Posted on 36 Comments

The Grand Theft Auto Coffee Time Rant

Coffee Rant


I’ve not ranted for a while, but I just can’t let this one go – ever.

I can’t say that I am perfect in any way, shape or form, but the one game that will not enter our home is one from the Grand Theft Auto Franchise.  Some of my boys friends have been playing these games since they were knee high to a grasshopper and in single digits for age, and I really dislike it.

In fact, I more than dislike it.  I think their parents are morons.

A “friend” of mine whose child is very aggressive shrugs her shoulders and says his dad bought them.   It pisses me off that her child calls mine names for not having it.  I’ve told her the games include s-ex, drugs and all sorts that she can’t even comprehend, but she doesn’t care.  Her 10 year old kid is quiet while he plays at murd-ering, pim-ping thug, and that’s all she’s worried about.

In one of the game play scenarios, a “Pi-mp” with a purple suit gives “Pro-stit-utes” assignments to have s-ex with “Johns”, also known as “Punters”.    They can even be paid by the hook-ers and earn loads of money for exploiting the female hook-ers.  I really don’t understand why so many people think that’s ok for kids to play.

It’s a decade old franchise that has spawned a raft of wannabees, but it speaks volumes to me for how our youth culture is being affected by playing these games in their tender pre-teen years.   Just reading the news at the Grand Theft Auto IV release and the fights and arguments it has caused are enough to set my teeth on edge.

Academics and GTA fans can argue all they like about statistics they use to prove there isn’t a link between violent gaming and violence in real life, but I’d have to disagree with each and every one of them.  I’ve witnessed young children playing violent games, and I’m not talking about cowboys and indians, or cops and robbers.

GTA has children torching pro-sti-tutes, buying drugs and far far more worrying things, and they are at an age where they are impressionable and quite frankly, many don’t see where the lines of gaming and reality blur.

I can hear some of you with very young children sitting and reading, and shaking your heads, determined that you’ll not let your children have these games.

I can almost guarantee that some of you may surprise yourselves and indeed buy them.

Peer pressure causes the purchases, that and the laziness of parents who can’t be bothered to lay down groundrules with their kids.

The adult themes in these games are very strong, very violent and often s*xual.

I have strong opinions on this, and I think all parents of pre-teens who buy games like these for kids need a brain transplant.

I really couldn’t give a monkeys what they do in their own families as a result of watching and playing these games, but I give a whole lot of a damn for what they do outside when their parents bung them a tenner and send them out to the shop for peace and to do god knows what while they are out.

All I can say is that it’s blooming hard enough being the parent of a pre-teen or teen child whose friends all have these games, without jumped up mouthy spoiled brats telling me they’ll batter me if I tell their mum what they’ve been up to when they’re out “playing.”

Do your worst kids, it’s not your fault.  In this case, it really is your parents.


36 thoughts on “The Grand Theft Auto Coffee Time Rant

  1. Totally agree with you on this one. I have also stopped certain friendships due to amount of gaming their kids do. I want to keep the kids outdoors, doing sport, playing games, get the balance. We live in the real world, not a virtual one! But what is your stand on “Clash of the Clans” as a game? It seems to be quite an addictive one, and in addition to this, this is the first term that my 13 year old has to have an ipad as part of his school kit now in year 8. So it’s becoming really hard to manage “screen time” as he hides behind “oh I need the ipad for homework” then I find he downloaded this game and he’s becoming imho addicted to “Clash of the Titans” is it? Oh dear, not sure what it’s called but this leap in technology and the kids having an ipad is pushing parenting to the limits! What’s your advice here?
    At night all gadgets have to be left downstairs and whenever I get the chance, I take the ipad from him, but then he says he has to have the laptop for homework as so much is now submitted online… Increasingly difficult to manage. Maybe it’s his age but it’s causing a lot of tension in our household!

    1. Clash of the Clans isn’t one we’ve come across yet. I have downloads restricted on the iPad so that only I can do it for them by entering a password so I control what games they have to play that way in the restrictions settings. That’s the only way I get around them and stop the downloads of stuff I don’t want them playing here. I set my kids so that games over 12 are not downaloaded, but you can also set for age 7 + so that they don’t even see them when they go to the store on the iPad I think. I also take all gadgets away at bedtime otherwise mine would never, ever sleep. I used to just delete things they’d downloaded that I didn’t like, but when I realised they were downloading things I didn’t want them to, I changed the settings. I don’t think there is any other way to do it as with peer pressure, mine will try to get them and I think most children are the same. One of mine only gets access to the Internet if he is sat beside me so that I can see what he is doing and I have administrator settings on laptop too so that they can’t download without my password. Good luck, it’s never easy to sort out when it comes to online stuff.

  2. Good rant.
    I agree. It’s something that people are often surprised by, considering my love of horror movies and my passionate defence of individual freedoms, but I am just as much for sticking to age classification ratings as I am against censorship. I hate censorship, in all forms, as long as it’s dealing with any media product that is legal, but I also hate people who take their toddler along to The Woman In Black, just because it’s a 12A so they don’t need to sort out a babysitter (just an example).

    Mind you, on the flipside, I do have to trot out that “I grew up watching plenty that was deemed for those of an older age and I turned out okay” but I think it’s the content married to an increasing amount of time when kids are just left to their own devices nowadays that could/can lead to avoidable behavioural problems.

  3. Don’t condemn all parents who get GTA – laying down the law to teenagers at least often back fires! Here I’ve said it’s not coming into this house ‘ever’ , but I’m lucky in that my 12 year old and his friends are into fantasy and building type games like dungeons and dragons and minecraft x

    1. Parents are in charge and they can say yes or not to a game in their homes so for parents of young kids buying GTA, yes, I do have no respect for them whatsoever. It’s not appropriate at all. Two more 10 year olds at littlests school got it over the weekend here so that’s two more parents I lost any and all respect for this week. That’s really sad.

      I have a teen and it isn’t coming into my house. If he was a very much older teen and more responsible I might consider some more games, but for younger ones, no chance at all – ever. I don’t think any parent should be brow beated into buying this kind of thing by any child. It’s not laying down the law, it’s setting down responsible boundaries in the home. You’re lucky you’ve not reached that stage yet, but it’s a tough call to make and stand your ground with. It’s not easy being the mum who says no, so I can see why people cave – but I don’t like it.

  4. Read this yesterday on my phone, so came back to comment. I totally agree with you. I think there is such a difference between gaming and films also, so it should not be compared. Gaming takes so much concentration and understanding. I fear that reality and virtual reality will become skewed, a dangerous thing for children especially. They are learning about the world and games like GTA do not help, they should be kept for the over 18s.

    1. I agree, young children should not have access to these games at all. Thanks for coming back to comment.

  5. My boys are at a primary school where kids are allowed to take in toys/games every Friday for “golden time” – half an hour of play, which they lose if they’ve been badly behaved at all through the week. The kids have been banned from taking in Nintendo DS consoles etc, because one stupid mum allowed her 6-year-old son to take in a violent, gun-toting, blood-spurting game which left the teachers speechless.
    To be honest, I prefer my boys to take in Lego or something simple, rather than always staring at games on a screen. But my youngest is crazy about Scooby Doo, and cries that he can’t take in his game to show his pals how Scooby escapes the haunted the house, eats the Scooby snacks and solves the mystery.
    Sure that mum is wondering what all the fuss is about. But I agree with you. There are plenty of games on games consoles which involve fun and creativity – and don’t need to show our kids blood and guts and women being called “bit-ches and hos”.
    GTA will never cross my threshold either.

    1. We’ve never had games being taken into school, though it’s a shame that all kids stopped from taking games in because one child took inappropriate games. That parent should have been told no and to put in something else. Sad how it affects many more people than just the children playing these games but the parents are oblivious as their kids get what they want.

  6. Not a fan of these games either and I’m really shocked 10 year olds play them!

    1. As am I, however some parents seem to have children in charge.

  7. Wow, I had no idea. I fear this will become a problem for me eventually – my son has friends who are obsessed with gaming, and I’ve felt mean saying he can’t have the same. So I gave in. Now my lovely cheerful boy gets grumpy when I tell him to switch off the Wii, and would rather play these things than play with his Lego. A complete turnaround. I have some hard decisions to make, and he won’t like me for it. It will probably even damage his friendships, but I’m totally with you on this one 🙁

    1. A tweeter just said that there is a really bad to-rt-ure scene in the new one that their friends were shocked at. So sad that parents still think this is ok.

  8. Fab post hun and I so agree. I’m not a prudish mum but I REALLY object to young children playing this game. OH has a PS3 and had a couple of fighting games and I won’t let Lucas near them. I’m all for Cops & Robbers and Cowboys and Indians but the morality behind the themse of Prostitution, Pimping, etc…. is horrific.

    1. That’s exactly my point. Game or no game, these aren’t subjects that any child should have any knowledge of so young and in such a violent way.

  9. I agree with you, GTA should not be played by underage kids – the 18 certificate is there for a reason and they need to be protected from such things until they’re old enough to recognise it as escapism and nothing more.

    I’m a big fan of the franchise and have a copy, but my children are blissfully oblivious to its existence and, even when they start showing an interest in video games, that will remain the case. There are plenty of games that are ‘cool’ to be known to be playing that any age group can play.

    1. That’s the thing, there are lots of games kids can play that keep them out of adult themes. I just don’t understand parents who want their kids to learn about this stuff, so wrongly, so young.

  10. With you all the way on this one. Mine rarely play any computer games as it is, I hope it stays that way. Parenting is tough enough without them thinking all these things in GTA are the ‘norm’! And those who argue it doesn’t have any effect….what are they on?!?

    1. That’s exactly what I think.

  11. With you 100% on this. Like you, I simply do not accept that playing violent games has no effect on the propensity for violence among young people. I’ve never played a computer game in my life, though I’m not against them in principle. I’m well aware that some games develop hand-to-eye coordination and can teach strategic thinking. However, and its a big “however”, the thought that parents are allowing young teens to play the type of game you’ve described above absolutely beggars belief – especially unbelievable is that a mother wouldn’t intervene to stop her son playing such a game. What’s interesting is that there’s no major press coverage of equivalent misandristic games for girls to play. I wonder if they exist…

    1. Nobody will ever convince me violent games have no effect on young kids. The stuff kids get up to at 10+ is incredible nowadays. I grew up at a tough school and never witnessed things to the level that I see in affluent areas nowadays in young kids.

      The only difference between them and us growing up is viewing TV and playing inappropriate games which we never had.

  12. Totally with you on this. Those games are 18 for a reason and any parent who thinks it’s OK for an 8 year old or even a 13 year old to play is naive. My boys are 9 and 12. They have no desire to play this sort of game, but even if they did, they know what the answer would be.

    1. GTA and friends just leave me speechless, but GTA the most. My boys are learning to accept that it just won’t enter this house, but it did raise it’s head again with the new one released and lots of their friends playing it all the time. They chat to friends over x-box where I vet their friends and it seems most of them are talking about it when I listen in. I’d love my kids to not like game playing, but sadly, it’s not to be.

  13. Couldn’t agree more! Kids no longer fear authority. It’s disgusting! I hate nothing more than walking past a bunch of schoolies, cause you no longer know what they’re capable of. I’m dreading my 2 yr old being that age.

    1. Thankfully not all kids play these games, but so many boys seem to want to get involved. My kids friends who are girls mostly seem to have little interest in them.

      I’ve stopped letting 2 kids come to my house who play it as it causes havoc with my middle special needs one if they start to talk about it, and they look up videos of game play on their smartphones to let mine see while middler is around too, so it’s easier just to say no, they can’t come.

  14. I am getting a whole lot of pressure from my youngest(15) to let him get this. I have never bought any of the GTA games as of yet. It does seem to go against everything we strive for as being good parents and role models. His argument is that he is old enough now to know it is not real and I should have confidence in him as a mature 15 yrs to play it without any issues, however, I can’t get my head round why anyone would want to play something which is apparently so violent, involves prostitutes and as I said everything I strive to protect my children from…. Oh and according to him everyone has it at school!!

    1. That’s my problem exactly. I’m told that everyone else has it, and yes, lots of them will sadly have it. At 15 it’s a harder argument to have than mine who are just late tween/early teen stages so I don’t envy you that one.

  15. Urgh, things have changed since the days of Mario Brothers when I was wee. I completely agree with you and admire you for standing your ground. Good rant!

    1. Thanks Claire. GTA won’t come in here until they are old enough to buy it for themselves and I don’t have to be there. I was actually pleased with ASDA last week when my 10yo managed to persuade my mother to let him have a game. She never checked it and at the counter, the assistant refused to sell it to him as he was under 16.

      Kudos to Asda for that and the assistant who refused. I was well impressed.

  16. I hate anyone playing that kind of trash. My (soon to be ex) husband is thoroughly addicted to it and has been every time a new one comes out. Even on occasions throwing sickies to play it. THIS IS A GROWN MAN!

    Irrespective of whether you think it’s immoral, linked to violence or contributory to the poor impression people get of women (bear in mind I think it was in GTA 3 where you could gain ‘health’ by sleeping with a professional lady and then you could beat her up to get the money back), one thing a former primary school teacher told me was that you could always tell the boys in school who played a lot of computer games. They couldn’t concentrate at all.

    It terrifies me that when my husband will be looking after my son on his own that this is the kind of thing he will show him. I might have to make “no computer games” part of the agreement. Certainly no violent ones.

    I just don’t get it. Why is it ok to have a game where you deliberately are meant to beat people up, kill people etc as part of the storyline? I get that the gaming (i.e. you can walk anywhere, go anywhere) was revolutionary when it came out but why does it have to be so violent and misogynist?

    1. While I agree somewhat with the original post, I have to comment on some of the more extreme views, not just by the original poster but also in some of the comments.
      This is an extremely violent game, something that kids should be nowhere near. But it does have a place.

      I’m a more mature person at 43, but I still play games when I can. (My daughter is 11 weeks old, so I haven’t managed to play for 11 weeks 🙂 ) However, I have owned all the GTA games and I fully intend to buy this one as soon as I get a chance.

      Games like this are a form of escapism. I’m never going to hold a gun but I can in this game. I’m never going to sleep with a prostitute and then kill her to get my money back but I can in this game. I’m never going to fly a jet but I can in this game.

      The point I’m making is that it’s all just fantasy, it’s not real. In fact, it’s just a more violent version of Coronation Street.
      Both are about fictitious characters in a fictitious setting acting out fictitious scenes.

      The problem is not the game at all, it’s that people take it too seriously.

      Yes it’s violent. Yes it has an 18 rating for a reason, but it’s only a piece of entertainment. Take it or leave it, but let those of us who do enjoy it have our time to do so.

      1. Robert

        My views aren’t extreme in my view. They’re based on pre-teens playing GTA and the parents that buy them. I’m not anti-gaming and although I dislike the game with a passion, I have no problem with adults buying and playing if they have the ability to distinguish reality from fiction. My escapism is the blog and Twitter, others are online games and GTA. I’m fine with that.

        My own kids have held gaming controllers since they were about 3, so I am not anti-gaming, just anti child playing GTA.

        It’s fantasy only to those whose brains are mature enough to comprehend the difference between reality and fiction and few young kids can do that.

        I’ve no wish to stop any adults entertainment from playing it. I think you misunderstood the point of the post, ie young children and pre-teens playing and the parents who buy it for them, though like Mamacook, I don’t understand why they have to be so violent nor degrading.

        1. Stand your ground Scottish Mum, you are not an extremist. I knew nothing about this game until I read your post and I couldn’t agree more.
          Robert is right on one thing, watching Coronation Street is also fraught. There is no person who can expose themselves to violence – whether on TV, the internet or via a gaming console and walk away unchanged. A conscious separation between fantasy and reality doesn’t diminish the damage done when we dilute our own reactions to violence and depravity by saturating ourselves with it, in essence agreeing with it, whatever the medium.

    2. Mamacook – Those are the kind of scenarios that I don’t think any pre-teen should be involved in. Teens are bad enough, but some kids playing this are really young tooters and that just escapes my ability to understand.

      My kids have been using x-box since they were little, but with games that were age appropriate. At around age 7, it seemed to change and the demands for the violent games their friends had started. It’s just never gone away. Some of the behaviours of the kids who do play these games make me honestly believe that it does make a difference to how children interact with each other and the games they play in the park. They also influence the other children who don’t play them as they share the information and bring them into the imaginitive play.

  17. 18 + games are for adults for a reason. I know some are worse than others so it’s hard to know which ones are not good if you’re not up on the latest games.

    1. I check them out on the Internet to know which ones I’d be happy with giving my kids. Well, not always happy, but ones I can live with.

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