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View Full Version : Engaging "Assassin's Creed-type" G-rated game



Taborian
03-05-2011, 02:27 AM
I am a "bleeding-heart liberal" educator rather than a gamer. I have joined this forum in an attempt to better understand my students and their interests. I see the appeal of this game, but I am greatly disturbed by the number of primary/elementary students who quite knowingly discuss this game and game play within the game. This leads me to believe they play the game regularly. I would greatly like to be able to suggest a historical simulation that is as engaging as AC but without the murder. Suggestions?

blacktiger00
03-05-2011, 03:33 AM
hi
um... welcome to the forums

i have to say, from your view point i get what you are saying but honestly im not aure i can agree
sounds like what you are looking for are the eductational games they use to have around a few years ago and there is a reason that they went out of buisness mostly

honestly i would think that most people would be happy that some students play these games and get interested enough to even go and look up the real events. at my school we have entire discussions about the events in assassins creed and their factuality because assassins creed made us interested.
better then nothing


just my opinion.

Ass4ssin8me
03-05-2011, 05:55 AM
Take, out the elements in this game they are interested in and make it purely educational? They will stop playing............

LaCava1
03-05-2011, 07:11 AM
When Assassin's Creed 1 came out, I was 9 or 10. I loved the game, as me and my friends had been studying the Hashshashin for a project. After some late nights of us playing the game, we decided to see what was true, and what wasn't. We learned A LOT about the Third Crusade, the Knights Templar, and all sorts of things. It's the violence and other things like it in this series that makes kids WANT to know about the past.

magesupermaster
03-05-2011, 07:56 AM
I agree that a game could function on it's own as an educational game without violence and such, but and death and other 'bad things' are inevitable.

People are also exposed to violence, death and other such things on other medias as well; TV, movies, books, the Internet, newspapers and and so on...

GunnarGunderson
03-05-2011, 08:36 AM
I would greatly like to be able to suggest a historical simulation that is as engaging as AC but without the murder. Suggestions?
Just play AC without killing people

Mic_92
03-05-2011, 10:52 AM
Well..there isn't much more violence in Assassin's Creed than in any action movie. You can't keep children from being exposed to this minor violence and why does it matter so much?

It seem many adults these days are unaware of all the things kids know or see. They're not as stupid/innocent as you think.

You should try to play the games, OP, if you haven't.

DylanJosh9
03-05-2011, 11:12 AM
TC, you can try RTS games. Stuff like Age of Empires. They helped learn history as a kid.

Poodle_of_Doom
03-05-2011, 12:47 PM
My personal opinion on the matter is that this is completely irrelevant, similarly to how this same argument would be irrelevant if leveled at CoD. Simple fact of the matter is that history is filled with violence. With bloodshed, hatred, bigotry, and death. Even oppression. These are all things you'd see in this game, a game that was created with historical context in mind. I hope the kids open their minds a little bit here, and learn something from the past...

Black_Widow9
03-05-2011, 01:40 PM
Originally posted by Taborian:
I am a "bleeding-heart liberal" educator rather than a gamer. I have joined this forum in an attempt to better understand my students and their interests. I see the appeal of this game, but I am greatly disturbed by the number of primary/elementary students who quite knowingly discuss this game and game play within the game. This leads me to believe they play the game regularly. I would greatly like to be able to suggest a historical simulation that is as engaging as AC but without the murder. Suggestions?
Hello and welcome to the Forums http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif
I'm not exactly sure what age your students are but all games come with an ESRB rating. (http://www.esrb.org/ratings/search.jsp#) For the US Assassin's Creed Brotherhood is rated M for mature. It's a really informative site to find out the ratings of different games and why. They should not be allowed to purchase it unless they are 17 or older. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

LordWolv
03-05-2011, 01:44 PM
Widow, I hope you understand the amount of children under 12 with games rated much higher than their age.
Many parents don't care about age ratings and therefore there's not many parents that are super strict towards it (Eg. You MUST be 18 to play an 18 rated game).

M-dahaka
03-05-2011, 03:42 PM
Originally posted by Taborian:
I am a "bleeding-heart liberal" educator rather than a gamer. I have joined this forum in an attempt to better understand my students and their interests. I see the appeal of this game, but I am greatly disturbed by the number of primary/elementary students who quite knowingly discuss this game and game play within the game. This leads me to believe they play the game regularly. I would greatly like to be able to suggest a historical simulation that is as engaging as AC but without the murder. Suggestions?

I admire your view, but disagree on the means to get there. You don't seem to realize this kind of game makes us want to search if some events actually happened. In that way, it is more historical than you might think. Sure, not much of the stuff happened in the AC series, but alot of people and events in those series actually existed/happened. I know alot of people that did some research on those people/events after playing the game. It's the fun of the gameplay (which is in this case the combat and assassinations) which draws us into a game. Remove that element, and you'll just have a historical movie at best, which wouldn't have such a big audiance.
And as some of you have already said, there was alot of killing in the past, you can't change that, and the Hashashins were a part of our history, as are the templars.

itsamea-mario
03-05-2011, 03:55 PM
In the past people killed people, thats how it was, it's a part of the history.
You want there to be a game like 'Asassins' Creed, but without the assassinating.

Yes it's a very historical game, based around a history of war, murder and corruption.
You take away the violence, you take away the whole point, and are left with something that is just not true.
You also remove the #1 reason the kiddies are interested anyway.
I was already aware of the existance of Hashashins, but AC1 got me interested and I learned a whole lot more, if this game had been some purely educational game on the Third crusade, then i wouldn't have bought and thus would have been left ignorant to this part of history.

Oatkeeper
03-05-2011, 06:58 PM
Allow me to link you to a great Video about why more action based games such as Assassins Creed are much better for teaching than traditionally educational ones. I highly recommend you watch it.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rN0qRKjfX3s

Short version in case you did not actually watch:
Games that are purely educational are often not concentrated on the "Fun" aspect that keeps players engaged. While the amount of people who actually learn is not the same as the amount of people who play, their learning will be out of pure interest and therefor will stick with them better. Example: RPGs often can teach usefull math equations for figuring out maximum damage, even pokemon has several formulas to be learnt.

Very important: The series was based around an old order called the Hashashin, while AC2 was not during the era they existed, the original consept provided a spark of interest for people to learn about this group as well as all the other historic figures in the game.

ProjectXanatos
03-05-2011, 10:09 PM
Um... most of history is littered with violence, death, and betrayal. You can't avoid it without making stuff up, and even then you would be lying to them.

Just saying, unless you plan to have someone play as a spinster, or something...

tyrce111
03-05-2011, 10:16 PM
I am a student...
I like assassins creed...

I dont like it when a teacher comes up to me suggesting a "cool new game"...

I'de think something stingy was up...

ProjectXanatos
03-05-2011, 10:23 PM
o.o

That's weird, lol

Taborian
03-06-2011, 04:50 AM
Wow, that's for all the suggestions! For some of you, I think I really touched a sensative spot! I'm not knocking AC! I like the game...alot! My own sons who are 18 and 20 play the games a lot and have been spurred on to do more research because of the game. In fact, my eldest son is now a senior at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh majoring in GAD! (Robat is his on-line game persona....)

My point is that my 6-, 7-, and 8-year old students are playing AC! I think that is unhealthy for a kid that age. They don't even know the difference between reality and fantasy at that age. I don't think it is healthy for a 6-year-old to be pretending to murder everyone throughout all of history....Get it? When they are going on, and on, and on about AC and I begin to get concerned about their increased aggression in the classroom, I'd like to be able to suggest a less agressive alternative--that's all.

By the way, I will watch the link here shortly. I'm trying to design a highschool level class that involves GAD as a hook for STEM-related courses. Part of the course would be playing and evaluating games like AC from a design and game play perspective. We would then design new games for niche markets. What do you high school students think of that idea. Will it work?

Taborian
03-06-2011, 05:00 AM
Originally posted by Taborian:
Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! For some of you, I think I really touched a sensative spot! I'm not knocking AC! I like the game...alot! My own sons who are 18 and 20 play the games a lot and have been spurred on to do more research because of the game. In fact, my eldest son is now a senior at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh majoring in GAD! (Robat is his on-line game persona....)

My point is that my 6-, 7-, and 8-year old students are playing AC! I think that is unhealthy for a kid that age. They don't even know the difference between reality and fantasy at that age. I don't think it is healthy for a 6-year-old to be pretending to murder everyone throughout all of history....Get it? When they are going on, and on, and on about AC and I begin to get concerned about their increased aggression in the classroom, I'd like to be able to suggest a less agressive alternative--that's all.

By the way, I will watch the link here shortly. I'm trying to design a highschool level class that involves GAD as a hook for STEM-related courses. Part of the course would be playing and evaluating games like AC from a design and game play perspective. We would then design new games for niche markets. What do you high school students think of that idea. Will it work?

Who is Daniel Floyd, anyway? Educate me, please. I need to network with him!

notafanboy
03-06-2011, 09:11 AM
Originally posted by Taborian:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Taborian:
Wow, thanks for all the suggestions! For some of you, I think I really touched a sensative spot! I'm not knocking AC! I like the game...alot! My own sons who are 18 and 20 play the games a lot and have been spurred on to do more research because of the game. In fact, my eldest son is now a senior at the Art Institute of Pittsburgh majoring in GAD! (Robat is his on-line game persona....)

My point is that my 6-, 7-, and 8-year old students are playing AC! I think that is unhealthy for a kid that age. They don't even know the difference between reality and fantasy at that age. I don't think it is healthy for a 6-year-old to be pretending to murder everyone throughout all of history....Get it? When they are going on, and on, and on about AC and I begin to get concerned about their increased aggression in the classroom, I'd like to be able to suggest a less agressive alternative--that's all.

By the way, I will watch the link here shortly. I'm trying to design a highschool level class that involves GAD as a hook for STEM-related courses. Part of the course would be playing and evaluating games like AC from a design and game play perspective. We would then design new games for niche markets. What do you high school students think of that idea. Will it work?

Who is Daniel Floyd, anyway? Educate me, please. I need to network with him! </div></BLOCKQUOTE>Why did you quote yourself ?.

Serrachio
03-06-2011, 09:22 AM
Children aren't as dumb as you're assuming they are. Most children can tell the difference between fiction and reality. Even at 6-8 years old.

itsamea-mario
03-06-2011, 09:37 AM
Noo, children are all dumb,.. and bouncy..

Anyway, if you don't like that they're are playing games that are too old then, well there's little you can do about that, it's the decision of their parents what games they are allowed to play.

And as someone said before, if my teacher came up to me suggesting a game that was 'fun' and educational, then i would most certainly NEVER touch it.

Black_Widow9
03-06-2011, 12:16 PM
Originally posted by Isaac500:
Widow, I hope you understand the amount of children under 12 with games rated much higher than their age.
Many parents don't care about age ratings and therefore there's not many parents that are super strict towards it (Eg. You MUST be 18 to play an 18 rated game).

I do understand but I find it unfortunate... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif
I also couldn't think of any games besides MMO's that are history based but not violent and I don't think that 6-8 year olds want to play those yet.

itsamea-mario
03-06-2011, 12:43 PM
I was generally only allowed to have games that where one age rating above my age. E.g. allowed 15's if i was 12.
But i still remember in primary school, everybody talking about things like San Andreas.

I don't particularly see much wrong with kids playing games rated above there age (with exceptions ofc e.g. an 8 year old playing Manhunt).
Some kids are stupid and do let it get to their heads and are influenced, but most aren't.

Especially when it comes to AC, These kids aren't going to start stabbing eachother because they saw it in AC.

Obviously if they are influenced, it's more the fault of the parent.

Ass4ssin8me
03-06-2011, 01:09 PM
People will always blame something, for kids behaviour.

If its not games, its TV, if its not TV its movies, if its not movies its books. But one things for sure Its never bad parenting!

Crucify Lucifer
03-06-2011, 01:19 PM
Well I don't know how this would work out, as they are fairly young, but maybe you can encourage them to climb up their favorite building in ACII or ACB and then read the information about it in the menu and then share it with you or even the class. I learned quite a bit from reading all of them plus I got to jump off them into bales of hay at the end http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-very-happy.gif.

Oatkeeper
03-06-2011, 03:09 PM
Originally posted by Taborian:
Who is Daniel Floyd, anyway? Educate me, please. I need to network with him!

Daniel Floyd is the narrator for an online series that talks about game design. Since releasing the previously shown video he has started a weekly series on the Escapist called "Extra Credits" (link below) with the help of professional game designer James Portnow (who does the majority of the actual writing for the series) and Allison (the one who does the drawings). In his daily life, I believe he was recently hired as a animator at Pixar Studious.

The Weekly series is called Extra Credits:
http://www.escapistmagazine.co...s/view/extra-credits (http://www.escapistmagazine.com/videos/view/extra-credits)

I highly recommend the series to anyone who is even remotely interested in the mechanics that make up games and what games as an artistic medium can do to enhance the players experience.

Oh and I believe there is a book called "Grand Theft Childhood", in it I remember reading that a child seeing Blood, Death and Injury in a game actually can be beneficial to the child becuase many games for children do not show such consequences for their actions and instead use "puffs of smoke" which makes the action seem less bad. even if you dont entirely agree with that, but its a good point to consider.

ThaWhistle
03-06-2011, 03:28 PM
This whole thread reminds me of an amusing andecdote.

In real life, after Jacopo de Pazzi was killed in Florence, he was buried, and abruptly had his body dug up, and it was then dragged through Florence for three weeks by the CHILDREN of Florence.


These games are precisely about murders in history, the Crusades were full of these sort of assassinations, and the second, with regards to the Pazzi Conspiracy are again based on a real event and its aftermath(Lorenzo de Medici did indeed order dozens and dozens of people killed, and banished many people, etc). The third, with Cesare Borgia, who was basically a real life Bond villian.

By cherry picking history to remove all the unsightly stuff, you do an injustice to the topic. There is not alot of history, when you jump in depth that is really child friendly. Even social history deals with things that, while don't involve blood and guts, do involve crippling famine, slavery, oppression, etc.

So with all this in mind, ya either have to confront that fact, or avoid it until a later age.


I was playing the original wolfenstein and duke nukem before I was even allowed to use a steak knife. GoldenEye64 came out when I was still in elementary school, and me and just about every other kid with an N64 played that, and so far my generation isn't a bunch of murdering nut cases.

So long as the parents aren't completely negligent and society keeps hammering away that its wrong to kill, steal and etc. I think video games should be the least of anyones worries.

To relate this back to my anecdote, kids will always be doing stupid crap that might worry adults. However, times have changed. We've come along way from kids who dragged the corpses of wealthy merchant bankers around for weeks to kids being dragged on leashes by their parents.

itsamea-mario
03-06-2011, 03:36 PM
And the good thing is, the ones stupid enough to try and imitate games, are likely to die. That's natural selection right there.

too far? dno.

And as oathkeeper said (sort of) often these games show the consequences of illegal acts.
You can't just lie to children, let them believe the world is a wonderful place, only for them to find out later on that it is far from so.
The longer you leave the bubble, the harder they'll fall when it bursts.

payrob07
03-06-2011, 07:49 PM
FWIW, you're a teacher, you should love that your kids are playing these games. (Not a knock on your teaching or the level of your students' education)Except I doubt your class is at the education level to fully dive into this kind of history. I may have missed what age group you teach, but the only class I was ever in that studied all this stuff was my class in Florence last summer semester. While the plot line is a stretch(time wise), and a lot of the buildings are inaccurate in design for the time, the game has its roots in fact. If they play the game to full extent and ACTUALLY READ they may learn something.

As a teacher, don't suggest video games... the kids won't play them. Well, unless you're a HS teacher that is the "cool" teacher. You all know the one I am talking about, the teacher that plays fantasy sports, talks about college stories, and lets you skip class.

In my opinion, I'd leave it be. You're a teacher, in their minds you probably aren't cool, I hate to break it to you if you haven't noticed. Now if you reference it in class, then that may change.

Krayus Korianis
03-06-2011, 11:06 PM
As King Richard stated in AC 1:

"We come into the world, kicking and screaming, violent and unstable. It is what we are, we can not help ourselves."

I'd not let the "aggressive nature" of the students get to you. As someone in this thread already stated, it's the parent's fault.

However, IF something happens, and a child starts going after someone stabbing them, blame the parents that subjected this child to Assassin's Creed, not the game or anyone else.

Tricky117
03-06-2011, 11:49 PM
Originally posted by Taborian:
My point is that my 6-, 7-, and 8-year old students are playing AC! I think that is unhealthy for a kid that age. They don't even know the difference between reality and fantasy at that age. I don't think it is healthy for a 6-year-old to be pretending to murder everyone throughout all of history....Get it?


I, for one, absolutely agree with you on the age issue (I.e. they should not be playing the game at that age). But then this is an extensive, well documented debate. I personally believe that it's parental apathy that leads to the under-age players.

People want to play games like this, and developers know this. But it's animal nature to want to simulate conflict (play-fighting), and games like this are merely a reflection of that.



When they are going on, and on, and on about AC and I begin to get concerned about their increased aggression in the classroom

I believe this to be an incorrect assumption, correlation does not imply causation! But again, there are numerous academic papers on the subject that would both agree and disagree with me.

Based on the same type of anecdotal evidence, I quote the outragous comment from one Carole Lieberman; on Fox news:

"Video games have increasingly, and more brazenly, connected sex and violence in images, actions and words. This has the psychological impact of doubling the excitement, stimulation and incitement to copycat acts. The increase in rapes can be attributed, in large part, to the playing out of such scenes in video games.... (The whole incident is fairly amusing its worth a look!).

Ironically the idea that history involved killing people, repeatedly, is kind of accurate, no?


Originally posted by notafanboy:
Why did you quote yourself ?.

The two buttons are close together... I've done it before.

LordWolv
03-07-2011, 01:19 AM
Originally posted by Black_Widow9:
<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">Originally posted by Isaac500:
Widow, I hope you understand the amount of children under 12 with games rated much higher than their age.
Many parents don't care about age ratings and therefore there's not many parents that are super strict towards it (Eg. You MUST be 18 to play an 18 rated game).

I do understand but I find it unfortunate... http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-sad.gif
I also couldn't think of any games besides MMO's that are history based but not violent and I don't think that 6-8 year olds want to play those yet. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Why do you think it unfortunate..?
To me age ratings are just not needed. You'll find that if a 6 year old goes and plays GTA it's extremely unlikely they will turn into a car thief. And even if they did there's no evidence it would have been because of GTA. If I'm honest Assassin's Creed doesn't do anything but be violent (and not even REALLY violent) and swear in italian. Nothing else. I mean, surly that's fine for almost everyone?

Black_Widow9
03-07-2011, 09:22 PM
Originally posted by Isaac500:
Why do you think it unfortunate..?
To me age ratings are just not needed. You'll find that if a 6 year old goes and plays GTA it's extremely unlikely they will turn into a car thief. And even if they did there's no evidence it would have been because of GTA. If I'm honest Assassin's Creed doesn't do anything but be violent (and not even REALLY violent) and swear in italian. Nothing else. I mean, surly that's fine for almost everyone?

I'm not saying that they are going to go turn into car thief's from playing GTA for example. I just find it unfortunate in (my opinion) that kids are missing out on being kids. I think they're exposed to things way too early. What happened to your parents making you play outside or using your imagination. The innocence of being a child that our culture is constantly stripping from them year by year. I realize that things change but I don't see the benefit in this change.
If I had kids I would definitely use the ESRB rating and then try out the game for myself first before letting them play it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif

LordWolv
03-07-2011, 11:32 PM
Originally posted by Black_Widow9:
I'm not saying that they are going to go turn into car thief's from playing GTA for example. I just find it unfortunate in (my opinion) that kids are missing out on being kids. I think they're exposed to things way too early. What happened to your parents making you play outside or using your imagination. The innocence of being a child that our culture is constantly stripping from them year by year. I realize that things change but I don't see the benefit in this change.
If I had kids I would definitely use the ESRB rating and then try out the game for myself first before letting them play it. http://forums.ubi.com/images/smilies/16x16_smiley-wink.gif
Fair enough. Times have changed. And when you look at it like that you're right. But I think, if you stuck by the age ratings, they would probably be shown those kind of things too late. I mean, imagine a 14 year old that has never watched a movie with murder (Or if they have, not real murder, if you know what I mean) and never played a really violent video game. By that age, they really should be aware of these things that happen on the planet.

So rightly you should stick to age ratings to a certain extent. But if you stick to them utterly strictly (in my opinion) you're doing it wrong.

EmperorxZurg
03-08-2011, 12:25 AM
Funny how my high school psychology class is discussing this game and how society tries to monitor and censor violence....and then I get to read this http://forums.ubi.com/groupee_common/emoticons/icon_biggrin.gif

I agree with the OP though. If they're 8, they shouldn't be playing mcStabby stabberson who flirts with *****s. My little brother is 7 and I don't let him watch it since I let him watch once, and the next day at school he told me he played "Assassins" at school where the objective was to stab the other with a stick they found. At that young age, it's just the violence that appeals to them and the history doesn't set in. Around 12 though, would probably be a more respective age where the history would take dominance or at least equality to the violence that grabs the gamer's attention.

*waits for flame*

itsamea-mario
03-08-2011, 01:34 AM
Originally posted by Isaac500:
]
Fair enough. Times have changed. And when you look at it like that you're right. But I think, if you stuck by the age ratings, they would probably be shown those kind of things too late. I mean, imagine a 14 year old that has never watched a movie with murder (Or if they have, not real murder, if you know what I mean) and never played a really violent video game. By that age, they really should be aware of these things that happen on the planet.

So rightly you should stick to age ratings to a certain extent. But if you stick to them utterly strictly (in my opinion) you're doing it wrong.

I don't need to imagine, you just described my cousin (more or less) his parents were really tight about what he could watch/play.
And because of it, he was frightened of things which weren't all that scary.

A bit of de-sensitisation(?) is good.

LinkIbnLaAhad
03-08-2011, 04:59 PM
My favourite movie as a preschooler was a WW2 movie. My father wasn't even afraid to watch Heavy Metal (yes, that movie based on the comic books) in front of me.

And I HATE war (though I do love airplanes...) and admire those who try to solve conflicts without violence, whether it be psychological or physical.


On the other hand, my parents always told me the truth about the history of our people, told me about what they've seen in our home country, of what happened to other members of my family...

Since I was a small child, I knew what people were capable of doing and it disgusted me so much I managed to live through bullying and racism without even using bad words.

Now, of course I enjoy the killing sprees of Assassin's Creed, but as I child I quickly learned what was what and in my opinion, the best way for a child to avoid becoming a monster is, first of all, knowing what monster he or she can become.

If a child is too young for the crude reality of history, he (or she)'s too young for history, period.

No need to get into details, but since so many things happened because 'so and so killed that other so', it cannot be avoided.

For that though, I'll prefer picture books over video games. Last time I heard, children's book authors need to know some psychology in order to avoid 'shocking' young readers.

But that's just my case. For some reason, my parents were seen as crazy. >.>