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GTA 5, The One Game You Shouldn’t Buy Your Kid



Just as it has been for decades with television shows and movies, every so often there comes a game that makes parents of gamers stand up and take notice. Sometimes, as with Nintendo’s Wii console, it’s because parents are interested in getting involved in gaming with their children. Other times, it’s because their children play games without them and they worry about what the latest and greatest titles might exposure their children too.

For those who game, Grand Theft Auto 5 is a title they’ll want to pick up. For parents, the equation is a bit murky.

Create customized characters.

Grand Theft Auto Online will allow users to create and customize criminals to pull crimes with.

For starters, if the Grand Theft Auto franchise has a legacy it’s that it was the first real game to make parents question if they should blindly buy video games for their teens and young children. Although it’s likely this new title won’t reach the heights of the completely inappropriate scenes in hidden in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, all the hallmarks of the franchise are still there. That includes gambling, robbing fictional characters with fire arms and attacking police officers with bats, grenades and assault rifles.

Scenes from Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas were completely inappropriate. Warning: Not safe for work.

In trying to stave off regulations by the United States Federal Government, the video game industry adopted a ratings scale that will seem familiar to longtime movies goers. Under the content ratings by the Electronic Safety Ratings Board or ESRB, games are classified with different ratings based on their criteria. These ratings include E for Everyone, T for Teen, E 10+ for children ten and up, M for Mature and A for Adults only.

Read: 15 Awesome New GTA 5 Features

While Grand Theft Auto 5 doesn’t have enough outrageous content to make it to an adult rating, it’s M for Mature rating is reason enough for parents to not buy it for children 17 and under. The game gained that rating for “intense violence, blood and gore, nudity, mature humor, strong language, strong sexual content, and use of drugs and alcohol.”

While some parents may be OK with buying the M rated Call of Duty:Ghosts for their child because it mainly involves gore and shooting in a military setting, the same parents may not appreciate the nudity, prostitutes and other sexual content available in GTA 5. Rather than be shocked and surprised at what their child is playing, it’s a very good time to download the ESRB ratings app and familiarize yourself with what game ratings mean in order to make an informed choice for your kids.

All of this isn’t to say that Grand Theft Auto 5 is a great game. In fact, many of the trailers depict a game world that’s as unique and filled with colorful characters as Rockstar – the game’s developer — has ever made. The amount of vehicles and weaponry that users will have as they try to advance in the game and pull off ever more complicated robberies are great.

That is, For those who are old enough to handle it. GTA 5 arrives on store shelves, September 17th for PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.



  1. Flex

    09/14/2013 at 11:44 am

    Let me get this str8… its ok to buy a “Military” game that has gore, over a civilian game that has gore… this is the problem with america, they rather glorify military gore and violence solely because government killing is legal? well news flash, it doesn’t get lower than military warfare, people get tortured robbed killed raped, extorted poisoned gassed you name it, so take your bs argument elsewhere.

    • chris

      09/14/2013 at 4:31 pm

      This is coming from a single source, stop generalizing. Military gore and violence is FAR from the only thing glorified in America. And your comment on military welfare, how about you mention the actual welfare recipients, food stamp users, government leaches who do NOTHING to earn their paycheck. Lets address the lowest of the lowest before we start pinning on levels of welfare to military members. Take YOUR argument elsewhere.

      • flex

        09/15/2013 at 1:02 am

        whos talking about welfare recipients? the article is basically saying killing is ok in one setting while its not ok in the other setting.. meanwhile those of us with normal braced capacity understand that killing is killing period. And so the bs argument of why COD is ok for your kid but gta isnt is ridiculous. Since your on the welfare topic, i hate to break it you, but the majority of military personnel are former welfare recipients who couldnt find jobs or had no clear idea or hope for the future, which i guess to you is the lowest of the low lol

      • izy

        09/24/2013 at 10:22 pm

        you should to chris…and by the way if you want to get technical and straight forward, the most welfare recipients are the same fools that vote for your republican masters, do us a favor, keep your argument about welfare and government leeches for your friends at faux news and lets talk about dumb parents, just like ignorant republicans, doing stupidity and blaming everyone else.

  2. Beaulieu Delatranche

    09/14/2013 at 1:58 pm

    This is the worst argumentation i ever heard, and it’s gets at it’s lowest when the author says that it’s ok have you kid killing people in Military game but not in a Free Environment !

    I think that the writer of this article is a PRO GTA game and wrote a “Counter Productive” article to make people believe that there is no better argument that this against gta games.

    When in fact there is, just don’t buy th game to a sensible kid, it’s not about legal age it’s about how you kid is in his head, if you feel like he is perfectly stable minded and knows this is a game at 16 years old them let him play, but if you feel that he would not understand that his i a game, or that he is to influenceable or shockable then don’t let him play that is as simple as this.

  3. chris

    09/14/2013 at 4:40 pm

    This is one of the most idiotic articles that I have read in the recent past. It wouldn’t be so bad if it weren’t one of the top search results for GTA5 on Bing and if video game violence wasn’t such a controversial issue.

    We shouldn’t be attacking this game when it comes to children. First off, this game is targeting mature adults (Rated M for mature). Second, if you are buying this for your child who is either under 18 or not mentally mature enough to handle violence then that is all on you. This is just like every other technological outlet when it comes to children; moderation, supervision, and explanation. I played GTA3 both with my dad and without as a young teenager and I never went out killing hookers with baseball bats or stealing expensive cars from a show room.

    Of course this generation loves to have the TV/Computer/Video games raise, teach, and babysit their children. Shielding kids from the realizations of the world isn’t going to keep either of you safe, pay attention to your kid and spend some time with him and show him whats right and wrong in the game before you blame the actual game.

  4. Ethan Millard

    09/14/2013 at 6:04 pm

    If this idiot of an author actually had any legitimate claim to experience it both GTA and COD then he would realize that the extent of such “Gore” in GTA is a small spritz of red pixels that poof out in small clouds in some occasions. In previous Call of Duties however (World at War) you could literally reduce your opponents to limbless torsos that showed as much gore as you could with the limited technology of the time. I know this guy is trying to get as much attention as possible by being one of the million GTA shamers, but at least do a little research before you go running your mouth. In the end Grand Theft Auto is a game about being a criminal, and the hard, bleak life that goes with it. In fact it really makes you NOT want be anything like the characters in the game because you see the harm that a criminal lifestyle gives, while COD rewards you for head-shots and efficient killing. Its all just pixels, but if you don’t believe your child is “Mature” enough to experience these things then you shouldn’t buy them this game. Truthfully I would rather be playing exclusively with an all adult audience, but I don’t believe it is fair for kids who are mature and just want a small break from reality and a chance to play with their friends to be denied that because of some article written by an idiot on a site I’ve never heard of.

    Do yourself a favor and watch a real game review about this game (I suggest to decide if you would buy your child this game, don’t trust anyone else because they are just trying to scare you into mindlessly believing them.
    Have a nice, safe and aware day.

  5. Tabula Rasa

    09/14/2013 at 9:19 pm

    Personally I wouldn’t really be able to tolerate seeing anyone younger than 14 playing a Grand Theft Auto game, its the same way I feel when I see a kid with a cigarette-as different as those two things are. Its not about violence or whether or not it will cause psychological issues, hopefully a child is raised to recognize that its not a portrayal of Good. Its about innocence and self discipline etc, raising a kid to have good values and manage his time until an age where they are aware it is Just.. a Hobby, or a past time, like tv, movies etc. I don’t want to imagine children that can’t go outside because they were introduced to 5 hour gaming sessions of prostitute slaying before they were introduced to real world experiences, like idk going for a walk, or experiencing life. Perhaps working a mail route for their first pay cheque, or something.
    To be honest I spent too much time gaming as a youth and while I enjoy the neural exercise, there is more to being a kid than throwing a fit for a game you’ll likely spend all of public school playing, buy some flowers for a pretty girl instead. Gta is a joke; a parody and until someone understands it I think its best they grow up a bit first.
    Also the numerous times I have run into children playing gta multiplayer, or any game really, they had no idea what was going or what they were doing, often utilizing microphones and psychotically ranting, viciously swearing and screaming at other players, kicking adults out for No logical reason and making mostly inane threats..

  6. Genisis

    09/14/2013 at 10:51 pm

    You commenters clearly had read a few lines of this article so that you might have even a slight amount of ammunition to attack the author on claims he/she had not made. GTA shamer? Read the last few lines. Attention seeking? Read the article again. Christ, the point of this article went over the majority of your heads.

  7. Ebe Gielink

    09/15/2013 at 6:42 am

    I Love gta! and I sure wil play gta 5, but all the things i saw in the ingame footage….let’s just say I wouldn’t want a 13 year old kid playing this…there are some real adult things in this game…the 18+ label isn’t there just for show!

  8. Genisis is actually retard

    09/15/2013 at 6:55 am

    he is an attention seeker. and why do you use commenters we are not fancy . u made no point. he also points out a mod. click his name he is actually an attention seeker and this is a mobile website. he wants us to download an app

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