Kingdom of Loathing
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this site is funny and edgy and addicting, but kids shouldn't be associating alcohol and violence with "play." Characters have to do a lot of killing in order to progress (even though lots of times they fight something odd, like a possessed can of tomatoes) and sometimes the prose or even the landscape itself has a double entendre meaning, like a visit to the "Orc Chasm."
What's it about?
Kingdom of Loathing is a role-playing game that has gained quite a few fans, although it's initially hard to see why. Players create a character from several possible classes: Pastamancer, Seal Clubber, Accordion Thief, and so on. Characters have certain levels of muscle, mysticality, and moxie, all of which allow players to succeed in combat. The object is to roam around the map and solve puzzles and quests. Instead of gold, the \"coin of the realm\" is meat. With enough meat, players buy supplies and items to complete the quests. Players \"win\" -- and can choose to consume -- quantities of virtual beer and cocktails. You can choose to combat other real players (but only if you smash your mystical groovy hippie stone that keeps you and other players invisible to each other). You can also chat in real-time and join clans of other players.
Is it any good?
On the grand scale of online role-playing games, this one is not the worst. It's funny and edgy and addicting in its own way, but kids shouldn't be associating alcohol and violence with "play."
Besides the major role alcohol plays in the game's scenarios, you may be reviled by some of the violence and language: "In the Haunted Pantry, you're attacked by a fiendish can of asparagus. Cans of asparagus aren't normally all that scary, but this one's got a knife!" and "Inside the Haunted Pantry, you encounter an undead elbow macaroni of unusual size. It rubs its hands together and prepares to assault you like a peanut. It gets the jump on you. It tries to pastaslap you in the nipple, but misses." Characters have to do a lot of killing in order to progress (even though lots of times they fight something odd, like a possessed can of tomatoes) and sometimes the prose or even the landscape itself has a double entendre, sexual meaning, like a visit to the "Orc Chasm." Then there are some of the questionable assigned tasks: "You see that guy over there? That guy's name is Paco. I want you to steal his wallet without him noticing."
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about violence in video games. What do you think of video games that involve killing? What kind of message do you think these games send to kids?