ease. But is it rated for difficulty or content?
 
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Mark Mahaffey
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These kinds of age ratings on boardgames almost always deal with complexity, not content.
 
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Lyman Hurd
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Ahhh, Lake Wobegon where the women are strong, the men are good-looking and all the children are above average.

I tend to use the age ratings to avoid games that suggest a beginning age of 12 or higher. By that I mean for myself. This almost always means too many unnecessary rules.
 
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