About Today's Responder

  • Today’s Responder is focused on the needs of all first responders regardless of uniform or badge. This blog is produced by NFPA’s Public Fire Protection Division, staffed by fire fighters, paramedics, fire marshals, emergency managers and safety professionals. Together, they work on more than 90 NFPA documents, standards and guides ranging from personnel protective equipment and professional qualifications to emergency management and public safety communications centers.

About NFPA

Free Access

  • Free Access


  • The views expressed on this blog reflect the personal opinion of the individual author and do not necessarily represent the views or policies of NFPA, its technical committees, or other constituent parts. Use of this blog is subject to NFPA's Terms of Use and Content Disclaimers.

« Free presentation: The threat of lightweight construction to firefighter safety | Main | Firefighters unable to save couple living in clutter »

January 16, 2013


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

D Wheeler

Thanks for your concern, but this game isn't what it appears. As the game advances, throwing things into a fire is revealed to be foolish and something that needs to be left behind to grow up. It's a metaphor with feelings and stuff.

SEO Services in UK

This may not help a lot but I think so far they have done a good job to reduce the dangers that could happen in a jiffy. So we'll have to appreciate on the procedure they have taken.

C Nmeyer

Also thanks for your concerns (...as I don't believe, that video games would not have any effects.) But I think that here is a bit of short circuit. Don't want to be the party pooper, but if I may give you an insight on the game as being a huge fan (age 28) of the game.

First of all, the Nintendo Wii U version already got rated "T" (for "drug reference" and "crude humor") by the ESRB. See: http://tomorrowcorporation.s3.amazonaws.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2013/01/esrb.png

As the story of the game develops the player learns that fire is dangerous (and that there's even something more dangerous than fire).

The message behind the game is about not to waste your life with something meaningless (whether it's FB/Zynga games or your new "Little Inferno High Definition Entertainment Fireplace" -- but at least the latter one tells this message to the player) and to discover the real world outside. It's really an uplifting story. (SPOILER warning)

The game also philosophizes on our limited time that we have. The following is quite an excellent review: "Still, to her, there’s always something greater out there, something more exciting to reach for, and even when you think you’ve run out of ideas, “DREAM BIGGER!” She exclaims. Life is full of possibilities. [...] Little Inferno isn’t just poking fun at rubbish social games or unrewarding time wasters, but what we do with the limited time in our lives. Mortality may seem like a fairly grandiose subject for a game to tackle, considering the majority of games hinge on our enjoyment of taking lives – albeit digital ones – but it seems to be something Gabler and the rest of the team at Tomorrow Corporation are intentionally addressing." http://beefjack.com/features/disassembling-little-inferno-an-interview-with-tomorrow-corporation/

Also this: http://kotaku.com/5970834/little-inferno-is-a-delightfully-grim-tale-but-its-best-story-is-a-hidden-one

If interested, the best way though (but with major story spoilers) to get a real picture about the game would be to watch this review, analysis: http://www.youtube.com/watch_popup?v=f8nwRCW-tJU&vq=medium "Errant Signal - Little Inferno"

And there's even far more to discover. In the game's story. Family itself is also a maybe very subtle but a big theme of the game. (Or: A longing for the "old", "classical" 80s-family -- at least that's my personal interpretation, like it's said in the game "The more you look at it, the more they look familiar." http://infernofans.com/catalog/chimney-stuffer/familyportrait) And this theme is linked again later in the game.

Considering the family I would conclude though that it is exciting to discover the world outside, there are countless dangers already out there. That's why it is all about the parents. It's all about parents raising their kids to become responsibly behaving decent human beings. And I mean in general. (The same with tolerance and respect, both have to be taught on the low-level, on a deeper level, -- for me *not* on specific issues, -- real tolerance or real responsibility only comes from a good major approach by good parenting done by loving parents) This includes telling our children what is dangerous. This includes telling them what is a game and what is reality. This includes reflecting stories, games, movies with our children. Talking to them.

And I think if you take the "T" rating seriously, everyone from T+ onwards will get the real message of the game.

Best regards,

PS: I burnt many (ok... some) things when I was a kid, 10 years or so, and by that time the only video game I had was "Prince of Persia 1" and later "Monkey Island". Both didn't do me any harm. ;-)


As an avid fan of the game, I find this sort of post about it disheartening. Fire is indeed dangerous, and I feel that Little Inferno very accurately reflects this. The first cutscene in the game (Which is the same as the first teaser trailer) has a line where the kid asks "But I thought playing with fire was dangerous?" to which the announcer replies "Well, you're right." The two kids play with their "Little Inferno Entertainment Fireplaces" anyway, with the end result being their houses burning down. (SPOILER WARNING) The same thing pans out in the game itself. The ending of the game starts out with your neighbor, also an avid Little Inferno player, burning her house down with her inside it, in a very gut-wrenching cutscene. You, also, continue happily along burning toys, and your house burns down as well. If anything, this game is a fairy tale telling kids to NOT play with fire, no matter how fun it is.


You say "there is an innate curiosity to fire" for young kids. And you're absolutely right. Many young kids are interested in burning things, and this curiosity existed long before the invention of video games. Most kids are going to burn many things before reaching adulthood. I think if anything, this videogame could be used as a potential outlet for that curiosity without the chance that something dangerous might happen in the real world.

Not only will those curious kids be playing a game instead of playing with real fire, but if they do play THIS game, they'll actually find themselves learning about the dangers of fire. Because this game warns AGAINST playing with fire, much like the cautionary fairy tales of old. Should we also call for a ban on cautionary fairy tales?

Besides, the game is rated T. If parents are intelligently controlling what they're kids play, the younger ones who might be influenced by the gameplay won't be playing it anyway. So why bother writing Nintendo to get them to ban it?

Did the author do any research on the game before writing about it? Or did he just hear about a game that had you burn things and then instantly called for a ban? It's easy, but not wise, to judge a book by its cover. I think there are much more useful things you could be spending your time on to improve fire safety in homes instead of writing to Nintendo about this clever game.

I would be interested in seeing the author (or someone who supports his argument) respond to the good counter-arguments people have posted here. Because, as it stands now, this article has more holes than swiss cheese.

Richard Anderson

I played and completed the game. Something you are missing in your article, is that mid way threw a neighbour girl who has been talking to you through letters, her house burns down and she disappears. Even as a 24 year old male I was a bit heart breaking and teared me up.

At the end she turns out to be fine, AFTER YOUR HOUSE burns down too.

Other things about this is, I as a child was setting thing on fire unsafely. When no one was supervising me I was sitting infront of the gas fire, I was setting things on fire. I burned the carpet, I burned my hands. I have to thank my luck I never did burn the house down.

I even stole Lighters from friends parents who smoked, high away in a forest and burn things until something scared me or the Lighter ran out.

I was obsessed with fire for a good long time with my childhood. It was untill my dad gave me a box of matches a whack of paper and let me burn things in the sink as he supervised me. After that my obsession disappeared.

Little Inferno is very much like my childhood. Except the brink didn't catch light, instead I used it beat out fires, leaving marks in the marble.

The entire time with Little Inferno it is warning you about fire and even giving you the ultimate scare. Lose of life.

Reverend Hunt

(Sigh) Can't people actually do research before they go complaining about something?

Smarter Than Article Author

As a teenager, I believe the parents should know what their kids are spending money on. It's a great philosophical game, so Nintendo shouldn't be hassled over it. If it's anyone's fault, it's irresponsible parents!

Common Sense

The game isn't really intended for children anyway. Nor is the Tomorrow Corporation website. The Tomorrow Corporation site is simply written "in character" or "in universe" in a way.
No part of the game endorses actually burning things. It's part of the game's metaphorical criticisms. In fact, it's supposed to sound like a very bad idea. Even the promotional video ends with everything burning down. If anything, the impact that video may have on a child would be to scare them.
Someone who is unable to understand the satire of the game or its distinction from reality is not someone who this game should be purchased for. And it should go without saying that a parent should be monitoring what their child is buying and playing if their child is too young to understand or otherwise incapable of understanding the difference between reality and a video game, especially if the child probably needs access to their parent's credit card before buying a game.


It would be great it we got some sort of response or follow from you, considering the coherent, well manners and thoughtful comments above.

I understand your concern, but it's okay. This game is perfectly safe. Given its rating, children shouldn't be playing it anyway. You don't need to ban everything that deals with any kind of difficult subject matter.

I know games are an emerging medium, but if you have an open mind you can learn a lot from them, and denying anyone the chance to do that is criminal.


great, another genius that speaks BS about video games without knowing what the hell she's saying.
do you know jack thompson? you may get along.


This is just pathetic. If anything, the game would teach kids to NOT play with fire.

It's not aimed at kids anyway, it's aimed at teens and up, and to be honest, if people let their kids play it, they must be horrible parents anyway.

It's like society is going backwards. There's no free will anymore, because people like you ban everything that has an ever so slightly different subject to what is considered "normal". We've already got people suggesting that war games should be banned because they might encourage people to shoot people, and we all know that's not going to happen. This is the same. If all games were judged like that, all of them would be banned, because something bad will always be found about them. Then movies and tv programs, then books, and soon we won't have any free will. Is that what you want, just because a few bad parents let their kids play, watch and read things out of their age range?


Ha. This post was funny. Might even be a troll. But It made me laugh. Keep it coming. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YYZXueXw1Q0

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name is required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)

Do fire hoses burn?

  • If you or your department has experienced a burn-through of a fire attack hose, please complete this brief online survey. Researchers at WPI are creating the first and only publically available, searchable data base which tracks burn-through’s across the US. This project is funded by The Last Call Foundation which was established in memory of fallen fire fighter Michael Kennedy.

Enter your email address:

Delivered by FeedBurner