Rockstar Games – makers of the Grand Theft Auto series, the ultra-controversial Manhunt games, as well as the newly released Red Dead Redemption – are no stranger to the criticism that its games are bad for children. When the infamous “hot coffee” patch was released by a fan, the criticism against the game was so extreme that you might think the games could destabilize Western Society and send sex-crazed children screaming out of their houses to find the nearest hooker before shooting at cops. Thankfully, this did not happen, but it did lead to a massive refund to avoid a class-action lawsuit.
To prevent this criticism happening again with games like GTA and Red Dead Redemption, Rockstar has a simple suggestion for parents: Don’t buy the game for your kids.
“Our games are not designed for young people,” Rockstar producer, writer, and GTA DJ Lazlow said in an interview with the BBC. “If you’re a parent and buy one of our games for your child you’re a terrible parent. We design games for adults because we’re adults.”
Rockstar has long been a lightning rod for groups looking to protest violence in video games, outraged citizens, and politicians and public figures looking for a hot topic to attack, and Rockstar’s newest game, the Western epic Red Dead Redemption, features similar mature themes and content to the GTA series, including violence and nudity.
“I think that Rockstar has pushed a lot of boundaries to be able to make the art that that we believe we should be able to make. If you tell a gritty crime drama with violence and profanity and call it The Sopranos, you’re handed a load of awards to put up on the shelf. You do the same and call it a video game, and you’ll have certain organizations up in arms,” Lazlow told the BBC. “I think ever since GTA IV came out and there were such rave reviews by major publications saying that this is actually art, the restrictions about being politically correct have largely fallen away.”