At what age are First Person Shooter's appropriate for Kids?

My little nephew is nine years old. He’s tired of playing Lego Start wars and Dirt Wheels type games. He was over a friends house the other day and played Halo II, and loved it. I was wondering in your vast opinion O’Teeming Millions what you would deem appropriate for what age?

I’m certainly not going to buy him Splinter Cell or Ghost Recon because I’d like the lad to be able to get at least some sleep as a youngster, but with the age of internet being hard wired into children’s biological USB port [their Brains] and with the amount of advertizing these kids see at such a young age, it is difficult to know when they are ready for a first person shooter and when they are not.

I do not want to contribute to the delinquency of a minor by buying him a MA rated game, but I know there are games out there that are much more fun than Lego Star wars without the blood thirsty voracious charactors of a Mafia type genre.

What say you?

I let my son have his first FPS when he pointed out to me how odd it was that I hated the shooter games, but I was totally fine with a game where he was an archer or swordsman or wizard with a wand killing people! Not only did it point out the illogic of my own stance, but it showed me that he was at an age of reason, and that maybe he knew his own limits better than I did. He was somewhere on the elder side of 12 at that point. Maybe 13.

My advice is to give it a try and watch carefully. Does he get more agitated after playing a FPS? Does he have trouble focusing on doing work, or does he get play-violent with his sister, friends, the dog? Really, the part about video game violence that bothers me (you might be different) is how it, for some kids, carries over into real life. If he’s neurologically and psychologically mature enough that he can leave the violence in the television, then I don’t see the harm in it. If he gets titchy after playing the games, don’t be afraid to tell him you made an error and need to take them back for another 6 months before trying again.

Well, I was playing Wolfenstein 3D and Doom when I was 11 or so. Never got any good at them (and they were never my favorites), but there’s an anecdote for you.

However, if you’re worried, get him a platfomer like Ratchet and Clank. Fun game, lots of weapons, and many of the same skills needed to be able to play a modern FPS. Cheap, too, as they’ve all been released as part of Sony’s $19.99 greatest hits collection.

He’s quite a well rounded kid…but I’ll talk to sis, and seeif she agrees… I’ll look up that Ratchet and Clank.

I’m trying to recall how long ago I let my kid have FPS. I’ll observe that as new parents, we swore that we wouldn’t have toy guns in the house. Then after how many years of the kid using everything from sticks and fingers to toy trucks to simulate guns, we invited in squirt guns, dart guns, whatever. By the time he was 16 or so he had amassed quite an armory including BB, .22, paintball, and black powder weapons. Somewhere along the line there he got FPS vids.

As you observed, a lot depends on the FPS. Some have more gore than others, and some are more clearly intended to be shooting people - which for whatever reason makes a difference to me than shooting zombies, mutants, etc.

I remember when we got the kids an X-box a few years back (when did that come out?) and realized just about every game we got him was on our governor’s warning list. Halo, Goldeneye, etc.

I’m not sure it makes a big difference if the game has Link whaling on monsters with his sword, or a tank blowing up another tank, as opposed to James Bond shooting agents who pop up or sarge making the zombies do the chaingun dance. And Halo is a great game!