Grand Theft Auto: A Video Game Review For Parents
Updated January 9, 2024
We’ll cut to the chase — Grand Theft Auto is likely a game you don’t want to introduce to your child. It’s got content that fits into just about every adult content category you can think of, such as violence, profanity, highly sexual content, and poor moral standards.
This makes sense, as the game has never explicitly marketed itself as a game for kids. It’s always been rated 18+. However, we know that age ratings rarely stop kids from accessing games and content they shouldn’t. So we’ve laid out all the specifics you need to know about GTA so you can figure out how best to approach this game with your child. GTA is a long-standing series with games dating back to the 1990s, however, this review will focus on the most recent GTA V game.
Harmful Content ❗️
Parents need to know that GTA features a lot of content that is not appropriate for kids. The game has two modes — story mode and multiplayer mode. In both modes, players take on the persona of a hardened criminal, embarking on various heists, robberies, and even assassinations. Along the way, the game features alcohol, illegal drugs, strip clubs, and other mature content.
Aside from the violent nature of these missions, the game also makes light of these serious situations and encourages illegal behavior. Now, just because a child sees this activity in a game, doesn’t mean it will directly influence them to do the same in the real world. It can actually spark important conversations about right and wrong and why we should strive to help others, not hurt them. But GTA depicts these things in a way that could easily give kids the wrong impression, especially without a parent present to have these conversations.
This game is rife with profanity, with characters spewing curse words every few sentences.
GTA does feature sexual content, including nudity, characters having sex (though not while fully nude), implied masturbation, and more. Most females in the game are portrayed as sexual objects. There’s an infamous strip club mini-game where players can see strippers who are nude from the waist up. Players can even direct their character to touch the strippers as well.
The premise of the game is to cause violence and chaos. Just to name a few, characters are frequently involved in shootings, bombings, robberies, heists, car chases, and even torture such as waterboarding. Sometimes the victims are other criminals or they’re innocent bystanders. Players are encouraged to achieve their mission and “take out” anyone who gets in there. These actions often result in other characters dying or being seriously injured. Players will see a spray of blood and hear screams from the victims.
Positive Value 💫
Since GTA is a game intended for adults, there is little positive value for kids. The good news is that there are tons of other video games that are more appropriate and fun for kids to play!