In the image there are several dice of different colors spread on a table that also has a sheet with blank spaces

RPG for kids: how to choose the best game

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Find out how to choose the best role-playing games for kids according to their tastes!

For many gamers, the first contact with the universe of games was through RPGs. The memory of being on any given day gathered with friends and family around a board of Dungeons and Dragons, for example, is still very much alive in the memories of many adults. Thinking about passing on the game's tradition to the next generation, many mothers, fathers and guardians look for role-playing games for children. Showmetech has prepared a list of games for different ages. Check out.

The fact is that roleplaying games are not just adult hobbies or people's stuff. cringe, as the young people say. The game's format is adaptable to different types of stories and scenarios, and it's also a great way to encourage children to exercise creativity, writing and reading. “The wealth of RPG for educational purposes is gigantic”, evaluates the professor at the Department of Basic Psychological Processes at the University of Brasília (UnB) Raphael Cardoso. “I recommend a good possibility of interaction, meeting new people and also putting the children in this fantasy universe”, she explains.

PR… what?

If you were a child or teenager between the 1980s and 2000s, you probably followed the story of six teenagers who got lost in an amusement park and were teleported to a different world, full of magic. When they got there, they met a short man who spoke nonsense and always gave a mission to the group, with the aim of helping them to return home (which never worked).  

Ah, you must also remember that they adopted or were adopted by a unicorn and were always at war with another man, this one had a scarier appearance. Remembered? This is, in a very brief way, the plot of the animation Dragon's Cave, a cartoon that used to be shown on open TV channels in the mornings. Legend has it that even today these young people are trying to return home.

RPG for kids: how to choose the best game. Find out how to choose the best rpg games for kids according to their tastes!
Excerpt from the animation Caverna do Dragão, released in 1983. In all, there were three seasons. Image: Reproduction/Dragon's Cave

but what to Dragon's Cave does it have to do with today's topic? All. Since the design was inspired by an RPG game or as it is also known: role-playing game or role-playing game.

role playing game (RPG), is a game model where players play a character, it can be an elf, fairy or astronaut, for example, and, as a group, they live in a fictional universe full of adventures and challenges guided by a “master”. , as if it were a narrator, who mentions the rules of the game to the participants and from there the characters make the decisions to be able to win the game. RPG forms are diverse, there are those who prefer to play on a board and there are those who like to immerse themselves in the game and characterize themselves as the chosen character. 

According to a André Gomes, Communicologist and technologist in audiovisual production at the Communication Department of UnBOn publication on the website UnB News, RPG became known in 1974, with the publication of Dungeons and Dragons (D&D), in the United States. The game was created by Gary gygax e Dave Arneson, inspired by wargames, war board games, “Dungeons and Dragons was heavily influenced by the fantastic fantasy work of JRR Tolkien".

from generation to generation

In the 1990s, Raphael Cardoso found a box of the RPG game at home Dungeons and Dragons, also known by the acronym D&D. The box packaging with the image of a red dragon caught the teacher's attention, who at the time was a young resident of Goiânia (GO). The game had been donated to Raphael's mother by a former neighbor who was moving out of the neighborhood. 

When the first role-playing games started to arrive in Brazil, there was still no version in Portuguese, only in English, however, the edition that Raphael had in his hands was in Portuguese. The interest in this adventurous game was almost instantaneous. “I started reading the game material and became interested in the story. And then other colleagues I knew also liked it and we started to study and run the games”, recalls. 

Cover photo of the game dungeons and dragons. The box is black with some descriptions of the game and in the center there is a red dragon. The box is a little old and worn on the sides and is on top of a sheet with purple and lilac details.
Game Dungeons & Dragons, a classic of RPG games. Photo: Tomes of Wisdom

RPG games were so successful at the time that it was common, events in public spaces where players met just for conversations about the games of the time and, of course, playing RPG.

I think nowadays it would be interesting to have those events back. They were meetings where you met people from other neighborhoods and even from other cities and this was always accompanied by those responsible, when participants in the event were children.

Raphael Cardoso

Time passed, Raphael grew up, graduated in psychology, moved to Brasilia where he is currently a professor at UnB, but the games of adolescence are still part of the professor's life, today his RPG partners are his children, Francisco and Cecília, eight and six years old and their nephews, proof that RPG is a timeless game for all ages.

I create adventures for my nephews and children to suit a very basic story and build on it, to a certain extent I let them create their own universe. So I just manage the consequences of the actions he says.

Raphael Cardoso
In April of this year, Paramount Pictures released the film based on the RPG Dungeons & Dragons.

The world of offline adventures

The last two decades have been marked by rapid technological advances around the world. With that, it has been increasingly rare to see groups of friends getting together to spend time playing cards or RPG, for example. For Raphael Cardoso, encouraging children to play RPG is a great way to show them that it is also possible to live great adventures off screens, “although you also have games nowadays in digital format”, points out. “But still, in my experience, most people still like to play with a board, gathering people, friends, or strangers”He says.

RPG in social development

Do you remember what was the first RPG you played? 

Although many think that it is necessary to have a specific board to create adventure stories, it is worth remembering that the RPG format is much more present in our lives than we imagine. When in childhood games, for example, we created make-believe stories, this was already a type of RPG. 

Raphael Cardoso explains that role-playing games also contribute to the social development of young people, as they are immersed in a ludic space and interacting with other people through characters. According to the UnB professor, nowadays RPG is also used for therapeutic purposes, for example, for training social skills, both in adults and children. 

It is used by psychologists in people who are extremely shy, for example, to help them manage to speak in front of a group of people”, he explains. Other lessons that can be learned from role-playing is the ability to put yourself in the other's shoes, “because during the activity you will be playing a character and that character is interacting with other people who are also characters.

Raphael Cardoso

In addition, it is also a great way to train patience and obedience to the rules of the game. But it is necessary to emphasize that for therapeutic purposes it is necessary to look for a specialist who will know how to conduct the session in a controlled environment and as a form of therapy and not for fun or as a hobby.

From RPG tables to screens

But they weren't just Dragon's Cave e Dungeons and Dragons who left the games RPG for audiovisual productions, see? The famous series produced by Netflix Stranger Things e The Legend of Vox Machina, from Amazon Prime Video, are also cinematographic works inspired by stories created among groups of friends.  

In the image there is an illustration of 17 characters from the series Stranger Things. The image is in shades of blue and red. Behind the characters there is an aged face in shades of blue and red and completely blue eyes. In front of the characters there is an illustration of a house. On the right of the image there is a combi and on the left the train track and a lighthouse.
Promotional banner Stranger Things, a famous fiction series produced since 2016 by the streaming platform Netflix. Image: Netflix

Even in early 2023, the Paramount + announced that it is producing a new series of Dungeons and Dragons. There is still not much information about the release date, however, it is already known that the series will have eight chapters in the first season.

RPG games for kids 

Choosing games is not always a simple task. It is necessary to take into account the tastes of those who are going to play and, when it comes to pastime for children, it is almost a mission, as there are so many types, models and contexts that we get lost, right? 

If you're thinking about giving a child an RPG game, Professor Raphael Cardoso suggests that you take into account some points such as the indicative rating of the game and the theme. “A young man who likes adventures, the D&D fits like a glove, for example. Someone who likes fantasy, like wizards, will like it too. It's a matter of understanding what that child prefers”, he assesses.

RPG board with blue dice and some in purple color. There are also character miniatures on top of the brown board.
Dungeons and Dragons game board. Photo: Depositphotos

Also observe the rules of the game, as some are more complex and need the help of an older person to read the story. Finally, participate in the games together with the children. 

This is not a tablet you are handing the child. In fact, when you are inviting someone to a roleplaying game, you are committing to participate in that game, so the parents must be available.

Raphael Cardoso

Top 5 RPG games for kids

We separate for you, readers, a list of five RPG games for children.

My first adventure: the discovery of Atlantis

Cover of the game My First Adventure: The Discovery of Atlantis. There is an illustration of the bottom of the sea with some buildings alluding to Atlantis, all in shades of blue and white.
Game cover: My first adventure discovering Atlantis. Photo: Reproduction/Amazon

My first adventure: the discovery of Atlantis is a role-playing game in the form of a book where players decide what the journey will take on the bottom of the sea in search of the famous lost city, Atlantis. 

  • Portuguese language
  • Number of players: from 1 to 5
  • Recommended age: above 4 years
  • Where to find? Amazon
  • Price: $ 88,99

Star Wars RPG: Frontier of Empire

Star wars: frontier of empire rpg book cover. In the illustration, on the right, are the characters han solo and chewbacca. On the left is the spaceship.
Star Wars: Frontier of the Empire RPG book. Image: Playback/Amazon

Star Wars RPG: Frontier of Empire is a board game in which the goal is to explore the lawless regions on the fringes of the Empire, fleeing persecution in the region and formulating plans to fight spaceships, hutts and gangsters. 

  • Portuguese language
  • Book: 448 pages
  • Number of players: undetermined
  • Recommended age: above 14 years 
  • Where to find? Amazon
  • Price: $ 229,90

Similo Harry Potter

In the illustration appears the character harry potter centralized and above the representation of the character albus dumbledore. The cover is in shades of white and with handwritten writings.
Similo Harry Potter game cover. Image: Playback/Amazon

Similo Harry Potter it is a kind of deck game that comes with thirty cards illustrated with the characters of the Harry Potter saga; through deduction, players must find out who is the secret character that is in the middle of the others. 

  • Portuguese language
  • Number of players: 1 to 8
  • Recommended age: above 7 years 
  • Where to find? Amazon
  • Price: $ 52,90

The hero's legend

On the left is the star symbol of the game's brand, star. Above and centralized is the name of the game and below the drawing of the character, who has brown hair, light skin and is wearing armor and with a sword in one hand and a shield in the other. Hero legend is a rpg for kids.
Game box Legend of the Hero. Image: Playback/Amazon

This is the desktop version of the famous game The hero's legend. Even though it is a board game, several characteristics of the virtual version remained, such as the rhymes and the challenges the knight faces. 

  • Portuguese language
  • Number of players: 2 to 4
  • Recommended age: above 8 years 
  • Where to find? Amazon
  • Price: $ 49,99

Mysterium Galapagos

The image is an illustration of the entrance to a city, at night and with a lot of fog. It is possible to see some houses and a road where a car passes towards a castle on top of a mountain. Everything is in shades of blue, black and brown.
Game: Mysterium Galapagos. Image: Playback/Amazon

It all starts in the 1920s, Mr. MacDowell, a gifted astrologer, detected the presence of a supernatural being in his own house. To understand why the ghost was there, he gathered famous mediums of the time to solve the mystery. To solve the mystery, they only have seven hours to make contact with the ghost and investigate any clues he may provide to unravel the enigma that haunts the mansion. 

Mystery is a cooperative game where players try to solve a mystery, winning or losing together. Everyone's goal is the same: to unravel the truth behind the death of the ghost that haunts the mansion, allowing his soul to rest in peace.

  • Portuguese language
  • Number of players: 2 to 7
  • Recommended age: above 10 years 
  • Where to find? Amazon
  • Price: $ 350,99

Learn more

Sources: Opinion UnB News; Technology

Text proofread by: Pedro Bomfim (31 / 07 / 23)

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