If your step son wanted to go on a killing spree, then i can assure you he would have done so by know. The fact that people even think for one second that a video game could intoxicate a childs mind with the thought of being violent is utter nonsence. Try getting the game and letting her play it because either way, he'll play it somehow or another, wether it being at his mates house or him owning the game.
Step out of the 50s please, any teen with a tv in their room (most of the population nowaday) is going to have seen far worse on their screen than what is essentially cartoon violence, compare it to watching The Simpsons, i mean they have their ultra-violent itchy and scratchy cartoons and they are one of the most popular family shows in the world.
My brother bought the original Grand Theft Auto game when it first came out, which I played, to great length, though mainly more in a sandbox way over doing actual missions etc. I'm just about 20 now, which means I must've been about 9 or 10. I've owned and played every one in the series since then (with the exception of LC: Stories). I've turned out fine.
I'm of the opinion that computer games really DO NOT affect children in a negative way on the whole. Everyone knows that they can do, but If a person can get persuaded in to going postal thanks to pixels, then there's blatantly something wrong in their head in the first place. Video games work as a catalyst, not a cause.
It all depends on how much faith you have in the guy, if you think he's that kind of impressionable person who might pick up the occasional expletive here and there (though trust me, he's heard them all at school), then don't get it. But if he seems mature enough to handle it then I don't see the problem.
I am approaching this discussion from a slightly different angle. As a 36 year old, female teacher who has completed the game, I can see the argument from both sides. This is a superb game, but it has an 18 rating for several very good reasons. I can understand that the title, knowledge of the other content, alongside an 18 rating makes this very desirable forbidden fruit in the eyes of a 14 year old boy. Initially the clue for the game's content is in the title; it does include every swear word (usually strung together in sentences); the inside of a strip club where unsurprisingly girls dance provocatively although they never completely strip; casually running over pedestrians with your car; drug references; prostitutes; a mission to date a girlfriend and eventually take her to bed, which really means viewing the outside of the apartment while the joystick vibrates and shooting and killing a range of "baddies" with a variety of weapons.
Having said all this, it isn't necessarily the content that that is of concern, rather the context in which it is experienced. I have no doubt that teenagers are familiar with all the vocabulary, the stripers are only computer characters and hardly explicit and the violence obviously hasn't affected me as a level headed responsible and intelligent adult, but I hear children talking about this game without understanding the irony. Overhear a conversation and you would think they are discussing real life. This game needs the maturity of an adult mind to be able to put it into the context with which it is intended.
The argument that "everyone has it" is lame and untrue. Many parents have the sense to realise the rating is there for a reason.
I can't believe some of you are so ignorant, teenagers can easily see much worse violence in films and all sex in games is pretty minor, when you think about the fact that by the age of fourteen most boys will have seen many a porno and will regularly toot his horn so to speak. I think its clear that ratings are becoming fairly obsolete and in my opinion the term adult for games and movies is ridiculous when so often the audience they are most appealing to are the youth of today. Sorry for the rant but some of you have no idea about teenagers most of them are a lot more mature than you give them credit.
I dont understand why people get so annoyed at violent games i am 16 i have been playing 18 and wacthing 18 films since about the age of 7 im not messed up at all in fact it has helped me because i dont see as doing anything agaist the law as a good thing in fact i understand it better what is right and what is wrong so reallly TBH this game is fine for a fourtine yer old almost everyone in my school that has a 360 has got that game it cant be bad parenting you wouldn't get so many bad parents.
All the things about sex are very mild and a 14 would have seen most of it anyway just look at modern music videos they are awful they dont any sort of age rating yet they can be watched by anyone of any age this game really isn't that bad and also if your son has acess to the internet im sure he has seen a lot worse.
People are fundamentally missing the point. The question is always asked how did this game get in the hands of the kid and the answer is that there are a lot of stupid parents out there. DO NOT apply your already established sense of right and wrong to a child as they will not have a fully developed sense of responsibility. I am now the disgusted uncle of an 10 year old who was brought this by his father cos his mates had it. He told me to butt out since it was his decision as a parent so at this point I have washed my hands of helping them with my advice on tech issues ever again. As proof that this does have an effect, whilst babysitting he went to the kitchen and threatened me with a carving knife.
Parents take some responsibility and fanboys stop using the excuse its just a reflection of real life. Real life in this country in case you missed it is a cesspool and not to be celebrated. Years of War and sacrifice and surpression of primitive instincts by our ancestors brought us to an age where we could dream and improve ourselves yet we revel in destruction, murder, alcohol and sex. Its like being a cockroach and being happy about it!
The sandbox mechanic of the game is superb, its just a shame its not used for something more constructive and although im open minded I think this game is just designed for people who enjoy watching porn and SAW III and trying to kid themselves its acceptable.
With regards to Mrs Melanie Piper, ok I can appreciate a 14 year old should be able to cope with it. But I find it truely disgusting that you would let a four year old play it.
I have a son thats 4 and a half and a little girl thats 3 and a half and i agree that the majority would have little impact on the child, the car elements can be laughed at and the child isn't going to drive but Niko (God bless his soul) does tend to cut people up with a big blade and beat them with a baseball bat and I think this is where the issues lie, they wouldn't be able to comprehend the consequences of hitting or stabbing somebody. I remember reading in the paper recently that a five year old girl shot her 18 month old brother in the back of the head with an AirPistol, we shelter our children from violence for a reason and that is simply that they need to be able to comprehend right from wrong & cause and effect.
On a brighter note, Every game in the GTA series (with exception to the Lib Stories off shoots) were the best games of all time. It's a shame GTA IV lacked the empire building of Vice City and the Teratorial aspects of San Andreas but its a Masterpiece and the best next Gen game yet.
I am a mature, 13 year old boy and playing through this game has not affected me one bit. I have not been convinced to lay waste to a bunch of hobos, steal a car, or beat up a prostitute. After completing this game, I'd say I've seen much worse violent content. Sure, some of it might be mindless violence, but it's hardly realistic. As for the sexual side... I think the sex scene on 300 was worse, and that's a 15. As long as your step son is mature enough, and isn't going to mow down hundreds of hapless civilians with a sports car it should be alright. It's a great game as well :D
If you are then Jonathan then you are a credit to your parents however all the kids I know who have it are foul mouthed underage drinking gutter trash who look at adults like they are dirt! Largely down to parents who can not be bothered to bring a child up but rather push them in front of a virtual babysitter. I had to reprimand my 11 yr old nephew for talking about drinking and swearing in front of a lot of 8 year olds. He's only been like this since getting GTA 4 and when I confronted his parents they just said its what kids do and that all his friends have the game. Its like saying its ok to go around stealing cos all his mates do it. Society is doomed
This would be exactly my concern. As a parent, if I gave this game to my son, would I be condoning him to have an attitude and use language which I would find unacceptable in the home. It's all very well saying he won't turn into a psychotic maniac (I grew up playing doom, quake etc and have played my fair share of the GTA series), but how will he view his parents for giving him this game.
As others have said already I wouldn't feel comfortable playing this game in front of my own mother - this alone tells me that I should not be buying it for my child. I know he will come into contact with this from his peers, but at least he will realise the standards at home are set and not compromised.
I agree with thise that say its just a game!, BUT... there are people who get seriously messed up about this stuff. In my opinion, if the game is violent, then it can mess people up. It's better to let him have it where he can be supervised. Rather then go behind your back, or play it round a freinds. Personally, i don't think it messes people up any more than counterstrike, or halo.
It is the mothers choice whether she lets him or not; honestly the game is not as bad as people seem to make out, there are far more violent games out there this is relatively tame compared to some. It does have a 18 rating for a reason but I have been playing these games since I was about 11/12 and it has not effected me. All I would say is that if all his friends have the game and he does not that will just make him want to play it more (do you not think he plays it at his friends anyway).
you should play lc stories mate its cool it carries on from where gta 3 finished so its really like the second instalment of that game but with a few tweaks play it mate i dont think theres any problem with a 14 yr old playing this game its a game after all the kids old enough to know that and he probably has seen it all before with the other gta games its not as violent as say gears of war (which is awesome btw) and the sex and drugs bits are hardly explicit compared to films nowadays as for mr harrison a game is just that if you are a raving phsycopath playing or not playing this game will make no difference get real you sir are a complete idiot
I'm not sure it's suitable, but I don't know the boy or how mature he is. Different people mature at different ages, some people can have a mature understanding of stuff at 11 that others will never get in their life! What's disturbing about the game (and I am a fan, BTW) is not the violence, swearing or sex, but the bleak tone of amorality. As an adult I can appreciate the satirical reasoning for this, but I can't help feeling this side will be lost on most children.
Is the game liable to turn him into a pimp or carjacker? No.
Is he liable to "get" what the game is actually about? Probably no.
its a 18 for a reason I even think its illegal to buy this game for under 18s
it has lots of cussing and violence though no real nudity or sex orther than in the lost and the damned DLC.
it isn't intended to be bought for 14 year olds. although in truth there is isn't much that will shock a average 14 year old in this game.
the violence isn't that graphic or gory.
cusswords are frequent. Actual sex is non existant even the strippers cover up their breasts and other parts (wear bikinis or tape) you can pick up hookers but again no nudity or obvious sex scenes. if you compared it to a movie then the godfather or goodfellas is pretty close to this game in style and content. you steal cars and commit crime all the time in this game
People/ parents who buy violent games for their children then moan about the content ( I know this is not the case here ) drive me nuts, there are 100's of games suitable for kids buy your kids them games, i can't believe as I've been reading reviews for this game saint row 3rd how many of the reviewers state ' i bought this for my son / daughter and they think it's great etc etc' and i'm thinking to my self 'how old are your son or daughter ' these game are rated 18 or whatever for a reason. Violent video games are blamed for all the ill's in the world , it's not the games it's the stupid parents that buy them for their children!