Why Can't We Ever Just Play As A Kid, Having Fun?

Why Can't We Ever Just Play As A Kid, Having Fun?

Video games are always so serious. You're almost always playing a grown-up (or at least a teen), out to save the world, kill things and scowl a lot. Why can't video games be more like the games we play outside as kids and just be, well, fun?

That's all I can think of watching this Kickstarter video, which is actually for a short film, but whose viewpoint (it's being shot using first-person GoPro cameras) immediately screams "video game". One that I would buy instantly.

I mean, look at 'em go! The motion blur, the laughter, they're having a blast. The setting - a playground with sunlight peeking through the leaves - is about as idyllic as it gets. And it's not like you'd need to invent some new mechanic, since so many video game objectives (like capture the flag) are based on playground games anyway.

Think Mirror's Edge, with all the climbing and jumping, but none of the head-kicking or attack helicopters.

OK, maybe some of the head-kicking. We are talking about kids, after all. If there's one thing I remember from working in childcare for six years (or, you know, being a kid), it's that boys do love their fisticuffs.

PLAY [Kickstarter, via Daily Dot]


    I have long wanted Rockstar to release a sandbox game suitable for kids.
    THink the GTA world, but you can just drive around putting out fires, or rescuing cats, or flying helicopters or doing one of a hundred things you dream of doing as a kid. Without the death and seediness. I think it would be a huge hit.
    Minecraft sort of taps that market, but requires you to be able to build. A 'realistic' world that kids could belt around and have fun would be a great thing. My daughter had a great time when I sat with her and played just the firefighting missions in GTA, and we would go riding in Red Dead Redemption, but there was no way we could play those games without me being glued to her side.
    She loved the open worlds, the realism and the adventure, I would love a kid safe-ish version of either of those worlds to exist for play and creation.

      Haven't played the game, but I think Lego City Undercover ticks some of those boxes.

      Also, though it did have some adult themes, Bully by Rockstar was pretty good.

      Sounds like a great idea for a mod...swap out cars for go carts and dodgem cars, lots of low ante low violence missions, sounds great!

      This is a really good idea. Multiplayer could just be things like a giant game of chasies.

      Wasn't there a LEGO game that was basically GTA for kids?

      [Edit: Doh, that'll teach me to wander off before hitting post.]

      Last edited 10/02/14 10:06 am

        They enjoyed lego city, but they like 'real' things better. They want to drive a realistic car etc.
        It was a pretty good game though, and they liked it a lot.

    There's no market for a sandbox childrens game, they don't have any money. Not many adults would enjoy it as our tastes have matured (plus we have done it before). An adult sandbox game would need to include things adult can't do in real life and would like to do... Things like GTA and DayZ!

      Nintendo's entire business model proves you wrong.

    How about we play the game called "Go outside and climb a real tree"

      My daughter is disabled, many experiences are only available 'on screen'.
      Also, kids can't go outside and drive a fire-engine and put out fires. My other 3 girls are slim and healthy, we don't own a television, we spend a lot of time outside. Not every parent that want's video games for kids equates to kids not getting other forms of play.
      There are so few options for games for kids that aren't either violent or edulame-ment. I'd love to see some fun sandbox games where exploring and fun play are the main focus.

      Last edited 10/02/14 1:20 pm

    I can think off a hundred reasons why playing as a kid will result in something terrible coming from the internet in response to it.

    Remember, one of the first mods in Skyrim was the ability to kill kids.

    "The motion blur, the laughter, The... playground with sunlight peeking through the leaves – is about as idyllic as it gets."

    Idyllic? Sure. But would it make a great game?

    I agree in what I think Luke is trying to say; today's video games are entrenched in violence, when they really don't need to be.

    The industry has forgotten that a game at it's purest is basely challenge and interaction, with with goals set as tasks, or a general competition against others. There is an endless number of ways a video game can achieve these fundamental aspects without the incorporation of violence. One of them, as Luke shows, is by basing a game on a childrens playground...

    Monday Night Combat meets Rugrats ...for example.

    Luke's got the right idea, but he could expand his theory a little and make a much more insightful editorial about it.

    I've been playing a game about kids having fun for about 29 years now and I've upgraded my character a fair bit in that time. The past few years though DLC costs have gone through the roof. They keep releasing all these 'overseas' playgrounds to explore and I'm a real sucker for them.

    "...save the world, kill things and scowl a lot."

    That's pretty much what I did when I played outside as a kid anyway. All imaginary, of course, but 9 times out of 10 when Mum shooed me out of the house I was pretending a branch was a sword and I was killing monsters and evil dudes with it.

Join the discussion!

Trending Stories Right Now