I've heard much about Skyrim, and as I'm going to get an X-Box for Christmas, I'm taking a look at various games to see what might be of interest. I have 3 kids, ages 8-12, and I'm wondering about the appropriateness of this game for younger kids.
The first thing you should do when trying to assess the suitability of a game for minors is look at the rating on the box, or if you haven't already bought it, seek out those rating on-line.
Whenever looking at video game ratings though, you need to consider them in the context of the agency producing the rating. The same goes for film as well as video games.
In Europe, we appear generally much less concerned about sex & drugs, while much more concerned about violence, whereas that situation appears reversed in the U.S. Elsewhere in the world you will find other priorities.
While the overall ratings are a good indication, you often have to drill down into the detail to find the real reason for a given rating:
- The BBFC's 15 rating appears to be based solely on the games violence.
- The 18+ rating from PEGi also concentrates solely on the violence, but is obviously much less tolerant of it.
- The Mature rating from the ESRB obviously covers these topics of gore and violence, but also covers the issues of sex and drugs (nothing about rock & roll though *8').
As someone from the UK I think it is unsurprising that I share the opinion of BBFC. I wouldn't be comfortable with under 15's playing this game, but ultimately it is the decision of a parent to decide whether the themes presented are suitable for their children.
Short answer: No.
Long answer: Skyrim is currently listed in the ESRB as Mature 17+. It has Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Sexual Themes and Use of Alcohol and fictional drugs.
Please, if you are going to buy your kids video games, use the ESRB rating, it is printed on every video game box in the front, for more information check the ESRB website.
Good luck with your kids. :D
Skyrim isn't suitable for children. They don't have the patience to level Smithing and Alchemy up to 100.
You also said you had three children. Skyrim is single-player only, and if you get them an Xbox with a good non-multiplayer game like Skyrim, they'll fight over it, overwrite each other's save games by accident, and throw game controllers across the room. (Source: I grew up with one games console and three brothers.)
Different cultures tend to get antsy about different things - for example in the US references to drinking and smoking set off alarm bells, whereas in most of Europe that wouldn't even be an issue for a lot of parents.
At the end of the day the thing you need to consider in Skyrim is the violence. Take a look at a Skyrim Gore Montage, particularly around the 0:30 mark, and then decide if you're OK with your kids playing it.
Mm I'd probably say a mature 13 year old could play it and not be damaged by it, but they would miss a lot of whats really going on.
Rather then just going off the rating (or how bad it is), I would probably say the games not the best option purely because it is likely to be too advanced for most 13 year olds, in both world, gameplay and content.
I would have no issue with a 15 year old playing it.
edit: I don't really mind the down votes, but before you do it would be nice to have a comment explaining why you disagree, just for the sake of discussion :)
My 16 year old son loves this game, and his attitude and behaviour have really tanked since he got it, and that's all he wants to do now is play this game.
The other part to consider is the effects on others. My 5 year old looks up to her big brother (figuratively and literally) and I overheard her telling her big brother about wanting to chop his head off ... unintended side effect for sure, but something to consider.
Skyrim can teach your kid some valuable lessons, for example that People don't like to be sworded.
As mentioned this is ESRB 17+. It's probably okay as long as you monitor them*, and make sure they understand not just the in-game consequences of questionable activities, but what might happen IRL. Ultimately it will depend on the maturity of your kids, and how well they can differentiate between fantasy and reality.
*And upload any hilarity to youtube.
Depends on how lenient you are with your children. For ages 8-12 the only red flag is the language that's used throughout the game. Other than that I don't really think there's any nudity or references to sex and you can't kill the children in the game, so all in all Skyrim's not bad just full of colorful language.
I'm currently playing and loving it. I've only seen one decapitation; it was in the beginning of the game and it wasn't that bad. Not overly gory or bloody. Like others mentioned, religion would probably mean the difference in purchasing this game for children of age 12+. Anyone under 11-12 probably wouldn't know what's going on or care, so I'm fairly sure this would end up being a purchase for the 12 year old only. I'm 13 and definitely played worse, so I'd say the violence isn't really that big of a deal. There's been much more disturbing things on the news. Great game in a breathtaking world with some occasional heavy, and brutal violence. I've only heard one curse word.