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Should Your Kids Play Operation (Game)? 14 Disadvantages & Drawbacks

Last Updated on January 25, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

When kids play board games, you want them to be engaged and have a great time. Generally, for parents, it’s a great distraction tactic. You want to hear laughter ringing through the house from the fun time being had. But are there reasons that Operation is a game kids should not play? First, let’s look at the potential drawbacks of playing Operation.

Try to tell a child to sit still for a lengthy period of time, tell kids to fully concentrate, and shock a kid when they make an error; these alone are disadvantages of playing Operation. Add to it that Operation is not all that entertaining and has a semi-clad male as the star character, and you have a long list of negatives as to why your kids don’t necessarily need to be playing this game.

Are you wondering if you should let your child play Operation? Whilst there are many benefits and lessons to learn, let’s not forget there are several possible downsides. It’s best to be 100% aware and educated so that you make good choices when choosing games for your children. 

Operation is a game where you perform several operations on “Sam.” So, should kids think this is a game? 

1. It’s Shocking – Literally.  

Operation is played basically by creating a simple circuit. If you touch the circuit, a buzzer goes off, giving a little shock. This might not be the best way to teach a child that making a mistake can hurt; it’s a game, after all.

2. The Operation Anatomy Lesson is a Little Off

To tell a child they will be playing a game that involves learning about a person’s anatomy is not going to make them think this is a game but more of a school lesson. There might be things that are best learned in the classroom where it is more serious.

3. Operations Should Not Be Taken Lightly, Yet the Game Promotes That Approach

Should a child consider an operation to be a game? It is a profession that is not to be taken lightly and involves many years of studying and dedication to the profession. Being a doctor is no joke, and would this not be teaching a child its fun and is not that difficult? 

4. Playing Operation Can Result in Unwanted Rivalry Between Children

This is a game that could easily invoke rivalry and fighting. With each operation completed, the player wins a sum of money. At the end of the game, the player with the most money wins. Children won’t become competitive in the right way. They could easily get angry with the other players if their concentration for details is not as precise as the others.

5. Operation is Not that Challenging

Operation might be a fun game for some to play, but it is not a game that is considered very challenging to win. Some have even said it is impossible to lose. With a game, you need a slight challenge; one needs to not just be handed a win.

6. The Game Itself is Not That Great

These days, apps are constantly updating, changing, and growing. Unfortunately, Operation is a game that is not very appealing to look at. It is a simple game and does not grab the player’s attention. Games are visual, and Operation greatly lacks in this department (IMO).

7. Operation Doesn’t Really Teach the Finer Details

Operation is a finicky game; it is supposed to teach hand and eye coordination, yet, the controls are stiff and jolt to the touch. So, how does one learn to fine-tune their hand and eye coordination when they are not given the correct tools to work with?

8. The Operations are Not Medically Correct

Some of the operations are not medically correct. You are teaching your child about ailments and how to fix them, but some procedures are not completely accurate. For example, Sam can fall ill when looking for a person to share his ribs with. What will this teach a child?

9. For Some Children, Operation Can Become Addictive

This may become addictive for a child. It is a game of learning, but if a child becomes addicted to this game and is determined to win and fix things, what are you teaching the child about just being a child? They should be outside, getting fit and being healthy, not sitting hunched over a board game.

10. It Might Confuse Them

Playing a medically related game might not be appropriate for a young child. A kid should be playing games outside with their friends or laughing over other types of games. So, what are you teaching a child when telling them medical advice that is not medically correct?

11. Operation Can Lead Children to Believe in Unrealistic Medical Assistance

A child may play Operation and think they know how to cure many ailments. Children are great game players, and this may lead to playing “Operation” in real life. For a game like this, for a young mind such as a 6-year-old, this is more harmful than educational. This is not teaching your child the correct respect for medical procedures.

12. Let’s talk about Sam, and the Message He Delivers to Young Children…

When thinking about adult and kid games, they are on completely different levels. While adult games can often have a naughty undertone, what are you saying to a child when they are playing a game where a man goes dancing around when you win, but in his underwear? This is a completely different version of a victory dance.

13. Concentration is Not A Strong Suit

Children can lose concentration very easily. The smallest thing can distract a child. This is a game where attention is key, and your child may not want to play a game that isn’t fun. There is a fine balance between a game and a lesson when it comes to children. 

14. Operation Can Lead to a Kid being The Sore Loser

Operation is a competitive game. With a win-or-lose game, for children who might not be able to multi-task like their friend or sibling, playing a game that requires concentration might not be the best way to let the kids play. This isn’t a game of giggles, and you will have a child that doesn’t have the best skills and will end up sulking when they lose.

Final Words

Operation is a game one can learn from. As kids, the lessons can be good or bad, and it’s a problem to think that kids will always take away something good from the games they play. There are pertinent questions we need to ask when presenting children with games, and these apply to Operation too. Is it the best game for kids? The answer is that we’re not sure. 

While we have listed several possible disadvantages of playing Operation, there may be a long list of positive advantages too. There are plenty of board games to choose from, so why not find one that lets them have fun? If Operation is it, then great! But why not let kids be kids!

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This article was co-authored by our team of in-house and freelance writers, and reviewed by our editors, who enjoy sharing their knowledge about their favorite games with others!

JC Franco
Editor | + posts

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.