David’s Grand Theft Auto 4 Article

Wow… you guys are going to find this week’s Youth Culture Window article (the weekly article featured in the magnifying glass on the front page of our web site ) fascinating. The very controversial Grand Theft Auto 4 video game has successfully resisted arrest and will be released worldwide this Tuesday, April 29th.

Youth Culture Window author David R. Smith writes:

“Remember kids – it’s only illegal if you get caught!” 

You can thank the Grand Theft Auto 4 website for that little piece of advice to our children. And this Tuesday, April 29th, when this new game is released worldwide, kids will be able to vicariously drive drunk, get lap dances, and maliciously attack unsuspecting crowds with various weapons. GTA4 definitely earns its “M for Mature” rating. 

David goes on…

Players who want to extract all the “entertainment” from the game will run across plenty of shady characters and can witness and participate in execution-style murders, torture, high speed car chases, shootouts with cops, and strip clubs offering everything from drinks to pole dancing. GTA4 encompasses all the lawlessness that 150 of the world’s best video game programmers could jam into one title.

A very informative article. Wow.

About Jonathan McKee

president of The Source for Youth Ministry, is the author of over twenty books including the brand new If I Had a Parenting Do Over, 52 Ways to Connect with Your Smartphone Obsessed Kid; Sex Matters; The Amazon Best Seller - The Guy's Guide to God, Girls and the Phone in Your Pocket; and youth ministry books like Ministry By Teenagers; Connect; and the 10-Minute Talks series. He has over 20 years youth ministry experience and speaks to parents and leaders worldwide, all while providing free resources for youth workers and parents on his websites, TheSource4YM.com and TheSource4Parents.com. You can follow Jonathan on his blog, getting a regular dose of youth culture and parenting help. Jonathan, his wife Lori, and their three kids live in California.
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6 Responses to David’s Grand Theft Auto 4 Article

  1. Chris says:

    I wonder if we’re worried about this game too much. Sometimes a strong reaction provokes an even stronger product.

    I remember playing the GTA3 when it first came out for hours at a time in my friends garage. Now a few years down the road, I’m a youth pastor. I’m not saying that it’s a great game that we should all go out and buy or encourage others to but that it didn’t seem to really effect me.

    What do you think? Am I the exception or the rule?

  2. Chris… I think it’s not a bad question. So often, people over-react and help stir up publicity with a controversy. In marketing they say, “No publicity is bad publicity.”

    So you’ll never catch me saying, “Ban Proctor & Gamble” because they endorse…. blah, blah, blah.” Ridiculous.

    This isn’t the case here. GTA4 is going to hit $400 million in sales this week no matter what we do. I just want to help keep parents aware of some of the game’s content. 9 out of 10 parents I talk to have NO idea what the game is like. If parents would just spend 3 minutes watching the game… I think it would speak volumes.

    Not to mention… it’s great for parents to take the time to take interest in anything that their kids are doing. “Rules without a relationship lead to rebellion.”

  3. Trevor Dunham says:

    Good call Jonathan. I also have played the game AS a youth pastor. I did this on purpose to understand what my kids were most certainly playing (it belonged to one of my core kids). I would not allow this game anywhere near a video game night and want all of my teens to understand what they are doing when they play. That said I believe that Jonathan is correct in his thought on “reactionary” diatribes from us as youth leaders. Educate through relationship is exactly what’s going to reach these teens.

  4. A Gamer says:

    Parents have no right to accuse this game of destroying our youth.

    Ive played all of the GTA games, and I’ve come out just fine, infact I’d say that some experiences in the game make me think twice about doing things in real life.

    I hate how parents are saying “You get points for driving drunk” or, “You can viciousely drive drunk in the game”. Driving drunk IMPAREs your gameplay, and makes you play WORSE. Resulting in your weapons being taken away, or you having to pay a big fine for a hospital, it also makes your friends like you less.

    And yes you can murder people on the streets, but there are concequences for EVERYTHING you do in GTA4, you can get arrested, sent to the hospital to pay a 10,000 dollar fine, and many more.

    GTA4 is very much like the real world, if anythying children should play it to see what the real world is like. -_-

  5. A Gamer says:

    Also, if you don’t want your children to play this game, I suggest you GO WITH THEM when they go to buy games.

    It’s rated M for a reason, so if your children have the game, you allowed it. And you could have stopped it.

    -_-

  6. A Gamer says:

    Why don’t you go after movies that are violent? It’s just as easy for a kid to get his hands on a ticket to one of those, and supposedly become “influenced” by it.