6 Reasons why kids should play GTA

A History of Violence
Is there anyone out there, besides hippies, opposed to kids playing with Army Men? As long as there’s been guns and bad guys, there’s been children pointing finger weapons at friends and yelling “BANG!” Hell, the image is practically Rockwellian at this point. So, what is it about doing it in digital facsimile that gets people’s feathers all a’ruffled? You’d think they’d applaud Grand Theft Auto for the dramatic decrease in grass stains and skinned knees alone.

Violence has existed in American culture since the start. Generations grew up on entertainment like The Three Stooges and cartoons pictured below, now considered unacceptable, despite spawning very little as far as undesirable incidents. Of course, they’ve been sacrificed as well, officially declared unfit for youthful consumption regardless of decades of enjoyment. 

Above: Perfectly acceptable family entertainment, 1940-1990

Perhaps if Bugs Bunny, Moe Howard and Donald Duck were a little more contemporary they could’ve benefited from today’s hypocrisy. CSI and its ninety different spin-offs get to display brutal depictions of murder, oceans of blood and the occasional shower of semen when it airs on CBS - for free, unrestricted and accessible to any age group. But when CSI makes a game, it’s rated “M for Mature” - not for sale to anybody under 17.

The Standard Double Standard
Movies? The Governor of California has amassed a higher cinematic body count than most GTA players, so why all the kerfuffle? It’s partially because the people who seek to control entertainment, don’t play games. They’re old, and they frighten easy. But even so, doesn’t Grand Theft Auto take a little more flak than just about any other game on the market? In terms of spoken obscenity alone, GTA came in 9th in our list of the 10 most potty-mouthed games.

No one gets up in arms at 50 Cent: Bulletproof or Saints Row. And Mortal Kombat? That’s almost cute, nowadays. The media doesn’t seem to bat an eye at the wonderfully graphic kills in Halo 3 or that Gears of War 2 is using a chainsaw to the groin as part of its marketing campaign. As far as explicit gore goes, GTA has never been that big an offender.

Above: Oustanding violence, but where's the outcry?

Well, we’re talking specifically about the games pre Grand Theft Auto IV. After all, GTAIV isn’t even out yet (even if the allegations are.) But it’s still easy to observe that the violence found in San Andreas seems quaint by next-gen standards. Of course GTAIV will doubtlessly up the ante, though, the context will be the same.

Part of what Rockstar does well, arguably better than anyone, is creating a world that reacts to the player’s personal method of violent behavior. From what I’ve seen, more of today’s processing power has been put towards creating a living, immersive city then facilitating explicit kills and exploding heads. Fat chance the media see notice that.

Above: Fallout 3, a game to keep your eye on!

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  • MarcoBaby - October 21, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    I Was Introduced To GTA3 By My Father. I Knew Nothing About The Series & I Fell In Love The Moment I Started Playing. Afterwards It Kinda Became MY Game Due To The Fact I Never Gave Him A Chance To Play Anymore.
  • RobotsRevFront - February 13, 2011 6:23 p.m.

    i was 8 and my dad let me go on gta sa and red dead redemption. Kids need gta :)
  • mrmorozov987 - February 1, 2011 11:35 p.m.

    While I would necessarily say that kids should play it, what with all the strip clubs and all, you're absolutely right in saying that the series is just as harmful to the brain as Tic-Tacs.
  • Forsakenday - August 23, 2010 11:50 p.m.

    @Slayer he's from Serbia.
  • Xplosive59 - August 23, 2010 8:41 p.m.

    the problem is is that parents only see in black and white (mostly) ussually if a game is said tobe bad by the news they automatically believe that this game is the work of satan, most parants dont even believe that videogames have story or even cut scenes let alone think about the morals that the game has set, if you do something bad prepare to pay for it is the rule in most games but parents just hear the news and believe that you can do this stuff in game without consequences because thats all it is to them a game like monopoly where you can create your way of getting through it without believing that there is something holding you back, but in videogames it is not ussually as simple as get from point A to point B and there will ussually be something pushing against you depending on what your actions have been, if you gun down a bunch of civilians with an Ak-47 on route to point B make sure to make a drastic detour of that route because of what you have done, because after all its the player not the game
  • humpiedumpie - August 23, 2010 8:06 p.m.

    Amen to that
  • Slayer11496 - August 23, 2010 12:35 p.m.

    if anything GTA4 says crime never pays.Who wants to grow up and have their girlfriend killed by the mob, constantly get chased by cops, and realize that they're screwed for life? PS does anyone know where Nikko's from?
  • MrQueenie - August 23, 2010 12:33 p.m.

    I started playing Star Wars: Jedi Outcast were you can cut off arms at 5. Doom 3 when I was 9... And Gears of War at 10:)
  • FNG - May 23, 2010 8:50 p.m.

    I am 13 and i just got Red Dead Redemption from my dad.
  • robloxpwner - March 30, 2010 12:33 p.m.

    Im a Kid And i played GTA SA And then My 62 year old dad said "Its Violent!Dont play it!' And my bratty 13 year old sister Beated me up But still until today I keep thinking of the game and i wish to download it
  • AnonymouZ - February 12, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    oh hell no. as soon as i was getting a blowjob from a hooker i thought: goddamnit... there's a kid who's way younger than me who is actually watching this thing... it kinda soured the game for me for a while... till i realized... hey, i'm getting Niko a blowjob... AWESOME! xD
  • ecoman - December 9, 2008 9:27 p.m.

    with supervision of course.
  • newoleans1 - November 28, 2008 11:39 p.m.

    ha i know kids need to play GTA

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