With all the media attention given to controversial video games, it's strange that the games we play on our browsers tend to be overlooked. As we've shown before, the genre is brimming with games that make Silent Hill look like Pac-Man. But at least those games were aimed mostly at adults. One would think that browser games for children would avoid any long trips to Creepy Town. And you'd be right: They're all completely normal. There's totally not one weird children's browser game out there in the dank corridors of the Internet, especially not one called ...
Ah, childhood. Playing outside in the sun, enjoying candy that still tasted good, picking wingless insects out of each other's hair. Who wouldn't be nostalgic for that? Luckily, there's a children's game that can help us relive those carefree days:
Barbie Lice Control allows players to experience all the sparkly fun of gradually separating Barbie's hair into small sections, running a small comb through those sections, and then using a tissue to wipe away the eggs and dead lice that have accumulated in it. I can't think of a better way to spend a slow Saturday morning, except maybe washing diarrhea out of my cat's fur, but I'm not sure that would have the same excitement level. After all, Barbie Lice Control also gives us a microscope scene, where you can zoom in and see the individual lice crawling around on Barbie's scalp.
At least I hope it's her scalp.
It's undeniably exciting, but maybe that's not enough for the infestation-obsessed small child in your life. If that's the case, there's also ...
Draculaura from Monster High is a popular character on the "games for young girls" circuit. I don't know much about the Monster High doll franchise, but the official site tells me she's a stylish vampire who is 1,600 years old and still in high school, which I'm sure you'll agree makes her a good role model for your children. In the world of this particular game, though, Draculaura seems to have graduated and made her way through medical school, because she's now treating people's disgusting feet:
Draculaura Foot Doctor is even worse than those zit-popping games that were all the rage a while ago, because at least those were limited to one type of disgustingness. Here, you have to deal with what looks like a toenail fungus; a thatch of large, juicy pustules; and a splinter that must be removed with a pair of needle-nose pliers. And even that leaves aside the most disturbing part, which is the question of what a vampire is doing working at a hospital. Sure, Draculaura's creators claim the character is a vegan, but it's a bit suspicious that she's chosen a profession that allows her easy access to blood banks and patients who "probably would have died anyway."
But Draculaura's exploits are just one of many "let's cut people up" games available for today's young people to explore. There's also Barbie Brain Surgery, which tells the player that "Barbie is not feeling well" and then presents us with a picture of a young blonde woman surrounded by medical equipment. First you must take Barbie's temperature, which reveals she has a fever. Instead of, you know, handing her some Tylenol and going from there, the game forces you to knock her out with anesthetic gas, shave her head, and cut open her skull. If this was a scene in Grand Theft Auto, the whole franchise would have been rightfully banned by now, but apparently torturing Barbie is just something kids are into these days. And you know what? The game actually gets weirder from there.
Those are Barbie's diseased neurons. I'm not kidding.
And if shady surgery on young women isn't your thing, there is Pou Nose Doctor, where you operate on the bloody nostrils of an anthropomorphized lump of poo. It's like the abstract concept of the Internet and the country of Japan married and had a baby. But what if you're a 9-year old that enjoys blood but doesn't want to commit to surgery? Don't worry, because you can also play ...
"Princess Sofia just opened a tattoo studio, and she wants to get her first tattoo," this game tells us on its intro screen. It's not clear how Sofia got the license for that studio, because as this page for her Disney Junior show informs us, she is only 8 years old. But maybe they have different rules for princesses, so we'll let that one slide and assume it's a weird kingdom. Sofia has a talking bird friend named Mia, and we're told by this game that the princess "loves Mia very much, and she will tattoo her on her face."
This rare picture allows us to actually see a mugshot being born.
Now, I'm not sure one's face is a good location for a first tattoo, particularly since blue is one of the hardest tattoo ink colors to remove, but who am I to judge? She's royalty, and we're just commoners who don't understand that Sofia will love this bird forever and ever, and they'll never, ever break up. The game description concludes with instructions to "have fun coloring Sofia's tattoo and make her beautiful and cool," which we can all agree is a great message for a game aimed at your young daughters. There's nothing like telling a young child that the only way to be "beautiful and cool" is to tattoo a huge colorful bird on her fucking face. And speaking of decisions that will affect a young person's life forever, your daughter can also experience the joy of ...
You might have missed the credits scene in Frozen in which Elsa gets knocked up by a passing ice salesman, but the people who make browser games sure didn't, because they gave us this game, where you can dress the visibly gravid Elsa in a range of maternity outfits and hairstyles while "Let It Go" plays on a loop in the background.
That faint sound you hear is a million parents crying out in terror and then being suddenly silenced.
You might think that maybe the game is just a weird outgrowth of girls liking Frozen too much, like the designers had just run out of ideas about what the hell they could do next with Elsa's character. Nope! There's also a Barbie pregnancy dress-up game, and, well, all of these:
Above: If DeviantArt morphed into game form.
Look, pregnancy is a natural and beautiful part of life, and there's no reason we should hide its existence from small children or tell them that babies are delivered by those homeless people who push shopping carts around (thanks, mom). That said, judging by the sparkles and the Disney/Barbie themes, these games are aimed at young girls of around 8 to 12 years old, which you'd think is slightly too young to take an interest in how to most attractively cover one's heavily pregnant belly. If I found my hypothetical 11-year-old daughter adoringly picking out her favorite maternity outfits on a screen while cheery music played in the background, my reaction would be less "ahh, she's exploring the miracle of human conception!" and more "I'm driving you to convent school every morning in an armored car, daughter."
And those are just the normal pregnancy games being offered to our young, impressionable preteens. The next generation can also entertain themselves between Dog With a Blog episodes by playing ...
Draculaura is pregnant, somehow, against all the strictures of a kind and loving God, and she needs YOU to assist her with washing clothes. The game instructs the player to "separate the clothes depending on color and put them in the washing machine with detergent. In just a few minutes the clothes will be clean and ready for drying!"
Meanwhile, she's busy picking out a changing table that's rated well for "Beelzebub's dark and unholy brood."
Like most people, I love doing laundry more than anything else in my life, and when there just aren't enough dirty clothes to indulge my obsession I seek to replicate the experience in game form. But there's far more to this seemingly innocent game than simple laundry-doing. Draculaura is washing piles and piles of really tiny clothes, but there are no small children in sight. Like I said before, Draculaura says that she's vegan, but who can tell what kind of pregnancy cravings she's experiencing? How many of those little outfits need to be washed in hydrogen peroxide to hide the DNA evidence from her tiny, innocent victims? What sort of Biblical-plague-scale crimes are we abetting here? Why won't you tell us, Draculaura?
Frozen Anna Give Birth a Baby is exactly what its discarded-English-textbook name sounds like. Anna from Frozen lies on her back in what looks like a really fancy hospital, wearing the expression of any woman who is on the verge of giving birth:
I'm going to assume this was a scheduled cesarean, because if Anna's face is looking like that after 20 hours in labor we can only assume that the poor woman has slipped into a fugue state. Anyway, on to the gameplay: After injecting Anna with unnamed drugs, the player uses a purple, sparkly scalpel to slice open her stomach. Once her belly has been scored like the surface of a delicious pork chop, a plump, bloodless baby materializes on the screen. Shit, that was easy. And we've been hiring doctors to do this the whole time?
And, like the copious pregnancy games, there are plenty of birth-themed browser games available for young girls and disturbed adults alike to enjoy. You can assist in delivering babies to Rapunzel, Princess Sofia (that's the one who's 8 years old, in case you forgot and were feeling at peace with this world), a variety of unnamed humans, and an anthropomorphized cat.
I'm no catologist, but I don't think feline births work that way.
All criticism aside, these games do teach young girls some important lessons: Childbirth is easy and painless and can be achieved either by relaxing C-section or by hitting a "push" button a few times to get that weird thing out of your vagina. Also, if you happen to have a son, he will inexplicably be born with pretty flowers covering his genitals.
The parents later made the controversial choice to remove the flowers for religious reasons.
For more from C. Coville, check out 4 Medical Misunderstandings With Horrific Consequences and 4 Mind-Blowing Theories About Famous Lines in the Bible.
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