Generally, you’d assume that parents like to look out for their children – you know, try to keep them away from sources of bad influence. Now, ratings do tend to go overboard with what kinds of things kids need to be “protected” from, but even we admit that the mind of an 11-year-old is very easily influenced. That’s why, usually, you don’t let 11-year-olds play things like GTA.
Another reason you might not want your 11-year-old playing GTA is because they might nick the family car while you’re sleeping and get into a high-speed chase with the police on the highway. In traffic. Before you think that that’s just an exaggerated hypothetical, it actually happened in Ontario yesterday evening.
The boy, who was not identified, admitted to being inspired by his night-time gaming session where he played GTA 5, we’re guessing unsupervised. The parents were asleep at the time, which is how he presumably managed to take off in the car unnoticed.
Police were later notified of an erratic driver on the Ontario Highway 400 after 11 PM. Other drivers assumed it was a case of driving under the influence, as the vehicle was slaloming all over the highway, travelling at half of the speed limit. The officers who went to the scene did not expect to find a child instead of a drunk.
Drivers called it in thinking it was probably an impaired driver, because the vehicle was all over the highway -Sgt. Kerry Schmidt
First, a single squad car was sent, but upon attempting to pull the “erratic driver” over, the 11-year-old went from half of the speed limit to over 120 KM/h. A second police car was needed to finally get the runaway to pull over and stop after some distance rolled.
The vehicle was first… going under the speed limit – like about half the speed limit. As the officer tried to get out and talk to this driver, find out what was going on… the vehicle took off again.
Naturally, the kid decided that slamming the gas pedal was the appropriate reaction to police presence since it’s the thing players would do in GTA 5, right? Well, other than shooting said police with various military grade weapons, of course. Luckily the child came to his senses soon enough and catastrophe was averted. He has since been returned to his parents.
The issue of underage children playing GTA 5 and other 18+ games is one of controversy. While on the one hand, sheltering kids with the “will someone think of the children?!” ultimately does more harm than good and they shouldn’t necessarily be shielded from absolutely everything that isn’t sunshine and rainbows, there is a line that must be drawn. I mean, assessing it on a case-by-case basis, it should be okay to let some kids aged 15+ near things along the lines of GTA, but an 11-year-old? I mean, there’s a torture scene.
A torture scene.
While arguably most teens – and even adults – lack the measure of responsibility to deal with these things, it’s not like we live in a world of anarchy and unbridled murder and violence. However, there is something off about exposing a child so young to the kinds of violence depicted in GTA. By no means should the game be censored, but when a kid that young sees these things, they have no way of interpreting them without someone to talk to, and I’m willing to be that the parents of this particular little rascal didn’t discuss the morality of inflicting pain on others for personal gain.
I mean, sure, the kiddo didn’t go out to blow up a gas-station with an RPG, but a reckless stunt like speeding on the highway when you’re not tall enough to properly see out the windshield could have easily ended in serious injury. GTA has seen plenty of controversy in its time, but this isn’t constrained to a single franchise. Even if they’re sometimes overboard, game ratings exist for a reason and they are not unreasonable. Usually.
Do you think parents, in general, should pay more heed to the ratings of various media?
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