The last five Grand Theft Auto games carry a average Metacritic score of 92 out of 100. Even if you care less about review scores, you have to admit that’s still pretty damned impressive. Parents, surely you’ve shared a movie you love with your children that others might consider inappropriate. “Don’t tell your mother, ‘cause tonight... we’re watching Goodfellas!” Why deny your children one of the most well regarded games of all time?
Even television has made exceptions, with uncensored airings of cultural milestones like Saving Private Ryan and Schindler's List for the purpose of education. Think comparing GTA to serious works of historical film is a bit of a stretch? "People ought to use Grand Theft Auto in the classroom to think about values and ideology," says James Paul Gee, author of What Video Games Have to Teach Us About Learning and Literacy. Why not?!
And the game is funny! Even if you can’t have a laugh at a ragdolling senior citizen, there’s plenty of humor and social commentary. Lazlow’s radio broadcast alone is responsible for some of the most laugh-out-loud moments in all of gamedom, plus it provides context to the action while maintaining a setting only an imbecile wouldn’t interpret as parody. I don’t have kids, but when I do, they better have a sense of humor or I’m taking a switch to them.
Never Give Up
Beside, kids are going to play it anyway. But for you kids who can’t get your hands on a copy, remember: Amazon doesn’t ID. They can’t! Barring that, talk to one of your friends with divorced parents. They always have the good shit.
My parents wouldn’t let me watch violent movies and refused to buy me videogames. But I had plenty of friends who provided access, and they walked me through the finer points of Robocop and Mortal Kombat. Those friends? All of them have great careers, stable relationships, and have started families while I’m the perpetually single miscreant, with light addictions to alcohol, smut and fart jokes. I’m living proof of the worst videogames can do. This is as bad as it gets, folks.
Well, maybe Cosplay.
Above: Niko, doing an impression of all your faces on April 29th
Apr 25, 2008