World of Warcraft: Cataclysm

Common Sense Media says

New races, solid story infuse more life into WoW.

Age(i)

2
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9
10
11
12
13
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17

Quality(i)

 

Learning(i)

What parents need to know

Positive messages

As with most MMOs, players embark on quests that require slaughtering creatures that do not seem to be harming anyone or anything. However, the message here is that violence is the only (and final) solution to the majority of problems. In player-versus-player gameplay, players can create a very unhealthy environment where they can kill other players indiscriminately without many repercussions.

Positive role models

While role models are not at the heart and soul of this expansion for World of Warcraft, the introduction of the world-shattering presence of the dragon Deathwing (in Cataclysm) is pulling the "good" and "evil" factions of the Alliance and Horde together to fight a common enemy.

Ease of play

The game is rather easy to jump into and play with a solid tutorial that will guide players through their initial steps in the fantasy world of Azeroth. As players begin to build up their characters, the game does begin to take on more challenging elements, but the foundations set early on help to make the overall game playable.

Violence

The violence is committed against both computer-generated characters and against other players inside the scope of player-versus-player combat. In one instance, a barrel of gunpowder is tossed onto the head of an abomination and a bullet detonates the gunpowder resulting in the creature blowing apart with blood and bones visible for a very short period. The blood and gore does not linger on the ground, but quickly disappears.

Sex

Player-characters can dance provocatively and strip down to underwear within the game world.

Language

The language within the context of the game is tempered and restricted to a few expressions, such as using the word "damn." Voice-overs are limited, though, and most suspect words are not found in the text that players can access to explain quests.

Consumerism
Not applicable
Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Alcohol can be purchased by characters in game and consumed. Too much alcohol will have an effect on characters, including speech that is slurred, as well as some disorientation. The game employs an effect in which the screen can become a bit blurred to simulate impaired vision.

Privacy & safety

Some privacy and safety concerns. The game is broken down into a variety of different server types -- normal, role playing, and PvP (player versus player). Players seem to gravitate to the different servers that best suit their personalities. Language can be an issue at times but the game has a built-in buffer to scramble objectionable words. Some players seem to delight in harassing others, but the majority of players encountered were friendly enough and would often offer some measure of guidance for the uncertain.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is an expansion to the massively multiplayer online role-playing game, World of Warcraft, and requires previous expansions as well as the original game to play. There is a monthly subscription fee for the game as well. The game is about an ancient evil tainting and corrupting a fantasy land in an attempt to rule the world. Violence is very much a part of the gameplay, and while there are some quests that involving traveling and talking to non-playable characters, most of the action involves developing skill sets and killing. The world can be a dark and brutal place. Characters can get drunk and there is some mild cussing in the game.

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading comprehension
  • text analysis

Social Studies

  • power structures
  • the economy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • making conclusions
  • problem solving
  • decision-making

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • teamwork

Engagement, Approach, Support

Engagement

Learning Approach

Support

What kids can learn

Subjects

Language & Reading

  • following directions
  • reading comprehension
  • text analysis

Social Studies

  • power structures
  • the economy

Skills

Thinking & Reasoning

  • making conclusions
  • problem solving
  • decision-making

Communication

  • conveying messages effectively
  • friendship building

Collaboration

  • cooperation
  • teamwork

Kids can learn how to communicate and interact with others to achieve common goals while playing this massively multiplayer game. They will participate in individual and team quests, which require them to think through how to accomplish the goals presented by these quests. Kids can experience some hands-on learning about economics by participating in the game's dynamic market of crafted items. While kids can practice communicating and collaborating as they reason through how to accomplish the game's many tasks, that isn't its main focus. World of Warcraft: Cataclysm is a cooperative game with a central focus on violent combat.

This Learning Rating review was written by Michael Lafferty

Parents say

Kids say

What's it about?

In WORLD OF WARCRAFT: CATACLYSM, the ancient and dark power known as the dragon Deathwing has risen and is flying across the lands of Azeroth laying destruction in its wake. The Alliance and Horde must put aside differences and battle to vanquish the threat to their lands; if one faction falls, the other most certainly will. Cataclysm is an expansion to World of Warcraft, the most popular MMO in video-game history. It offers two new races (goblin for the Horde and worgen, or werewolf, for the Alliance), new beginning territories, and more content for upper-level players. There are five new high-level zones packed with quest lines to draw players deeper into the lore of the game. By playing, players become stronger as reflected in their level, and this expansion raises the previous player level cap of 80 to 85.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

World of Warcraft: Cataclysm infuses a bit of new life into World of Warcraft. The new races have strong backstories, and the game has done a good job of making some elements (like explaining spells and what they do) to newer players. The face of the world has changed, offering a new dynamic that could challenge players. The game is not hard to pick up and play, but it can be a bit hard to put down and walk away from. The community is solid and the story arcs are well done. Cataclysm offers new challenges and does what a solid expansion should do -- build on the existing world and challenge established players but also give new entertainment and challenges to newcomers.

 

Families can talk about...

Game details

Platforms:Windows
Price:$39.99
Available online?Not available online
Developer:Blizzard Entertainment
Release date:December 7, 2010
Genre:Massively Multi-player Online Game (MMOG)
ESRB rating:T for Blood and Gore, Crude Humor, Mild Language, Suggestive Themes, Use of Alcohol, Violence (Windows)

This review of World of Warcraft: Cataclysm 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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Quality

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; OK 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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Parent of a 2 year old Written byDelusions Demise December 28, 2012
AGE
18
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Life wrecker: but an ok game if you have the time

I've played this game, I am Twenty Years old and only 6 months sober. I know what I'm talking about, so please listen to me. I am trying to save your lives! This game is not for Children, Adults, or Anyone who needs to have a life and earn money for their future families. It may be for people who have a lot of free time, no girlfriends/wives, financial stress, or children. Save your childrens lives! please! I am about to tell you how and why this game does this to you. Listen carefully. First of all, it is the company blizzards design of the game. It takes at least 5 days (5x24hours) to level 1-85 (now 90). That is assuming you were not around for the last expansion. Next, it takes 4 days to completely prepare for the content ahead. Moreso, if you're behind a few patches (4x24hours). Next, you've got to decide weather to raid/pvp or both. please, if you must play, never choose both! Raiding takes at least 4 hours a night or 5-6 hours in two nights, not including set up which takes as much as an hour. If the content was just released add another 4 hours for progression. If their is new players to the content, but it hasn't just been released, add two hours. Getting enough gold for flasks and repairs easily takes at the very least 4 hours. Going out of your way for a few spare acheivements will take at least 2 hours. If your son/daughter loves achievements and wants them all, add 4 hours a week. Social interraction between your friends will total to at least 2 hours of reasonless chat. If your son or daughter is an internet troll (internet bully) add an extra 4 hours minimum chat. If your son/daughter is a role player add at least 2 hours of role play. If your son PvPs add at least 2 hours of world pvp and 4 of rated battleground a week. Finally, if your son is a potential economist add a very minimum of 8 hours a week. Now add this all up yourselves and see how many hours a week he can potentially be playing this game instead of doing his homework or making real friends. The problem: The whole purpose of this game (if you don't only role play) is to brag about how good you are at this game. You don't really get any real rewards besides shiny weapons from the end game bosses or achievement points that are used as nothing but vanity show. Competitive people will proceed to fight with each other to convince the casuals who is the better player. If one of them succeeds the entire player base will call him/her a "baddy" and proceed to shun them. Only the strongest warcraft warriors are respected. New players are often called "bads" due to their ignorance and called out in chat. Guilds are run like job applications they have websites where you are expected to fill in applications for your characters and they try you out for awhile and deem if you're worthy to join their guild. Others are full of obnoxious trash talkers and internet trolls which include lots of drama and inappropriate topics. Most of the topics involved politics, sex, and drug use while playing world of warcraft. These were often called mega guilds and had a lack of leadership. There is a general world chat called /2 trade and it is not moderated. Your child will view some of the most disgusting and horrible content (brought by other players) ever imagined. Blizzard will almost never ban them though. Trash talk is really common it doesn't matter if you win or lose or win fairly. It happens a lot. Especially on PvP servers. Some people will try to tell you it is different on different servers. It is simply not true. I have played on Emerald Dream (RP-PvP) (Role Playing Player Versus Player Server) from cataclysm to pandaria. Zuluhed (PvP) (Player Versus Player Server) Wrath of the Lich King, and Surmar (PvE) Burning Crusade and Classic. Listen to me! This game is not worth your lives or your childrens! I have a feeling a lot of the actual mind enslaved player base has rated this on this website! Please heed my real warning as an ex player! I dropped out of college for a semester, got dumped by a girl and lost my job all because I was addicted to this game! I'm better only because I had the courage to press the quit button and I hope you do too!
What other families should know
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Safety and privacy concerns
Parent of a 10, 18, and 20 year old Written byn8lhg July 24, 2011
AGE
17
QUALITY
 

Language a SERIOUS issue in online play

World of Warcraft is an awesome fantasy online game. Play is fun, and the depth of the game is amazing. However, once you begin to interact with people online that play the game, you find language to be a big problem. Its VERY COMMON to see the “F” bomb dropped as a normal word, as well as hard core sexual content just in general chat. Its not uncommon to see racism, sexism, deviant sexual content, and serious bullying problems. Parental controls are useful, but in some cases, ineffective. I’m a fairly easy going parent. I play Warcraft myself, but consider the language to be a dangerous problem for any child under the age of 17. Kids begin to become hardened to the verbiage, and in many cases, begin to emulate the language in their own communications within the game. If you are a parent that is involved with their kids online play, you are probably ok. But to leave a child play this game unsupervised, is very dangerous. Blizzard has policies governing the use of language and bullying, however, their policing in game is totally ineffective. You as a parent, need to keep a close eye on the activity while playing this game. Phishing is also a serious problem in game play. Many players posing as blizzard employees, successfully steal accounts and virtual property by the hundreds on a day to day basis, again, well beyond the ability of Blizzard to police. I guarantee that if you sit down with your child who play this game, you will find that they all have been exposed to some, or all of this activity during game play. Parents, open an account with your child, and play along with them. Don’t let them play alone. I think you would be shocked at what goes on.
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Kid, 11 years old July 27, 2012
AGE
8
QUALITY
 
LEARNING

Great, but addictive game.

Very good game. Be careful with who you interact with-do not give out person information (ESPECIALLY age). Certain players can take advantage of this. Very addictive.Give only 1 hour MAXIMUM of gameplay time per day.
What other families should know
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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