Emil Pagliarulo, the lead designer on Fallout 3, wants to let you know why you won't be able to murder any children in Bethesda's RPG.
"This is a series that in previous installments allowed players to kill children, right? When Bethesda first started developing Fallout 3, we had early conversations about whether you’re going to be able to blow the kids’ heads off, but then we began to think, really what benefit would there be in killing the kids in the game? It just seems gratuitous, unnecessary and cruel."
That and it would have been impossible to get it past the censors and ESRB with an M-rating. We're talking AO territory here, folks.
When the original Fallout games were released, video games were harmless distractions and had no relevance. Today, things are different and Jack Thompson would be getting his disbarred, lawyering briefcase full of condemnation ready for a march to the courts.
In the end, the game is still amazing and doesn't suffer from a lack of child-killing. Don't hold it against them.