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Parents fear GTA more than porn, booze

Parents fear GTA more than porn, booze

According to a recent survey, parents are more worried about children playing GTA than watching porn.

The results of a new survey across more than 3,000 parents have shown that some videogames are seen as more of a concern than pornography or alcohol when it comes to children.

What They Play, which described itself as the parents' guide to videogames, ran two surveys. The first asked parents what they found the most offensive and found that 37 percent of the participants were most offended by a man and woman having sex, 27 percent by two men kissing, 25 percent by a graphically severed head and 9 percent by multiple use of the F-word, F-word.

The second poll asked parents what they are more worried about 17-year olds doing at unsupervised sleepovers. 49 percent were most apprehensive about marijuana being smoked, 19 percent of Grand Theft Auto being whipped out, 16 per cent of pornography being watched, and 14 percent of beer being consumed.

"These poll results demonstrate that parents are as apprehensive about their children's media diets as they are about traditional social issues such as alcohol, drugs, violence and sex," said John Davison, leader of What They Play.

"While researching for Grand Theft Childhood, parents we spoke with in focus groups often bemoaned the fact that they didn't know how to use game controls - and felt unequipped to supervise or limit video gameplay. Of course, parents don't want their children drinking alcohol, but that's a more familiar risk," added Cheryl Olson, co-author of Grand Theft Childhood.

Naturally, we suggest reading our comprehensive review if you're worried about the game.

Are you a parent? What do you think the most worrisome thing is for a child to be involved in? Let us know in the forums.

43 Comments

Discuss in the forums Reply
Timmy_the_tortoise 15th August 2008, 12:01 Quote
LOL
mclean007 15th August 2008, 12:05 Quote
What a vacuous survey. If their kids are too young to play GTA4 unsupervised, then don't let them have a copy of the game. If their friends have parents who will let them play unsupervised, don't let your kid go for unsupervised sleepovers there. It's hardly rocket science. If I had a kid I'd far rather (s)he was playing GTA4 than taking drugs, getting drunk, and knifing people.

37% of parents surveyed found "a man and a woman having sex" to be the most offensive thing? How, pray tell, did they become parents?!
Veles 15th August 2008, 12:12 Quote
Quote:
The first asked parents what they found the most offensive and found that 37 percent of the participants were most offended by a man and woman having sex

Only because they don't get any anymore.
Tyrmot 15th August 2008, 12:14 Quote
It would be interesting to know what proportion of those parents had actually seen/played GTA, and what proportion only knew what they'd read in... well, 'What They Play' for example? I'm thinking the results of that particular survey wouldn't be too surprising.
The Infamous Mr D 15th August 2008, 12:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
37% of parents surveyed found "a man and a woman having sex" to be the most offensive thing? How, pray tell, did they become parents?!

Turkey baster? :-)

Of course, like most surveys, you can never rely on the sample being an accurate cross-section of the target. The statistics can and often are bent depending on the point the proponent wishes to argue.

Although, having said that, with such an alledgedly high percentage of parents finding consensual heterosexual intercourse so offensive, is it a wonder that the UK has the highest teenage pregnancy rate in the European Union? Perhaps parents are once again in need of a good wake-up slap.
Mankz 15th August 2008, 12:25 Quote
I do both.
[PUNK] crompers 15th August 2008, 12:27 Quote
"The second poll asked parents what they are more worried about 17-year olds doing at unsupervised sleepovers. 49 percent were most apprehensive about marijuana being smoked, 19 percent of Grand Theft Auto being whipped out, 16 per cent of pornography being watched, and 14 percent of beer being consumed."

This literally made me guffaw, 17 year olds?!!!111!!

If a 17 year old is only just going to "unsupervised sleepovers" i'd suggest there is something seriously wrong at home, and if at that sleepover they rented ooohhh say Saw they would see far more gore than the whole of GTA.
Krikkit 15th August 2008, 12:28 Quote
If these people have 17-y-o children with access to the internet aren't looking at porn, they should be worried tbh.

Debauchery and sin is exactly what being 16 - 22 is all about, and lots of kids these days start much sooner than that.
Veles 15th August 2008, 12:41 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by crompers
"The second poll asked parents what they are more worried about 17-year olds doing at unsupervised sleepovers. 49 percent were most apprehensive about marijuana being smoked, 19 percent of Grand Theft Auto being whipped out, 16 per cent of pornography being watched, and 14 percent of beer being consumed."

WTF? At that point my mum was actually handing me the beer for my parties

Obviously this is a poll of 3000 prudes.
liratheal 15th August 2008, 12:45 Quote
Hahahaha.

Must be all that rape and murdering of mythical Greek gods that propels it to this level of fear.
Ninja_182 15th August 2008, 12:52 Quote
I find it more shocking that more people find homosexuality between males more offensive than severed body parts. Does female homosexuality just not get a mention or is that different?

Edit: Todays poll is quite interesting, apparently parents are more likely to let their children play as Master Chief with all the gore associated with the series than play as sonic, probably one of the most family friendly characters ever conceived.
Veles 15th August 2008, 12:55 Quote
Oh no that's fine because it turns men on
Mankz 15th August 2008, 13:05 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Krikkit
Debauchery and sin is exactly what being 16 - 22 is all about, and lots of kids these days start much sooner than that.

I certainly did :p
Xir 15th August 2008, 13:20 Quote
Is it an American survey? Where you're counted as underage till 21?
17 year olds must count as-just-out-of-diapers then.

Sure you can drive over somebody in a car but you cant buy a can of beer till you're 21!
legoman666 15th August 2008, 14:08 Quote
What about playing GTA, smoking a J, drinking a beer, fapping to hot coffee, all while having sex?
UrbanMarine 15th August 2008, 14:11 Quote
What's wrong with porn, booze, weed and a few hours of GTA at a sleep over? It could be worse with hookers, booze, coke and a few hours of unprotected hide the hotdog. What ever happen to being responsible for your actions and not using objects as scapegoats.
naokaji 15th August 2008, 14:48 Quote
Quote:
The first asked parents what they found the most offensive and found that 37 percent of the participants were most offended by a man and woman having sex

I know it has been asked before... but how did they become parents if they find that offensive?

anyway, It's weird that they are worried that much about games, I mean games are a virtual thing, while booze, knife's (or whatever the daily mail is currently hunting down) are real things.

maybe the parents should actually have to play games before they are even allowed to comment on them. but then that woudnt work due to this:
Quote:
parents we spoke with in focus groups often bemoaned the fact that they didn't know how to use game controls
Veles 15th August 2008, 14:53 Quote
Bloody focus groups...
Bauul 15th August 2008, 14:58 Quote
I fear GTA as well, I swear I see the DVD creeping up on me at night.
Redbeaver 15th August 2008, 15:43 Quote
lemmings. they are all a bunch of lemmings.
MrMonroe 15th August 2008, 16:07 Quote
In related news, 86% of parents are completely clueless about what might actually harm their child. (I'll give you a hint: IT'S THE BOOZE, MORONS)
Xir 15th August 2008, 16:18 Quote
...in my youth, a Dutch study indicated that xx% of schoolkids in the netherlands go to school armed.
So I thought: "What idiot goes to school armed?"
Then I read that the mentioned arms included pocketknifes (as I had for the boy scouts)...so they meant me.

...Duh!
freedom810 15th August 2008, 16:18 Quote
17 year olds??? Your pretty much a man by then, I know my mum wouldnt mind too much when I'm that age.
Just like my brothers.
dr-strangelove 15th August 2008, 16:23 Quote
What is an 'unsupervised sleepover' anyway? If there's no parents around then we call that a house party and if it's a house party GTA IV is gonna be the least of your worries
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Article
19 percent of Grand Theft Auto being whipped out, 16 per cent of pornography being watched, and 14 percent of beer being consumed

To be honest I think it's worrying that parents are more concerned about their kids playing a video game than getting drunk
Anakha 15th August 2008, 18:58 Quote
I think it's worrying that ignorant parents, who are tech savvy enough to buy an X360/PS3 and set it up for their spoiled brat, aren't savvy enough to spot the "Parental Controls" section in the X360/PS3's menus.

Then it really doesn't matter what their kids con them into buying, the console won't let it play without a PIN code.
reaper1984 15th August 2008, 19:39 Quote
Any chance you could post the link to the poll itself, I can't seem to find it on www.whattheyplay.com.

As usual with any survey a few questions need to be asked. What was the survey sample, how big was it, was it representative of the general population...? etc.

As to the website itself, actually I'm quite impressed, a website that gives a short synopsis of each game and a short bit about the content without descending into screaming "think of the children." The comments are silly, and most likely written by gamers with no idea of what raising a child is like.

Ultimately the decision lies with the parents as to what their children play of course.
Veles 15th August 2008, 22:02 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by Anakha
I think it's worrying that ignorant parents, who are tech savvy enough to buy an X360/PS3 and set it up for their spoiled brat, aren't savvy enough to spot the "Parental Controls" section in the X360/PS3's menus.

You don't have to be tech savvy to buy a PS3/360 and set it up. They probably got nagged by their kids into getting one, then just handed it over.
Skepsis 16th August 2008, 03:31 Quote
17 year olds go around to each others house to watch porn? Guess I missed out.
Tulatin 16th August 2008, 04:05 Quote
25% offended by men kissing? I think we've gone and surveyed the parents of chavs here; not only are they afraid of their kids doing what they're going to do, they can't be assed to explain any of it to them, let alone supervise them.
[PUNK] crompers 16th August 2008, 04:26 Quote
/\ + 1
HourBeforeDawn 16th August 2008, 05:09 Quote
hmm to be honest I certainly would let my kids watch porn before I would let them even think of playing GTA well anything 3 and on but seeing how both are 18+ well I dont have to let them do either although GTA will probably easier to control lol.
The_Beast 16th August 2008, 05:56 Quote
As long as I come home alive, didn't kill anyone, didn't wreck the car, didn't get high/drunk (more of my concern b/c of my job) or get anyone pregnant my parents really don't care what I do


GTA is the last thing on there mind
ParaHelix.org 16th August 2008, 15:33 Quote
My god, when are people going to grow up. Infact I found that playing an hour of GTA
ParaHelix.org 16th August 2008, 15:35 Quote
Sorry for above, damn enter key ^ My god, when are people going to grow up. Infact I found that playing an hour of GTA stopped me from wanting to go and kill somone, heard of stress relief?, and people find sex offensive? no damn comment, I mean, what a crap society we live in where repoduction is considered offensive.
jfab199+ 16th August 2008, 19:50 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The Infamous Mr D
Of course, like most surveys, you can never rely on the sample being an accurate cross-section of the target. The statistics can and often are bent depending on the point the proponent wishes to argue.

While the results can be "bent", the real issue is the incredibly small sample size for the survey. It's really too small to have any significance as is usually the case.
ComputerKing 16th August 2008, 22:17 Quote
WOW AND LOL
Amon 17th August 2008, 05:24 Quote
I can't be the only one to see a grain of legitimacy in their concern.
Tulatin 17th August 2008, 05:26 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by The_Beast
As long as I come home alive, didn't kill anyone, didn't wreck the car, didn't get high/drunk (more of my concern b/c of my job) or get anyone pregnant my parents really don't care what I do


GTA is the last thing on there mind


And here's the point that they don't bother to cover. There's millions of people who have played the Grand Theft Auto games, and we didn't become psychopaths, gangsters, addicts, and alcoholics. It's the same logic that says it you think about drinking you're an alcoholic and if you're curious about drugs you must want to be a dealer.
Zero_UK 17th August 2008, 12:34 Quote
Lol, I was 15 when I got GTA. My parents didn't mind as I'd had the others in the past. I play games and watch movies with adult ratings, it now 16 and I'm fine. I'm not killing anyone, never been in a fight, I'm not an alcoholic or a drug user.

What all these people who hold surveys need to start to learn that 95% of people can leave things in the game. Those who do attack people etc is usually brought on through the way they were brought up before they could build an interest into gaming and the area their in which even at times the person is independent enough to make their own choices. Rather than considering young adults/teens and kids as lab rats/pets they'd figure out they'd get a hell of a lot more co-operation and good attitudes if they treated them like an adult. Not below or what ever. Fair enough parents want to be protective, and these people try and put games down. The only issues I can see is the arsey 12 year olds that manage to get onto forums and act like a smart ass (mainly on consols) inwhich if you saw them in real life they'd crap their pants and run, not exactly the killing/drug abusing type. lol.
Strages 17th August 2008, 12:51 Quote
There are so many absolutely ridiculous results of this survey and the LEAST interesting of which is the one they focus on is that parents don't like GTA IV. Let's examine a few:
Quote:
The first asked parents what they found the most offensive and found that 37 percent of the participants were most offended by a man and woman having sex, 27 percent by two men kissing, 25 percent by a graphically severed head and 9 percent by multiple use of the F-word, F-word.

Who the hell did they survey?!?!? It completely baffles me that people would be offended by THAT WHICH CREATES LIFE!! What religious people would call THE MIRACLE OF LIFE, yet the ACT that creates it is "offensive." Sometimes I wonder how this species has survived so long.

Not to mention that people are more offended by men kissing than decapitation and the F-word. That tells me there is a serious delinquency of judgement going on here - apparently love is offensive.
Quote:
The second poll asked parents what they are more worried about 17-year olds doing at unsupervised sleepovers. 49 percent were most apprehensive about marijuana being smoked, 19 percent of Grand Theft Auto being whipped out, 16 per cent of pornography being watched, and 14 percent of beer being consumed.

"These poll results demonstrate that parents are as apprehensive about their children's media diets as they are about traditional social issues such as alcohol, drugs, violence and sex," said John Davison, leader of What They Play.

First off, these are parents severely lacking in life experience - they are completely ill-informed about EVERYTHING covered by this survey. I would not want any of these people for parents. They would do an absolutely horrible job.

This last part is perhaps the most revealing and disturbing to me:
Quote:
"While researching for Grand Theft Childhood, parents we spoke with in focus groups often bemoaned the fact that they didn't know how to use game controls - and felt unequipped to supervise or limit video gameplay. Of course, parents don't want their children drinking alcohol, but that's a more familiar risk," added Cheryl Olson, co-author of Grand Theft Childhood.

Translation: "Parents are too lazy/don't care enough to read the manual, call tech support, or research the problem. Parents want someone to hold their hand through the process, or they just want it to be done for them - too lazy or stupid to do it or figure it out for themselves. Parents also seem to forget that they are PARENTS and use their ignorance as a scapegoat so they don't actually have to do anything." Once again, these parents are obviously ill-equipped to raise children and would probably do a better just f'ing up their children then raising them to be intelligent and productive.

Makes me sad that so many people are so horribly misguided and too ignorant to realize or care.
cc3d 17th August 2008, 21:17 Quote
they put all kinds of crap on TV that nobody worries about, make a video game with the same content and it's the bane of society!!
Amon 17th August 2008, 23:21 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by cc3d
they put all kinds of crap on TV that nobody worries about, make a video game with the same content and it's the bane of society!!
Actually, the reality is that there is now a significantly weaker turnover of television-viewing youth compared to those picking up game controllers.
Xir 18th August 2008, 14:19 Quote
Quote:
Originally Posted by mclean007
37% of parents surveyed found "a man and a woman having sex" to be the most offensive thing? How, pray tell, did they become parents?!

Well, I don't think they mind DOING it, they just dont want their kids to see it.... :D

I'm a well educated, darwinistic kind of guy, but I do not stem from bonking parents! :D
Must've been an immaculate conception...somehow...genesplicing...spontaneaus cellmerger...earthwormstyle...whatdoIknow
Anyway I never caught them and I'm happy for it!

And if I think back about how pr0n ruined my young soul *shiver* look how I turned out, spending my time on lowlife forums such as this one.

What was th topic again?

Xir
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