World of Warcraft

Common Sense Media says

Become a hero in an enormous online fantasy world.





What parents need to know

Positive messages

Teamwork is a necessity to be successful.

Ease of play
Not applicable

A fair amount of fighting, although there may be long periods of time between battles. Some attacks can cause blood to gush from enemies.


Some slight sexual innuendoes and scantily clad female characters.


You may find a very occasional "damn."

Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol is relatively common in the world of Azeroth, with characters having the ability to purchase and consume it -- to the point of getting drunk.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this game is incredibly fun to play and spectacular in terms of its beauty and creativity, but it requires adult involvement to be a positive and safe experience for teens. There is violence, some of it bloody, references to alcohol, and occasionally subtle sexual innuendo. Most importantly, parents need to know that this game is conducted online and may involve chatting with unknown players. Also, parents should set time limits for gameplay: With endless exploration and no clearly defined levels, it is easy to get hooked.

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

The plot of WORLD OF WARCRAFT (WoW) is more of a series of mini-stories than one overarching tale, but there is a common storyline that runs throughout the game. The world of Azeroth is divided into two factions: \"The Alliance,\" consisting of humans, night-elves, dwarves and gnomes, and \"The Horde,\" consisting of orcs, tauren, trolls and the undead. A very fragile peace exists between these two factions, and it is not uncommon for battles to break out. Much of the game involves a more micro-story approach, with players working on small individual quests, which may or may not be related to the overall plot; the player's primary concern is to develop his character's skills, abilities and fighting talent as quickly and as efficiently as possible.

Is it any good?


There may be times that players will practically forget about the gameplay and simply gawk at the spectacular world Blizzard has created. From natural beauty to unique and wondrous cities, WoW offers an amazing fictitious world. With all of the exploration available, players will begin to realize that the game is essentially "unconquerable." There is practically an endless amount of quests to conquer, magical items to find, and new enemies to defeat.

WoW is an incredible game: Well-written quests, beautiful scenery and a staggeringly large world to explore make it a ton of fun to play. Nevertheless, it requires adult involvement to be a good and safe experience for teen players. Violence, references to alcohol use, and the unpredictability of an online environment are all good reasons for parents to regularly check in as their older kids play. However, managed properly, the experience may prove to be a rewarding adventure for all involved.

Online interaction: This game is conducted online and may involve chatting with unknown players.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about how this game can be addictive and that guidelines will probably be necessary. Parents should check in regularly with their kids by asking: Who are you playing with? What have others said to you? Is there anything that has made you uncomfortable? Parents might also want to ask what their kids like about this game.

Game details

Platforms:Windows, Mac
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment
Release date:November 22, 2004
Genre:Role Playing
ESRB rating:T for (Mac, Windows)

This review of World of Warcraft was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

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Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging, great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging, good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging, good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging, okay learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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What parents and kids say

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Adult Written byEverydayStudent February 24, 2009

This game ruins lives

This game is one of the most beautifully designed and intricate games ever designed. The game play in here is extremely immersive-it cannot be understood how much it is without you actually sitting down and playing this game. I have played this game on and off for approximately 5 years. The players who play this game call it WoWCrack because it is the most addictive game you will most likely ever encounter. This game as a previous poster stated will ruin your lives bc kids (and adults) will play this game for hours on end and spend there time away from the game thinking about the game and their "character/s". No young child should be subjected to this type of alternate reality since it will ruin their desire to do normal activities such as watching tv, homework, hanging out with friends, playing sports, doing chores, or any other normal activity. This game should not be played with anyone who is healthy or has a family and friends. This game should only be played by those that are seriously ill-that it affects their everyday normal active lifestyle, for the elderly, or for those that are truly hermits. If I sound upset about this game, I am upset bc many people that I know in this fantasy world of Azeroth have ruined families and relationships that revolve completely around this game. If you don't want your loved ones to spend 8+ hours on a daily basis playing a game in an alternate fantasy world then do not let them play this game-ever. Good Luck and hope that you make the right decision... One last thing this is a very very very difficult game to walk away from and quit.
Teen, 15 years old Written byprylozap July 6, 2011

12+ FTW!

Teaches kids how to manage money, can get to know older, kind "guild" members. A lot of people cuss on there, so make sure your kids know your opinion on this. Alcohol is involved, especially as dwarves lol.
What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Teen, 15 years old Written bywillbarchi April 9, 2008
AGENot rated for age

Bleeh. I've seen so many obsessed people!

OK, ITS A GOOD GAME. Don't bite my head of YET! Anyway, I personally dislike wow simply because of the fact that it TAKES OVER LYVEZ! xD Seriously, if you introduce an 11 year old to this, they won't wanna do anything else... Then just sit back and watch as they turn into an unhealthy dweeb with no social life. LOL. Harsh i know, but its the truth. There are 50 YEAR OLDS on this game. Find a more constructive past time for your kids or at least limit play time to an hour a day. Ps, I speak from experience. My next door neighbour eats drinks and SLEEPS wow. Its pretty painful to watch sometimes, cus he's a great kid. :( DONT LET THIS GAME TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE. CHOOSE REAL LIFE OVER REALITY! GET SOME REAL LIFE FRIENDS!


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