This is exactly what I've been talking about for years.
The politicians and lawmakers and general video game haters can blame the games all they want. The ESRB ratings are there for a reason, titles like Grand Theft Auto V are not in any way designed – or marketed to – children, and if a kid ends up with a copy, the blame lies entirely with the parents or direct caregivers.
Check out this disturbing article posted over at Kotaku. It's from someone who works in a game store, and he said he sold a lot of copies of GTAV to parents who "just don't give a damn." In fact, he says he sold the game to parents with kids "who could barely see over the counter." This is the crux of the problem. This is why we have people wondering what sort of effects a game like GTAV can have on kids.
As far as I'm concerned, we don't need to wonder; the effects are guaranteed to be detrimental. That's because the game wasn't made for children, and the entire video game industry never once intended it to be played by children. It's not marketed toward kids, it has the big fat "M" (Mature) rating on the box with plenty of information attached to it, and nobody at Rockstar or Take-Two is purposely trying to corrupt our youth. They're not making a game for our youth; they're making a game for adults. Just like any filmmaker makes a violent movie and doesn't mean for it to be seen by children.
It's the number of clueless parents that has always concerned me. It almost seems as if a shocking majority of parents aren't qualified to be parents. It doesn't take more than a few minutes to do a bit of research online; you'd find out very quickly that GTAV isn't a game for your 8-year-old. And if you think it doesn't matter, if you think your kid can "handle it," you're disqualified to be a caregiver of young, developing individuals. End of story.
Related Game(s): Grand Theft Auto V