Rockstar: Bad Parents Buy Our Games for Kids

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."

  • tolham
    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.
  • ivan_chess
    Captain Obvious saves the day!
  • t0r012
    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."
  • Its about time somebody openly said it
  • 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.
  • 1st duke of marlborough
    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.
  • builderbobftw
    Common sense ftw!
  • fulle
    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?
  • extremepcs
    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.
  • vicsrealms
    Lol! I have been saying that since the days of the Hot Coffee mess.