Over 1 in 4 UK parents would let their underage children play the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V video game (certificate 18), according to a survey of 500.
The survey, conducted by parenting website Babies.co.uk in association with ConsoleDeals.co.uk, found that 27% of British mums would let their children play Grand Theft Auto V, scheduled for release next month – despite its themes of drug dealing, racism, murder, prostitution, sex, terrorism, swearing and drink driving.
Phil Jones, owner of ConsoleDeals.co.uk said:
"Some parents argue that mature video games are no worse than what their children see on television and in films."
"However, experts believe that the way video games put the player in control of the action makes the content more 'real' – especially to impressionable young minds."
Meanwhile, 30% of parents said that their decision on allowing or not allowing their underage children to play 18-certificate games depended on the content. However, lack of awareness may be preventing them from making informed decisions:
"Most parents would be shocked if they knew the level of violence in games like Grand Theft Auto," said Phil Jones. "The latest release features more immersive gameplay than we’ve ever seen before. For example, one element of gameplay encourages users to shout into their microphone in order to speed up the rate at which they rob a bank!"
"We would advise that parents always check the certificate rating and do some broader research before buying games for their children."
According to James Macfarlane, Managing Director of Babies.co.uk:
"Many of our users believe that banning their children from playing certain games would only make them want to play them even more. 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."
The game, rated Mature 17+ in the US, is anticipated to receive a PEGI-18 rating when released in the UK on September 17th.
With other highly anticipated 18-certificate titles such as Call of Duty: Ghosts, Battlefield 4 and Splinter Cell: Blacklist due for release in the next few months, parents should make themselves aware of the game content to which their children are exposed.
Notes for Editors
James Macfarlane and Phil Jones are available for comment.