A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this website.
Violence & Scariness
Many of the games feature fighting, killing, and lots of blood. In one, for example, players repeatedly kill a stick man using things like an atomic bomb or an arrow.
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Swearing appears to be somewhat accepted, because even message board moderators use words like "ass" in posts. Some games contain words like "hell."
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Products & Purchases
The site has some ads for things like cereal, and some of the games list sponsors.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
Message board posts such as "I plan to get obnoxiously drunk/high tonight" can be found.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that kids who use this game-centric site can contact other users, but the recipient's email address will be hidden for privacy. Kids can also block email from other members. To participate in forums, track scores, or challenge friends, users must be older than 13 (although the site doesn't verify that) and register using an email address. Many of the games are quite violent and bloody. The site discourages iffy behavior like harassing other members, and some users act as monitors. But although users can report bad posts and administrators say they'll remove inappropriate material, things clearly slip through.
Is It Any Good?
Although kids may find the games at Hallpass.com easy and fun to play, many of them are really violent, with characters fighting to the (somewhat bloody) death. One game is all about repeatedly killing a stick man using things like an atomic bomb or an arrow. The site's logic games could also be more positive. It would be nice if several weren't called "idiot games," or if users didn't start out being ranked as a "complete idiot" (ouch).
Another potential concern is the site's message boards. They're loosely monitored and can contain links to personal sites and things like a video (which looked a little too real to be considered funny) of a man getting suddenly -- and possibly fatally -- hit by a car. Parents may be able to screen the site and find some appropriate games for kids. There certainly are some harmless dress-up, sports, and other games. But with all the violence and potentially offensive message board chatter, letting a kid wander through the full game list unsupervised probably isn't the best idea.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.
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Our Editors Recommend
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