GTA 5 and my newfound respect for the ESRB rating

I never really paid much attention to ESRB ratings. Even as a younger kid, I was always able to tell right from wrong, fantasy from reality. Of course, violent games back then consisted of Twisted Metal and Carmageddon. Regardless, I knew that what I was doing in those games (running over innocent civilians) was all fiction.

Not much has changed since I've become an adult.

Kids are still shooting each other in Call of Duty, and running over hookers in Grand Theft Auto, but, despite the popular belief in the news media, I still stand by the fact that kids know better. I can't even fathom how anyone could think that shooting an assault rifle in a video game would make them an expert at shooting one in real life. It just doesn't work that way.

Grand Theft Auto games in general have gotten a bad rap of being absolute no-nos for kids. In a way, I could agree. They generally had topics like drug use, prostitution, murder, and, of course, an insane amount of cursing. But even then, I left it up to the parent. After all, parents should know the limits of their own children.

But then Grand Theft Auto V happened.


Don't get me wrong, I'm immensely enjoying the game. In fact, I'd wager to say it's easily one of the most enjoyable, technically impressive and fun games I've played to date. But holy sh*t, Rockstar! The boundaries you once had are completely gone.

GTA 5 doesn't hold back at all. Strip clubs are now virtually fully interactive, and in first-person. That means I can enjoy a virtual stripper rubbing up on my TV screen, topless, in all her glory. I can even choose to feel her up, if the bouncer isn't looking. Oh, and I can also have two strippers dancing for me, occasionally fondling themselves to increase the stimulation.

But that's not even the worst of it. When we first get introduced to the wonderfully psychotic Trevor, it starts with him banging a drugged up biker chick over the counter in his trailer. Another one of Franklin's side missions has him meeting up with a Paparazzi, who wants to get some racy shots of a teen idol, who's actually 24 in reality. Upon finding her, after breaking onto her property, you find her in a similar position, getting rammed from behind, in her behind, by another fake-aged teen idol. Hell, even picking up a prostitute which only amounted to a few car shakes and implied coitus (thanks, Big Bang Theory) now fully displays her mounting you and riding you to kingdom come.

Many might scoff at this and say, "So murdering innocent people by driving them over and shooting them on the street is OK, but now sex is taboo?" I'd like to think it's a little bit more of a slippery slope than that. I wouldn't mind my daughter eventually sitting down with me and watching the Terminator or Rambo flicks, but I certainly wouldn't turn on a porn movie for her.

And it's that exact analogy that applies to GTA V. It's the porno of video gaming. Not just because of its overly sexual displays, but the whole package. The drugs, the incredible amount of "N-bombs" dropped, the prostitution, the violence, and even a rather graphic torture scene, the clear display of sex is just the cherry on top of this adult-oriented game. This is the one GTA game that I can honestly and finally say that no kid, ever, should get their hands on. Seriously, parents, don't even think about it.

And in closing, I leave you with this…