A recent study shows that more than a quarter of British mothers would allow their children to play Grand Theft Auto 5 despite a mature rating.
In a report from MCV-UK, 27 percent of British “mums” would allow their kids to play the hyper-violent game, even though only 23 percent said they’d allow their children to play an 18 and older title.
“Many of our users believe that banning their children from playing certain games would only make them want to play them even more,” said James Macfarlane, managing director of Babies.co.uk. “They think that it is safer for their children to play these games under their own roof where they can keep an eye on them.”
Phil Jones, owner of ConsoleDeals.co.uk, who partnered with Babies.co.uk on the study, speculated that some parents would argue that mature video games equal what kids can watch on television and in films.
“Most parents would be shocked if they knew the level of violence in games like Grand Theft Auto,” Jones said. “We would advise that parents always check the certificate rating and do some broader research before buying games for their children.”
The Grand Theft Auto franchise has come under fire in recent days, as authorities in Louisiana seemed to link GTA 4 to death of an 87-year-old woman by the 8-year-old boy she cared for.
The East Feliciana Parish Sheriff's Department said the boy had been engaging in a game of Grand Theft Auto 4 before he shot his caregiver in the head, and that the game may have played a role in the shooting.
“Although a motive for the shooting is unknown at this time, investigators have learned that the juvenile suspect was playing a video game on the Play Station 3 –– Grand Theft Auto IV –– a realistic game that has been associated with encouraging violence and awards points to players for killing people, just minutes before the homicide occurred," the department said in a release.
Grand Theft Auto publisher Take-Two strongly rebuked, saying, “Ascribing a connection to entertainment –– a theory that has been disproven repeatedly by multiple independent studies –– both minimizes this moment and sidesteps the real issues at hand.”