Can a 13 year old play Onward?

Answered by Jarrod Smith

As an expert, I would strongly advise against allowing a 13-year-old to play Onward, especially considering the game’s rating of 16 and above by PEGI. While the game may not feature explicit blood and gore effects, it still presents a first-person view of warfare, which can have several negative consequences on a young individual.

1. Violence and Desensitization: Onward is a game that focuses on military combat and warfare. By immersing themselves in this type of content at such a young age, children can become desensitized to violence and develop a distorted perception of its consequences. This can potentially lead to a lack of empathy and understanding towards real-world conflicts.

2. Psychological Impact: Engaging in a game like Onward, which simulates warfare, can have a profound psychological impact on young individuals. The constant exposure to intense combat scenarios can increase feelings of anxiety, stress, and aggression. It may also cause nightmares and sleep disturbances, affecting their overall well-being.

3. Lack of Emotional Maturity: At the age of 13, children are still developing emotionally and may struggle to distinguish between virtual and real-world experiences. The high-pressure situations and realistic graphics in Onward can blur these lines, making it difficult for them to process and cope with the emotions that arise from playing such a game.

4. Social Interaction: Onward is primarily a multiplayer game, which means that players interact with others in a virtual environment. While this can be a positive aspect of gaming, it can also expose young individuals to potentially toxic online behavior, such as harassment, bullying, and inappropriate language. It’s important to consider the potential negative social impact this may have on a 13-year-old.

5. Cognitive Development: Playing Onward requires strategic thinking, decision-making, and quick reflexes. While these skills can be beneficial in certain contexts, excessive exposure to fast-paced and action-packed games can hinder a child’s development in other areas, such as problem-solving, creativity, and critical thinking.

In my personal experience, I have seen the negative effects that inappropriate gaming content can have on young individuals. I have witnessed children becoming desensitized to violence, displaying aggressive behavior, and struggling with emotional regulation. It is crucial to prioritize their emotional and psychological well-being by providing age-appropriate and positive gaming experiences.

To summarize, the age rating of 16 and above for Onward indicates that it is not suitable for a 13-year-old. The game’s focus on warfare, potential desensitization to violence, psychological impact, lack of emotional maturity, negative social interactions, and potential hindrance to cognitive development all contribute to the recommendation of avoiding this game for individuals of this age group.