GTA V – A Parental Nightmare


Grand Theft Auto 5 (GTA V) is beautiful, seductive, addictive and absolutely a parental nightmare. There are video games, and then there are Video Games. GTA V is everything Rockstar, the game’s developer, could do with the technology available. The world the game is played in is filled with stunningly realistic surprises and a thousand & one little details, which show the technical expertise and dedication Rockstar has become known for. Every part of the world the game is played in is rich with digital content. Hop a random fence in a ritzy neighborhood; there will be all the items a backyard in that zip code should contain: Fire-pit, jacuzzi, manicured lawn, Bar-B-Que grill and perhaps even a family enjoying lunch, by the pool.

GTA V – flight

During game play, airplanes and helicopters become available. Players can fly all over the island nation of San Andreas, taking in the endless beaches, the beautifully rendered mountains and the surf smashing against seaside cliffs. There are also several blue lakes linked together by rivers and canals, and a few other interesting ways to navigate the landscape if a player doesn’t want to fly: Trains, boats and a seemingly endless supply of available cars. All of which, a player is obliged to steal in order to use.

It is, however, the dozens and dozens of computer driven characters who make this a game no child should ever be allowed to watch; let alone, play. Subjecting anyone under the age of 16 to this game, could qualify as child abuse. The AI characters which a player passes-by during the course of game play, are engaged in conversations with each other, or on cell phones; often discussing the sordid details of their latest debauchery.

The world of GTA V is populated by all of the people who — if their children grew up to become — would give a parent  nightmares. The three playable characters are the most negative archetypes of masculinity imaginable: A retired bank robber, a brutal street thug and a violently psychopathic madman. Each of these characters must be played to complete the game, so they all have specific roles within the narrative. The “missions” the game requires a player to complete, include the typical GTA fare: Innumerable vehicle thefts, high speed thrill rides, murders for hire, muggings, robberies and plenty of street fighting. In addition, there is now a requirement that an innocent man be tortured by the player, drug abuse and sexual assault is implied, and remember; it’s all in the name of fun!

Female characters don’t fare very well at all, in GTA V. Many of the female AI’s are hookers or drugged out and desperate. The worst possible feminine archetypes, seem to be all the people at Rockstar could bring themselves to create. Those few female characters with any strength or personality, all seem to have terrible things done to them and die horribly.

One video game commenter, when speaking about one of the playable characters, said that he felt like washing his hands whenever he was required to play the psychopathic madman. Yet, interestingly enough and despite being such a massive parental nightmare, sales of GTA V are expected to break records; it will be one of the most requested games of the 2013 Christmas season.

Editorial by Ben Gaul


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11 Responses to "GTA V – A Parental Nightmare"

  1. Z Dwyer   May 13, 2014 at 10:55 am

    Note on the “Brutal Street Thug” part – Franklin (the one you’re referring to) is often hesitant to get into violent/illegal confrontations, and just wants to make money in a legal & civilized way. The same goes for the ex-bank robber, Michael: he expresses shame over his past jobs, and at least tries not to get involved with them. The characters (with exception to Trevor), when they hit a pedestrian, often apologize & the cops are so omniscient in this game that you’d naturally want to avoid doing so. There are also multiple points in the game where a random event occurs: where someone gets their wallet stolen, their car breaks down, etc. and you can help them.

    Trevor is an exception, and is essentially a terrible person, but you have to understand that there’s something mentally wrong with him. Many books & film describe the efforts & actions of the mentally unstable, but with this game you are able to get behind and in the head of that person.

    This game gave me a different look on life, and made me understand that not everything is in black and white. Does it mean that I’m going to rob a bank? No, it just means that I understand there was a logical course of actions that led up to a robbery by someone else. There is no good or evil, just a cycle of actions and reactions, and whether those reactions negatively affect other people. You could even argue there is no true definition of “negatively affect”.

  2. Luke   December 29, 2013 at 9:55 am

    This is ADULT entertainment. Parents should treat it that way.

  3. spazonymous (@spazonymous)   December 27, 2013 at 8:47 am

    Its actually a sexist, juvenile, time-waster. This game shows what a messed up society weve become. Teenagers will play this game way too much, then when they wake up find they are suddenly 20 years old, will wonder why they dont have any real money when mummy and daddy stop paying for their braindead lifestyle

  4. SAW   December 25, 2013 at 10:18 am

    How can this be a parental nightmare when the game is clearly rated M for Mature 17/18 and above? Pretty open and shut case if you ask me. Don’t buy this game for underage children or you are a very bad parent.

  5. Oscar Grammy   December 23, 2013 at 5:33 pm

    GTA V – A Comedian’s Dream! This game is hilarious! Of course Rockstar is mocking the atmosphere of Southern California when it comes to … EVERYTHING! AI characters’ actions, their conversations, the radio commercials, the songs (eg “Gimme More” by Britney Spears), etc. When you combine this with the grotesque capabilities of the playable characters you get something VERY entertaining. I played GTA: San Andreas and GTA: Vice City when I was in middle school and I haven’t had any noticeable nightmarish effects on my life from that. If you’re going to let your child watch a Bruce Willis movie you might as well buy them this game.

  6. Jimmy   December 23, 2013 at 5:24 pm

    the guy that said “One video game commenter, when speaking about one of the playable characters, said that he felt like washing his hands whenever he was required to play the psychopathic madman.” Should be slapped for being such a big pussy – I bet he has a vagina

    • Jamie   December 29, 2013 at 1:40 am

      The ;language in your comment speaks volumes on the value of your opinion

  7. Mark   December 23, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    I own the game and I love it. I am 35 years old. I do however find it extremely strange that my local Smyths sells it and has a large display to promote the fact.

    • Ben Gaul   December 23, 2013 at 5:17 pm

      Retail. Not strange at all.
      Just tell me please they have the NC17 symbol clearly on display.

  8. Mail Man   December 23, 2013 at 3:58 pm

    That comment above*^^^

  9. N   December 23, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    Quit blaming the games. There is a 17+ rating for a reason. You need to start blaming the IRRESPONSIBLE PARENTS WHO BUY THEIR UNDERAGE CHILD THE GAME.


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