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Rockstar: Bad Parents Buy Our Games for Kids

By - Source: Tom's Hardware US | B 52 comments

Rockstar Games lashes out at parents who purchase its M-rated games for children.

Rockstar Games recently came out and spoke against parents who purchase its games for their children. The retaliation comes at the heels of its latest release, Red Dead Redemption, now heading to stores worldwide. Like most of Rockstar's games, Red Dead Redemption is rated "M" for violence, language, drug use, and other adult content. And like the games preceding it, Rockstar will undoubtedly receive flak for the content despite its ratings, even from parents.

Is it any wonder the developer/publisher comes out with guns blazing? The argument clearly gets tiring after a while. "Our games are not designed for young people," said Rockstar's Lazlow in an interview. "If you're a parent and buy one of our games for your child, you're a terrible parent. We design games for adults because we're adults. There's a lot of kids games out there that we're not interested in playing. Just like you enjoy watching movies and TV shows with adult themes and language and violence, that's the kind of thing we seek to produce."

He made an interesting comparison to the retired HBO TV series, The Sopranos, saying the show earned numerous awards even though it was a gritty crime drama filled with excessive violence, language, and strong sexual content. He pointed out that--if the same material was applied to an electronic format called a video game--certain organizations "are all up in arms." Does he make a good point? Certainly. It's also an indication that the general adult consumer may still view games as toys rather than forms of art.

But that perspective may finally be changing. "I think ever since GTA IV came out and there were such rave reviews by major publications saying that this is actually art the restrictions about being politically correct have largely fallen away."

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Top Comments
  • 36 Hide
    tolham , May 21, 2010 10:30 PM
    i wouldn't even respond to the parents organizations who complain. the game is rated M and parents are responsible for their children, end of story.
  • 32 Hide
    ivan_chess , May 21, 2010 10:32 PM
    Captain Obvious saves the day!
  • 27 Hide
    t0r012 , May 21, 2010 10:35 PM
    It is about time someone said it!
    heck the average age of a gamer is now what 35?

    Don't bitch about your kids playing adult games that is your fault not mine.

    " parenting isn't a zero sum game, If one of your kids wins a nobel prize and another gets robbed by a hooker you still fail."
Other Comments
    Display all 52 comments.
  • 36 Hide
    tolham , May 21, 2010 10:30 PM
    i wouldn't even respond to the parents organizations who complain. the game is rated M and parents are responsible for their children, end of story.
  • 32 Hide
    ivan_chess , May 21, 2010 10:32 PM
    Captain Obvious saves the day!
  • 27 Hide
    t0r012 , May 21, 2010 10:35 PM
    It is about time someone said it!
    heck the average age of a gamer is now what 35?

    Don't bitch about your kids playing adult games that is your fault not mine.

    " parenting isn't a zero sum game, If one of your kids wins a nobel prize and another gets robbed by a hooker you still fail."
  • 24 Hide
    Anonymous , May 21, 2010 10:39 PM
    Its about time somebody openly said it
  • 14 Hide
    gnookergi , May 21, 2010 10:48 PM
    Maybe we should start rating games with the movie rating system so these dumb parents can translate. It's rated R for violence, blood and gore, and strong language.
  • 8 Hide
    1st duke of marlborough , May 21, 2010 10:53 PM
    Too bad people didn't think the same thing--that games are art-- when Max Payne first came out; then the second one (one of the greatest games-as-art titles of all time) would have sold well.
  • 8 Hide
    builderbobftw , May 21, 2010 10:53 PM
    Common sense ftw!
  • 5 Hide
    fulle , May 21, 2010 10:53 PM
    @t0r012
    That reminds me of the article that said that the average gamer was "35, fat, and depressed". Course the fat and depressed could easily be blamed on Seattle, where the study occurred, but... certainly the study showed that the average gamer is of suitable age for adult content.

    In fact, with so many gamers adults now, and with children purchasing less games vs adults... it makes a LOT of sense to market a new videogame to an older target audience.

    What urks me, is that even a title like RDR is watered down to meet a M rating, since a lot of retailers don't carry AO rated games. Remember when San Andreas got the AO rating due to Hot Coffee, and was pulled from production to appease Wall mart, Target, and Best Buy?
  • 10 Hide
    extremepcs , May 21, 2010 10:57 PM
    gnookergiMaybe we should start rating games with the movie rating system so these dumb parents can translate. It's rated R for violence, blood and gore, and strong language.


    Good idea, but the MPAA probably have the rating system copyrighted and would sue ESRB.
  • 3 Hide
    vicsrealms , May 21, 2010 11:15 PM
    Lol! I have been saying that since the days of the Hot Coffee mess.
  • 4 Hide
    flamethrower205 , May 21, 2010 11:19 PM
    t0r012It is about time someone said it!heck the average age of a gamer is now what 35?Don't bitch about your kids playing adult games that is your fault not mine." parenting isn't a zero sum game, If one of your kids wins a nobel prize and another gets robbed by a hooker you still fail."

    There is nothing wrong with getting robbed by a hooker, it happens to everyone :p 
  • 7 Hide
    stm1185 , May 21, 2010 11:26 PM
    "parenting isn't a zero sum game, If one of your kids wins a nobel prize and another gets robbed by a hooker you still fail."

    That kid needs some GTA4! Learn to shoot down the hos and take the money back!
  • 7 Hide
    edilee , May 21, 2010 11:46 PM
    Dead on Rockstar. People have their heads up there butts so far that they do not realize that not all video games are for kids and yes lots of people think that video games are toys and toys are for children...this is not the case these days.

    There are alot of bad parents out there and that the number will continue to rise sadly. Doesn't matter the US government will be raising all the children soon just as they will be making all our decisions also...thank goodness cause making decisions for myself is getting old! LOL.
  • 8 Hide
    Kelavarus , May 21, 2010 11:51 PM
    kelemvor4LOL. Games aren't art, they're toys. Maybe these games are adult toys, but they're toys. Try and justify playing with toys at 35 any way you want but that's really all there is to it.I play games. I just don't try and fool myself about it.


    Because you've totally played every game out there and can testify that not a single one is purely art-based. Good to know you're very experienced. :) 
  • 4 Hide
    dimcorner , May 22, 2010 1:56 AM
    I remember going out to get GTAIV when it first came out for during midnight release and there was a kid there with the parent. The parent was cursing up a storm about why did the kid HAVE to get that game at that time and that games are stupid and called everyone in line a dork. I just said hey, you are the one standing here showing YOUR ID to buy a game at midnight for YOUR kid who is underage so either shut up or go home. No one is forcing you to be here.
  • 5 Hide
    invlem , May 22, 2010 1:57 AM
    I agree with Rockstar 100% on this one.

    Just like movies there are some for kids and some for adults...
    And if you reaaly want to stick with games being toys, well that applies too... There are some for kids and some for adults :p 
  • 7 Hide
    anarkeygodslam , May 22, 2010 1:59 AM
    the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance.
    2.the class of objects subject to aesthetic criteria; works of art collectively, as paintings, sculptures, or drawings: a museum of art; an art collection.
    3.a field, genre, or category of art: Dance is an art.
    4.the fine arts collectively, often excluding architecture: art and architecture.
    5.any field using the skills or techniques of art: advertising art; industrial art.
    6.(in printed matter) illustrative or decorative material: Is there any art with the copy for this story?
    7.the principles or methods governing any craft or branch of learning: the art of baking; the art of selling.
    8.the craft or trade using these principles or methods.
    9.skill in conducting any human activity: a master at the art of conversation.
    10.a branch of learning or university study, esp. one of the fine arts or the humanities, as music, philosophy, or literature.
    11.arts,
    a.(used with a singular verb) the humanities: a college of arts and sciences.
    b.(used with a plural verb) liberal arts.
    12.skilled workmanship, execution, or agency, as distinguished from nature.
    13.trickery; cunning: glib and devious art.
    14.studied action; artificiality in behavior.
    15.an artifice or artful device: the innumerable arts and wiles of politics.
    16.Archaic. science, learning, or scholarship.

    All dictionary results for ART. Games are just as much art as anything else.
  • 3 Hide
    in0va3 , May 22, 2010 2:11 AM
    Too much children are playing rated M games especially fps. Bad parents just don't care and only think a game is a game and nothing else. I'd agree that a game is not a toy but a form of art because a game has many different aspects to it!
  • 2 Hide
    in0va3 , May 22, 2010 2:12 AM
    I really do suggest that parents look at the ESRB rating..
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