I helped a 10-12 year old get GTAIV. Wrong?

This topic is locked from further discussion.

#1 Posted by bobaban (10554 posts) -

I work for a promotions company for cell phones and was in the electronic section in walmart. Lots of people assume I work there, despite my uniform not being blue. But I still am always happy to help if I can.

So this young polite kid ask me if I had GTAIV in the bargain bin and I said I had seen it there the day before. But it was a deep bin and he asked me to come help look, I obliged but it wasn't in there. So I took him to the display case and they had the version with the DLC included for $30. So I went back with him to his mom and she said it was more expensive than the $15. I informed her you are getting essentially 3 games in one, and it should last 50-60hrs or more. He was the one who was paying for it too. But they didn't sell it to him because he needed his mom at the check out.

She was surprised it was 17+ and said no he can't have it. And asked my opinion on the game. I said there is a lot of violence and swearing but I had been playing these types of games since I was his age as well. The kid really wanted the game, and I felt very sympathetic towards him. So I said "these days kids are exposed to a lot especially in school, so it's swearing he's heard before, "if he's polite still in front of you [his mother] then this game won't have a radical effect on him." She still seemed conflicted. I should note the kid was agreeing with me wholeheartedly and repeating phrases I was saying like: "I'm already exposed" lol. I asked her if he played any other violent games like COD, and she said yes. That seemed to have closed the deal, as I said that had the same rating.

I said it's ultimately her decision and it's totally up to her on she wants to handle it. But the kid looks like he really has his heart set on that game.

So I see them buy it and thank me and I said have a nice holiday.

I played GTAIV and DLC when they first came out, so only after I started to recall the sex and drug references. But I just hope the kid has the sense to power down the game/pause it at those parts if his mom walks in.

#2 Posted by MaceBwoi (15 posts) -
Yeah man I don't think you should feel guilty to be honest with you. I started playing GTA Vice City when I was around 10 years old, just harmless fun. It was the mother's decision when it came down to it so I'm pretty confident she has enough capacity to know if her son knows the difference between video games and real life and right and wrong. No worries :)
#3 Posted by RageQuitter69 (1297 posts) -

Don't feel guilty, I have been playing GTA since that age and you are right, the schools are full of much more swearing and the way the world's going, they will be filled with as much violence as well.

#4 Posted by Vari3ty (11111 posts) -

Maybe it's just the way I was raised but I don't think kids 10-12 should be playing M games such as GTA. If anything, those kids are often the annoying brats online who mouth off to everyone. Better off waiting until they're older I'd say, but since the mother did give her approval I can't fault you for it nor should you feel guilty.

#5 Posted by BonoBoy (587 posts) -

Maybe it's just the way I was raised but I don't think kids 10-12 should be playing M games such as GTA. If anything, those kids are often the annoying brats online who mouth off to everyone. Better off waiting until they're older I'd say, but since the mother did give her approval I can't fault you for it nor should you feel guilty.

Vari3ty
My thoughts exactly. Well put. You didn't put pressure on his mom...you let it be her call. You shouldn't feel guilty about it. I too would like to see kids wait a little longer to play these types of games on average but it really depends on the kid too.
#6 Posted by punkpunker (3321 posts) -

kids today are spoilt brats in this digital age, they do not know the effects of their own actions. it is wrong and yes from a hypocrite who plays this games at a young age.

#7 Posted by BLAS1AN (3452 posts) -

I been letting my son play GTA and saints row games since he was 6. am I a bad parent? hes 12 now and never curses or calls woman b*tches

#8 Posted by pspitus (2396 posts) -

No, I don't think you should feel bad dude.:) Lot's of young kids play a lot of M rated games nowadays, and I just don't think you should beat yourself up for it. What's done is done, and at least you took the time to think about whether it was right or wrong :). Besides, if I was in the same position I would probably have done the same thing:lol:

And here's another way to look at it... I bet in that kid's eyes, you're a hero to him!:)

#9 Posted by dr_awesome604 (4 posts) -
As someone that sells games like this everyday in a major retail chain - this is something that I see every single day. There is nothing to feel guilty about here - COD is far more realistic than anything you will find in a GTA game, and focuses on the brutality more than GTA ever has. Kids at 12 will always find a way to get their hands on a game they want - in this case, "Mumsy" already broke the M-rated wall, so she kind of brought it on herself. Once they get a taste, there's no turning back.
#10 Posted by faizan_faizan (7849 posts) -

My 'lil bro plays GTA IV, He loves the euphoria physics, Never cursed anyone, Never let your son, Bro or any 12Year old play Saints Row 3, Its just way too adult.

#11 Posted by Primordialous (1276 posts) -

I don't think you did the wrong thing, but that kid will most likely be the same kind of person you hear on CoD. Swearing, senseless idiots.

#12 Posted by PurpleSmile (1068 posts) -
dont be guilty mate. we all know lots of gamers played rated M games even when they're not 17. and i think there's nothing wrong with it cause I played vice city when I was 9 to san andreas when I was 11 then GTA IV when I was 14 or 15 and I grew up like a normal kid.
#13 Posted by re65 (135 posts) -

>helping anyone get a copy of the garbage that is GTA IV
Yes, yes you did do something wrong. Something very wrong.

Get them some GTA:SA or GTA V at least so they don't get bored to death.

#14 Posted by pspitus (2396 posts) -

>helping anyone get a copy of the garbage that is GTA IV
Yes, yes you did do something wrong. Something very wrong.

Get them some GTA:SA or GTA V at least so they don't get bored to death.

re65

At least he didn't let the kid walk out of the store with a copy of Aquaman the game. XD

#15 Posted by BiThBhE0 (1643 posts) -
All you did was give your opinion of the game and left it in the parents hands if she wanted to get it. I wouldn't feel guilty at all. Now if you bought it for him without their permission then that would be a different situation. My girlfriend comes over every weekend and brings her kids and she doesn't have a problem with letting her 10 year old son play my GTA4. He still makes good grades, doesn't get in trouble and never swears.
#17 Posted by Canvas_Of_Flesh (4052 posts) -
As long as the parent made the decision herself after receiving quality information from you, then you shouldn't feel guilty.
#18 Posted by Nintatterdemon (69 posts) -
Some kids are better equipped to handle things than others, as long as they know it's just a game and so on, it should be fine.
#20 Posted by wwervin (10257 posts) -
I've been watching R rated movies since I was 3-4 years old. I was desensitized to most things at a very young age and have been playing violent games since before I was even 10. Fast forward to today and I'm not a delinquent or foul mouthed or a psychopath or any of the things the media would have you believe. I turned out just fine. It all comes down to parenting and nurture and on your surroundings. It depends on how you're brought up, not on what types of media you're exposed to. I really don't think GTAIV or any game like it will ruin anyone's life. Parents need to take responsibility for how they raise their children.
#21 Posted by littlestreakier (2902 posts) -

Don't feel bad I think you did the right thing. Kids these days are exposed to all that through tv, movies, music, other kids etc. So i definiately agree with that. Besides it's the parents responsibility to teach their kids from right and wrong. If the kid does turn out bad it's not the games fault...it's the parents.

#22 Posted by bobaban (10554 posts) -

Yes, you were in the wrong.

[QUOTE="Canvas_Of_Flesh"]As long as the parent made the decision herself after receiving quality information from you, then you shouldn't feel guilty. white_sox

The quality of that information is suspect though, which is the main problem. He compared the game to CoD, and clearly GTA is no CoD. GTA deals with a lot more mature themes, which he admits he accidentally glossed over. The lines of good vs. evil are also blurred in GTA, but in CoD you (almost) always play as the positive force.

It's also important to consider the fact that "I played M rated games when I was a kid" doesn't equate to how a child should be raised or determine the guidelines for every child. There are links between increased aggression and violent video games, and I'm sure everyone is effected differently so personal experiences do not necessarily equate to what should be a blanket yes or no answer.

He also doesn't know anything about the child. This would be a huge determinate on how he should have approached the situation. Would I let my child play GTA at 10? Well, maybe. More than just his age would go into that decision.

All that said, I wouldn't sweat it too much. Next time I would handle the situation a little bit differently if I were you. Direct her to the ESRB on the box or if she needs more details, tell her they have a website. She should make the call on what is best for her child.

You're right. I did play GTAIV when it first came out, so the memories of the drugs and sex references only came to me after they had left. But I was on the kids side too, as he REALLY wanted the game and seemed so happy when he got it. I had alot of empathy for him. Hopefully he's clever enough to skip over the lewd parts if his mom happens to watch him play or at least turn off the game and claim glitch.
#23 Posted by ShadowsDemon (10127 posts) -

Maybe it's just the way I was raised but I don't think kids 10-12 should be playing M games such as GTA. If anything, those kids are often the annoying brats online who mouth off to everyone. Better off waiting until they're older I'd say, but since the mother did give her approval I can't fault you for it nor should you feel guilty.

Vari3ty
Indeed. The guilt lies with the parents for exposing their kids to it. Not yours, OP.
#24 Posted by Kage1 (6730 posts) -

I been letting my son play GTA and saints row games since he was 6. am I a bad parent? hes 12 now and never curses or calls woman b*tches

BLAS1AN

Maybe he does when youre not around.

#25 Posted by Celldrax (14565 posts) -

This actually reminds of when I was younger. I was with my dad, and bought a music CD which had an 18+ rating because of its lyrical content. So the guy asked my dad if he was ok with the rating, and he said yes. Done deal.

It would only really be wrong if the parent explicitly didn't want their kids playing such games (in other words, selling it to them behind their backs). Nothing to really feel guilty about.

And besides, I myself was playing plenty of mature games at a relatively young age :P

#26 Posted by ItsEvolution (2593 posts) -

After reading the title, I expected to read how you bought the game for the underage person because they would have been carded. Good to hear that wasn't the case.

It's tough, deciding what a kid can and can not play. I have two stepsons, 10 and 7. The 7 year old is content with Mario and Minecraft, but it's a never ending battle with the older one about what he can play. And not all Mature games are equal. I'd let him play Skyrim if I didn't think he'd overwrite my saves, but I'm keeping GTA out of his hands for now. And if you let him play one "M" game, then it becomes "but you let me play the other Mature rated game!", and so on. It's hard, because I know I was playing Mortal Kombat and Doom at ages 12-13. I guess in the end, it comes down to the individual kid and what you think he or she can handle.

#27 Posted by keeper262 (15 posts) -
Grand Theft Auto is modest compared to most schools now days. It may have been extreme ten years ago but now it just isn't. So I would not worry and ultimately if she feels it is to much for her son she can take it away until he is older.
#28 Posted by Flamingpostman (1172 posts) -

no way. you helped him out alot haha i started playing those games when i was way young.

#29 Posted by BLAS1AN (3452 posts) -

[QUOTE="BLAS1AN"]

I been letting my son play GTA and saints row games since he was 6. am I a bad parent? hes 12 now and never curses or calls woman b*tches

Kage1

Maybe he does when youre not around.

you may be right LOL

I cant see myself being a conservative parent on games when I been playing them all my life