What Games Were You Not Allowed to Play as a Kid?

What Games Were You Not Allowed to Play as a Kid?

COMMUNITY QUESTION | Did your parents ever bar you from playing certain games?

Night Trap, the once-controversial-but-now-barely-so FMV game, is out on Switch today. Last year it turned 25 in October, just as Caty did. Yes, Caty and Night Trap are basically the same age. What a weird coincidence!

Anyways, it got us to thinking about controversial (or not controversial) games that our parents wagged their fingers at when we were kids. So for this week's community question, let us know: Did your parents ever forbid you from playing certain games?

Mike Williams Reviews Editor

Nothing really. My childhood was in Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis era, but my parents didn't really know enough about video games to step in and say I couldn't play a certain game. I had Mortal Kombat on Sega Genesis for example, though I've never been a huge fan of the series.

As the PlayStation and Nintendo 64 hit shelves, I had obtained an early work permit and employment at my local gaming store, so I was far more in tune with what was coming out than my parents. I had the chance to play games like Resident Evil at launch and my parents were none the wiser because, again, they weren't in tune with gaming. If a news story about a certain game came to light, I was generally ahead of the curve, having already played the game and moved on.

Nadia Oxford Staff Writer

I wasn't outright banned from playing any games, but certain titles earned the parental Sigh of Disapproval. For a brief period, my mother was caught up in the media frenzy over Mortal Kombat's violence, but she lost interest in it quickly enough. As long as I kept my grades up and didn't go around kung-fu kicking innocent people, I was generally allowed to play what I wanted.

My mother scrutinized my playing habits a little more closely when I was younger, though. She didn't approve of me playing games like Double Dragon, not because of the general violence, but because she didn't like me playing games where women (or women-sprites) get hit. When I played Double Dragon II for the NES at a friend's house, I reported you don't punch women, per se...you just whip them with chains. Surely that was better, right?

No. No, it wasn't.

Matt Kim News Editor

I was one of those kids whose parents had no idea about video games. So while I wasn't allowed to watch rated-R movies and violent TV, video games were largely untouched by any parental oversight. However, they weren't completely unaware about games either. If I took them to a game store and asked them to buy me a rated-M game and the store clerk explained the ratings, they'd heed the clerk and accuse me of trying to pull a fast one.

Still, that just meant whatever rated-M games I did play at home I had to borrow from a friend or my cousin. The latter lent me his Resident Evil and Silent Hill collection, and I'm pretty sure I borrowed Persona 3 from a friend.

Caty McCarthy Features Editor

My mom was pretty lax. I wonder if that's because she was a single mom who was already doing too much. The one thing I was banned from doing though was watch Dragon Ball Z. This was because I saw an episode once after or before Sailor Moon where Cell uses his tail to drain a person until they were just a pile of skin. It mortified me and gave me actual nightmares. So I wasn't ever allowed to watch Dragon Ball Z again. I eventually watched arcs of it in my teens, and I even started the original Dragon Ball in earnest at one point, but I'm still relatively clueless about the series. All I know is that Cell scared me as a kid, and my mom forbid me from watching it from that point on.

As for games, Resident Evil also terrified me. Though that incident wasn't due to me playing it, it was me walking in on my mom playing it. She felt really bad, and in the aftermath she set ground rules about what I could watch her play. Anyways, by the time I was old enough to play games on my own, I usually gravitated towards non-violent games anyways. Eventually I got to play Grand Theft Auto 3 and the like just fine, but I was relatively late to those sorts of games since I played them a few years or so late. I was a preteen at this point, but my mom never raised any fuss about me running over prostitutes. In retrospect, she probably should have. Oh well.

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