There comes a time when parents get worried about the exposure their children may get from the world of gaming. Everyone loves video games! Both children and adults like to indulge in the fantasy world of video games to explore the never ending possibilities. Games like GTA V fits the perfect escape from reality, but it's not for everybody. As someone who plays GTA quite often, it really makes you wonder if the game could spread negative influence to children. After all, the game is rated M for Mature. That means it is only meant of age 17 above. So, the big question is should I be letting my child play GTA V? Is the criticisms on the game true?

GTA is one of the best selling and best reviewed game in the gaming industry. The game is famous for its open-world concept and its exciting story elements. Because of the mature themes in the game, it has also sparked a whole lot of controversy and criticism.

In today's post, we will be answering the question by providing more information about the gaming objective in GTA. We will also be tackling the big question of should we let children play the game. It's hard to just say yes or no without truly understanding the game, so if you're a parent or just someone who is thinking about buying the game for a child, give this post a read!

Should I Let My Child Play GTA V?

Before you make your decision, allow me to tell you more about the world of GTA. There are a few topics and discussions that are raised regarding to the mature themes of this video game. We all know that the game has contents of violence, prostitution, drugs, guns, political corruption, grand theft auto and so much more going on! Some people hate the game and some people enjoy the game. Either of the opinions are valid and true!

Many players and myself including feels like there is much more in the game. I do catch myself wondering if my children would be allowed to play this in the future. But as a fellow player myself, it felt unfair to not allow my children to experience such a fun video game. Especially knowing that there's so much more in the game that many people fail to notice! Many of us don't play it to cause violence in the game. Instead, we enjoy every other entertaining aspects of GTA V. Here are some of the reflection that I have been doing on this topic:

The Objective of The Game

GTA focuses on players to take on the role of a criminal who conducts jobs for numerous syndicates. The game has a large map with an open-world environment that allows players to do whatever they want, while trying to achieve their next goal to rank up.

Now upon reading the game summary that I quickly whipped up above, my head immediately thought that it could be a bad idea for any child to play this game. GTA is rated M, which stands for Mature, for children older than 17 only. The name of the game, Grand Theft Auto, is probably not the most likable name ever. The term refers to motor vehicle theft that steals cars with the intent of permanently keeping it. So, I do understand when certain people have an imprint of negative impression on the game.

I agree that playing GTA can get violent sometimes, but that is the whole point of the game! Playing as a criminal isn't what makes the game awesome. We play GTA because of its amazing and on-point realism that allows us to interact with almost anything or anyone in the game, just like real life. The game challenges you in many ways while you try to upgrade your rank. To do that, you'll have to commit crimes or what I would like to call, completing missions, to increase your rank and ultimately become The Big Boss. It takes a lot of dedication to complete all the missions available, just to rank up. So GTA isn't just about shooting and robbing, it's mostly following the story line, completing missions and ranking up.

Open-World Environment

No one has done a better job than GTA when it comes to creating a gigantic, detailed and realistic open-world environment. GTA is known for that and the game provides an environment where players can do anything they want and go wherever they desire. Take advantage of the freedom in the game and go explore! There are a ton of fun activities that players can do in the game.

Here are some of them:

  • Sight-Seeing - There are so many beautiful locations in the game. There's beaches and mountains where you can visit and players can take selfies too! Selfies are not only fun but it can be pined on the map. This makes navigating locations easier as players can refer to the map for guidance.
  • Watch A Movie - Players can go to the Los Santos' theatre for a short film. There are a few short films that I haven't watched yet!
  • Go To The Amusement Park or Fun Fair - While exploring, why not take a ride on the roller coaster or the ferris wheel and enjoy the view?
  • Look for Aliens - After completing the single-player story mode of GTA V, players will be able to see UFOs hovering about Los Santos and Blaine County on a specific day and time or under specific weather conditions.
  • Build a Space Docker - There's a crashed UFO in the Zancudo riverbed. Players need to gather fifty spaceship parts to unlock the Space Docker. A secret UFO-themed vehicle.
  • Play Golf - Enjoy the challenging golf simulation and play some golf with other players!
  • Play Tennis - If golf isn't your cup of tea, there's tennis.
  • Play Darts - There's also darts! It's pretty difficult to play, but it's still fun!
  • Run a Triathlon - Players can increase their Stat through completing this combined swimming, biking and running event. Increasing your Stat can increase your rank.
  • Go to The Shooting Range - Practice shooting in a non-violent environment to increase your shooting Stat.
  • Parachuting - Hop off an aircraft and enjoy the satisfying feeling of parachuting.

I could go on and on with the activities that players can do in the game, but let's let the game surprise you and your kids! It's not just shooting and killing or commiting crimes at all. Encourage your child to venture in other positive aspects of the game and make sure they don't miss the fun!

Story Elements

As long as you follow the storyline and stay away from the adult areas, your child should be safe from most of the game's worst violence and nudity content. Many people have criticized the game for its violent content and I agree that the game isn't made for young kids. In fact, I strongly encourage parents to monitor their child when they're playing GTA because you'll never know what will happen in the game! Only parents can tell where their kids' maturity is at to give them permission to play this game.

Instead of paying attention to the negative criticism of the game, give this game a go and play it yourself! If you feel like its not for you or your children then that's okay. But the game has a lot to offer, like its story elements that makes your adrenaline rush while you're trying to complete a mission. Of course, go ahead and give your children a pep talk where you tell them that the game is just a game and we shouldn't be doing any of the violent acts. If someone is getting extreme pleasure from killing people in the game then there's probably an underlying issue that the person is facing.

Either way, being careful and monitoring your children's gameplay should keep them away from the unwanted content.

Final Thoughts

Personally, I would suggest to allow mature 13 year olds to play GTA V. I enjoy video games and I'm not going to lie, I played GTA: Vice City when I was 12 and I haven't grown up to be a violent adult commiting crimes yet! I had and still have the understanding that it is just a game and it provides players a place to indulge into fantasy with zero consequences and unlimited restarts!

I'm not saying that parents should a hundred percent support their kids to play this game. But I think if we adults personally enjoy the game, children should be allowed to have some fun as long as there is some form of parental guidance! Go through the settings and change whatever you can to avoid negative exposure! Make a deal with your children and make sure they don't go into locations with violent or nudity content and things should be fine.

Nobody's a perfect parent and only you can decide on when's the best age to give your child more freedom with their choices of video games. That is all the reflection I've done for this topic and I hope that you found some valuable answers! Stay crazy and game on.