Normally I try very hard to keep my “dad card” tucked away in my wallet. There are times, though, I have to raise the bullshit flag and call it the way I see it. I give allot of trust to my children still living at home because, in general, they give me no reasons not to trust them. Sometimes, when the line gets crossed, it gets worked out without too many hard feelings. But not this time, this time its different for some reason. So, let me start with the way it all started. My 17 y/o volunteered to drive my 12 y/o son to the mall so he could spend his money that he had been saving on a new game for the Xbox 360. Now, I wasn’t aware what game was purchased at the time and had not seen the game in question played until this past weekend. The only reason I saw it then is because they where in the living room since the Xbox 360 is connected to the 70″ HD television in there. Still, no problem, they play games there every day. Anyhow, I took a seat in my recliner looking to hopefully catch a nap but the very graphic images and very racially graphic language caught me a little off guard, prompting me to inquire what game it was that they were playing. Very nonchalantly my son replies by telling me it is Grand Theft Auto 5. I watched him play for about 5 more minutes and then I instructed him to turn it off, put the game in the case, and set it on the end table next to me.
In a very disgruntled way he complied with my request. Then we talked for a minute, and then he headed off to his room to get ready for bed. My daughter remains behind along with my wife, who decided that my actions needed to be questioned. My daughter explained what she knew about the game from the times she spent playing it, some of the ins and outs, and the general just of the game. This prompted me to do some reading online and to me eventually playing the game with my daughters assistance. I was not and remain not impressed with the game. Now, readers here know I don’t have the cleanest language. The bad language on the game only started bothering me when I got to thinking about the age of my son and how I really didn’t want him repeating any of the racially charged comments in the company of any human being. He isn’t raised being a racist dumbass and I will prevent it from happening any way I can. I could get into the morality of the game, which is about lieing, cheating, killing, stealing, and of course, car jacking. In the end, the game is pretty influential in the overboard glorification of some very negative behaviors in our society. The game is rated M for Mature Audiences, not 12 year olds. Personally I don’t see the draw to the game in any regard.
The verdict? Well, since an open game cannot be returned to the retailer I gave my son what he paid for it. He was also given some stricter guidelines and was told the next time I will not be as generous. Don’t mistake me for some kind of purest prude, because I am not, but I am a father who wishes to help my kids become proactive individuals in our modern society. The damn internet and television do not raise my children nor are they my children’s babysitter. With that being said, I know they have good heads on their shoulders and I know they wouldn’t take the game too seriously, but don’t think it is an appropriate game for any age. Now I have this stupid game which I will NOT be putting for sale on eBay but will instead be using for target practice the next time I head out. My opinion? Fuck this game. Save your “the game is harmless” comments for someone else because I don’t want to read them.