It seems to be an unspoken rule in videogames: Don't kill kids. Don't show them in any danger. Don't inflict any violence upon them. And just to be safe, if the game in question is gonna be M-rated, let's pretend that children don't even exist. You ever seen one in GTA?
Which is yet another reason to like Limbo, a puzzler due this summer for Xbox Live Arcade. In addition to being beautiful, mysterious and complex, it isn't afraid to put its little boy protagonist in fatal harm's way over and over. For example...
Above: Child about to buzzsawed into a billion child pieces
Above: Child about to be impaled by child-craving spider
Above: Child about to be incinerated by flaming, child-seeking rubber tire
Above: Child about to be crushed by intricately set child trap
Above: Child about to be served as food to a nest of hungry child insects
Above: Child about to notice already dead child and consequently abandon all childhood hopes, dreams and wishes
Seriously, though, why should game developers have to pretend that kids are invincible and immortal? If putting one in danger makes the game scarier, why should they be forced to shy away? Like film and literature, a game can be about children without being intended for children.
Here's the latest video of Limbo in action, including all of the creepy scenes above in disturbing motion. The images alone really don't do it justice, so I recommend you hit "Play" now.
May 12, 2010
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