It’s flu season. In fact, it’s one of the worst flu seasons the U.S. has seen in years.
Adults are spending a lot of extra time and money trying to prohibit the spreading of germs so they—and their children—will stay as healthy as possible.
Enter the game manufacturers. You’d like to think they’re promoting safe, healthy and wholesome playtime, and in many cases they are. However there are few select games you’ll find stocked on toy store shelves and on everyone’s favorite toy retailer—Amazon.com—that could potentially land in your child’s lap as a birthday or holiday gift. And they’re gross—to a level that appears like they’re promoting a complete lack of sanitary safety.
Take, for example, Gooey Louie. While it was manufactured and first promoted a few years ago, it’s still available and selling quite well at many retailers today. While you’re busy at home teaching your kids to cough and sneeze into their elbows or to cover their mouths and noses with tissues, this game teaches them to pull boogers from Gooey Louie’s giant nose. Yes, kids get to “pick a winner with Gooey Louie.” But they’re cautioned to take heed! “If you pick the wrong booger, Gooey Louie’s eyes will pop, he’ll flip his lid and his brain will fly out.”
And what is it with poop these days? It shows up as an emoji on our phones and social media platforms. It is a plush stuffed toy, for goodness sake! And it has made its way into at least one game manufacturer’s recent lineup of what they’re calling “child’s play.”
Called Don’t Step In It, this game not only allows your kids to make faux poo with a clay-like substance, it then creates “fun” from the challenge of not stepping in it. Touted as “blindfolded, poop-dodging fun,” kids are encouraged to “play with friends or dodge the poop solo!” The game comes complete with molds to form the perfect poops with which to play the game.
We teach our kids to avoid poop—that which is found on the ground and otherwise—because it is dirty, unsanitary, extremely germ-laden and disgusting. Now we can buy a game that makes it fun. I certainly hope I’m not the only person who finds this a bit appalling?
As a means of reducing the spread of germs, how many of you have coached your children, your husband or wife, or your partner to close the toilet lid before flushing? It’s pretty common knowledge that germs fly into the air from the toilet water—and the waste that’s in it. So let’s buy a game that promotes exactly that—getting sprayed in the face with toilet water!
Toilet Trouble encourages players to laugh and “share some suspense-filled moments” before the poor loser gets sprayed in the face with toilet water. This game even makes “funny toilet flushing sound effects.”
Alas these aren’t the only gross games available. In fact there are countless more. Bean Boozled is designed for losers to eat foul-flavored jelly beans including “dirty socks” and “vomit.” Gas Out urges players to “play your cards but don’t pass the gas.” Doggie Doo advertises it “teaches kids a little about responsibility while having fun.”
So beware the next time you present a gift certificate to a child (or sadly even some adults) who like to play games. One of these questionable options could wind up in your home.