"It's made for kids"

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"Kids may be very easy to entertain, but they are NOT stupid!"
Caddicarus


"It's made for kids" is an excuse often used to dismiss criticism towards entertainment made for younger audiences.

This article will focus on the matter regarding video games, but there are also articles on this topic on the Terrible Shows & Episodes, Dreadful Literature, and Awful Movies wikis.

Background

It is well known that kids are easier to entertain by simple things that grownups may find stupid or boring at first. Likewise, kids are less likely to have fully developed motor skills and reflexes that would be required to play highly complicated mature games (like Call of Duty). Because of that, video games targeted at younger audiences tend to be easier and simpler than games targeted at older players, but that doesn't mean that games aimed at kids should be too simplistic and basic.

Often when people criticize kids games for poor quality, short length, being overly simplistic, or anything else they don't like, some might say "It's made for kids" as an excuse for doing so. While it is understandable that kids may have a hard time with complex games that adults may like, saying that it's made for kids shouldn't be a good enough excuse for making low-quality, effortless, and excessively easy games that grown-ups will find boring. This excuse also makes kids look like idiots with no real taste who will like anything aimed at them, which isn't actually true. Kids are actually smarter than they're given credit for.

On the other hand, there are some older people (mostly dudebros) who dismiss games targeted at young audiences as "kiddie games" and often say things like, "Those games are for kids, they're too easy and boring.". Just because a game has a younger target audience that doesn't mean that older people aren't allowed to play them or won't find challenge and substance in them. If the game is made well enough, anyone of any age can enjoy.

A good game meant for kids should be simple enough that kids can pick up play it with little trouble, yet have enough content and substance that older players will find interesting and fun to play so that when grown-up gamers go back and revisit the games they've played in their childhood and they can still have a good time.

Even if a game is aimed at kids the adults may also be interested in it (for example, the ESRB rating E stands for Everyone, not just kids). There are many games aimed at younger audiences that can also be enjoyed by adults, such as Super Mario, Minecraft, Sonic the Hedgehog, etc; those games are accessible and easy to understand, but also respect player intelligence and don't pander towards kids.

There is no excuse for making a poorly made kids game.

Why This Excuse Sucks

  1. This is just a way for critics and parents to dismiss criticism towards people who criticize terrible kid games. By dismissing criticism, the quality of kids' games may never improve.
  2. By pointing out the flaws in kids' games, that can leave improvement and ensure that more kids games can be made to be enjoyed by grownups as well.
  3. Would you buy a faulty controller just because "it's made for kids"? Would you buy a broken console just because "it's made for kids"? Would you buy a charger with tons of toxic chemicals just because "it's made for kids"?
  4. It's possible for kids to like games that aren't made for them, such as South Park: The Fractured But Whole.
  5. This whole excuse makes kids look like idiots with no real taste who will like anything aimed at them, which isn't actually true. Kids are actually smarter than they're given credit for.
    • In fact, most niche audience shows that are considered a bad enforcement with this excuse once cluttered the wiki in the past, before they were temporarily removed here and once attempted to move to the planned Terrible Niche Audience Shows Wiki, but that wiki closed due to inactivity. As of recent, some niche audience shows have since came back to the wiki.
  6. The only thing this excuse encourages kids to do is to stoop to a low level, always ignore the parents and not listen.

How to Make a Good Kids Game

  1. Gameplay that is easy to pick up so it can be accessible for everyone but challenging to master.
  2. Level design with substance but not too much complexity that the player would get lost.
  3. A pleasing colourful art style and character design that is easy on the eye but neither too "cartoonish" or "simplistic".
    • Anthropomorphic animals and fantasy creatures are usually a good pick for this.
  4. A plot that isn't too complicated, but nothing too pandering either.
  5. No swearing and/or sexual content and minimal blood. Mild cartoon violence is fine, especially if the characters in the game are non-humans or the violence is used as "slapstick". Crash Bandicoot is an example of this.
    • However, this can be averted if the game is both aimed at kids and adults.
  6. Help in case the kids get confused without being too handheld. If a game does have some hand-holding mechanic, it needs to be completely optional so players who don't want help can ignore it.
  7. Puzzles can be easy to solve but shouldn't flat out give away the answer without letting the player at least think for a bit.
  8. Educational value, especially in games rated E/3+. The easiest one to incorporate into a video game is problem-solving.

Examples of Good Kids Video Games

NOTE: Keep in mind that some good kids games could also use the excuse.

Examples of Kids Video Games with this Excuse

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