I Sold Too Many Copies of GTA V To Parents Who Didn’t Give a Damn:
The article I linked to was written by a video game store employee and how he sold too many copies of Grand Theft Auto V to a bunch of clueless parents whose kids are too young for the game. If you’re unfamiliar with the GTA series in each incarnation of the game you play a criminal and you are required to do some pretty violent things in order for the game to progress. Here’s the thing, despite what some critics may try to tell you the GTA series was never intended for children.
This is a pet peeve of mine because I’ve been a gamer since the introduction of the Atari 2600. I had the first generation Sears model. So I’ve been gaming longer than some of these ‘parents’ have been alive. I know that all video games that are released to the public today, and for a decade and a half now, all have ratings on them just like movies.
All of the Grand Theft Auto games are rated M for mature. That means that the game is not recommended for anyone under 17. While I don’t believe that video games cause violence per se if a kid was exposed to this game at too young an age it could have detrimental psychological effects on the child. For example there was this kid I knew growing up who got into his dad’s porn stash. Back in those days it was Playboy and Penthouse magazines, tame by today’s standards. However young children believe just about everything they see or hear. This kid ended up believing all the things he saw and read in these magazines as real, especially the ‘Dear Penthouse’ sections. When we were in middle school he told me how disappointed he was when we were selling magazines for school that we weren’t invited into this one house that had several attractive young women in it.
My point is that if a too young child is exposed to this game they may end up thinking that the ultraviolence in a GTA is not only acceptable but encouraged in society and by the time he grows out of it, it may be too late.
Hot tipper Vanessa Guite apologized for sending this link to me, but justified it by saying that “every horrible story needs to be told so they can be prevented.” Amen, Vanessa. And 21-year-old Michael Wilkins of Niagara Falls, New York deserves all of the loathing he receives. His three-month-old son, Marquez Wilkins, is still in the intensive care unit with fractured ribs and brain-bleeding. How’d it happen? Oh, it’s all a misunderstanding! maintains Wilkins Sr., who insists he never meant to hurt his son.
They never do, do they?
Michael Wilkins says that he tripped over a video game controller, sending it careening into his son’s head. I can’t imagine why, but investigators didn’t buy this load of bullshite. So Wilkins invented a second story: he tripped over the baby. When they didn’t buy that either, he gave them a third. This time around, he copped to “squeezing” Marquez too hard when the infant wouldn’t stop wailing, then throwing him into his crib to go smoke. Then, he says, he tripped over the kids on his way back in. And after that, he kicked the controller into the child.
Wilkins is making all kinds of noise about being remorseful, and wanting to be a “good father”. What Wilkins really wants more than anything, folks, is to keep his sorry, child-abusing ass out of jail. Here’s hoping the judge doesn’t grant him his wish.
Thanks again to hot tipper Patty for sending along the sad, sad story of Tyrone Spellman. The Philadelphia, PA dad stands accused of murdering his daughter, Alayiah Turman, because she disconnected his Xbox while he was in the middle of a hot game. Even worse: Spellman reportedly tucked the girl in after the incident and told her mom that she was "sleeping". In other words, Alayiah may have been alive after her beating, and Spellman’s desire to save his own ass may have prevented her from being saved. Nice.
Human Services was reportedly called to Turman house before in response to a neighbor’s complaint. Unfortunately, they didn’t see anything amiss, and Spellman wasn’t around during those visits. No word on whether dad plans to cop to the charges against him, or whether he’ll attempt to prove that he isn’t the awful bastard everybody’s making him out to be. Based on the police report and medical evidence, it sounds like he best steel himself for a long stew in prison.