Rockstar Developer Says Parents Buying Their Games For Kids Are "Terrible Parents"
Hardly a week goes by without someone in the media talking about the dangers that video games pose to malleable, impressionable youth. Even though Jack Thompson has (mostly) disappeared from the scene, there are plenty of folks out there that are still willing to use the same flawed arguments to condemn gaming.
In an interview about Red Dead Redemption with the BBC, Rockstar developer Lazlow (the voice of the DJ on Grand Theft Auto’s radio) ran up against this question.
During the interview, Lazlow got this question: “How do you feel about accusations that games such as yours are responsible for more violence among young people?” Lazlow’s response reflects the perfect attitude for the industry to have, in my humble opinion.
Lazlow’s reply? He said, “Our games are not designed for young people. 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.”
This is in keeping with the industry’s funding and support of the ESRB, which has done an admirable job of rating games, as well as making those ratings available to parents and gamers across the country. Moreover, game retailers have bought into the system, and they enforce it strongly.
Just this week, I watched a 17 year old kid turned away from the midnight release of Red Dead Redemption because he “left his ID at home.” I’ve seen electronics clerks at Wal-Mart ID’ing young customers. All in all, the industry does a great job policing itself, much better than other industries (like film) do, and it’s good to see those in the industry placing the blame where it truly belongs: the parents who provide games for their kids that aren’t appropriate for their age.
What do you think? Will we ever get away from the video games = violent young people questions?