Value of The Modding Tree games for children

I’m thinking about whether The Modding Tree games are suitable picks for modern kids’ entertainment and why. I mean, they could be used to teach some positive things:

  • Patience (as idle games, obviously)
  • Mathematics (some of it wouldn’t be practically used until high school or ever outside of these games, but still)
  • Basic problem solving and strategy (since you sometimes need a different strategy to progress past a part or do so more effectively)
  • Basic decision making (since sometimes even if you don’t need to pick something specific to progress, a child could choose between Time/Enhance/Space for example depending on what they think sounds more useful/interesting).
  • English (obviously there are many terms a child could be curious about and I learned English thanks to games)

And if they are good for children, what age range do you suggest? Obviously there’s no violence or adult content in most of these (except for some mild profanity or edgier jokes in some cases, but AFAIK nothing explicit). While I did start playing these as an adult, I think these games could appeal to the 9-12 age range best (pretty sure my first idle game was Clicker Heroes at 12), though it may also work well for 6-8 year olds if they’re particularly bright or interested in this stuff. In any case, the parent should caution their child not to use Discord or any other communities they’re too young for.
Well, what do you think? I’d say it would at least be better than putting on Youtube Kids.

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I think you could make a case for video games being useful for children’s development - many of the points you raised are good ones in that respect, they can be educational as well as entertaining. However, I’d say incremental games (not just TMT mods, but in general) are probably some of the worst games to fill that role.

By their nature incrementals are usually stripped back of “fluff” like story or graphics, and focus more on mechanics. That’s interesting to me as someone who’s played a lot of games but it’s precisely that fluff that would interest children to begin with. As a kid (and still to this day, when it comes to “normal” games) yes, I want engaging gameplay, but I want an interesting setting and story to go with that as well - part of the appeal of gaming, especially at early ages, is being able to take on the role of the character and engage with the world, which encourages creative/imaginative thinking.

There’s probably a counter-argument involving overuse of short-term rewards too, but I don’t know enough about brain chemistry to really make it coherently so I won’t dwell on it. I’d agree with your assessment that it’s better than chucking an iPad and YouTube at your kids, though - but that doesn’t necessarily make it the best choice either.

TL;DR: maybe, but I’d just give them “normal” games instead.

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I agree

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Yeah, can’t argue with that.

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