Lynch to parents: Beware of Grand Theft Auto

John O'Brien May 2, 2008, 2:44pm

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (Legal Newsline) - One of the most anticipated video games ever made, recently released Grand Theft Auto IV is not for young players, Rhode Island Attorney General Patrick Lynch said this week.

A record-breaking amount of copies of the game were sold in the United Kingdom on its release date. The game is rated "M" and is intended for mature audiences because of blood, intense violence, nudity, strong language and drug and alcohol use.

"As video games become more realistic and in many cases, more violent, parents must become more vigilant before buying them or letting their children use them," Lynch said.

"Also, retailers and salespeople have a responsibility to better inform parents how violent these games actually are. Grand Theft Auto IV is obviously rated 'M' for a reason, and parents need to keep a game like this away from their kids."

Lynch said a study performed last year found that 72 percent of parents don't understand game ratings.

Rockstar Games is expected to earn more than $400 million in sales from the game in Grand Theft Auto's first week on the shelves.

Democratic Presidential candidate Barack Obama recently addressed the game at a campaign stop in Indiana.

"I was just catching the news this morning about Grand Theft Auto, this video game, which is gonna break all records and make goo-gobs of money for whoever designed it," he said.

"Now, this isn't intended for kids, although I promise you there are kids who are playing it.

"But these video games are raising our kids. Across the board, middle-class, upper-class, working-class kids, they're spending a huge amount of their time not on their studies, but on entertainment."

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