Latest Version of "Grand Theft Auto" Goes On Sale

April 28, 2008 9:40:57 PM PDT
The controversial and long-awaited Grand Theft Auto IV goes on sale at midnight.Gaming stores around the Valley are staying open late so dozens can buy the very first copies of the video game. Sales of Grand Theft Auto are expected to total 400-million dollars in the first week alone. With your choice of 15 different weapons, Grand Theft IV lets you take aim at the police and anybody else who gets in your way.

Critics argue the graphic violence that drives the Grand Theft game is harmful to children. But young fans disagree. Marshan Egbuzien said: "It's a reality check, you get to do things that maybe if you did them you'd probably got to jail or something like that." Jerry said: "It teaches everything you need to know how to educate in the streets. How to live out there." The Mature rating on the game means it's not suitable for kids younger than 17. Violence, blood, strong language, sexual content and partial nudity are among the reasons why.

At Cyborg gaming in Fresno the manager says they'll be checking identification, taking no chances. Store Manager Alex Santillen said: "When we see a parent come in our store and they want to buy, we let them know it's not appropriate for underage." A website for parents called whattheyplay.com says Grand Theft Auto Four also comes with a warning about drug and alcohol use because the main character gets drunk.

Fresno City College Sociology Professor Linda Vang says the real danger in these games is that they give players the feeling of power without the consequences. Professor Linda Vang said:"I think it's important for us to talk to children about those choices and what can happen to them. If they actually get caught doing these things outside the games." Even though video games do have very clear ratings, just like the movies, a recent study found 40 percent of parents don't even think about ratings when they buy a game. Another 70 percent said they didn't even understand the rating system.


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