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Kids’ games include any video game designed to be played by children. Such games are often, but need not necessarily be, educational in nature. They feature age-appropriate content, with no realistic violence or inappropriate themes. They naturally avoid too-complex rule systems and are designed to be aesthetically appealing to certain age brackets. Within that broad definition, there are a great many subcategories of children’s games.
The History of Kids’ Games
Before looking at the history of games specifically designed for children, it should be noted that most popular early arcade and home games would probably be considered as appropriate for children as adults. Pong, Space Invaders, Pac-Man, Super Mario Bros., etc., contained no objectionable material which parents might has sought to shield their children from. Only later would games with more mature content and themes, such as Mortal Kombat and Doom, enter the mainstream of gaming. The 1990s saw an increase in controversy over adult themes and violence in video games. Eventually parents’ desire to protect children from certain games led to the creation of a ratings system, the ERSB, in 1994.
That said, however, there has long been a demand for games which specifically cater to children. As the use of home computers and consoles for gaming has grown more widespread over the last thirty years, the demand for kids’ video games has expanded as well.