It’s no surprise to anyone who plays video games that Rockstar Games makes products that are filled with a lot of mature content. The Grand Theft Auto series, Manhunt series, and the recently released Red Dead Redemption all embody that point very clearly. Obviously, M-rated games aren’t made for children, yet still parents will often buy them for their children. Rockstar’s own Lazlow, a writer and producer for GTA, has lashed out at parents who buy their games for children, calling them “terrible parents”.
Lazlow was interviewed by BBC and had this to say on the matter:
“Our games are not designed for young people. If you’re a parent and buy one of our games for your child you’re a terrible parent. We design games for adults because we’re adults. There’s a lot of kids games out there that we’re not interested in playing. Just like you enjoy watching movies and TV shows with adult themes and language and violence that’s the kind of thing we seek to produce.
I think that Rockstar has pushed a lot of boundaries to be able to make the art that that we believe we should be able to make. If you tell a gritty crime drama with violence and profanity and call it “The Sopranos” you’re handed a load of awards to put up on the shelf.
You do the same and call it a video game and you’ll have certain organisations up in arms. I think ever since GTA IV came out and there were such rave reviews by major publications saying that this is actually art, the restrictions about being politically correct have largely fallen away.”
Some very valid points, to say the least. There is a large difference between a parent who doesn’t program parental controls on a TV and one who actively goes out to buy a violent video game for a child who asks for it. Controlling exposure and interactivity with the kinds of violent and mature content that’s being made available nowadays should be an incredibly high priority for parents.
I’m not telling parents to not buy these games at all, but it’s their responsibility to do some research and make an educated decision regarding what their children should be exposed to. Last time I checked, I didn’t think it was an accepted idea to introduce children to the idea of car theft and wanton criminality. I’m no expert, just someone with a little common sense.