We had two boys aged 7 and 12 – I never knew how creative you had to be in order to keep little boys occupied for 2 days! Anyway, it was kind of a good thing that we have several toys – gaming consoles and computers, that is – that the boys loved.
There were moments of uncertainty for me, however. I had not finished GTA IV then (yes, I have finished it now – I finished it yesterday, to be exact!) and really wanted to play. I tried to avoid it but just couldn’t. So it was not really surprising that after watching me play for a while, the boys were clamoring to be able to play.
GTA IV for kids? I don’t think so! It is not only about the violence and sexually explicit content, really. Following the dialogue and completing the missions are quite complicated activities in themselves. But I gave in – ok, boys, each of you can play for 30 minutes and then go back to the GameBoy or the PC.
Boy, did they have fun! At first they had difficulty controlling the cars. After a while, they were able to do a decent job out of it. Of course, they didn’t really follow the storyline. All they wanted to do was to drive around, get nice cars, and shoot people.
So should kids play GTA? I think that it’s not all that bad. You just have to explain to them the difference between reality and the game. And I really didn’t even have to explain that much – they themselves stated the difference. The only thing I am slightly worried about is that they might become desensitized to violence.