Monday, April 28, 2008

Is Jack Tompson promting GTA IV for TakeTwo?

One could almost be mistaken in thinking that Jack Tompson is actuallt working for Take Two.

Jack Tompson is the attorney who wrote to the US Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, demanding that legal action be taken against Take Two and retailers of Grand Theft Auto IV.

He is bringing worldwide media publicity to the already hyped and highly anticipated GTA IV game.

But for Jack Tompson, that's just a necessary evil.

Despite unintentionally promting GTA IV, I think Jack Thompson is doing a good thing. He's bringing mature games into the lime lite. Hopefully this way parents will think more about games a little more and understand that their are games aimed at another audience than just "kids".

I agree with him in one sense at least, parents should be aware of the content of the game and make sure they talk about it with their children rather than just handing it over.

The same can also be said for many other games (not just mature games like GTA IV). Aa game written for a thirteen year old is almost definitely not going to be ok for a 7 year old (the same as with any other media).

The way I see it, keeping this game away from kids younger than those supposed to play it is the combined responsibility of the retail outlets and the parents in the same way that selling alcohol is. That just might be where Jack Thompson's argument comes a little unstuck.

Game playing parents (like myself) already know there is a difference between Mario games and Grand Theft Auto type games (remember Carmageddon?) . However some parents either don't know or simply don't care. If you combine this with the tendency for those same people to throw their kids in front of a Playstation/Xbox like they would a TV (to use as a babysitter) then you have a very scary combination.

Grand theft Auto is no different from any movies, or comics or other media aimed at the same yo.ung adult age group. A big problem is that outdated concept that video games are for kids. If you still think that like that, then watch this.

It all comes down to caring about what children are doing and being there for them. Perhaps thats Jack Tompson's goal, to show parents they do need to be aware of the content of such games. Or perhaps some took his ZX Spectrum away before he finished Manic Miner and he's still pissed, who can tell.

Critic of game like GTA IV need to remeber that like TV, Movies and Books, Video games are a great escape.

Grand Theft Auto looks like an amazing game and I believe that helping publicize the necessity for parents to watch what their children are playing and be there for them will be good for mature games in general. When parents start taking a more active interest in what games their children are playing, those of us mature enough can run around being bad ass killers and nobody will get hurt.

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