My son is now 5-and-a-half, and so he has discovered the joys of video games. However in a bid to keep him entertained, as well as educated, we keep an eye on what games he plays. We allow him to access a game site called Free4school, which is full of games suitable for his age level.
Nothing he’s played on there has caused me to worry too much, or even raise an eyebrow in worry, till the other day.
I walked past him as he was glued to the laptop, beavering away at a game on a rainy afternoon (it’s a treat, and one that we don’t allow him to indulge in too much). It looked like good, clean harmless fun. Till I noticed the title of the game.
Look how cute (or should that be ‘Kute’?) it looks:
For the uninitiated ‘Seppuku’ means the ritual suicide by disembowelment carried out by samurai. It literally means “stomach cutting.” The samurai committing seppuku would shove a dagger such as a tanto into their stomach while another samurai acted as their second by lopping off their head.
So how do you, as a game designer go from this:
To a fluffy animal based puzzle platformer like this?:
Here’s the game designer himself chiming in: ‘Hi Guys, here it is, my latest major project is a puzzle platformer with a twist – it actively encourages to kill yourself to solve some levels! And if you’re going to be killing yourself often, wouldn’t you rather be playing as suicidal cute animals? I know I would!’
Ok so I played Lemmings when I was a kid, but that only occasionally required you to killed the little green guys. It wasn’t the entire basis of the game. Maybe I’m not as bloodthirsty as some people out there though. Here are a few reactions from people who have played the game (not my son, I might add).
And this one is my personal favourite:
After not very much internal debate, I have decided not to let my son play this game again. He will just have to wait till he’s 9, then he can play GTA 7, like all the other kids*.
*This is a joke on my part, but a scary reality for far too many people that I know.