GTA From a Mother’s Perspective (Op-Ed)

GTA Will Never be Welcome in My Home

Grand Theft Auto 5


Rock Star Games’ Grand Theft Auto is no stranger to controversy.  From its 1997 launch by DMA Designs to the most recent installment, GTA has been at the forefront of video game violence, outdoing everything before and since.  Grand Theft Auto and its perpetual scenes of excessive violence is accepted far too easily by the general public, and the hype over this disgusting corruption of society is too over the top for me.

Understand that I am a gamer mom. I play online and platform based games with my three boys, aged 12, 16, and 20. We have owned at least one gaming system continuously since the days of Sega and Super Nintendo. We have played zombie games, racing games, puzzle games, role-playing games and strategic war games together. With multiple platforms, computers and the internet at our disposal, at any given moment of any day, me and all of my boys can and have been wrapped up in the gaming zone.

When my 16-year old came to me begging for GTA V,  the answer was a resounding, “Not no, but hell no.”  We have never owned and will never own –out of my pocket- a single version of Grand Theft Auto.  GTA is not allowed in my home and all of my boys know without doubt that I will not allow them to play it. If they have played this game, I don’t know about it, and their lives are much simpler if I never know about it.

From its inception, this game raised eyebrows and glorified committing acts in-game (IG) that would see multiple life sentences if committed in real life (IRL). So why then, has Rock Star continued to produce –and profit outrageously!- from a game so riddled with abhorrent sociopathic and frankly psychotic behavior? Why are there no sanctions on this company and this game? Why is GTA still so easily available on the market, and still destroying our children’s moral compasses? More disturbingly, why are parents buying this game for their children??

Lawsuits have been filed, and the 1992 version, (GTA 2) featured the introduction of what has become a favorite in-game activity- having sex with (or raping) and killing prostitutes. This feature caused the game to be banned in Australia, and created the need for ID checks at purchase points.  Why haven’t more countries followed suit?

Studies have shown that video game violence can and does translate to the real world. Children and teens have committed criminal acts and when asked, pointed to GTA as the motive.  From theft to burglary to murder, this game inspires impressionable young minds to go so far off the reservation that jail time may not be a plausible solution. GTA damages ideas of right and wrong, skewing it so far off the reservation it’s almost impossible to say if these young people even knew what they were doing was actually “wrong”, not to mention illegal.

While game creators and supporters of GTA dismiss these studies and present their own to prove otherwise, the facts are very simple. If a person –young or not so young- spends hours on end exposed to violent, deviant behavior it does affect the way they see the people and the world around them. An 8-year-old boy killed his grandmother as it was done in-game. Teens robbed and assaulted complete strangers –as it was done in the game. Other teens bombed a store with Molotov cocktails, again, as they had done in-game.

No matter what side of the fence you come down on, no one who has children should have this game in their home. No child or teen should be exposed to the gratuitous violence that warps their minds to the point where taking these in-game acts to the real world seems like great fun. Parents, pay attention to what your children do. Review games before they get them. If you are not a gamer, have some adult you trust play the game and watch it yourself so you can be informed and aware. GTA has no V-chip. You can’t turn off the violence. The most tragic part of it is, in far too many cases around the world, neither can our children.


Written By: Brandi Tasby

8-yr Old Murders Grandmother

Teens Bring GTA Crimes to Life

History of GTA

16 Responses to "GTA From a Mother’s Perspective (Op-Ed)"

  1. Dorian   October 1, 2013 at 9:15 am

    The game is a social commentary on topical issues and not a glorification of violence. From ‘LifeInvader’ to government corruption, GTA V follows a tradition of satirising some of the more concerning elements of living in our age.
    GTA V is a game made to entertain and amuse adults, hence the 18+ rating. I certainly agree that those parents allowing their younger children to play this game is a mistake, much in the same way that letting them read Lolita, or A Confederacy of Dunces would be a mistake. But if they are old enough and mature enough to understand the point of the game, then it’s perfectly justifiable to allow them to play the game. Raise your kids right and exposing them to this sort of thing is perfectly acceptable.
    P.S. Isn’t glorifying war even more morally grey than glorifying violence? Something to think about.

  2. Dominic Melit   October 1, 2013 at 3:00 am

    It’s not gta’s fault that kids are doing this! It’s their patents. I feel sorry for your kids.

  3. byron   September 30, 2013 at 11:09 am

    GTA DID not invent violence , stop blaming item that does nothing but what its supposed to do (entertain) often gta is making fun of criminal life and other societal defects. gta is a satire it is not seriously saying you should kill people for fun it is a game , and if you can not separate game from reality that is not the games fault.”ask yourself this why do games depict violence like this games didn’t invent this ,games are just expressing the in thought of a people like all media and art dose. people just don’t want to believe sweet little johnny could have already been deranged or just plan stupid .

  4. Kopischke   September 30, 2013 at 7:37 am

    I cannot even begin to describe to you how wrong you are. Yes GTA V may have some pretty bad things in it, but if you would actually do some research into it you would see that it’s not glorifying these acts in any way. It is a social commentary. It’s not glorifying, it’s showing the consequences of those actions. It’s a commentary on war, torture, the government, and the FBI.

    Also, most parents who let their “children” play have talked to them about things such as the things mentioned above and realize that if you play a violent video game, it doesn’t make you violent. There is no correlation between video games and violence. Do your research before you start spouting criticism of things you know nothing about, please.

  5. Jaime   September 30, 2013 at 5:27 am

    Yeah it’s so much better to enlist your sons in wars for control of drugs or pipeline locations, they would be far more critical of their governement if thay had played GTA instead of Call of Duty.
    Everytime an american soldier died in Iraq or Afghanistan i cheared because for once the good side could catch a break against the invaders.
    (I’m french and i cheared as much when a french soldier died, thankfully we were a lot less present there, just enough for GDF to get their hands on the juicy pipeline contract).

  6. GTA FTW   September 30, 2013 at 2:01 am

    Rated 18+. If people allow their young kids to play it, then more fool them. It’s rated for a reason. Although I can honestly say I played the first game in 1999 when I was 11, I fortunately have been brought up to know what’s right and wrong. If your children couldn’t understand the difference between real life and this game, then you have surely done something wrong. The game is a bit of fun (role play). Funny how you see rape, terrorism and other various acts of crime in films although it is still allowed. I’m sorry but you’re argument is is dumb. Also, like other people have pointed out, you’re playing war games?!? Very ironic given the horrific nature of war.

  7. Phil   September 29, 2013 at 11:41 pm

    Gta does NOT include rape, and never has.

  8. junk   September 29, 2013 at 12:18 pm

    Studies have shown that video game violence can and does translate to the real world.

    really? cause most most of what i have seen is a short term adrenaline rush that you also see at football games and other activities that fades away over time. funny they never mention that in studies.

    “IRL” Overprotective mother hates GTA but plays war games. Ironic. Stupid author. I bet your children would cringe reading your article. I pity them. I bet you suck at games too. Go back to the kitchen, where you belong.

    i think you should calm down face kyle and others. i can understand the frustration at the moral panics god knows i have many times wondering how this has been going on for 30 years court after court study after study and yet this crap still goes on. but when you tell someone to get back in the kitchen and calling them retarded all your doing is just giving these guys something to work with and enforcing stereotypes.

  9. FACEPLAM   September 29, 2013 at 3:39 am

    “IRL” Overprotective mother hates GTA but plays war games. Ironic. Stupid author. I bet your children would cringe reading your article. I pity them. I bet you suck at games too. Go back to the kitchen, where you belong.

  10. kyle lackey   September 29, 2013 at 3:03 am

    Clearly ur a retarted mom cause if u had any knowledge u would know a kid/teen will put the blame on someone or something to get out of trouble

  11. mike   September 28, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    GTA is not for children and never was intended for children. This game is for adults only!!! I agree with you on that. BUT do not take away my RIGHT to buy this for myself(an adult)

  12. peter   September 28, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    I’m sorry but you’re not a true gamer, unless you play rockstar’s art…


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