Why kids can't die in movies/games?

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#1 Posted by KillzoneSnake (2391 posts) -

Years ago I was shocked I couldn't kill kids on Fallout 3. They instead killed me.

Many years ago I was shocked by what one guy wrote talking about the walking dead. Guy said he turned it off when Rick shot a little zombie girl kid. I was like... hmm what? Lol

Watching Jurassic World I was so disappointed with the movie. 2 kids running around the entire movie with a gigantic genetically beefed up Dino chasing them... and you just know they can't die. A 40 old guy could die. A 20 year old as well. Even their 100 year old grandma can get cut in half. But not a 14 year old? Or 10. They are immune to death? Very disappointing movie, I was expecting a more serious movie with more carnage.

And today I read that Detroit Become Human is getting accused of child abuse. Some 10 year old girl gets beat up by her father. Something that happens in real life, same as people who get shot and die. It's ridiculous, so if the girl was 18 it's OK? Wtf lol

So anyway... where did this dumb mentality come from? How can it be OK I decapitate an orc in Shadow of War, I can kill old people in fallout, I can kill the god Zeus on God of War, I can kill women, and guys and zombies, even animals! Mans best friend, a dog! It's all ok, but not kids? Immune to reality, immune to death.

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#2 Posted by Todddow (740 posts) -

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#3 Posted by N30F3N1X (8805 posts) -

Fairly sure it's illegal to show children being killed in most western countries.

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#4 Posted by Horgen (117887 posts) -

@N30F3N1X said:

Fairly sure it's illegal to show children being killed in most western countries.

Never heard of. Could probably have something to do with age rating on movies.

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#5 Posted by N30F3N1X (8805 posts) -

@horgen said:
@N30F3N1X said:

Fairly sure it's illegal to show children being killed in most western countries.

Never heard of. Could probably have something to do with age rating on movies.

Yeah, actually there is only an unwritten rule for that in movies.

I remember there being a lawsuit somewhere in gaming against a company for making a certain scene in a game specifically because it showed a children being shot and that's why you don't see that in gaming, it has never been passed into law though.

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#6 Posted by Horgen (117887 posts) -

@N30F3N1X said:
@horgen said:
@N30F3N1X said:

Fairly sure it's illegal to show children being killed in most western countries.

Never heard of. Could probably have something to do with age rating on movies.

Yeah, actually there is only an unwritten rule for that in movies.

I remember there being a lawsuit somewhere in gaming against a company for making a certain scene in a game specifically because it showed a children being shot and that's why you don't see that in gaming, it has never been passed into law though.

In Last of Us a kid is killed... But you can argue that it isn't really a kid anymore.

I think it was possible to do so in a older Fallout game.

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#7 Edited by korvus (11240 posts) -

It's just a cost/benefit check. What they would gain from it (a few people being happy at the choice) would be a lot less than they would lose (the majority of people being pissed off...or at least a very vocal group)

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#8 Posted by Sam3231 (2199 posts) -

@KillzoneSnake said:

Years ago I was shocked I couldn't kill kids on Fallout 3. They instead killed me.

Hah, first thing your title reminded me of. I just beat the game for the second time over the weekend.

And yep, I tried to nuke them with the Fat Man.

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#9 Edited by madrocketeer (5511 posts) -

Hmm... I think there's a TV Tropes page for that.

Oh, here it is.

Shit. I think I'm becoming one of those "there's a TV Tropes page for that" people. I think I need to take a break from that site.

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#10 Posted by Serraph105 (32445 posts) -

Game of Thrones says hello.

errr spoilers.....

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The second one is technically off screen, but damn if you can't hear it.

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2/3 most people tend to enjoy.

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#11 Edited by jun_aka_pekto (23836 posts) -

Watch Dogs

At least, teens or preteens don't seem immune to bullets.

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#13 Posted by Serraph105 (32445 posts) -

There's another Game of Thrones example where a kid gets stabbed in the neck. I can't find a video for it though.

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#14 Edited by jaydan (1410 posts) -

It's a taboo thought in most of society. Legal or not, any form of media that depicts torture and/or death of kids places a huge risk for controversy. On an economic and business standpoint, that might be a risk most would not be willing to take as it may consequentially sabotage any chance of success out of that product.

@horgen said:

In Last of Us a kid is killed... But you can argue that it isn't really a kid anymore.

If I remember correctly, one of the child deaths in The Last of Us was an accidental/misunderstood shooting, and that other kid halfway through got infected. So I'm wondering if there's a fine line somewhere, between if the kid is dying for a cause or misfortune versus death being committed over cold-blood (i.e like if it was a serial killer story, I'm sure that would be much more controversial). The Last of Us also never glorified the death's of children as much as they illustrated the tragedy.

You got a movie like American Psycho, which pretty much glorifies the torture and death of adults from a serial killer's perspective. I don't think that movie would have had a positive response had the film thrown kids into the mix too.

Maybe that's the fine line there for what's accepted versus outright taboo.

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#15 Posted by jaydan (1410 posts) -

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#16 Edited by tocool340 (21241 posts) -

Really? I know a kid dies pretty horrifically in "The Blob" movie, "Logan" had quite a few killed, Jeepers Creepers 2 started off with a kid getting killed (Off-screen maybe, but it happened), "The Punisher" (2004 movie) a few were killed, "The Gladiator" depicted Maximus son being hanged, Body Snatchers had a kid get thrown out of a helicopter if I'm not mistaken, "Tales of Abyss" had the one kid die in the Miasma, and 28 Days Later (Though to be fair, the kid was one of the infected). There are many others but these are just the ones that currently comes to mind...

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#17 Posted by foxhound_fox (97233 posts) -

@N30F3N1X said:

Fairly sure it's illegal to show children being killed in most western countries.

[citation needed]

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#18 Edited by Balrogbane (1051 posts) -

If I'm not mistaken, Most the time if a Game allows the player to kill someone below the age of 14 is required to be rate A for adult only. It wasn't always the rule. Back in the 90s games would depict it. In Deus Ex you could shoot a 10 year old in the back of the head and take their candy if you wanted to. I believe there are similar rules in movies depending on how graphically it is depicted.

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#19 Posted by InEMplease (7003 posts) -

@horgen said:
@N30F3N1X said:
@horgen said:
@N30F3N1X said:

Fairly sure it's illegal to show children being killed in most western countries.

Never heard of. Could probably have something to do with age rating on movies.

Yeah, actually there is only an unwritten rule for that in movies.

I remember there being a lawsuit somewhere in gaming against a company for making a certain scene in a game specifically because it showed a children being shot and that's why you don't see that in gaming, it has never been passed into law though.

In Last of Us a kid is killed... But you can argue that it isn't really a kid anymore.

In this case I would argue that "Last Of Us" nailed emotion and environment so perfectly we didn't even realize the child's death doesn't go by social norms until after, even much after, our retrospective.

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#20 Edited by InEMplease (7003 posts) -

@jaydan: In the novel of American Psycho the guy stabs a 5 year old kid and then pretends to be a doctor in front everyone including the distressed mother in order to delay help and make sure the kid bleeds to death. He was only dissatisfied because he felt a kid had less to lose than an adult.

And he also ate the people (hookers) he killed.

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#21 Posted by InEMplease (7003 posts) -

Summation: Kids can die in media.

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#22 Edited by nickeddreams (14 posts) -

I personally think it's all about appeasing the activists and extremists these days who will act upon any sort of 'injustice' that can be seen and influence the general public that's so sheltered to anything they're uncomfortable with. Whether it's in movies, or games or social media.

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#23 Posted by Treflis (13506 posts) -

@balrogbane said:

If I'm not mistaken, Most the time if a Game allows the player to kill someone below the age of 14 is required to be rate A for adult only. It wasn't always the rule. Back in the 90s games would depict it. In Deus Ex you could shoot a 10 year old in the back of the head and take their candy if you wanted to. I believe there are similar rules in movies depending on how graphically it is depicted.

I'm fairly certain you are correct.
Depicting children being harmed tends to increase the required age to adult only which for many companies they perceive as a higher chance that less people purchase their product,a much higher risk of some countries refusing to sell the game and likely a poor view from the general public.
So most companies probably view it as a risk not worth taking and/or they simply do not wish to enable players to harm childlike characters in their games.

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#24 Edited by Maroxad (14792 posts) -

Kids can and do die in video games and TV. It is very rare though.

In indie games like Dwarf Fortress, LIberal Crime Squad and Rimworld, and for something more AAA, it can happen in The Sims as well.

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#25 Posted by pyro1245 (3771 posts) -

That's what mods are for :)

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#26 Posted by uninspiredcup (27158 posts) -

@Maroxad said:

Kids can and do die in video games and TV. It is very rare though.

I think most games would have a hard time with heavy subject matter without it coming across as cringe or just, bad.

i.e. Cylon doesn't understand how fragile infants are. Simple enough for that show and tactfully done, but can you imagine Bioware trying to do something similar? Be as subtle as a sledgehammer.

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#27 Posted by Maroxad (14792 posts) -

@uninspiredcup: Yeah babies are extremely fragile.

In Rimworld I edited a save game to set the age of one of my colonists to a baby, and anything would pretty much kill them in one hit. As long as they dont get hit in a part they can live without. Children too are very vulnerable due to how slow and small they are. Teens do fare better, but I would only ever draft them in an emergency.

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#28 Posted by indzman (27735 posts) -

In IT the kid Bro is murdered brutally.

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#29 Edited by mrbojangles25 (41242 posts) -
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Dead Island, anyone?

*sigh* if only the game was as good as that trailer is.

Not just that, either: in Trainspotting you have the whole dead baby thing, that movie is 20+ years old.

In Kick Ass, you don't have kids outright getting killed, but you have them getting the living shit beat out of them and you have them beating and killing people. That is, arguably, worse imo. You know, like a daughter getting shot by her dad.

@uninspiredcup: They managed to do it in Max Payne. It wasn't subtle, but god damn it was entirely well done...I mean, if you can do infanticide right. You pretty much follow a blood trail to your dead infant child.

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#31 Posted by angeldeb82 (1539 posts) -

In Night Trap, you have to protect the teenage girls from getting captured or killed by Augers. Originally, you were also supposed to protect the little boy (Danny) from getting killed, but his death scene was removed from the Sega CD version for obvious reasons, because people could interpret it as a 12- or 13-year-old boy getting drilled through his neck and drained of blood. But now that his death scene has been restored for the 25th Anniversary Edition, you could say that his protection can be an additional task. This "Game Over" scene shows you why the 25th Anniversary Edition wasn't rated T for nothing!

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#32 Edited by luis62halverson (7 posts) -

Haha, sick topic man

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#33 Posted by Horgen (117887 posts) -

@InEMplease said:

In this case I would argue that "Last Of Us" nailed emotion and environment so perfectly we didn't even realize the child's death doesn't go by social norms until after, even much after, our retrospective.

I don't disagree. And the first one who died helped set the setting and atmosphere.

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#34 Posted by Byshop (18867 posts) -

@KillzoneSnake: The short version (as you've likely seen from all the responses) is there is no such rule. Many writers -choose- to self-regulate in this area but that's up to them. Not that I want to spoil some good movies but I can think of a number of examples where the death of a child occurs in the story for emotional impact. Hell, the remake of Dawn of the Dead literally shows a zombie baby getting shot in the face.

-Byshop

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#35 Posted by borninblood60 (262 posts) -

The whole Detroit become human child abuse thing is the daily mail and the dumb twats they interviewed showing why MSM is pure garbage.

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#36 Posted by MrGeezer (59462 posts) -

@nickeddreams said:

I personally think it's all about appeasing the activists and extremists these days who will act upon any sort of 'injustice' that can be seen and influence the general public that's so sheltered to anything they're uncomfortable with. Whether it's in movies, or games or social media.

I think it's more about not pissing off the people who are paying for your product.

You can talk all about "activism" and "injustice" all you want, but the fact is that the makers of TV/movies/videogames have to EARN their money. There's not some entitled amount that they are owed, that the "activists" are stripping away by being whiny crybabies. The amount of money you're owed through TV/movie/videogame sales is NOTHING. You EARN revenue through sales by giving people what they want. And for good or bad, it just happens that MOST PEOPLE with the disposable money to spend on this kind of stuff DON'T want to see kids getting killed (usually).

The people making these movies and games don't feed their families on "justice". They feed their families with the money that they get MAKING STUFF THAT SELLS.

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#37 Posted by MrGeezer (59462 posts) -

@Treflis said:
@balrogbane said:

If I'm not mistaken, Most the time if a Game allows the player to kill someone below the age of 14 is required to be rate A for adult only. It wasn't always the rule. Back in the 90s games would depict it. In Deus Ex you could shoot a 10 year old in the back of the head and take their candy if you wanted to. I believe there are similar rules in movies depending on how graphically it is depicted.

I'm fairly certain you are correct.

Depicting children being harmed tends to increase the required age to adult only which for many companies they perceive as a higher chance that less people purchase their product,a much higher risk of some countries refusing to sell the game and likely a poor view from the general public.

So most companies probably view it as a risk not worth taking and/or they simply do not wish to enable players to harm childlike characters in their games.

I thought it was more a matter of certain western countries (not the USA) having laws outright BANNING the killing of kids in certain games. So it's not just about the game maybe being an undesirable rating, but it actually being ILLEGAL TO SELL in certain countries.

And since major games are becoming more expensive to make and foreign markets are becoming more important to a game's success, it's easier to just cut out the kids getting killed in ALL versions of the game. No developer want to make multiple versions of a game in order to satisfy each country's laws, it's easier to just go with the lowest common denominator. And if one major market has laws saying "no killing kids, or your game is BANNED", then that's the game that gets made for EVERYONE.

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#38 Posted by mattjuliano (5 posts) -

Hi everyone , not long ago I found this puzzle game Doggy Bubble Shooter - Rescue,

before we played and Bubble Shooter Blastmania , but Doggy Bubble Shooter

it is very interesting and very simple to play, it keeps me very busy and it's very cool when I have to save puppies,

what do you think of them? !

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#39 Posted by Starshine_M2A2 (5123 posts) -

OP has obviously never seen Assault on Precinct 13 or Jaws. Also, you can kill kids in Bioshock and Deus Ex.

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#40 Edited by Jacanuk (15137 posts) -

@N30F3N1X said:

Fairly sure it's illegal to show children being killed in most western countries.

Illegal? not sure what law you are thinking of but no.

The reason behind is because it´s not morally acceptable to "kill" kids even if they are virtual.

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#42 Edited by jeahemera (3 posts) -

because kids can't die in moviesgames :) :) :)

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#43 Posted by deactivated-5acfa3a8bc51d (7914 posts) -

It’s so annoying.

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#44 Edited by resevl4rlz (3815 posts) -

you can kill kids in the original deus ex

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#45 Edited by AmberLarson (5 posts) -

Hmmm, I haven't noticed it before. I will be more attentive since now to this tendency

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#46 Edited by ArchoNils2 (9964 posts) -

It really just comes down to the rating of the game. Devs tend to target a rating as low as possible and are willing to cut stuff out for it. I guess the best example is this years Tales of Berseria where a kid dies. But in the west they had to replace the stabbing with a magic spell so the rating got lower:

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Kill a boy by stabbing: 16. Kill a boy by magic: 12.