Let the kids play GTA IV


After all the fuss with Tanya Byron and Grand Theft Childhood recently I thought it might be an idea to write what I think about violence in games. Firstly it is very obvious that society doesn’t have any problem here. These games have been played for decades now, they are played by hundreds of millions of people and there are no social problems. None. If there were, then the sensationalist newspapers would be throwing it in our faces. So the debate is mainly self publicist politicians and journalists using video games as a punchbag so as to further their own self interests. Gordon Brown and Hillary Clinton have said some very stupid things on the subject.

It is the job of parents to bring up their children, it is not the job of government. Unfortunately anyone can have a child any time they want, if they are physically capable. There is no intelligence test, no aptitude test and no means test. So all sorts of unsuitable people become parents. And governments use this as an excuse to force stupid legislation on the rest of us. We have nanny states that poke their noses into areas where they have no business and where things would work a lot better without them.

When it comes to games the current age limits are self evidently stupid. Children develop emotionally at different speeds, they don’t magically take a jump in maturity on a given birthday. And they each have different attitudes and sensitivities. So it is fortunate that children are self censoring. They avoid that which they don’t like. Kids just aren’t interested in all the sexual material that surrounds us all in our daily lives. And when they do get old enough to be interested it is entirely natural. The same with violence. Below a certain development level kids just aren’t interested and walk away.

One things that the anti violent game lobby forget is that video gaming is mainly an adult hobby, this is a fact. Also they have this strange perception that all the nation’s children are cooped up in their bedrooms playing solitary video games. When in reality virtually every game these days is fundementally social in it’s game play and has the additional social benefit of being a conversation focus amongst peers. Games are far more social than books, film or music.

People try and compare violence in films and in games. They try and make out that games are worse because of their interactivity. This is very stupid. I have read pschologists who say that in reality films are worse because you are passive and can do nothing about events. You are subjugated by the violence. Whereas in games you are active and can sort out the baddies, which is psychologically a lot healthier. Then there is the fact that films are hugely more realistic allowing greater audience immersion and suspension of disbelief. Finally the actual violence content in films is horrendous compared to games. James Bond is subject to testicle bashing torture in the 12 rated Casino Royale and there are very many 18 rated films that are pure evil from beginning to end. The violence in games is far, far tamer. It tends to be stylised. And, in virtually all instances, it forms just one part of a coherent and balanced whole.

Another aspect of this whole debate is that it is demeaning of children. Children are sentient, intelligent human beings. They know that when they are playing a game they are playing a game. They know it is not real life. In the 1950s legislators in America made a lot of noise about superhero comic books. They thought that chidren would think that they could fly and so throw themselves off tall buildings. We know now that this is absurd. So too are most of the concerns about violence in games.

In fact there is a way in which violent video games are good for children. Very good. Quite simply they act as a catharsis, as a means to vent pent up anger and frustration. Children can interactively get all the negativity out of their system without hurting anyone or anything in the real world. I think that this is a very significant effect and has contributed to the huge drop in juvenile crime that we have seen in every country where video games are widely played.

It is useful to remember that age ratings are a relatively recent artifice. They were invented by the film industry when they found themselves under the same sort of scrutiny that the game industry is now under. Books are entirely comparable with films and video games as popular entertainment media. Yet books have no age rating despite frequent sex and violence. Just look at the Bible and the Iliad for instance.

So what is worse, a Mickey Mouse Tom and Jerry cartoon on television or Grand Theft Auto on a video game console? For me it has to be Mickey Mouse Tom and Jerry. As discussed earlier the viewer is passive and is subject to unremitting violence with no morality message whatsoever. Whereas Grand Theft Auto is an interactive game of near infinite possibilities of which violence forms but a small and integral part.


  1. I certainly agree with the overall sentiment here Bruce, that the violent games to me are better than violent movies, thanks to the interactivity (and the lower visual fidelity). However, to compare GTA IV to Mickey Mouse seems like a slippery slope.

    I don’t recall the Mickey Mouse episode where he used the word ‘nigga’ about 5,000 times. I don’t recall the Mickey Mouse where he made someone’s face bleed graphically with an Uzi. I don’t recall the Mickey Mouse where he blew up a building and killed cops.

    Again, I agree with the overall sentiment, but I personally find your usage Mickey Mouse to GTA IV to be just as sensationalist (in the opposite manner of course) as the media you criticize. Maybe I’m overthinking it.

    Keep up the good work!

  2. Yes, perhaps Tom and Jerry is a better analogy. Far more violent than GTA IV.

  3. Don’t forget peppy le’peu womanizing and basically forcing himself upon the female cat in all his episodes

  4. There’s a significant flaw when claiming that violence in games does not affect children, and then claiming it to be cathartic. It very much can’t be both. If you believe there are demonstrable results in preventing violence in those prone to violence (some data or evidence for this claim would probably be appropriate – and it is out there), then what are the comparable effects on a young people with no inclination toward violence at all? Assuming there are none would seem disingenuous.

    I also don’t understand the disparity between these two statements:

    “People try and compare violence in films and in games… This is very stupid.”

    “Books are entirely comparable with films and video games as popular entertainment media.”

    I’m sure one of them is probably right, but it’s not clear which.

    I’m also a little surprised by your claim of there being “no social problems”. Do you have data to evidence this claim? I’ve spent a lot of time studying the effects of gaming and problematic usage, and while it’s a very complex and controversial subject, there are very many people making educated and convincing cases that there are at least some social problems.

    I’m also not clear on your figures for stating the “fact” that videogames are predominantly played by adults.

    Also, your claim that “virtually every game” is social is obviously not the case. The vast majority of games, by quite some proportion, are solitary. Especially those commonly played by children. There are, of course, increasing numbers of social games, but they remain in the significant minority for now.

    I wish that your claims about child self-censoring were true, but sadly they are not. (I’m assuming by “child” you mean under the age of 11, as this is the accepted definition of the word). The more horrific examples of this include regular exposure to pornography, which can create serious sexual disfunction in later life. There is a lot of very misinformed matter about this on the internet, mostly created by those who are trying to further their anti-pornography campaigning for better or worse, but this article from the Journal Of Applied Developmental Psychology takes a more academic approach:


    The forming mind of a child is very easily affected by images and experiences. Whether there is evidence that extreme violence, as depicted in many 18 certificate games, has similar results I do not know. What I am aware of is that to dismiss the possibility is naive, and possibly extremely irresponsible.

    I agree with you very much that we demean children, and discredit their intelligence. I think perhaps the most important thing, as Byron rather wonderfully demonstrated in her surprising review, is that we listen to what the children have to say, rather than pronouncing verdicts for ourselves.

    While you clearly made a poor choice with Mickey Mouse – about the only cartoon character who *doesn’t* partake in violence – if we compare GTA with your own suggestion of Tom & Jerry, which is worse? Well, GTA. Yes, it’s your interactive choice to run the prostitute over after you’ve had sex with her, and then steal the money back from her corpse, but I would still contend this is of a more adult and serious nature than seeing a cat’s head become the shape of the frying pan with which he was struck.

  5. John.
    I take issue with a lot of what you say.
    To start with:
    “I also don’t understand the disparity between these two statements:

    “People try and compare violence in films and in games… This is very stupid.”

    “Books are entirely comparable with films and video games as popular entertainment media.”

    I’m sure one of them is probably right, but it’s not clear which.”

    They are both right, there is no disparity. Gaming is a popular entertainment media, like books and film. Directly comparing the effects of violence in them on people is not sensible. Books (no age rating) are obviouly worst because the images are formed within the reader’s mind. Games are the least bad because of the reasons stated in the article.

    There is no flaw in my saying that games have no affect and then later saying they are cathartic. If you look in context you will see that I meant bad effect.

    There are loads of figures that gaming is mainly an adult occupation.

    You are wrong when you say that the majority of games are solitary. Maybe ten years ago. Virtually every game now has multiplayer and online elements.

    When it comes to self censoring there is a big difference between film, which is passive and gaming which is active. Also using pornography as an example is disingenuous, we are talking about violence in games.

  6. Even solitary games can be social. Me and two friends played The Last Ninja together. Taking turns and drawing maps etc etc

  7. Bruce,

    “Books (no age rating) are obviouly worst because the images are formed within the reader’s mind.”

    This is an *extremely* strong statement to make, and I wonder if you can link me to the evidence for this claim? I ask because it’s the exact opposite of all psychological data I’ve read. I assume you have such data to make this statement so firmly.

    I believe your logic is that with a book we are free to imagine the very worst images possible. I think this discredits the very likely notion that one might imagine the least appalling in such circumstances. This also creates the further problem that if it is in allowing one’s imagination to be involved that furthers the danger, surely by this logic games would be worse than films? Anyhow, this confusion aside, I look forward to seeing your evidence as I will find it fascinating.

    “There is no flaw in my saying that games have no affect and then later saying they are cathartic. If you look in context you will see that I meant bad effect.”

    Indeed it was very clear that you meant a negative effect. My question was, if a game has a cathartic effect on someone prone to violence – which I am sure we both agree, if true, is a demonstrable effect – then what is the equivalent effect on one not prone to violence? It follows that there must be one – a propensity toward violence does not make one exclusively responsive to violent stimuli.

    “There are loads of figures that gaming is mainly an adult occupation.”

    Could you link to at least one of them? I’m aware that a significant number of videogame players are adults – I work in the industry, and am conscious of the readership of gaming magazines – but I have never seen figures that show adults to be the vast majority.

    I do not believe that I am wrong when I say that the majority of games are solitary. It is true that many games (but far, far short of “virtually every”) now include a multiplayer mode, most frequently with FPS and RTS games, but it’s essential to note that these are not “social” experiences. You are playing against other people, certainly, but you are not involved in discourse with them. This can result from such games, but mostly occurs externally. Nevermind that the biggest selling games to children very rarely include social aspects. The Sims, for instance, has sold over 100 million units, but contains no online play at all.

    Your original point was that , “virtually every game these days is fundementally social in it’s game play” (sic), which is entirely untrue. Including multiplayer definitely does not produce such results. Beyond MMOs, I’m struggling to think of any game that young people play that could be described as fundamentally social.

    The social nature of computing that is deeply significant and often ignored, exists outside of games. Instant messaging (and texting) has created a culture of vastly more communicative young people, who spend their days in school socialising, and then unlike previous generations will continue to socialise during times where before they would have been alone. I’m fascinated by the effects this will have, but it has nothing whatsoever to do with gaming.

    I obviously very clearly stated that using pornography as an example did not demonstrate that there was a similar effect for violence. But instead cited it as an example that “self-censoring”, as lovely an idea as it may be, is not true. You may specifically believe that children’s developing minds are able to self-censor against violence but not sex, but I think to believe such a thing would require a weight of evidence. You’ve chosen not to offer any so far.

    Regarding the difference between passive and active engagement with adult materials, I’m inclined to assume there is a difference in effect based on studies of similar matters. However, I do this cautiously as I don’t have any evidence beyond it “feeling” right.

    However, let’s assume it’s correct for the moment, as it leads to a rather important issue. If film violence is more effecting than videogame violence on children’s developing minds, how does this lead to the conclusion that videogame violence is suitable for children? If you’ll forgive this silly example, I’m sure being kicked in the face with a shoe on does a lot more damage that being kicked in the face by a bare foot. I’m not sure this is proof that barefoot kicking to the face is a healthy part of a childhood. Your article is predicated on the notion that it’s fine for children to experience the remarkable, visceral and extremely adult violence present in GTA IV – saying “film is worse” doesn’t adequately demonstrate this to me.

  8. Re Gaming is mainly an adult occupation.

    5 seconds “research” using google gave me this: http://www.theesa.com/facts/gamer_data.php

    For Computer Gamers…

    Thirty percent of most frequent game players are under eighteen years old.
    Twenty-six percent of most frequent game players are between 18 and 35 years old.
    Forty-four percent of most frequent game players are over 35 years old.

    For Console Gamers…

    Forty percent of most frequent game players are under eighteen years old.
    Thirty-five percent of most frequent game players are between 18 and 35 years old.
    Twenty-five percent of most frequent game players are over 35 years old.

  9. When I say child in this article I mean, as should be obvious, people supposedly precluded from playing the game because of their age.
    In other words anyone under the magic age of 18.

  10. Thank you! I had not seen those figures before, and it’s very interesting reading.

    I’m not sure why you felt the need to tell me how quickly you found them. I’m concerned you’re trying to win a fight here, rather than simply backing up your statements with evidence, which would seem a perfectly reasonable thing to do.

    I am looking forward to similarly interesting reading on the more controversial subjects of books being more damaging that film or gaming, and childhood self-censoring.

  11. Sorry Bruce, but a “child” in the eyes of the government is someone under the age of 11. Between 11 and 25 is a “young person”, with significantly different behaviours.

    (Try calling a 17 year-old a child, and see how long that conversation lasts).

    This isn’t pedantry, but an extremely serious distinction. Your current argument is that anyone from the age of 0 to 18 (and indeed upward) should be allowed to play GTA IV, and that it would have only a positive effect. Since you are choosing to include children, aged 3 to 11, in this, I think these might appropriately be the age group to focus on, as this would be the most extraordinarily controversial aspect of your argument. And indeed the part you would need to evidence.

    I don’t understand how you could mean otherwise by your wording, but if you were to mean, say, young people between 14 and 18 in your discussion, then clearly a very different response would be appropriate. In that case I would ask you what experience you have of young people this age, and their responses to stimuli.

  12. I agree that video games in general are not bad for kids.

    I am about 40% of the way through GTA4 and I would NEVER EVER let my kids or any kids play this game. It’s a fantastic game dont get me wrong, but this content is even questionable to adults. This is NOT a game kids should be playing, period end of story.

  13. I have a 6 and 8 year old, I’m an active gamer and very open to letting my kids play games that might push the boundaries, but there is no way they will get anywhere near GTA in the forseeable future.

    I have to question the parenting skills of any parent that knowingly lets young children play a game like this.

    I might consider a teen closer to the age of 18, but I would have to make that decision as a parent based on what I know about my own child.

    I’m not entirely clear on alot of your arguments:

    >So it is fortunate that children are self censoring. They avoid that which they don’t like

    My son likes video games, he may not like violence or sex but his desire to play games overrides content. He loves games period. If I gave him any game he would spend time playing it. He may not finish it, but he will definitely play it and be exposed to what it offers.

    >When it comes to games the current age limits are self evidently stupid.

    You are proposing the govt can’t just say no one under 18 can play this? Do you have a better alternative to how the government should set boundaries? Should it evaluate each kid and decide on a case by case or should we just abolish all govt. age restrictions because inevitably it is “stupid” to set an age restriction. So, drinking alcohol should have no age limit because parents know their kids better than the govt. You have to start with some basis: Can’t vote till 18, can’t be President until 35, can’t go in the military until 18, can’t go to an ‘R’ rated movie alone until 17, etc.

    >When in reality virtually every game these days is fundementally social in it’s game play

    What? Because some have coop and online play they are all fundamentally social? I just played Assassin’s Creed and don’t recall any social interaction. I can go to a movie with my family, that sounds just as social as playing a game with them. We can also discuss the movie just like people discuss games. In fact, I don’t recall ever going to a movie on my own yet I’ve played many many games with no one else around.

    >Whereas in games you are active and can sort out the baddies,

    In GTA IV I would argue you play as the bad guy. Shooting and running over pedestrians and killing cops doesn’t sound like a good guy to me. If you are actively sorting out the baddies, wouldn’t you sort yourself out of that equation?

    >Another aspect of this whole debate is that it is demeaning of children. Children are sentient, intelligent human beings. They know that when they are playing a game they are playing a game

    Children see things in alot more shades of gray than this argument would conclude. Children interpret and process events very different than adults. Just the other day I shaved off my beard which I had worn since my son was very young. When he saw me he cried. I was very surprised by that reaction and when I thought about it I realized it was a shock to him and probably threatened his feelings of security and safety that I looked so different. Likewise, I know if he played GTA he would know it is a game and know not to go out and shoot or run people over, but we might be driving in the car and he might look out the window in fear someone is going to ram us or open up our car door and throw us out. There is a totally different thought process going through a kids brain than an adult. It’s easy for politicians to go to one extreme and say it warps their reality and they perceive it as real life or the other extreme saying they know it is just a game an not real life, but the reality of it is somewhere in between.

  14. Interesting story here, as I have 2 children myself, and while I allow my son to play GTA in my presence I use it as a way to communicate with my son. #1 I have no weapons but my fist (no guns) when he plays and I turn down the volume but leave the radio up.

    I let him play around he loves to drive all over and be crazy. I discuss with him all the time about Games vs Real life and he SEEMS to understand.

    I consistantly quiz him all the time even away from home about what if I wreck the car or ran that person over what that be ok, and He knows its not right and we can never do these things unless we are playing a game. I explain that that person has a mother, father, and sister or brother that loves them and if we did that
    they would miss them and it would be our fault.

    I use these games as a social way of communicating with my child without sounding like DAD..

    I may be wrong, but my kid s quite smart and sane. If you have a vilonet child alreayd maybe it is not the best solution. Im the parent and I invest time in his life at the expense of work and my social life.

  15. Sorry I rant, but Im going to introduce all these subjects to my children before someone at school or around town introduces their belif system on my child.

    The first one to talk them about things usally is the one they believe. We discuss Drugs, Smoking, Drinking, Stealing and many more subjects daily while I allow him to be a KID i wan’t my values implanted before you give them yours..

  16. You know, it’s interesting to me that people don’t think books are dangerous. As far as I know, there’s never been a war fought over a movie, piece of music, comic or video game… but what about books?

    The printed word has moved us to war many times. The Crusades, for example.

    Books impart beliefs in a way that movies and games seem to be unable to do. I’d be much more worried about that effect than anything a game can do to a child.

    …but you know, despite that – I still wouldn’t want a kid playing GTA IV. It’s not even that I think they’ll want to do violence – it’s the culture portrayed in those games. The last thing we need is school children parroting the views of CJ’s friends from San Andreas…

    Then again, CJ himself wasn’t such a bad person, so maybe I’m just overreacting.

  17. Um, Snipehunter, you do seem to have somewhat forgotten that when books were causing so much trouble, movies and games hadn’t quite been invented.

    I’m not arguing that books aren’t more insidious or dangerous, as I just don’t know the facts about that, and I’m still waiting for Bruce’s evidence of his absolute assertion on that point. But thought it wasn’t quite fair to single them out when they were, well, the only option. (Although I’ll give you that books are probably more dangerous than puppet theatre).

  18. I look forward to playing GTAIV as much as anybody, but I will have to make sure to not play it while my child is watching or listening.

  19. “I don’t recall the Mickey Mouse episode where he used the word ‘nigga’ about 5,000 times. ”

    You missed a classic.

  20. As I mentioned in a different comment, I just entered my first year of college.

    My elementary and middle schools did, in fact, have rating systems for books. Younger students were not allowed read the more advanced books. There was even a Young-Adult section where the books had slightly more mature elements. Luckily, my parents convinced the school that I was intelligent enough to cope with complexity of the bigger books. As I joyfully made use of my new freedom, the ‘book tests’ that the school had students take showed that my reading level was twice that of what was ‘normal’ for my age.

    I suppose that this just goes to show that the government or some other higher up should not regulate what and when children are allowed to see/do things. Instead, it should be up the child’s parents or other responsible adult well acquainted with the child.

  21. Games are now reaching the levels of “realism” you see on the cinema screen, and the interactivity inherent in games means that it will have more impact on a child.

    Yes, children develop at different rates. But would you be prepared to give the “children” who should be allowed to play GTAIV access to an 18-rated movie featuring guns, crime and violence? Would you let them watch pornography?

  22. That’s an interesting take John, and I wonder if we’re just arguing semantics now, but surely you’re aware that books have never been the only choice? Stories were told around fires before words were writ, were they not? Plays have existed longer than books, or their predecessors. Honestly, and make no mistake – I am not advocating that ANY form of media be banned or controlled, books have always been more dangerous that other media, there is significant historical record which points this out.

    Thomas Paine’s Common Sense motivated many to join the American revolution, when speech itself, did not. Without a book to back them up, most religions are “cults” not at all taken seriously by the mainstream. It’s the books — not the alternatives that were and remain available — that are the motivators. It’s a big part of why I cherish them. They are powerful.

    More important, and more germane to the point, books are powerful in ways that games are not. Because of cultural bias, games are effectively disallowed from covering deeper themes — or really any theme to a level of depth and complexity the likes of which can be found in books. In terms of their impact, games are – at best – clever summer blockbuster movies. I wish I could say otherwise because I would love to be involved in a medium as powerful as the written word, but games aren’t there, yet. They likely never will, if the prevailing attitudes and ignorance of our day does not change. (Especially in regards to what games are and how people actually interact with them)

    Games aren’t dangerous.

    In America, where I’m from, violent crime has been on the decline almost from the moment that games themselves became a target for the poltical left and right, in my country. Our own Department of Justice statistics, available on their website, backs this up.

    There is literally no other form of media so rigidly controlled, watched and observed as games in my country… yet games are the ones continuously castigated, reviled and made scapegoat. Some exceptions (and honestly we’re talking one or two) aside, games show less violence than publicly available on television, they cover no themes you won’t see in movies, television and books and they *never* go into the level of detail you see in other media. (we, literally, can’t technologically speaking – and thanks to the attitude of the lawmakers of the world, will never be able to, anyway)

    Can you understand the game enthusiasts’ exasperation with this mindset? We’re the new lower class; the new class of people it’s OK to suppress and prejudge simply because our chosen form of entertainment is new. Those that speak out against games speak as if they’re for children – infantilizing the media and eroding any legitimacy it might have.

    Millions of euros, dollars and pounds pours into proving that games are harmful and what has come of it? Nothing. No conclusive evidence either way – and yet the real world statistics in regards to actual violence (as I mentioned earlier, available on the DoJ website) seem to indicate that despite games, America (where we have no restrictions on games) is getting less and less violent.

    I’m not going to say games make things better, that would be a fallacy, but so to would jumping to the conclusion that games make things worse. The numbers don’t back that claim up, and many of us, /millions of us/, are quickly losing patience with the insistence of the conservative and liberal extremists that say things are otherwise.

    Games are no more dangerous than other media. There are no credible claims to the contrary that can be pointed to.

  23. “The printed word has moved us to war many times. The Crusades, for example.”

    How does the Pope sending support to the Byzantine Emperor Alexius I against the migration of the Seljuk Turks in 1095 become ‘The printed word moving us to war’?

    The crusades are used too casually in arguments and people should research them a little more. They were principally caused by issues over land and revenue not a great spiritual call to war.

  24. “The printed word has moved us to war many times. The Crusades, for example.”

    I’m not sure what you’re trying to say here. The printing press wasn’t around until quite a while after the crusades (about 500 years.) Before the printing press, written texts were very costly, so literacy levels weren’t high enough for the written word to carry much of an impact. As a result, it was the spoken word that carried weight— which, in the context of a “church” in it’s original meaning (ie. a congregation of people) is more of an indictment of mob mentality than the word itself.

    Of course, the printing press also led to the breakdown of the authority of the Catholic church, which in turn led to a number of wars- but to put them down to “the printed word caused wars” is quite a gross oversimplification. If you’re interested in that kind of thing, I recommend reading about the works of Marshall McCluhan. Some fascinating insights- although not what I’d call easy reading…

  25. Well, i am only 11 years old. My parents pretty much dont care that i play the game. of course when she got me it she said some stuff and that but she doesn’t really care. i guess it is just in the family. My parents never cared about movie ratings (i dont mean like dont i just mean they let us watch it SOMTIMES and if we do, they just tell us to leave the room untill the scene is done) But anyways they never really payed alot of attention to it. Origianlly i got GTA IV the first dsy it came out on midnight. my cousin got it with my bro and i was staying home all night waiting to play it….(My OAT’s were the next day in about 7 more hours and i was up untill 4 in the morning and i do regret that heavily) well now if there are any and i mean ANY young kids the first thing you’ll hear from the 17 year olds while playing online is swear words, “aren’t you soppose to be 17”, and it gets VERY bad sometimes….And i have a big case of swearing back at them and i am only 11…it gets intence. if any kid talks back to another 17 + kid who has the game and is playing on multiplayer it will get to the point where you just want to take your headset off (i am talking about xbox 360 BTW) anyways, its a fun game but…..its not the kinda “mature 17+” games like other games like Halo 3. Its WAY more realistic. Not realistic enough but alot more than GTA IV which is a problem…Halo 3 kids obviously know it is not based on real people…..your an alien….GTA IV your an actually person with actual guns. But theres like 20 people on my friends list who have the game and are only 14 and under. The story mode, ahh that is not for kids at all…. I just beat the game and there is some nasty stuff. you have to go to stripclubs for missions, horrible language!!!, blood and gore obviously, and you can see the rest on the rated M thingy….anyways thats my little review as a child who plays it. Hopes this helps some people.

  26. Great artical, and that coming from a 13year old of wich is going to by this game on June 7th or 8th, I plan on having loads of fun, and the way i see it. these games are bad depending on how the gamer plays them. Like in GTA IV im very aware there are hookers and strip clubs, but the way i see it is you dont have to do these things more than once in the game unless you wish upon it. Like you said these so called “violent” video games are a great way for many kids including my self to vent pent up anger, as o not actually hurty anyone. Me and many of my friends all play games like GTA call of duty, True Crime. and have so far not turned out as bad people, i live a very happy and fullfilling life and i do play these so called violent video games. I think many more people should read what you have so rightly pointed out. well done.

  27. Hey bruce,

    TELL IT TO THE PEOPLE. I’ve been playing violent video games from the age of about 9. I’ve played a range of games in my life time ranging from need for speed to man hunt, a game that had such content that it was banned in my country. YES I HAVE PLAYED EVERY GTA RELEASED, they are awsome and a great thing to do on a rainy day, when I’m sick or when there is just nothing left to do.

    I’m now 17 going on 18 and I can honestly say to all those who disagree with with your side of the argument that NO i havn’t killed any one, I havn’t stabbed, shot, punched, attacked, raped, run anyone down with a car, done drugs, delt drugs or used ‘dirty’ money, and i don’t think about ever needing or wanting to do these things Im what people who know me regard as a normal everyday person. That chills with his mates on weekends and works for his money when his shift is on.

    Just alit bit of my side of the story.

    keep it up bruce

  28. all work and no play make jack a dull boy…..it necessary but not to d extreme

  29. well in the 1st paragraph it makes alot of since ya know the reason i say that is because when you walk out of the movie theater after you have watched a/an bloody violent movie you hav that feeling that you can do the same. i am pretty sure that all of you have watched a pretty violent movie so you know how it feels.

  30. In video games GTA, for example, you have a choice weather to keep killing, or stop and run away, in books and movies, you have to follow along. the only power you have is to turn off the TV (close the book)

  31. i have a friend with has a 13 year old brother and he played all the GTA 3D Games (in other words Since GTA 3),i never played GTA 3 i start Playing GTA since Vice City. His brother doesnt have the necessity to kill,ram somebody or shoot him. When i first saw him playing GTA IV i tell him a few questions and he answered this (i do it specially for share it):

    -Q: ¿Why do you Play GTA?

    A:I dunno…becouse im doing things that i cant and never going to do in real life…and wel…l….. becouse is fun not all in the game is:kill,rob,carjack sometimes i grab a car and start driving around the city,things that i cant do

    -Q: ¿What do you find inappropriate for your age?

    A:NOTHING!!!! at this age i know what is everything that appear in the game (even the hookers and strip clubs)…i know about sex and all of that and my parents know it too (know that im know that)

    -Q: ¿What do you fell when you play GTA?

    A:I fell FREE!!! Things that i cant do in real life i can do it in the game and i make my own decisions (in case of GTA IV)

    -Q: ¿Do You complete the storyline? ¿how much times?

    A:Yes. Like 7 Times

    -Q: ¿What do you think about ESRB (The company that put the rates to games)?

    A:Between you and me (no longer XD)…BULLSHI*!!! their are assholes they put stupid rates…for example Halo 3 is Rated M and it look more a T Rated game,they put the M rated for every SHI*,another example: they make a Bugs Bunny Game That Have The GTA IV Graphics and put a Little of Blood and is Rated M…you see for every shi*…i think that the parents r the ones that Rate the Game…Download the Demo (Xbox Live Marketplace),play it,and if they think is OK then Buy The Original

    PW:Rock Band 2 is Rated T and my 5 years little brother play it say the kid

    -Q: ¿Do You think that next GTAs have to change the rate to ¨T¨?

    A:YES!!!:Of Course.I Think that more than a 50% of teens and kids (under 17) play this kind of games (Rated ¨M¨)

    -Q: In the Future.¿Do you will let your kids play GTA or M rated games?

    A: Like i say before im going to download the Demo play it and if i think is OK i buy it for my kids.And if doesnt have a DEMO i play the Original in the House of a Friend or see a video in YouTube

    -Q: To Finish this and continue playing. ¿Do you going to do all the things that you see on the Game? ¿Why?

    A: NOOOOO!!!!! OF COURSE!!!!! Because is Bad,Really bad most of peoples that do this only for playing the game are crazy or something,And do this thing have a grave consequence,and im not going to do this because is Just a Game…and like the GAME is it,is for FUN the game show u the consequence so i dont have to do it to know it

    ME:OK…. i see that you r Enough mature to play this game

    KID (John):….. forget about it let contine playing


    Now I Know that Kid Like This NEVER Going to do things they saw in the games

    All the kids r going to answer the same thing (if they r mature Enough)

  32. An even better example than Tom and Jerry is Itchy and Scratchy (a story within a story…. shown in Simpson episodes). It is “ultra-violent”, as being a parody that is the whole point of it.

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