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How old should a child be...

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Irviding
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#1

Posted 18 December 2012 - 11:42 PM

I think this is probably better served in D&D than in any other board. Basically that's the question - at what age should we let children play GTA? I started playing VC when I was in 8th grade - and it wasn't until the year after my mother finally "let me" get San Andreas. I don't, and I don't think anyone here blames violent games for these tragedies - but that said, there has got to be some age guideline for when someone should be able to start playing violent/sexually explicit games.

Rown
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#2

Posted 19 December 2012 - 12:32 AM

Well not to be too snarky about it... the box does says 18 in most countries (my sample size is 2). The ESRB has a message on every box sold listing the general elements of the game. So it's more a case of the guidelines being ignored than being non-existant.

I started playing GTA III in 6th grade I think and that was at a friends house. That was mostly just mindless running around and killing things then passing the controller when you died. I think I inherited that copy of the game and finally got my mom to get me Vice City when it came out.

Sexually explicit... I guess the Malibu and Pole Position in Vice City count as my first exposure there. But I think "the talk" and school reproduction classes were 4th or 5th grade so I was already through the door on that. I don't think renderings of strippers and star covered tits did me in. Hell, walking past Victoria's Secret made me more uncomfortable at the time than VC ever did.

Rown rampage_ani.gif

The Yokel
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#3

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:28 AM

I don't think violent games can do any psychological damage to kids. However, staring at a screen for an extended period of time may do some damage to their vision. But as far as GTA is concerned, personally I was 9 when I first played GTA 2. I turned out...adequate-ish.

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#4

Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:33 AM

there's no answer to this.

when your kid is old enough, you'll be able to tell.
every child is different and every parent should know their child well enough to make this decision on their own.
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John The Grudge
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#5

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:39 PM

GTA is an 18 in the UK and I think that's about right.

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#6

Posted 19 December 2012 - 01:56 PM

I live in the UK, but I started playing GTA when I was 4, to be specific - Vice City for the PS2.
I've been playing it since then, all the other GTA's - I'm a big GTA fan.

TehTacoGuy
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#7

Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:12 PM

I played a little bit of Vice City when i was 8. I'm 15 now (16 in a few months), and i'm perfectly fine. I personally feel that it depends on the person. Some people are just not able to handle these sorts of games at younger ages, while some are. It just means the parents have to judge whether the kids are ready or not.

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#8

Posted 19 December 2012 - 03:42 PM

I played Grand Theft Auto when I was about nine and Grand Theft Auto III when I was 13. I remember my grandmother was pissed off when she found out what GTA was (since she bought III for me, although I may have stretched the truth on what it was specifically, leaving out some details), but when my mother was home visiting, she asked two simple questions:

1. Do you understand the difference between reality and fiction?
2. Do you understand that the actions in the game, if done in real life, have serious consequences?

I said yes to both, and she was satisfied I wasn't going to be mentally destroyed by the game. My grandmother wasn't happy about the violent content, though.

turn.gif

[EDIT] Oh yeah, I didn't actually answer the question. Basically, it all depends on the person. If they're mature enough (in that, they understand the difference between reality and fantasy), then go hard. I don't suggest giving an ultra graphic game to someone who's five, but y'know, use your best judgment.

stu
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#9

Posted 20 December 2012 - 04:35 AM

GTA 2 was the first GTA that I actually owned. My parents knew exactly what it was about and it didn't bother them buying it for their 8 year old son. My parents have always been pretty unstrict (if that's even a word) though. And they bought all the III generation games for me as well, not sure if they knew about prostitutes being in it though. I think that's probably what most parents would be concerned about. Not so much the violence, but the sexual nature, even though you don't actually see anything.

Like others have said there isn't an age because each child is different. It's up to the parents to make a judgement regarding whether or not they want their child playing a game like GTA. If I had my own kids, I'd let them play GTA games at around 7-8ish, going by the content of current GTA games. I think 5 is probably too young. Once they go to school and start talking with friends they'll swear and talk about sick sh*t anyways, they won't "discover" it by playing GTA. And it's not just at school, they're exposed to violence and such things constantly throughout their lives, you can't shield them from it, not all of it, so it's better for them to just see it and experience it. They'll have to at some point.

There are obviously limits though, there are some things you don't want your child seeing when they're too young. Really graphic violence and sexually explicit content are a couple of things, and you should wait a bit longer (than 7-8 years) before willingly allowing them to be exposed to such things imo.

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#10

Posted 20 December 2012 - 05:15 AM

When they're ready to.

K^2
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#11

Posted 20 December 2012 - 08:28 AM

QUOTE (GTAvanja @ Tuesday, Dec 18 2012, 21:28)
I don't think violent games can do any psychological damage to kids.

They most certainly can. They probably won't on majority of kids, even if they play games too early. With these things, if a child can't yet process the severity of the situation, it's not doing any harm. And by the time they can process it, they are somewhat better prepared. But there will certainly be individuals sensitive to such materials. And it is duty of the parent to make sure their kids can handle a game like that, as well as determine appropriate age limit. It will vary on case-to-case basis.

John The Grudge
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#12

Posted 20 December 2012 - 09:22 AM

The problem is that parents take no time to check what content is in the game before making a judgement. They just blindly buy it for their kid.

Irviding
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#13

Posted 20 December 2012 - 12:07 PM

QUOTE (John The Grudge @ Thursday, Dec 20 2012, 05:22)
The problem is that parents take no time to check what content is in the game before making a judgement. They just blindly buy it for their kid.

I think it goes equally the other way too. Parents will blindly NOT buy the kid a game either if it just "sounds" violent. When I was growing up my friends mom was vehemently opposed to war games- MoH, COD, etc were not allowed in the house since she "read" it was violent and about war. But she let him have GTA.

WF the Hobgoblin
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#14

Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:02 AM

QUOTE (Irviding @ Thursday, Dec 20 2012, 13:07)
QUOTE (John The Grudge @ Thursday, Dec 20 2012, 05:22)
The problem is that parents take no time to check what content is in the game before making a judgement.  They just blindly buy it for their kid.

I think it goes equally the other way too. Parents will blindly NOT buy the kid a game either if it just "sounds" violent. When I was growing up my friends mom was vehemently opposed to war games- MoH, COD, etc were not allowed in the house since she "read" it was violent and about war. But she let him have GTA.

It kind of reminds me of when I was about 15 and I wanted my parents to get me Vice City but my mum was reluctant because she didn't like the sound of it simply because it had the word "Vice" in the title. The fact that my dad read some news article about killing hookers in the game and then mentioned it to her didn't help either.

It's funny considering how she had previously bought me GTA III without giving it a second thought.


One thing I would say about the GTA games is that the more recent ones have been a lot more explicit in their adult content compared to the old ones.

CheesyJ
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#15

Posted 24 December 2012 - 03:31 PM

I don't think it really does a lot of damage to a kid when they play the game at a younger age. Some will try to blame the game on shocking actions, but I don't think controlling a character does too much worse than seeing something on TV. The language criticisms are fairly void because a lot of children will know them at a young age anyway. There are some things which a youngster shouldn't see, but a lot of youngsters just enjoy running around causing havoc in the game.

Either way, I started playing it at a young age and it hasn't had any sort of lasting negative effect on me. What also annoys me is when GTA takes all of this criticism but other violent crime games, such as Saints Row, don't get as much. GTA almost seems to be a scapegoat in this regard.

What is often more worrying I think is when kids are allowed too much time on these games to the extent that they become addicted to them in later life.

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#16

Posted 28 December 2012 - 06:33 AM

I believe that as long as they are mature about it, they should be allowed to play GTA. It kind of explains itself, but being there when I was young and playing San Andreas along with Vice City kind of changed me in my tone. I got slapped more than once after playing the game and was not acting mature at all. I think when I first started playing IV was when I started to act more mature, apart from the occasional giggle here and there.

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#17

Posted 31 December 2012 - 11:32 PM

I started to play gta when I was 10 years old in 2002 and I am 20 now and I am completely normal. I think that it is ok for a underage kid to play gta as long as he can handle it and know the difference between right and wrong. As for sexual content I believe that it is only ok for kids that can understand it. There are a few little kids that get laid young anyway.

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#18

Posted 01 January 2013 - 12:21 AM

Thanks to the internet children these days are exposed to more "mature" content at a younger age than probably ever before. I mean, hell - the day I discovered porn was a day I still remember well. Was on my parents sh*tty dial-up ancient relic computer. Therefore it wouldn't surprise me to find kids playing these games at an early age. I'd let my kid play such games as soon as they desired to, so long as they understood the implications and consequences in the real world.

QUOTE
They most certainly can. They probably won't on majority of kids, even if they play games too early. With these things, if a child can't yet process the severity of the situation, it's not doing any harm. And by the time they can process it, they are somewhat better prepared. But there will certainly be individuals sensitive to such materials. And it is duty of the parent to make sure their kids can handle a game like that, as well as determine appropriate age limit. It will vary on case-to-case basis.


Yeah, certainly not all children will experience psychological damage playing a game that depicts violence. However, those more likely to receive psychological damage will more likely than not possess some sort of mental diagnoses and should not be playing the games anyway. For example, an autistic 5th grader I supervise at Occupational Therapy sessions would often hit other adults and would say it's because of what he does in video games he enjoys.

F4L?
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#19

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:40 AM

QUOTE (LotusRIP)
It's funny considering how she had previously bought me GTA III without giving it a second thought.


It's pretty funny the same thing happened with me and San Andreas haha! My neighbour mentioned how you could kill hookers and my dad said:
"Oh I don't like that"
And I'm like...but you still bought me GTA III and Vice City?

QUOTE (TheKilla)
I'd let my kid play such games as soon as they desired to, so long as they understood the implications and consequences in the real world.


I agree with this, K^2 said the same thing basically but that's what it comes down to.

QUOTE (CheesyJ)
I don't think it really does a lot of damage to a kid when they play the game at a younger age. Some will try to blame the game on shocking actions, but I don't think controlling a character does too much worse than seeing something on TV.

The argument is always the opposite:
"Oh it's so bad because you're controlling the player."

No not really, the character still follows his own motives largely, you control more minor things and even then you're not doing it, the character in the game is, just like a character in a film, it's harmless fun anyway.
I don't see why it's less wrong to play Call Of Duty and just shoot people for fun as opposed to playing Grand Theft Auto and killing people for fun. There is no difference there, but Grand Theft Auto gets all the hate.

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#20

Posted 01 January 2013 - 04:41 AM Edited by sivispacem, 01 January 2013 - 11:00 AM.

15?

yeah 15 sounds good.

Who plays games at 18...

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#21

Posted 05 January 2013 - 03:15 AM Edited by Lightning Strike, 05 January 2013 - 03:36 AM.

Can we really set a defined age for when someone should do something ? In my opinion no. Everyone of us on planet Earth's different, our opinions, our looks, our likes and dislikes are all different. So who are we to judge when another person's child should play video games with adult content included in them ?.

Nearly everyone that's played GTA was underage when they played it, yet the law and the rating system say that these people were/are not old enough to understand and comprehend exactly what's going on in the game and they may be harmed in some way or another by what they witness.

In my opinion this shouldn't be the case, only YOU know your child, not some officials in government, not an age rating committee and certainly not the guy that sells it to you in the store. As such it SHOULD be the parent's choice and responsibility when their child is exposed to these games and no-one else should get to make that decision for them.

If game rating systems are to be kept then they should become nothing more then suggestions. The child or children may purchase the video game by themselves and if they're smart enough to purchase it and know what it's about (and let's face it kids know everything about the games they buy nowadays) then they're old enough and intelligent enough to handle everything the game's got to offer.

Though the chances of that ever happening are slim to nil, because the parent/s would be held accountable if something went bad, and as we all know it's never the parents fault nor is their responsibility when anything goes wrong.

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#22

Posted 06 January 2013 - 01:48 AM Edited by sivispacem, 06 January 2013 - 11:56 AM.

I think 15 would be good enough tbh

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#23

Posted 02 February 2013 - 08:48 PM

Wow, um really is there some rule against how long our posts should be in this thread? Okay... moto_whistle.gif

Anyways, I've always been a bit iffy about this subject. The idea of someone very young playing a game with such content just sounds wrong, but in reality is it even that serious. I'm very sure a typical 8 year old is not that dim to think a game is like real life. I began playing such games when I was seven and never took it seriously. I was sort of obsessed, but did I go around wanting to steal cars, blow sh*t up, and kill people when I grew up? No. I obviously knew it was a game. It was just fun and a way to pass time, definitely funner than all of the other boring junk out at the time.

So to be honest it depends on the parents. If I were a parent I wouldn't be allowing my kids near a game like that below 8 but when they turn 8 I wouldn't really care if they just stumbled upon it. I mean it's just a game. Unless you're kid is an anti social kid having "sociopathic" thoughts, lol, it's not a problem.

Icarus
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#24

Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:28 PM

QUOTE (Kifflom112 @ Saturday, Feb 2 2013, 13:48)
Wow, um really is there some rule against how long our posts should be in this thread? Okay... moto_whistle.gif

It's not so much that; it's more along the lines of stating your opining, then justifying that opinion. I mean, that's the whole point of a good discussion. You don't just say, "I believe X." You generally state, "I believe X, because Y and Z provide good justification for X, along with the fact that alpha and beta complement Y and Z."

You're right, though, it's definitely an individual judgment call on the part of the parents. If they think their kid can handle the game and understand the difference between real life and the game, then by all means. However, if they think their kid is not ready for games of a certain nature, then they can make the call of not letting their kid play it until some time in the future.

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#25

Posted 02 February 2013 - 10:30 PM

I'm not 18 yet and I play GTA for a while, it's no big deal as long as you're mature enough to know the difference between real life and games. I don't think videogames influence people that much, that is, if they can separate fiction from reality as I said above. It's all a matter of not believing/try to re-enact what you see, it's just like films.
The stir seems to be bigger with videogames yet films are much more violent sometimes. In a nutshell, I don't really see an age limit, just maturity.

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#26

Posted 03 February 2013 - 02:40 AM

The first GTA I ever played was Grand Theft Auto 2 and that was on my gameboy color I was 10 I believe at the time, I initially didn't like it. I started to really play GTA at the age of 14/15 I got GTA III and later bought GTA VC. But before I even could play the game my parents gave me a good talking to. Which proven itself quite useful. My point is I think the minimum age should be 12/13 but it should be accompanied by a good talking to. But in this day and age kids as young as 6/7 are playing GTA which concerns me.

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#27

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:07 AM

Me: I first played Grand Theft Auto 1 when I was 4, and haven't brutally murdered anyone in real life, so I think I'm okay.

In all honesty, if the kid can understand the difference between game worlds and the real worlds, they should be allowed. I'm not even counting maturity at this point if so many 8 year olds flood CoD multiplayer daily and think they're huge sh*t. As long as they don't show up to school the next day with an M-16, it can't be that bad.

GTA is just a game, and once people realize that, there won't be need to restrict access based on age.

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#28

Posted 03 February 2013 - 09:40 AM

In my honest opinion, it is really hard to specifically say how old a child should be before letting them play GTA or a violent game in general; even though on the cover it does have obvious guidelines stating that people under 18 shouldn't be playing these games. It really depends on the child's overall common sense. Do they realize that it is just a game? Do they realize that what is happening within this game is not real? Do they know the difference between what is right and what is not? All of those factors should be considered when a parent decides that they can play the game - most parents should have enough common sense to judge whether their child can handle a particular video game, but there are exceptions here as well. Sure, it may say "ages 18 and up" on the cover, but that doesn't mean that there aren't mature underage players of GTA, either - just like there are those who are over the age of 18 who, in reality, don't have any sense of maturity or common sense what so ever. Age, in reality, is just a number.

QUOTE (The Pizza Delivery Guy @ Sunday, Feb 3 2013, 20:07)
GTA is just a game, and once people realize that, there won't be need to restrict access based on age.

In that case, there will always be a need to restrict access to games based on a person's age. The reason being is because for as long as there are violent video games, there are always going to be idiots who will replicate what they see in them - or at least state that they do to put the blame of their own idiocy onto somebody else; which results in lawyers and politicians as well as other individuals who know absolutely nothing about the game getting involved and stating that "[insert game title here] is effecting our kids and turning them into murderers!" People realizing that it is just a game and not real life is also where the idea of common sense comes in but unfortunately, not everyone possesses common sense and not everyone ever will, and as such - games will always need age restriction based on their content.

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#29

Posted 03 February 2013 - 11:23 AM

well i played my first GTA at 11 years of age. My friends mum brought it for my friend who was the same age. This was before all the blah blah you have to be 18 to play the game BS came in at stores, i remember just being able to go and buy GTA III and Vice city underage with no problems at all. Those days store owners just perceived them as games and not an excuse to blame all your governments failings on them instead.

I would have to say in that case that i would be happy in giving GTA to an 11 year old on the OK of the parents.

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#30

Posted 04 February 2013 - 11:05 PM Edited by TheJonesy, 04 February 2013 - 11:15 PM.

I think the discrepancy between the video game being fantasy or reality for a child/adolescent is a reasonable issue when it applies to their belief that committing a crime really is either that simple or that lenient. The other problem with this idea is that seeing your particular character be released from the police so easily after getting caught can truly reflect the leniency of law against them; any alleviation they believe they'll have due to either their age or their use of the game as a scapegoat would reinforce - and as I said, reflect - the idea that committing a crime does not heed severe consequences as it is shown.

As far as the issue of reality versus fantasy with concerns for why this individual would actually commit a crime in the first place is a whole other issue outside of the realm of video games. Basically, you can't officially state that a video game is the cause for their violent behavior because it is possible - and, more importantly, more probable - that their already violent cognitive ideas spark interest in a violent video game. It's the simple weighing of correlation versus causation.

Even if an individual was completely, undoubtedly influenced by GTA to commit a crime, the fault would still not rely upon the game, but of the responsibility of the parent. Of course, parents hate taking responsibility for the negative attributes of their child; this would reflect both the neglect they have in their child's interests and their overall quality as a parent.

In other words, there's nothing wrong with playing the game at a relatively early age. If you can determine if your child is mature enough to play the game, let them. If you can't, then be a good parent and get to know them.




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