Parents Watch Out For The Zombie Video Games!

Parents Watch Out For The Zombie Video Games!

 

Violence Against Zombies In Video Games

 

Screen Shot 2013-01-10 at 7.37.51 PM
Screen Shot From Black Ops Zombies

Zombie Craze!

There is a huge Zombie craze right now in computer video games on T.V and Movies (if you haven’t noticed..). It seems to have replaced the Vampire craze of recent times in the same media.

I do have a concern as a parent of younger teens about games that contain Zombies. Personally I don’t like Zombies, shudder…I won’t be alone in that, but each to their own, and for adults and well balanced older teens, as I said…each to their own.

Violence And Zombies

What concerns me is that the level of graphic violence shown against zombies in most of the games rated M (Mature able to be bought and played by 16yrs and under with parental guidance) and above MA16+ that I’ve seen. The level of gory violence in some of these games is generally much higher than the level of violence shown towards humans in most but not all games.

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If you are a parent that is concerned with exposing your younger teen or even younger child to graphic violence before they are ready to handle it, then you need to be very aware of the level of violence that can be in some Zombie Games.

Note: Not all Zombie games are terribly violent, some are very cartoon like, and rated accordingly.

But Zombies Aren’t Real!

When I question my own kids about the graphic splatter violence against Zombies, I’m met with “Oh Mum it’s only a Zombie ,NOT a human!”….But here’s the thing, I think that violence is violence, whether against a Zombie, an animal, a dragon an insect or a human, and games with Zombies that are rated M (Australian Classification) seem to be more violent due to that “oh it’s only a Zombie” mantra. Zombie violence in all entertainment is much much more graphically brutal than anything I’ve seen in the same media where a human is killed. And lets face it…Zombies are pretty close to human in form. The human you can slaughter who isn’t really a human?

Do Zombies Allow More Violence Than Would Normally Be Allowed Under An M Rating?

I do wonder if some game developers are pushing the level of violence up against Zombies and other non-human creatures, to satisfy a blood lust from some kids who wouldn’t normally be allowed by their parents to play a game if the same level of violence was shown against humans. We are not just talking about a bullet going through a body, but hacking off heads and limbs, blood spurting everywhere, its really gruesome stuff! (see videos below)

If I see my 16yr old playing one of these games, and the really bad ones are usually Mature or MA16+ I ask him to turn it off…even though legally he’s allowed to play these games. I can’t stand them, and I hate that he is playing a game with that level of violence, I far prefer him to play a more strategic game with less gratuitous splatter.

Is Video Game Violence Is Still Violence If The Character Is Non Human?

Parents need to be aware what the level of violence is in video games against any creature depicted in a game or on TV or a Movie, and how graphic it is, regardless of the classification, and then make a judgement whether they are comfortable with their child whacking a stake through the eye of a zombie, and witnessing a huge spurt of blood coming out of it… Do you go along with the “It’s not a human it’s a Zombie” idea, should we be less concerned than if the same level of violence was shown against a human or a pet?

But Kid’s Shouldn’t Be Playing M and MA15+ games anyway!

The level of violence in video games rated M and over is so inconsistent. I know parents who will allow their 11 year old to play Halo rated M and think its the same level of low graphic violence as a Zombie Game rated M. And unfortunately many parents do buy games that are listed as MA16+ specifically for their younger kids, (against the terms of the classification system) but may not realise that the Zombie violence in some of the games listed below might be too much for some 16 and 17yr old’s to cope with!

Have a look at the two official trailers from two very popular video games with Zombies at the bottom of this post. Are you ok with your child slaughtering non human creatures in a game that involves this level of gore? What’s your take on the whole Zombie phenomenon?

Here’s a pretty good list of popular video games that feature zombies.

I’ve linked some reviews below from a great resource for parents Common Sense Media

For parents of kids under 16yrs some of the games to watch out for with really graphic Zombie violence are:

The Walking Dead

ZombiU

Call Of Duty Black Ops Zombies

Call Of Mini Zombies

Contract Killer Zombies

Left For Dead 2

Deadlight

Dead Island

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The Walking Dead Trailer

Black Ops Zombie Trailer

 

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  • Q the Platypus

    I think what matters is the ability to suffer. Pets and living humans can suffer but zombies as unliving automatons lack this ability.

    • That’s an interesting observation actually. I don’t know enough about Zombies lack of soul and feeling I guess. But isn’t violence still violence regardless of weather the object of it appears to suffer?

      • Q the Platypus

        I think that the target of an act makes a big difference to the ethics of the act. Hammering a nail into wood is moral because the wood lacks the ability to feel pain, however the same is not true for a human , likewise using a bow and arrow against a target on a archery range is different to using it against a living thing.

        • However Inanimate objects can have violence done to them, i.e. a person who blows up a building or smashes a baseball bat into a car, it’s still violence the intent has a lot to do with it. But Zombies, are humanoid, they were humans at one time, according to the legends I guess. When they are attacked they bleed, their bodies behave and react as a living creature would, regardless of weather they appear to feel pain. The satisfaction a person might have dismembering a Zombie might be similar to how they might feel if they did the same thing to a human they wanted to hurt. It’s still done with a level of wanting to destroy don’t you think? rather than just target practice. There might be an element of Oh it’s not really killing as these are zombies…but I still feel that it’s a case of the Humans you can dismember without the guilt. My younger son, had weeks of nightmares after watching I am legend, not because of the fact that Will Smith was alone but because the Zombies had no fear, there’s that coupled with the violence done to the zombies that can make a Zombie game much more fearful for a child who is still very impressionable. It may also have some desensitising effect, but I haven’t seen any research on desensitisation in regards to violence against soulless entities.

        • Oh and on an anecdotal level…both my boys play zombie games, and a level of violent video games, within my limits, but neither boys are violent.

          I have brought them up to understand the difference between pretend violence and real. And taught them that violence does not solve problems. Neither of them would even kill an ant…

          I do not subscribe in general that violent videos or games create desensitised and violent children at all. But having said that I do know that, it may not be the same case if a child has a violent family life to contend with, and is unbalanced emotionally.

          Knowing the difference between make-believe and reality is very very important. When I was their age I wished I could blink with my arms crossed and my room would magically be cleaned up…(I dream of Jeanie) unfortunately it never happened and I never really expected it to happen 🙂

          The reason I don’t want my kids exposed to too much violence and horror too soon, is that I know it does disturb their sleep patterns, and lets face it, they have their whole lives to be impacted by horror both real and fantasy I don’t want them to get to grown up too soon! There are so many great games and movies out there that they can play that can challenge them creatively and intellectually, shoot em ups can be so one dimensional.