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GTA V Proves a Lot of Parents Still Don't Know or Care About ESRB Ratings

Soulskill posted about a year ago | from the rated-L-for-learn-how-to-be-a-parent dept.

Games 621

Deathspawner writes "Grand Theft Auto V has shown itself to be potential GOTY material, and has even managed to break a sales record already. But aside from that, the game has also become one of the most adult-oriented games ever released, with torture, drug use and sex prevalent not long after beginning the game. You'd expect this gameplay to deter most parents from picking the game up for their young children — but not so. An anonymous editorial at Kotaku written by a video game store employee says that out of the ~1,000 copies sold in the first week, at least 10% of them went to parents accompanied by a child. Clearly, this could be interpreted as a problem. Techgage adds that this is one of the biggest problems facing gaming today. With one breath, many parents criticize video games for being so violent, and with the next, they're saying 'thanks' at the counter after picking up these very games for their kids. While ESRB ratings and other warnings about violent games for kids have good reason to exist, many parents still ignore them, aren't aware to them, or simply don't care about their warnings."

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Some people... (5, Insightful)

SpaceWiz (54904) | about a year ago | (#44938629)

Some people still think that video games are only for kids, regardless of the content of the game. Getting past this idea would help a lot.

Re:Some people... (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938781)

Just like some people think My Little Pony is only for kids! That's why I proudly wear my Rainbow Dash fedora everywhere I go.

Re:Some people... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938939)

The best sex fan fiction is My Little Pony sex fan fiction.

It's all "doggie style"!

Re:Some people... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939227)

I tried to penetrate a pony once, but my gut got in the way =/

Re:Some people... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938813)

Some people also have the silly idea that violent video games can somehow harm children.

Can we finally put this concept to bed, please? Your ten-year-old isn't going to be irreparably mentally harmed from playing GTA5. Or from watching a violent movie or sneaking a look at some porn on the Internet.

Re:Some people... (5, Interesting)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44938883)

This was brought up in another conversation I had today...

We have this idea that kids as old as 16 aren't "fully formed" people. But if your kid doesn't understand the difference between fantasy and reality at 10 or 11 or 12 then there is a parenting problem or other general mental illness. They aren't just lumps of clay that get reasoning ability by magic on their 18th birth day. It's amazing how most of the population forgets what being aged 10-18 is like later in life... this is something they should know already.

Re:Some people... (4, Insightful)

Nadaka (224565) | about a year ago | (#44939203)

Part of the problem is that that the majority of adults can't tell the difference between fantasy and reality either. How many people are religious after all? And even if you buy into the silly notion that one religion may be correct, then the billions of people who follow the other religions are still fully believing in fantasy.

But then, simple violence and sex in media does not represent a fundamental attack on human rationality that religion in media does, even though it is somehow seen as more acceptable.

Re:Some people... (5, Insightful)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44939021)

No, your kid is probably not going to be "irreparably mentally harmed" from being exposed to violent video games too early. But there is such a thing as exposing a kid to shit that they're too young to handle (or understand). And that's not a good thing.

A kid's innocence is a precious thing, and it's a shame to squander it too early. That doesn't mean I want to have my 12-year-old still believing in Santa Claus, but I also don't want him introduced to the ugly world of violent crime, drugs, and prostitution while he's still in kindergarten either.

Re:Some people... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939239)

There is inadequate proof one way or the other. Now, generally the onus of proof is on the side of the claims, so it is the responsibility of those claiming that violent video games harm children to provide proof of such harm.

However, there is proof that exposure to certain media at a young age does harm children, and also proof that exposure to violence does harm children. Is it reasonable to extrapolate that violent media thus might do harm? Perhaps, perhaps not, but it does seem worthy of investigation at any rate; so calling the claims silly is not necessarily warranted.

Re:Some people... (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about a year ago | (#44939045)

Some people still think that video games are only for kids, regardless of the content of the game. Getting past this idea would help a lot.

Even if people never get a clue, that idea is rapidly aging itself out of existence: People don't obviously 'grow out' of gaming (many cut back since they have other things to do, some do stop entirely; but there appears to be no particular demographic cliff after which gaming plunges into nonexistence); and such gaming landmarks as the NES are old. If you were born when that thing hit US release, you are 28 now. If you were old enough to play it when it hit US release, you could easily be mid 30s to early 40s by now.

Immunity to empirical reality will always be with us; but people for whom gaming has always 'been for kids' are aging out, and people who have kids now are increasingly likely, soon to be overwhelmingly likely, to either be gamers, have been gamers, and/or know peers who are gamers.

I wouldn't be so sure. (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939221)

There is still a very vocal group of adults who consider animation to be just for kids.

Different Parents (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938637)

"With one breath, many parents criticize video games for being so violent, and with the next, they're saying 'thanks' at the counter after picking up these very games for their kids."

Maybe these are two different groups of parents...

Re:Different Parents (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44938697)

Well.. this and the U.S. still has this puritan crap going on in the background that makes general violence and minimal amount of gore FINE but that showing too much of a boob (or anything slightly sexual) will TOTALLY CORRUPT MY BABY!

Seriously... killing people is fine but something that makes you feel good and is a gift to mankind.. NO WAY. OMG!!

Re:Different Parents (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year ago | (#44939029)

What's your point? GTA could get its rating based solely on the amount of violence.

Re:Different Parents (1)

i kan reed (749298) | about a year ago | (#44939113)

GTA could get its rating based soley on the amount of violence immediately proceeding any sex.(but how else are you supposed to get your money back?)

Re:Different Parents (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44939175)

I was spouting off, but there is a point here.

And that is that if there is any major scandal and wringing of hands about GTA V it will be about the stripper scenes, the stripper going back to the apartment, making it rain, and the like. It won't be about the violence.

Re:Different Parents (1, Insightful)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#44939141)

Well.. this and the U.S. still has this puritan crap going on in the background that makes general violence and minimal amount of gore FINE but that showing too much of a boob (or anything slightly sexual) will TOTALLY CORRUPT MY BABY!

Seriously... killing people is fine but something that makes you feel good and is a gift to mankind.. NO WAY. OMG!!

Please explain where you get that puritans are ok with violence because the above just makes you sound like a radical loon with a penchant for hating anything even remotely religious.

Re:Different Parents (5, Funny)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#44939313)

but that showing too much of a boob (or anything slightly sexual) will TOTALLY CORRUPT MY BABY!

Well, obviously. Boobs and nipples especially are not intended for babies.

Re:Different Parents (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938761)

My thoughts exactly. There are those that care and those that do not. I NEVER allowed GTA in my home.

Re:Different Parents (3, Insightful)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44938829)

I'd wager we're talking about the same parents. The ones that are vocally opposed to violent video games are the ones who think that if WalMart sells it then it must be ok for little Jimmy. They're naivety knows no bounds.

Re:Different Parents (1)

Russ1642 (1087959) | about a year ago | (#44939265)

Ahhhh. Their.

Re:Different Parents (2)

OakDragon (885217) | about a year ago | (#44939087)

This comment:

at least 10% of them went to parents accompanied by a child

I guess is based on this quote from the linked article:

Last week my store sold over a thousand copies of GTA V, at least a hundred of which were sold to parents for children who could barely even see over my counter

Could it be for the parent maybe?

How do you know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938657)

"With one breath, many parents criticize video games for being so violent, and with the next, they're saying 'thanks' at the counter after picking up these very games for their kids."

How do you know these are the same parents?

Re:How do you know? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939319)

How do you know these are the same parents?

It isn't likely that the person standing at the counted changed their identity between two breaths. So it should be the same parent.

Don't worry mom, it's okay (4, Funny)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44938673)

No mom, this isn't one of those bad videogames. Trust me.

Take away their licenses (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938685)

This type of irresponsible behaviour shouldn't be tolerated.

These so-called "parents" should have their parenting licenses revoked, and their children impounded and/or destroyed.

So? (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#44938705)

Why does the content matter? Playing a game with offensive / questionable content doesn't impart that behavior onto the player. Those ratings are pointless

Re:So? (1)

nautsch (1186995) | about a year ago | (#44939099)

Its not about imparting the behavior on the child. its about content that might be disturbing for younger players. Its about protecting the child from weeks of nightmares and not to protect you from being shot by a child which played GTA (which, as you said, is probably not going to happen).
This is also the reason, why I think violence in games is much much worse than nudity or sex. I was mature enough as a kid to watch those stupid late night erotic films, so i think the kids today might be able to handle that stuff, when they can hold a controller without breaking their hands.

Re:So? (1)

Murdoch5 (1563847) | about a year ago | (#44939279)

I think you should be exposing your kids to this kind of violence through video games because it will improve character and strengthen a child so they're ready for real life. When I was a kid my dad took the stance that ya I'm going to get scared, I'm going to get hurt and I'm going to be fun of and joked at so I can either deal with it and take it or cry and run away. Of course he was ready to step in if needed but it never had to happen, thanks to me being exposed to violence in video games and not over protective parenting I've developed into a great man today that is ready for the world. I have friends and family who were raised very protected and blocked off from video games and TV and videos that could "hurt", "offend" them or had violence and they are cry babies who need to be hand held to do anything. To be clear I'm not saying it's a dry and clean cut case but from my personal experience and the people I know it certainly has become at least in my view that kids exposed to movies, tv and video games with violence in them turn out better off in the long run.

Re:So? (2)

TWiTfan (2887093) | about a year ago | (#44939127)

It matters because I don't want my kid exposed to the world of evil shitheels before she's old enough to realize that it's not a good thing to be an evil shitheel. I want her to be old enough to have a foundation in decency before she's introduced to the world of indecency. I don't want her introduced to crime before she's old enough to understand that crime has consequences. That's called "good parenting," (as opposed to "shit parenting") of course.

Re:So? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | about a year ago | (#44939231)

well it's too bad if the kids will know what "waterboarding" means when mentioned in the news!

there's also tits and what have you in the game... and also golf. but I can bet that some of those parents were just buying the game for themselves.

They don't care. (1)

Xinef Jyinaer (1044268) | about a year ago | (#44938711)

I honestly don't think most parents care. I'm young enough to remember playing GTA 3 with my parents when it was released ( I was 13 years old). As a parent now I realize my son is a long way off from playing games as laden with violence and explosions as GTA 3. However; I'm not going to refuse to let him play a M game when he is 11-17 years old.

Re:They don't care. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939171)

So you think you son shouldn't watch any action movies either, including Harry Potter, Marvel's outings, LoTRs, mustn't read any literature or graphic novels, and certainly can't watch the daily news?

I can't believe I have to mention this (5, Insightful)

Ralph Wiggam (22354) | about a year ago | (#44938715)

"With one breath, many parents criticize video games for being so violent, and with the next, they're saying 'thanks' at the counter after picking up these very games for their kids."

Are the same people saying both of these things? Or is it possible that "parents" includes millions of different people who feel differently about many things.

Re:I can't believe I have to mention this (5, Insightful)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year ago | (#44938875)

Also, it can't be possible these "parents buying the game with kids on tow" are buying the game for themselves never intending to let their child play it, too.

Just like when a family is at the store and buys beer as part of their weekly grocery shopping -- they must be letting their children drink.

Re:I can't believe I have to mention this (4, Funny)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#44939155)

Logic and reasonable explanations have absolutely nothing to do with this knee jerk reactionary story. Please don't ever bring up these types of things again.

Re:I can't believe I have to mention this (1)

Jumperalex (185007) | about a year ago | (#44939295)

DING DING DING ... maybe some of those parents who are indeed buying it for their kids are doing just what we've been asking them to do, decide for themselves what is appropriate for their kids instead of asking / forcing / letting the government to do it for them based on the lowest common denominator (i.e. hyper-puritanical / violent video games = violence believers).

I'm not saying what age I believe GTAV is appropriate for, but lets not forget that like MPAA ratings, ESRB ratings are informational guides and not enforceable limits. Yes I know it is enforceable on minors, I'm talking about for legal adults they are not limits.

Rated ARRRRRGH! (2)

steak (145650) | about a year ago | (#44938723)

This is the current equivalent of parents dumping their kids in rated R movies.

If it was only about sex and drugs maybe. (2)

stewsters (1406737) | about a year ago | (#44938733)

At least 10 percent of parents would take their kids to see Michelangelo's David given the chance, even though he is in the nude. A masterpiece is a masterpiece, and art often gets past people's filters.

Re:If it was only about sex and drugs maybe. (3, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44938779)

We still have people saying that Michelangelo's David is pornography.

Accompanied by a child? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938739)

"An anonymous editorial at Kotaku written by a video game store employee says that out of the ~1,000 copies sold in the first week, at least 10% of them went to parents accompanied by a child. Clearly, this could be interpreted as a problem."

Just because you have a kid with you when you buy the game, does not mean the kid will be playing the game. (Or am I missing something because I didn't RTFA)

Re:Accompanied by a child? (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44938933)

What do you expect, this guy works in a video game store? We are not talking about the cream of the crop here.

Re:Accompanied by a child? (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44939081)

This person definitely had the blowhard's attitude that all their opinions are completely right, too. There was no room for questioning what he or she felt was the right and wrong of the situation.

Not caring != not knowing (3, Insightful)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#44938743)

I'd say parents know about ratings -- in fact, they know not only about their existence but also quality. And, especially, relevance.

In other words, they don't give a f...

If your children hasn't seen enough porn already, I pity both you and your offspring, as this means you keep them in a cage.

Re:Not caring != not knowing (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44938817)

Yes, we should have 12 years of watching torture porn.

You're statement is clueless and so vague as to lose all meaning.

Re:Not caring != not knowing (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about a year ago | (#44939161)

Your 12 years old kid should also know not to enter that seedy bar in a dark alley next to his walk from school.

Re: Not caring != not knowing (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938859)

+1. I *trust* my kid to not act like he just had a marathon FSP shooter session on the XBox.

ESRB != parenting

Logical fallacy (5, Informative)

Xtifr (1323) | about a year ago | (#44938747)

The fact that someone bought the game while accompanied by a child does not mean they're buying it for the child. My brother often takes his kids to the game store, and and may buy game for himself or for his kids. Or, frequently, both.

That said, yes, there probably a lot of people too clueless to realize that the one game that is probably the most famous of all games in the world for not being for kids isn't for kids. But trying to estimate the number of people in that category by counting the number of people who happen to buy it while having a child in tow is just as clueless, in quite another way.

Re:Logical fallacy (1)

Thyamine (531612) | about a year ago | (#44938889)

I was thinking the same. That anecdotally it is an interesting point, but we don't know for certain that a parent/child combo means that the child will be playing. And really as a game store employee, that's all they can really do: point out what they saw, and then let other people draw conclusions. I'm sure some of them don't care or fall into the bad parent category, but like parent post said, a lot of those people may be buying it just for themselves.

Re:Logical fallacy (2)

jittles (1613415) | about a year ago | (#44939017)

The fact that someone bought the game while accompanied by a child does not mean they're buying it for the child. My brother often takes his kids to the game store, and and may buy game for himself or for his kids. Or, frequently, both.

That said, yes, there probably a lot of people too clueless to realize that the one game that is probably the most famous of all games in the world for not being for kids isn't for kids. But trying to estimate the number of people in that category by counting the number of people who happen to buy it while having a child in tow is just as clueless, in quite another way.

Agreed that it is a fallacy but... I have seen the child pick them game out and say "(Parental Unit) buy me this one." And they do. Without question. Without even looking at the box. When the local Blockbuster was about to close due to bankruptcy I went in to frantically spend a gift card. While there, I saw a 6 year old child pick out Saints Row and the mother bought it without question. I can't imagine ever letting a 6 year old play that game.

Re:Logical fallacy (2)

umafuckit (2980809) | about a year ago | (#44939223)

The fact that someone bought the game while accompanied by a child does not mean they're buying it for the child.

Not for sure, no, but it seems pretty likely. If you don't want your kid to play a game then it seems like a pretty dumb idea to take them to store, allow them to watch you buy it, and then tell them they can't play it. By far the best thing is to buy it on sly and never let them know you have it.

This is an outrage. (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938767)

What we need is a law forcing parents to raise their kids the way I think they should be raised.

Re:This is an outrage. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938989)

What we need is a law forcing parents to raise their kids the way I think they should be raised.

If you are US-American, then at least you have a rating system which reflects your view on morality.

Re:This is an outrage. (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about a year ago | (#44939097)

Moral Relativism! You are going to HELL!

Cluebat (2)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44938797)

parents aren't a hive mind.

Sheesh.

Re:Cluebat (2)

geek (5680) | about a year ago | (#44938935)

parents aren't a hive mind.

Sheesh.

Exactly. The article almost lays blame on "parents" here, assuming all parents do this. I'd say 10% is pretty good considering how fucked up society is right now. There are some places where greater than 50% of the kids drop out of school due to a real life version of GTA because their parents don't care or even actively encourage them. I'll take 10% on a make believe GTA any day.

I have no intention of letting my son play games like this. I'd rather he went outside and played sports instead. But regardless, even if the rate was 1%, that 1% will still interact with the other 99% and the 99% will be exposed to it on one level or another. Bottom line is simple, be a parent, and look after your kids. You can't protect them from life.

Re:Cluebat (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939269)

"considering how fucked up society is right now"

All "societies" have always been "fucked up".

Back in the day there was slavery, people being crucified, people being beheaded, people being burned alive, people dancing so it would send a message to the Gods so there would be rain, people being killed because they were jewish, blah blah blah.

Wake up already, mankind sux balls since forever moron

Re:Cluebat (1)

fishybell (516991) | about a year ago | (#44939207)

parents aren't a hive mind.

...yet.

Follow the money (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938807)

While some parents obviously need to educate themselves, the games companies obviously benefit from that same ignorance. When GTA IV came out I remember that my local toy shop was equipped with wall-to-wall displays promoting the game. Things like this obviously add to any ambiguity and confusion that parents may have.

Re:Follow the money (1)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about a year ago | (#44938931)

At this point in time (the first GTA came out in what, '97?), anyone who doesn't know the general theme of the Grand Theft Auto series only has themselves to blame.

Overlap? (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938809)

And what percentage of those 100 copies solid were to parents that complain about this stuff? The two are not necessarily the same subset, they could even be entirely disjoint or minuscule in overlap.

Some parents have faith in the maturity of their children. Some are of course just stupid.

as a parent. (1, Interesting)

Brian Horakh (2928873) | about a year ago | (#44938851)

i commend all the other parents who want to bring this home so they can supervise play, and put it into context.
The last thing you want is a kid playing a game like that at the neighbors .. god only knows what goes on over there.

Re:as a parent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938975)

How exactly do you put anything in GTA into context? Don't get me wrong, I like the GTA games. But it's glorifying behavior I would never do or condone in real life.

Re:as a parent. (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | about a year ago | (#44939291)

The same way do you with any movie.

Re:as a parent. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939315)

How would Brian explain to his child why one would fuck a meth junkie and then kill her boyfriend and then clean the brains of the guy out of his boots?

The mistake (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938855)

"With one breath, many parents criticize video games for being so violent, and with the next, they're saying 'thanks' at the counter after picking up these very games for their kids."

The mistake with this comment is it implies that "parents" are a single group of the same people. They are not. Some parents are decrying the violence in games. Different parents don't care and buy the games for their kids. The first group of parents blames violent video games as the source of various social ills. What needs to happen is the education of the first group of parents that the problem lies with the second group of parents and divert their attention to greater enforcement and utilization of the rating system. But we will never even start to cross that threshold once we label them all as a single group and then complain about their hypocrisy and schizophrenia.

Summary wrong, again.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938879)

Allowing parents to decide whether a kid can buy a "mature" game is exactly the right policy, and the summary is completely wrong in implying that the parents who buy the mature games for their children are identical to the people who complain about violent games being played by children. For reference, I watched my first R-rated move with my parents when I was 7, and the rule was I could watch any movie I wanted, but for R-rated movies I had to tell them the title in advance and they may want to watch it with me. My parents never complained about violence on TV, but they sure complained about government censorship.

Two groups of parents (3, Insightful)

MDillenbeck (1739920) | about a year ago | (#44938893)

As people have already pointed out, the parents who complain about violent video games are not the same parents as those buying it. However, when one parent buys it for their kids and another doesn't, it brings about the issue of loaning the game or going over to the other child's house to play it. Unfortunately, it should not be the responsibility of the industry or the government to censor or ban these types of games - it is still the responsibility of the parent wanting to restrict their child from the game to raise them in a manner where they not only avoid purchasing it but instill in their child a willingness to abide by their restrictions. Alas, many parents do not want to go this extra mile and fulfill their duties as a parent. (Yes, I know it is hard - but just as life is not fair, parenting isn't easy.)

Re:Two groups of parents (1)

Surak_Prime (160061) | about a year ago | (#44939123)

"As people have already pointed out, the parents who complain about violent video games are not the same parents as those buying it."

Actually, I'm not totally certain of this. My step-sister and her husband are the sort of people who would complain about this, and I've seen their kids playing GTA4 at their house. Hypocrisy and cognitive dissonance are no problem for a certain portion of our population, unfortunately.

Re:Two groups of parents (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939157)

If I had my way I'd outlaw parents, government, and industry from instilling any censorship at fucking all. Your kid should have the same rights as every other f'ing American to be free from censorship.

So what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938897)

I play GTA 5 with my 10 year old daughter, we have a blast. Its funny as hell. I guess I must be a bad parent...Oh tvell!

Judgement (2)

TechyImmigrant (175943) | about a year ago | (#44938911)

There's sex and drugs and crime everywhere on the internets.

Don't try to protect your children from all the evil out there. They're going to find it sooner or later. Teach your children judgement. They'll be needing it.

Derp, derp, derp (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938947)

"many parents criticize video games for being so violent, and with the next, they're saying 'thanks' at the counter after picking up these very games for their kids"

Maybe they're not the same parents? Like duh...

Yes, those damn violent computer games are making people violent, which is why there was no violence, torture, mass murder, or war, before computers existed.

Some people want their kids to be terrorists (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938953)

What's wrong with shooting a crowd of people every now and again?

Ratings are off (1)

zmooc (33175) | about a year ago | (#44938991)

That's because the ratings err ridiculously on the safe side. GTA V is probably fine for any kid older than 12 except if you're a religious zealot that's trying to pass you unhealthy sexphobia on to your kids.

GTA probably won't harm much younger kids either; I have carefully tried what the effect of GTA SA was when my 4 y.o. kid watched me playing. He does not identify with the character nor does he relate the more violent parts to the real world; his reaction is more like that on a nature video about lions getting some beef. Nevertheless, I'm playing safe; he won't be allowed to play GTA for many years to come.

Anyway - the overly obnoxiously safe ratings only result in the general population ignoring them entirely since they're way out of sync with reality.

Re:Ratings are off (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939063)

You're dutch though. This is just in between breaks of diddling said 4 year old kid in the ass, no?

Re:Ratings are off (1)

zmooc (33175) | about a year ago | (#44939205)

I'm dutch, yes. And maybe that does indeed change things a little; my kids don't understand english. The foul language in GTA does not reach them. I think the language would be one of the bigger problems. The violence and sex, not so much.

No problem (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44938997)

Asides from the obvious methodological fault (buying game with child != buying game for child), there is absolutely no problem unless you're a ignorant moral conservative (and before you ask: even though I tolerate them I find all moral conservatives equally ignorant).
Parents that are able to tell how mature are their kids, should have the opportunity to buy a violent game for the kid.
Damn I played Crusader when I was 11 y.o. and remember very well that despite the screams of pain issued by burning enemies that was a game, and while doing it in a game was fine I was mature enough to know that doing it for real was not so nice.

Why should they care? (1)

Hatta (162192) | about a year ago | (#44939003)

What evidence is there that GTAV poses any threat to children?

Proof? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939007)

This story is making the rounds at quite a few outlets. Yet none show any proof whatsoever that the writer is a video store clerk. If you read the letter, there are many telltale signs in prose suggesting it's bogus ("Little Timmy....?" Hmmm)
Just how many employers out there don't mind their bottom line impacted by an employee lecturing adults on their legal purchase (Oh now those cigarettes...you're not buying them for children are you?) I suspect none? How many video store clerks would write a public letter insinuating that something illegal might be going on and authorities should clampdown and thus making life even more miserable for video store clerks? I suspect none?
Let's face it -- without the pseudo-cred of this being an 'insider'; it would simply be another stupid moralist blowing hot smoke out their ass with a stupid laughable rant ("at least 10%..." again the telltale use of bogus stats to bolster a nonsense claim) that languish unread at the bottom of most comment systems.
'Traditional' Media loves running this garbage because the video game industry is way more of a threat to their revenue base than illegal downloading will ever be.

They attend schools that have armed Police and (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939013)

security lock downs. Some kids being exposed to pixelated violence and torture barely registers on society's problem meter.

Assuming things makes an .... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939023)

So the parent went into a store and bought a game, and had a child with them. Some observations :

1) Parents play games. I'm 41 and have been playing games since Pong and Space Invaders. I have two kids, one five one fourteen. I buy games for me. I buy games for the 14 yr old, I buy games for the five year old. They aren't the same games.

2) As a good parent, often my kids are with me. If they are not, they are with my wife or at school. Therefore, kids being with parent doesn't equate to every purchase being made by the parent being for the kid with them.

Frankly, this judgemental attitude that a parent must be a bad parent if they buy an M rated game while their kids are with them is pretty stupid, to put it mildly.

I'm a little confused about GTA 5 (1)

Adult film producer (866485) | about a year ago | (#44939035)

I haven't played the mission where Trevor tortures the guy by pulling teeth, electrocution and waterboarding (but I have seen it on youtube).. yet I've been at the strip club, the girls take off their tops but there's no vaginal nudity. I even went home with the stripper "Saphire" for a little extra action but nothing was shown...

It's weird they would allow the former but not the latter... maybe there is a switch in the settings menu that allows full nudity and images of sex that I haven't seen yet ?

Re:I'm a little confused about GTA 5 (2)

H0p313ss (811249) | about a year ago | (#44939101)

Not sure if this is insightful or trolling, but what the hell.

This is 2013, torture and violence is as now as American as apple pie, but biology is still taboo.

Re:I'm a little confused about GTA 5 (2)

Adult film producer (866485) | about a year ago | (#44939285)

Not trolling.. I was just at Saphire's place about 20 minutes before posting this and I felt very disappointed. It's funny at the strip club I was "raining down" dollar bills and the two strippers never took their clothes off. Like, seriously? We get to torture someone but we're not allowed to see nudity ?!?!

I had to take my character into a private room to see some tits. And that was it.... The really funny part is when I bought the game the girl at Gamespot warned my wife & I not to play this in front of children because there was full frontal nudity and other "horrid" things that they shouldn't see.... I'm still waiting for the full frontal nudity.. LOL. Maybe that has to be unlocked?

Re:I'm a little confused about GTA 5 (3, Insightful)

Oronar (942125) | about a year ago | (#44939177)

Because graphic violence only gets a game an M rating. Full nudity and sex automatically get a game an AO (Adult Only) rating. Most retailers refuse to stock AO games and getting an AO rating is effectively a death sentence for a console game since the only place you'd be able to sell them is the Internet and smaller stores. If you want big sales your game has to be sold in Walmart, Toys R Us, Gamestop etc.

I'm one of those parents who object ESRB ratings (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939039)

I'll be the judge of whats too "violent". If my kid isn't getting upset over nudity, violence, etc. there is no way I'm going to censor it. When I was a kid is survived real violence and the entertainment I had or has access to (until I was older anyway) certainly was never censored. It is/was in part that censorship which disgusts me. It's one thing if it is a 5-6 year girl who cries when baby dies and never wanted to see the thing in the first place. A totally different thing if my 9 fearless year old boy wants to play GTA.

If people don't want to hear the words fuck, see sex, or know about the violence that exists all around them maybe they aught to live in a sheltered commune. But for heaven sake don't subject me to your overprotective or god fearing ideas.

ah yes (1)

geekoid (135745) | about a year ago | (#44939043)

another story that will give an excuse to the ignorant and childless to give child rearing advise!

Question (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939053)

How long does it take wikipedia to cite an anonymous editorial?

From a parent (1)

timeOday (582209) | about a year ago | (#44939059)

I VNC'd into my home computer from work yesterday afternoon and my son was watching a youtube video of two guys narrating a GTA session, in which the character was walking around shotgunning people begging for their lives. I have told him I can VNC in at any time, although it doesn't show anything on his display when I do. I am not sure whether to do anything about it. He turned 15 recently, so is not a baby. He has the typical preoccupations with survival knives, airsoft, and pellet guns. He also has some behavior problems including fits of violence, and I didn't really like what I saw on the screen. So... not sure what to do, if anything.

Things people say != Things people believe (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939061)

Or at least, peoples actions often don't mirror their words.

Moreover, even parents who espouse the belief that games are too violent may not feel that this should make them off limits to their family.

Heck, I think that games are too violent, and I cut my gaming teeth on Mortal Kombat. For whatever reason, I don't find game depictions of violence and bad behavior to be nearly as disturbing as violence on film or TV or in real life. I don't know why, but that is the way it is.

It doesn't mean anything (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939147)

Considering what you can see on the internet and on your TV i can't imagine anyone caring about a game's content. It is just a game.

Why not use warning label like cigarettes (1)

drakesword (3203755) | about a year ago | (#44939165)

Show images of violence and death with a very large warning label that takes up no less then 75% of the cover art

No GTA V here... (1)

cdrudge (68377) | about a year ago | (#44939225)

I refuse to buy GTA V for my kids. All the drugs, sex, violence, it's too much. I much rather them sit down and we watch television together. Just last night we watched the 6-o'clock news that had numerous stories about...drugs, sex, and violence. So we switched to something else. We watched the final episode of Dexter.

parent w/kid = kid gets the game? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939237)

No... I have a child. I have many games. My child does not play my games.

I go to stores with my child. I bought slippers with my child. Does my child use those slippers? No I bought them for me.

"Problem facing Gaming"? (1)

grasshoppa (657393) | about a year ago | (#44939257)

I don't think so. This isn't a problem that gaming can fix; the industry doesn't have the ability to prevent jr from playing inappropriate games. Hell, it's not even their place to say what is or is not inappropriate.

This is a a problem facing PARENTS, and is one that is self-created in that it's parental ignorance and apathy.

The gaming industry has fulfilled their responsibilities; they are clearly marking the games to reflect the content in the games. That's the delineation between the industry and the parent's spheres of responsibility.

I wish it weren't so (1)

LordNimon (85072) | about a year ago | (#44939259)

This particular problem really irks me. My brother-in-law, who is otherwise a sensible and brilliant guy, let's his seven-year-old play these violent games. My child, also the same age, is not allowed to play them. I have a very hard time explaining to my child why his cousin can play these games, but he can't. I also can't seem to convince them to purchase any milder (and cheaper) games that my son does have so that they can play together.

I have been unable to convince the parents that there was never any need for their child to play these games. But since he's used to them, he now expects it, and suddenly deciding that these games are inappropriate would appear to him as punishment. In fact, he throws a major tantrum if he can't play these games. Despite all this, they still beleive that they're not doing anything wrong.

What are your children doing?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939261)

If your kid isn't expermeting with sex and recreational drug use by 14, then he is probably the type of kid stuck at home gaming playing GTA... Livining vicariously through video games with the other kids in school are busy wrecking fomer football players houses with a big kegger that your kid wasn't invited to.

But how will our children... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#44939317)

...learn valuable hooker-beating skills without games like this?

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