Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories Features for PSP

On: PSPPS2
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8Out of 10
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I can't speak for everyone, but I saw plenty of 18-rated movies when I was a kid. Robocop seems to be the one that everyone of my generation had to see, but you can probably put films like Predator, Terminator and Aliens in that bracket too. I don't want to get into a discussion about whether those films scarred me (I had a few nightmares about Predator, but other than that I'm pretty well adjusted), but instead look at just how we, as kids, were able to watch those films. The BBFC did its job, giving them a legally enforceable 18 rating, our parents weren't in the dark about movies (they'd been around for years), yet everyone wanted to be Murphy in the playground.

byroncrop -

Dr Tanya Byron's review is welcomed, but is it the answer?

Of course, this is all just a roundabout way of saying that kids will get hold of and play 18-rated games. The Byron Review, which has been pretty universally praised for being both fair and making a lot of sense, should result in all games receiving BBFC ratings (something only a small percentage receive right now) and suggests that parents need to be educated about video games. But just as a whole generation of kids from the 80s managed to watch high-profile violent movies of the time, modern kids will play violent video games. I'm not sure what the government can do about it.

From personal experience, retailers selling violent games to kids isn't the real problem. Most modern games that feature excessive adult content are clearly marked with a BBFC rating (a few do slip through the net with just the guiding PEGI ratings), and every retailer I worked at during my younger years took those very seriously. Anyone who looked underage was asked for age verification ID and we frequently turned kids away after they'd approached the counter with GTA or Manhunt (the game all the kids wanted, no doubt due to the media circus being conducted in the mainstream press).

Retailers then, for the most part, are doing their jobs. The problem many have is the follow-up to the refusal to sell a legally rated video game to a child. In most cases the disgruntled kid would return a few minutes later, parent in tow. Said kid would skulk around behind the GameCube games while the ever obedient parent bought the game. On one occasion I remember quite clearing detailing certain scenarios of GTA 3 to a parent, only to be met with a blank stare and the words "Well, it's only a game innit".

Can we really prevent kids from getting hold of violent games?

Can we really prevent kids from getting hold of violent games?

Of course, the argument is that with a well planned campaign aimed at educating parents, they'll be less likely to buy their children whatever they want, but I think it's too easy to assume this will work. If kids are freely watching movies aimed at adults, a format which all generations understand, why will parents suddenly deem video games to be more harmful when they carry the same ratings?

You've also got to factor in how social gaming is. Half my gaming life was spent round a mate's house, playing the games he'd been bought that I didn't have, and playing together is becoming increasingly common. While little Jonnie's parents might restrict his gaming to 12-rated games and under, what about his mate big Dave? If he's got the latest GTA, you can be damn sure that Jonnie is going to be playing it with him. If a game is hyped enough kids will get hold of it somehow.

The Byron Review was absolutely needed. Its findings and suggestions are solid and few people can argue against them, but it's not going to suddenly put an end to kids getting hold of violent games. What it hopefully will do is make this industry less of an easy target for certain sections of the news media, with the fully legally enforceable ratings putting it on an equal footing to the movie industry. Which group gets blamed when the next game playing youth commits a crime is unclear, but you can guarantee that playgrounds and internet forums will be full of kids talking about their time playing GTA 4 come April 29. There's not a lot Byron or the government can do about it.

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lol's Avatar
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lol

I like gta 4 but I wish it can be on psp or ps2
Posted 01:03 on 21 February 2009
tgffvv's Avatar
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tgffvv

kids should play violent games
Posted 10:07 on 18 January 2009
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TuGTweak

I believe that the same rating system for films should be applied to games accross the board. Why should games need a different (and more stringent) rating system? Anyone can tune in to a film late at night that's full of more graphic violence than any game you could mention. Any child can walk in to a bookstore a buy the most graphically violent book with no questions asked? I personally think that most 18 rated games do not warrant the 18 certificate, an certainly most 16 rated games are really tame (wow for instance).
To villify games into the same category as a Virus,( Hillary Clinton gave the responsibility of studying the effects of games to the department of enfectious diseases for God's sake) is ridiculous. The responsibility lies with parents to police what games their children are buying and playing.
Posted 16:47 on 13 April 2008
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Olliver

Yeah, I go to mates house and play all those games, it does not give me any ideas like "oh [when playing GTA] " I think i should bomb the twin towers"
Posted 01:36 on 05 April 2008
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H

The responsibility of this lies squarely with the parents and nobody else in my opinion. Regardless of any adult content, parents should be monitoring and curtailing their childrens gaming anyway; they have more important things to be doing, like learning correct English.*


I'm not sure where the middle of my post went lol
Posted 10:45 on 02 April 2008
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H

I'm a high school teacher and personally I think that far too many kids are permitted to play games like Manhunt and GTA at too early an age. A 13 year old boy has no business playing Manhunt, let alone having it bought for him for his birthday.

Regulation of this kind of stuff isn't up to the government (further than classifcation guides like the BBFC) and game developers should be permitted to make and sell what they like. I'm an adult; I am perfectly capable of deciding what i do and do not wish to see on my own.

The responsibility of this lies squarely with the parents and nobody else in my opinion. Regardless of any adult content, parents should be monitoring and curtailing their childrens gaming anyway; like learning correct English.

Isn't that right Eight Ball?
Posted 10:44 on 02 April 2008
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Clance@ Fwank

Quote:
Originally Posted by F****
But should we let little kids watch a video where a man or woman bangs a horse? No!

No one should see that kind of stuff man! Let alone kids....

But I like your point about using violence within a game but within a structured plot where it is not neccessary or where it is portrayed as something that is not right so that it is not all about kill kill kill. Although most games with violence are basically based on Space Invaders, with more realism and involvement, as you say, nowadays.
Posted 14:17 on 01 April 2008
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Fwank

Just to clarify, I'm not for one second suggesting that games turn kids into psychos.

What I am saying, however, is that as games become more sophisiticated, the experience they offer becomes more intense. Furthermore, the vast majority of devs have shown little interest in exploring dark or violent topics in an engaging, adult way. Instead we're left with games where the opportunity to indulge in extreme violence is simply presented to us as the main attraction.

And like I say, that kind of experience is a lot of fun - particularly if it's done well, as in the case of GTA. All the same, we need to accept the fact that violence IS the main appeal, the reason we sign up. This is also true of many films (Hostel springs to mind) - but there are also many, many films that use violence as part of an intelligent argument or story. How many games can you think of that succeed in doing this?

The bottom line is that there's nothing wrong with these games, but we should still try to keep them out of the hands of very young children - even if we do feel it's a losing battle. It's the same argument that applies to p0rn. It's perfectly natural for teens to go looking for it, and good luck to them. But should we let little kids watch a video where a man or woman bangs a horse? No!

In my opinion, a lot of game developers are simply making interactive violence-porn. And that's cool, because I and you and we all like porn, right? All I'm saying is "no porn for kids."

Oh, and if any games studio fancies making a violent game with a proper plot, that would be ace too. Silent Hill is looking kind of lonely on my shelf...
Posted 12:59 on 01 April 2008
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gualshock3

parents buy these games for kids and they aint nothing we can do about it.. we must not take the flack out in developers they are amazinly creative, and they create games with a target market.. kids end up playing cause their parents still think that games are for kids and they are cartoons. wake up ma' dads... games are mainstream enterntainment and the same precaution we have with kids over movies should be exercised...
just dont blame the developers thts all am saying
Posted 10:57 on 01 April 2008
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Clance

First off, let's change the word 'kids' for 'boys'. Boys will be boys. Girls are usually a different kettle of fish, no?

The thing is, the media will print whatever they like. One example that springs to mind was the murder of Stefan Pakeerah, which led to a load of controversy surrounding Rockstar's Manhunt. Now, I don't want to disrespect the victim or his family and never would but it was quite strange how the media reported that the killer had the game and then this (link below) story broke a week or so later. Of course, this was not highly reported at all

http://www.gamesindustry.biz/article...er-allegations

All in all, I think the certifications and stricter enforcements are a good thing. Yes, I've seen kids turned away and come back with adults - I've had the same when I worked at a cinema (even though they wouldn't get through the gate once they had tickets anyway) - but I also think that there are kids out there that will take heed to this and parents that are respected by their children. I mean, surely not all kids crave these games, do they...? In that case, I want girls!
Posted 10:41 on 01 April 2008
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Karlius

I watched numerous 18 rated movies when i was younger including the aformentioned Robocop and also films like Terminator and even Leprachaun. And i've never killed anyone. Or have I? LOL.

Seriously most kids will deal with the graphic scenes with no problems and place them as a fantasy world i truely believe there has to be something mentally wrong with a person who takes onboard what happens in Films or Video Games and reinacts them in real life scenarios. In these cases anything could set them off even the news and the are just ticking time bombs until they react.
Posted 09:49 on 01 April 2008
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joe2704joslyn

i think that although games like GTA are excessively violent for 12 year olds and under, if you are in teenage years your parents should raise you properly enough to deal with this amount of violence without bringing out of your bedroom.
Posted 09:21 on 01 April 2008
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Stevo USA

My mom's a nurse and one of her best friends is a psychologist or psychiatrist (I DONT REALLY KNOW WHICH) once we had a BBQ at another persons house & out of the blue I asked if video games GTA, halo, etc really is bad or what. he said there no solid evidence and that its not bad its fantasy etc. So all this news stuff & jack thompson are all just trying to capitolize on the popularity of games movie & music to make a name for themself and raise television ratings.
Posted 02:32 on 01 April 2008
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glitch

kids have been playing cops and robbers for centurys. Army soiders since the dawn of time.. Games are simply a further simulation and are harmless. Last time I checked kids wearnt sniping real rifes and stealing cars with 'hoes' in the passenger seat.
Posted 00:21 on 01 April 2008
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Mike

Kids will find a way to get a hold of adult magazines as well, but that doesn't mean that we should let them purchase or read them. Parents have to be even more responsible these days because the media companies could care less. Personally, I believe game retailers should adopt the same policy as Toy's R Us by keeping the Mature rated games behind the counter. These games are designed for adults and should be marketed and sold as for adults. You wouldn't sell a copy of Hustler next to a copy of GI Joe would you? I think Dr. Tanya Byron's comments were a perfect example of someone who has chosen to ignore the problem. Personal responsibility, and civic responsibility are the key here. In the mean time, parents will have to do their best.
Posted 00:11 on 01 April 2008

Game Stats

Technical Specs
Release Date: 03/11/2006
Developer: Rockstar Leeds
Publisher: Rockstar
Genre: Action
No. Players: 1-6
Rating: BBFC 18
Site Rank: 833
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