The article I linked to was written by a video game store employee and how he sold too many copies of Grand Theft Auto V to a bunch of clueless parents whose kids are too young for the game. If you’re unfamiliar with the GTA series in each incarnation of the game you play a criminal and you are required to do some pretty violent things in order for the game to progress. Here’s the thing, despite what some critics may try to tell you the GTA series was never intended for children.
This is a pet peeve of mine because I’ve been a gamer since the introduction of the Atari 2600. I had the first generation Sears model. So I’ve been gaming longer than some of these ‘parents’ have been alive. I know that all video games that are released to the public today, and for a decade and a half now, all have ratings on them just like movies.
All of the Grand Theft Auto games are rated M for mature. That means that the game is not recommended for anyone under 17. While I don’t believe that video games cause violence per se if a kid was exposed to this game at too young an age it could have detrimental psychological effects on the child. For example, there was this kid I knew growing up who got into his dad’s porn stash. Back in those days, it was Playboy and Penthouse magazines, tame by today’s standards. However young children believe just about everything they see or hear. This kid ended up believing all the things he saw and read in these magazines as real, especially the ‘Dear Penthouse’ sections. When we were in middle school he told me how disappointed he was when we were selling magazines for school that we weren’t invited into this one house that had several attractive young women in it.
My point is that if a too young child is exposed to this game they may end up thinking that the ultraviolence in GTA is not only acceptable but encouraged in society and by the time he grows out of it, it may be too late.