This is an interesting discussion.
I voted no in the poll. I would have given a yes vote a few months ago, but it seems like the game has become a bit more risqu? lately. Part of it is Nelson's mom and the strip club, but there have also been dialogue that has been on the adult level.
If it were my nephew or niece, I would ask their parent if they think it is ok. I wouldn't want to do things that the parent wouldn't like or approve of.
I would like to thank everyone again who have participated in this thread so far! It will be interesting to see what the final results turn out to be. And the discussion has been really fantastic - a lot of different points of views, and many very valid points!I have set the poll to end in 30 days from the original post, and will try to remember to let all of you know what the triumvirate (aka my sister, bro-in-law and I) have decided!
I think it really depends on individual maturity level. Some nine year olds probably shouldn't play tapped out. Not that it would be traumatizing or anything, but certain things might upset them, particularly Halloween events and such. Most nine year olds would probably be fine, but it does depend. Sounds like your niece probably wouldn't be upset by such things, though.
Much of the more adult content I can think of is tied to premium characters (Otto, Dr Nick, Princess Kashmir) so if that's a strong concern, it's easy to keep out of her game by simply not buying her donuts. Yes, there's a free stripper as well, so I know that's something to think about.One thing to consider is that this might actually be a good way to start a dialogue with her about important life issues if it makes her curious. Maybe she'll ask about strippers if she gets that far, and her parents can tell her that some women do this for a living, and discuss life choices and so on. Just a thought. Probably a better way to go than her stumbling across it on some dark corner of the internet in a year or two.
If it helps, if you google "tapped out level quests", the top listing is a site called simpsonswiki. On the page that comes up is a list of all the levels, which then take you to a list of the quests for that level ... clicking on each quest, takes you to the full dialogue.
Just in case you wanted to pre-screen a level (?) ... if you find one that you'd like her to skip, you can just complete that level yourself when she's not around, and then when she starts playing again, that dialogue is no longer available to her.
Might be a little cumbersome, but ... what the heck.
I voted yes as I've recently been working with a drama group of kids around that age. I don't think that the content of TSTO is problematic - there is no really bad language (like you would find on television) or disturbing stuff like you would find in a newspaper (or on the internet).
I'd rather that kids of that age found more beneficial pastimes than gaming, but if they are going to waste their time gaming it is better to play TSTO than those death, blood, gore and horror kill-fests that the kids I know like.
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People are too sensitive if they say "No." I played Grand Theft Auto when I was 9 and first saw **** when I was 9, too. I like to think I turned out relatively normal.
Now, I wouldn't encourage any 9-year-old to watch ****, but Tapped Out? No problem.
I definitely agree with you about some of the dialogue and characters being risqu?. My concern is that I may be over reacting and that its not as risqu? as I'm perceiving it (and as a result I may be acting too over protective).
As stated earlier in this thread, the parents are aware of this poll and we are all going to discuss the results at it's conclusion (so it's not my decision but theirs in the end - see quote from earlier below). They look to me because I am much more in to gaming then they are, and I play the game and know the content. In the end, all apps downloaded for this child have to be approved by her mom
Much of the more adult content I can think of is tied to premium characters (Otto, Dr Nick, Princess Kashmir) so if that's a strong concern, it's easy to keep out of her game by simply not buying her donuts. Yes, there's a free stripper as well, so I know that's something to think about.
One thing to consider is that this might actually be a good way to start a dialogue with her about important life issues if it makes her curious. Maybe she'll ask about strippers if she gets that far, and her parents can tell her that some women do this for a living, and discuss life choices and so on. Just a thought. Probably a better way to go than her stumbling across it on some dark corner of the internet in a year or two.
Two years later, however, I enjoyed telling everyone my mother was a stripper. At age nine it was really cool!
This is a valid point and seems to keep popping up in one form or another. It is definitely something I will mention to her parents - it would give them the chance to discuss this on their terms with her (paraphrasing from what both you and other contributors to this discussion have said). I'm glad that things like this are being brought up - it sheds light on some of the larger issues at hand (maturity, understanding issues that she may or may not already be aware of...).
Everyone has brought up valuable points, whether they have voted yes, no or not sure. At the end I think I'll print this discussion out for her parents to read and have complete access to. It's definitely an engaging topic, and they may want to discuss this with other parents - in the context of gaming or even just in the context of growing up in general.
EDIT: and I'm also glad you mentioned that most of the more "controversial" (for lack of a better term) characters are premium... It is a way to sort of control her in game exposure to at least some of the things I'm concerned about. Your counterpoint of opening up a discussion with her is really resonating with me, though. But I'm not sure if it will resonate with her mom and dad as much as it does with me.
Another good way of controlling her exposure to in game stuff I'm concerned about - this is a good idea, but I'm not sure that it would work - she would be independently playing the game (as she would have it on her own device, it limits the amount of supervision).
Even tough I voted, 'no,' I can understand the logic behind this post. Yes, this is, by far, a 'lesser of two evils'.
I think my reason for voting, 'no,' was because of the dialog. There have been a few times when it shocked me, (mention of an ****, for example), and for that reason I couldn't vote, 'yes,' in good conscience.
And I realize that I would be shocked at what's being said in the playground. (When my daughter was 11, I was friends with the school librarian and was shocked to find out that there were kids that age with STDs. YES!! SHOCKING!! But sadly, true.
But why add to that unnecessary education? You can't keep them little forever, but you don't have to speed things up, either.
(Yes... I'm a mom.)
This unrealistic portrayal of the odds of winning subtly implants the notion in a child's head that gambling is a good way to get easy money. Problem gambling ruins lives, and this belief is at the core of it.
The game consistently promotes gambling as being a desirable activity that always generates income and never causes problems. In the early stages of the game when you need money, you are a fool not to avail yourself of every opportunity to buy a scratch ticket because you will always win. You can win at least 4 times a day, every day, if you buy a scratch ticket at every opportunity. It is hard to counteract this kind of positive reinforcement with a 'little talk' about gambling in the real world and a discussion of the mathematics of odds. It is true that you can lose at Springfield Downs, but if you bet on the dog with the lowest odds, you will win a lot of the time.
On the other hand, the game doesn't promote stripping or other 'adult' concepts as being especially desirable, and it's not that hard to discuss these things at a level appropriate to the child's age (although defining an 'erotic masquerade' might be a bit of a challenge when talking to anyone, child or adult). The visuals that accompany these tasks tend to portray the characters involved as unattractive and a bit sad (For example, Mr Burns' 'Host an erotic masquerade' and Mrs Muntz's outdoor task - can't remember its name - Dance of the Bee, perhaps? It involves her in a bathrobe). I can't imagine anyone, even for a second, feeling that they'd like to become a stripper because of Mrs Muntz's portrayal in this game.