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Is death to intense for kid players (<13 years old)

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As an adult, I appreciate moving aspects of game stories such as characters you've grown attached to dying. But I want to create a game thats target audience is mostly kids (< 13 years old). Are kids able to cope with this, or is it typically best to avoid deaths in my game?

 

Just to shed a little more light, it will be a spaceship fighter game. No gore, just explosions. The main characters in the story would be the pilots of these ships.

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Look at any Disney or Pixar movie, usually a parent or family member is lost in the film. I think the trick is to show how the characters cope with it and move past it.

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Ori and the Blind Forest comes to mind as a game that deals with death in the plot but is still suitable for children (I bought this for my nephews; age 9 and 12, last christmas)

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I suppose you could have the 'losers' eject from their destroyed spacecraft,  which for a (more) story based game opens up alternate activities like rescues and injury recovery such things.

 

Death of main characters being staged only at important story junctures (they genenerally are a limited resource if the players are to have any attachment to them).

 

Remember in Top Gun where the main character lost his nerve and simply disengaged from the battle (a dogfight), so there can be more than a few alternatives.

Edited by wodinoneeye

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To put it simply, yes. They would be able to cope.

 

Other forms of media directed towards that same audience can often be quite brutal (books like Goosebumps or Gone; TV shows like Digimon Tamers or Slayers, or even Naruto, for that matter.)

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Kids can have a difficult time dealing with the finality of death, however, they are more than capable of coping with it. It is indeed true that by the time one is 13 or so, they have been exposed to death in some matter, whether that be the death of a pet, a grand parent, a parent, a friend, whatever. So it would not be too intense for them as long as it's not a gory sort of thing. No GoT off with Sean Bean's head sort of stuff, haha.

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