AIBU to not let Grand Theft Auto 5 into the house?

(83 Posts)
wigglybeezer Tue 10-Sep-13 20:09:37

DS1 thinks I am being monumentally unreasonable banning him from playing GTA until after his exams next summer. EVERYBODY else at school is allowed to apparently, but then maybe they do not have the attention span of a gnat and the will power of a wet flannel like DS1.

I think it is simpler to say no outright than have to nag him to revise every weekend.

He claims he is going to punish us by being in a foul huff for the next nine months.

Sigh...potty training was a breeze compared to wrangling teenagers.

GhostsInSnow Tue 10-Sep-13 20:11:30

Is it a battle really worth having? Is it not better to limit access to it in exchange for study?
Personally I think YABU but DD does study as well as game so I guess it depends on the individual child.

wigglybeezer Tue 10-Sep-13 20:22:07

He has not got a good track record on striking a balance. At the moment he is only allowed to play at weekends and we struggle to get him to do anything else. He has a tendency to get a bit obsessive.

wigglybeezer Tue 10-Sep-13 20:25:17

The trouble with multiplayer online games is that you can't stop playing because your mum says time is up without leaving friends you are playing with in the lurch, do that too often and people refuse to play with you, sent to virtual Coventry.

GTA5 is primarily one player, with the option of a multiplayer - main storyline is not mmorpg.

I think YABU. Give him the chance to prove you wrong.

GhostsInSnow Tue 10-Sep-13 20:32:12

Thats probably where our kids differ. DD isn't the sociable type, even with gaming so doesn't go online. I guess its easier for her to turn off and crack on with it.
My general rule is home, changed, homework/revision then she can play for an hour or two.

I know when I was a teen we didn't have this kind of stuff, but making me sit and revise by limiting my access to distractions wouldn't have worked with me. Being told to revise for set times tended to mean whatever I'd read certainly didn't sink in. The best of my revision was always done the week before the exam. I got 12 GCSE's so it worked for me.

This school year is a really hard one for year 11's with a lot of pressure, I just think that something they can turn on and play for an hour thats a bit of stress relief isn't necessarily such a bad thing.

Gossipmonster Tue 10-Sep-13 20:35:50

DS1 is 16 on Thurs. he has not been allowed to play 18 games so far - he thinks I will make him wait until he's 18.

I have got him COD for his bday and a couple of others. There is no way I would let GTA in my house - ever if I have my way.

wigglybeezer Tue 10-Sep-13 21:19:35

He will be allowed to play his existing games, but GTA is huge and will take forever to play, ( not to mention the dubious content ).

I thought more people would agree with me...

wigglybeezer Tue 10-Sep-13 21:22:45

Bunty, he has a PC so will have to wait for the PC version anyway, hoping they take ages to bring it out.

How old is he?

colourmehappytheresasofainhere Tue 10-Sep-13 21:44:01

I agree with you...

Beaverfeaver Tue 10-Sep-13 21:44:19

I can't wait for gta5.
I don't think I will have time to play it though.

applebread Tue 10-Sep-13 21:45:55

Yanbu. Computer games are like crack for some kids mine included.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Tue 10-Sep-13 21:48:28

You do what you have to do, pick your battles etc etc...

But can I just say, I can't freaking wait!

kali110 Tue 10-Sep-13 21:50:19

He cant be over 18 which is the age for gta. Im suprised how many parents let their teenagers play this

wannabestressfree Tue 10-Sep-13 21:56:17

At least you haven't had to pre order THREE copies of FIFA 14..... My teenagers had a full on punch up when one changed the others career/ manager mode to accrington Stanley and sold all his players (sigh)

YANBU Just the cert is enough to mean it's worth saying no.

MyBaby1day Wed 11-Sep-13 01:43:22

YABU, my buddy is getting this for his Birthday next week and it looks a cool game, let him play it, time/life is too short.

wannaBe Wed 11-Sep-13 02:50:57

a cool game? where the object is to go round murdering, robbing, inflicting all other forms of violence in order to achieve your aim (wtf ever that might be)m, where you gain energy by picking up prostitutes on the street for a shag and coming back revived... Tbh I was horrified to see it advertised on ITV earlier before the watershed.

Yeah, cool game that.

My ds is only ten (almost eleven) but he will be playing games like that in my house over my dead body, whether he's eighteen or not.

Zazzles007 Wed 11-Sep-13 05:42:31

I'm with wannBe on this one - the prostitute thing alone makes me not want to play the game, and I am an avid PS3 fan. I have GTA4 and I've never gotten beyond the beginning of the game, because really, it is saying that the antisocial behaviour that wannaBe described is acceptable. And unless your teen is very mature then he needs to be over 18 to play the game. However given that that the OP's teen gets a bit 'obesessed' with games, I would say that he is not mature enough to handle the content or his responsibilities in relation to the games and his studies.

isitsnowingyet Wed 11-Sep-13 06:00:03

wiggly you are being very reasonable. Let him huff. Sadly for him the school work has to come first.

NandH Wed 11-Sep-13 06:25:58

I wouldn't allow it either, just on the basis that you can drug,kill then shag a woman on it! ... this is information dp came home from work with.

Tbh, I wouldn't have GTA in my house anyway, although ds1 thinks he should be allowed to play it.

The prostitute thing is abhorrent. And the beginning of one of the games has a man taking lines of coke in his office, so no.

I agree with the principle of what you are saying though.

Ds1 plays fifa online and we have had to enforce a no weekday rule as well, otherwise nothing at all gets done.

valiumredhead Wed 11-Sep-13 07:09:51

I agree with wannabe, it's a vile game.

Oh dear. If anyone even so much as mentions GTA the pearl-clutchers come out in force.
Yes, the series is excessively violent and gritty - it is both a reflection of and partially a parody of things that actually happen. (Though Saints Row is better as parody!)
But that's why it's an 18 - so that only people who can distinguish that antisocial behaviour in the game is unacceptable in real life can buy the damn thing. They're pretty crap as games tbh but people like sandboxes so they're really popular.

Back on topic, OP YANBU. Partially because it'll be just as crap as GTAIV, but also because your DS can't stop himself once he starts playing. It's very easy to lose time!
BUT from now until July next year is a long time. Maybe let him have it, but only at weekends and only for a few hours at a time? Very few kids need to start revising in September, to be fair, as they'll have forgotten the lot by exam time!

It's not pearl clutching galaxy

I decide what comes into my house. And GTA will never be here.

And that's because I do not actually like the idea of a game which features prostitures and cocaine, amongst other things.

That not pearl clutching, it's my opinion

Chopstheduck Wed 11-Sep-13 08:00:26

It doesn't take that long to complete the basic game - I'm sure we did it in a couple of weeks. Would he accept a compromise of being allowed the game but not playing the mmorpg? Or maybe the mmorpg one day a week?

Ireallymustbemad Wed 11-Sep-13 08:06:54

YANBU at all.

Like too many others I relented and got COD but I have already refused one of DS1s friends being GTA over here and made very clear to DS1 that it's not suitable for him to play and I won't ever be letting it in my house.

gamerchick Wed 11-Sep-13 08:07:11

That particular game is banned from this house and we're a gaming family. Have you sat and watched him play it OP?

no pearl clutching here either.. but my kids know not to even ask if they can have that particular game and I'm quite generous to what 18+ games they can play.

valiumredhead Wed 11-Sep-13 08:10:01

I know lots of gamers who don't play it due to its content. No pearl clutching here either.

I'd refuse to buy that game for my child, too.

wigglybeezer Wed 11-Sep-13 08:26:39

I always said it wouldn't be allowed in the house but didn't get round to having a proper discussion with ds1 about it as he didn't seem interested, he unfortunately downloaded GTA 4 from Steam and started playing it without me knowing, shutting the stable door etc....

In fact DH could have had a job on GTA2 but declined due to the content ( and non family friendly working conditions TBH). A friend is working on the new one and says it is designed to be totally immersive and played for looong stretches.

Scottish exam system, brand new exam system in fact, with lots of small assessment units all year before the main exam. It's not just the time spent playing its the time spent daydreaming about the game in class.

DS has calmed down today and seems to be accepting his fate ATM.

MissMarplesBloomers Wed 11-Sep-13 08:32:48

We don't have any of those games either & I have no pearls to clutch but they are unacceptably violent & nasty IMHO & if the over 18s want to waste their time with them thats their option but they are 18 for a reason & should not be bought for younger teens... end of.

OP Your house your rules you know you son. As July is a LONG way away (for a teen) maybe say if he doesn't huff & knuckles down you'll reasses after Christmas?

Sometimes a carrot & stick approach works ok!

loopylou6 Wed 11-Sep-13 08:46:34

it can't be played on the ps3 can it? sad

Zazzles007 Wed 11-Sep-13 09:09:45

Yep Loopy GTA is on also PS3. Why?

Another gamer here, one who quite likes the darker/more violent games. Not pearl clutching. It's not a child's game, it's an adult's game. Leave it to the adults.

KatyTheCleaningLady Wed 11-Sep-13 10:46:49

My kids can have this crap when they are adults, paying their own rent for their own homes.

Your house, your rules.

enderwoman Wed 11-Sep-13 10:56:45

My children are younger and want Saints Row as well as GTA. I know they are going to play it at their friends houses but I am not buying a copy.

StuntGirl Wed 11-Sep-13 10:59:40

1. It's an 18 rated, so an instant no-no for me.
2. Not everyone agress with point 1, I know.

StuntGirl Wed 11-Sep-13 11:01:50

Jesus christ fecking mobile app. Why doesn't this crappy forum have a bloody edit or delete function?

3. The online aspect will be released 2 weeks later, so he can't play it straight away anyway (if that sways you at all).
4. If he wants it on PC he's going to have to wait a year or so anyway.

YANBU regardless of whether it's FIFA, GTA V or Super bloody Mario. From what you've said about your DS, and given the fact that he's in the first year group to do the National 4s and 5s, he needs as few distractions as possible.

As far as the game goes, I'd have it in my house because I understand the difference between reality and a game, so does my DP. But then we're adults, and it is a game for adults. Some children (my brother included) have trouble realising that they're still children and not everything is for them, IMO.

GhostsInSnow Wed 11-Sep-13 11:55:56

DD is 16 in 3 weeks, she's played GTA since 14 and has yet to turn into a car stealing, drug dealing prostitute murderer. She's exceptionally mature for her age and I made that call knowing my daughter.
I don't understand how 18 they are suddenly going to mature in a puff of smoke into adults who are sensible enough to play games, watch movies etc
I think it depends entirely on the child and their maturity levels and I personally have no issues with her gaming.

loopylou6 Wed 11-Sep-13 13:57:24

I meant the new one, does it only play on ps4?

PS4 isn't even out yet, so no. it plays on PS3.

loopylou6 Wed 11-Sep-13 14:06:57

I've just googled, you're right, it's on ps3. I'm excited now, me and DH really like that series grin

wigglybeezer Wed 11-Sep-13 14:13:27

Yup, Hugless, the teachers are a bit stretched this year, not much time to handhold feckless boys who have not been paying attention all year.

I am feeling strong about my decision today, it has had one positive effect already, he was so angry he refused to watch telly with us , couldn't think of anything else to do so stormed off in a passive aggressive fashion - to do his maths homework, it was quite a performance!

Haha victory!

valiumredhead Wed 11-Sep-13 14:18:29

Did he mutter 'you'll be sorry!'as he stomped off?wink grin

jellybeans Wed 11-Sep-13 15:39:38

My 14 YO DD has GTA as it was given by a relative with a PSP. I had no idea what it was till I had a go one day. Not keen on the prostitutes but other than that and violence it seems 'OK' and like any other 'beat em up'. Of course PSP and old version may be different to the newer games. I think if you ban it you will make him get it in secret and make it more appealing. Maybe allow it in moderation if he studies for a while after school each day. I did that with DDs phone (she was on it all day non stop otherwise) and she got good GCSE results.

valiumredhead Wed 11-Sep-13 15:45:26

Ok apart from the prostitutes and violence? grin

Well, other than the prostitutes and the snorting cocaine, it's just fine and dandy.

StuntGirl Wed 11-Sep-13 15:53:24

It's not a beat em up. It's an action adventure based on being a crimimal. Beat 'em ups tend to be 16 rated max. too, FYI, whereas action adventure games often go up to 18.

GTA gets a bad rep because it's the big name, but there are countless other games not suitable for children due to their content. GTA is no better or worse. I don't for a second think it will turn players into criminals. But that still doesn't make the content suitable for children either.

StuntGirl Wed 11-Sep-13 15:53:58

Oh fucking hell, *criminal.

Seriously. This place needs an edit button.

gamerchick Wed 11-Sep-13 18:52:20

and a bloody quote function.

mum11970 Wed 11-Sep-13 19:09:35

I ordered it last night for my 15 year old. He's a sensible lad, who gets up 7 days a week to do his paper round; got great marks in his yr10 GCSEs; paid for it himself and is way more mature and less easily led than his 19 year old brother. He also promises me he's not going to become a gun carrying pimp.

MattZelst Thu 12-Sep-13 10:30:34

so you want to ban him from GTA... that's really going to drive him to do well, and definitely not be annoyed at you. he certainly won't just go play it at a mates.

jellybeans Thu 12-Sep-13 13:56:39

'Well, other than the prostitutes and the snorting cocaine, it's just fine and dandy'

Teenage/family TV programmes cover these topics...Waterloo Rd, Home and Away etc. It's not going to suddenly make them a pimp/druggie. I agree banning teenagers just does not work. DD 14 has GTA and is doing fab at school, lovely friends etc.

Matt So what, just roll over? Christ, what kind of lazy parenting is that?

wigglybeezer Thu 12-Sep-13 15:56:43

he can't just go and play with mates luckily as we live in the country with buses once every two hours!

Anyway, although I don't like the content, its more what he isn't doing when playing rather than what he does in the game that worries me. He has been banned from playing anything on school nights for two years now and that seems to work OK. If all the boys he normally plays Day Z online with switch to GTA he will be forced to actually go outside, come out of his room for more than two minutes when grandparents come over, stop bolting his meals and maybe even open a book.

It's not my job to be popular and I haven't permanently banned it anyway jsut said he can't play it 'til the summer holidays.

kali110 Thu 12-Sep-13 16:21:58

Clearly these games shouldnt bother having certificates as people will buy them for their kids no matter what.

quoteunquote Thu 12-Sep-13 16:37:48

grim game, for grim minds.

JCDenton Thu 12-Sep-13 17:28:22

Oh, good, a GTA thread. *gets popcorn

To be honest, as a fan of the series, I can't imagine what GTA would do to revision that's nine months away that other games wouldn't. It'll have a lot of content, but it can be pretty much finished mission-wise and as for online, most games have online play now.

I always enjoy the parts of this thread where GTA goes from being a violent game with adult content to outright bullshit like necrophilia as was stated on page 1 hmm

A lot of films are 'worse' than GTA but somehow it's become the horrible game for horrible people on MN

JCDenton Thu 12-Sep-13 17:29:11

Sorry, exams that are nine months away, I'm not at all suggesting that he start revision in nine months! (My specialty as a student)

WowOoo Thu 12-Sep-13 17:40:04


Let him huff. Stick to your guns.
I think you're great, even if he doesn't at the moment. smile

To be fair, Rockstar don't exactly shy away from marketing their games as being more shocking than any others (despite them actually being fairly bland)

nancerama Thu 12-Sep-13 17:43:31

YANBU. I used to work in the video game industry and know why games are given the ratings they get. I'm hard line on age ratings - they are there for a reason.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Thu 12-Sep-13 17:47:22

grim game, for grim minds

Care to elaborate?

Some books I've enjoyed aren't exactly sweetness and light, a lot of the fiction I enjoy has quite dark story lines. I've read books about drug addiction, prostituion, trafficking, gang culture (all fiction). I'd that grim reading for my grim mind ?

StuntGirl Thu 12-Sep-13 17:49:18

I agree, I've read books with far more grim content than GTA .

Then again I don't hand out copies of The Pianist to children either.

ILetHimKeep20Quid Thu 12-Sep-13 17:57:50

I agree it's not for kids, in the same way lots of books, films and TV shows aren't for kids

BinksToEnlightenment Thu 12-Sep-13 17:59:15


valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 18:05:36

There's a difference between watching a film/book with graphic content than actively taking part in it like you do a game imo.

JCDenton Thu 12-Sep-13 18:24:11

"I agree, I've read books with far more grim content than GTA ."

I read American Psycho a few months ago, that was hard going at times. Great book, though.

LadyFlumpalot Thu 12-Sep-13 18:29:09

I love GTA. Feel it peaked with Vice City though. Some moments of San Andreas are sheer genius though. The radio broadcasts in particular.

gamerchick Thu 12-Sep-13 18:38:34

See the thing is about that game is the things you can do just for 'fun' like pick on random bystanders I don't see the fun in that and it simply does not sit well with me to let my 13 yr old play it.

If that makes me a stick in the mud then so be it. I spoke to my son earlier and he's trying to convince me that 5 is 'different' and will I take a look when it comes out.

OP if your son is seemingly addicted to his games then it's quite right to break his focus.. regardless of what game he's playing.

valiumredhead Thu 12-Sep-13 18:56:39

Jc, yeah, it's a great book and worthy of discussion so when ds is a bit older he can borrow my copy!grin

YeahWhat Thu 12-Sep-13 19:17:30

I am a bit flexible with age ratings of computer games but I refuse to ever have any of the GTA games in my house. My kids are in their twenties and late teens and approve of my ban. There are loads of other great games.
I didnt let them have any first person shooters until they we 15/16 ish regardless of age rating.
Our family, including me, are big computer game players and we have lots of systems and lots of games. I have never felt any desire to even try GTA.
LINK telling you about GTA 5s content

Here is an excerpt from the article I have linked to above

"The words “f**k,” “c*nt,” and “n**ger” can be heard in the dialogue."

"Even the in-game TV gets in on the act, with programs and radio ads containing "instances of mature humor: myriad sex jokes; depictions of raw sewage and feces on a worker's body; a brief instance of necrophilia (no nudity is depicted)."

....lovely!!!! Like I said, its never coming in my house...

wigglybeezer Thu 12-Sep-13 19:36:26

The random things done to you by strangers is an issue, DH's firend works at Rockstar and is play testing the game ATM, he spent ages pimping his car only for someone random to nick it, DS1 would not be able to cope with that he would have a meltdown. I do not like exposing him to things that may provoke such extreme reactions.

For all of you with kids who can play games in short bursts, hooray for them but that does not hold true for all kids (or me with Mumsnet sometimes).

YeahWhat Thu 12-Sep-13 20:13:49

It is true that it is not just the content of 'adult' games that make them unsuitable - it is also the style of gameplay. The games are designed to be compelling and 'addictive' _for adults_ and this type of intensity is just too much for your average child or youg teen.
I find it really difficult to stop playing certain games, my desire to reach the next level or beat a score is almost but not quite too strong for me, and I am a sensible middle aged woman blush. If I find it frustrating what hope is there for a younger teen.

mumthetaxidriver Thu 12-Sep-13 20:39:40

I think you are right to stand your ground on this - I know that whenever they get new xbox games they tend to go through a very intense period when it seems to be the only important thing in their lives. It's the last thing you need as he starts his gcse year
Our DS doesn't play GTA thankfully but became totally obsessed with FIFA recently and also went through a CoD phase. He' s also just starting yr 11 and facing his first exams in November. He' s now been xbox-free for 16 days- having broken the habit when we went away on holiday. And yes at times it did seem like an addiction!! It was our sugestion he cut back but but he decided to come off completely and its a huge reliepf for us alll. He has admitted that he's sleeping much better and enjoying the fact that he can go to the gym and do other sports and still get school work done.

So, the game is out now. Has anyone actually played it that can report on the content?

Ruralninja Wed 18-Sep-13 12:25:09

YDNBU - it's 18 for a reason (although I agree maturity levels differ) it's really addictive, it's incredibly anti-social (from a family point of view) and I'm not sure how many other reasons you need to have really.

DrHolmes Wed 18-Sep-13 12:46:14

I have not read the replies on this thread. I am 26 and my partner bought it yesterday. I want to say to you, all of you, who are thinking about getting this game for an under 18...DO NOT GET IT! I sat for five mins watching my partner play it and all I heard was "fucking nigger, nigger, nigger, fucking nigger" with a few non swear words put in between. Honestly, this is not a game for kids at school. I don't have kids and I'm saying it.

DrHolmes Wed 18-Sep-13 12:48:19

Yeahwhat is correct.

Op do not let him play it!

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