Too violent or not?
An alien parasite crashes to Earth inside a meteorite. You need to help the alien parasite evolve in order to solve some of the games puzzles. The way the parasite evolves is that it invades the body of its host, hatches out and assumes the physical characteristics of its victim. Lots of gore, animals explode, people die in gruesome ways and I’m sure I have a few teenage language learners who would love it. not sure about their parents or the school, though.
When do you think a game is too violent to use with your learners. Obviously with very young learners having a very strict filter goes without saying but when you get to mid to late teens the filter gets a bit turned down. There is still a line though. What I’ve included here is a game which I think you should either play using the walkthrough or see by watching the video walkthrough. The gore and the horror nature of this game would definitely appeal to teen boys but does that make it ok to use? The more gruesome elements would no doubt get those teen boys who are not necessarily into writing to pick up a pen and write either the walkthrough, a description of what happens in the game or the story. You could argue that the cartoon look of the game makes the blood and graphic elements of the game less real but there is still no doubt that the game is inappropriate for certain ages. Whether you showed it or not would also depend on cultural mores and morals. What you can safely show in one country may differ considerably with another. My question is, would you use it? Who with? and how?
Watch the game
If this game causes offense it’s through it’s portrayal of bloody and quite gruesome deaths. There are of course other things to consider when choosing games for your learners. These include:
The nature of the advertising present on the game page.
Inappropriate images present on the host page.
Links on the game page that may take a gamer to sites that are inappropriate but not immediately apparent from the original page.
The use of taboo language connected to to the game either within the game or in its walkthrough, forum pages etc.
Game content of a violent, graphic or sexual nature.
Cultural considerations that may differ between the teacher’s home and that of the class context.
And I’m sure there are more. So, over to you. What do you think?