Gamers are snatching up the latest installment of the video game Grand Theft Auto at a furious' pace. Racking up one billion dollars in sales in just the first week. But critics of the game are concerned it may be getting into the wrong hands.
It's a video game so violent it shocks even some of the most seasoned of gamers.
You have to be 17 to buy Grand Theft Auto, but past studies show some stores may not be complying.
It's a world where you can do almost anything, parachute from a mountaintop, ride dirt bikes atop trains and fly planes through a valley.
But there's also a dark side, hijacking military aircraft, setting off explosions and shooting at police officers.
Dan Isett with the Parents Television Council says,” It's essentially a game that is every testosterone fueled fantasy imaginable.”
Grand theft auto is rated 'M' for mature. Meaning you have to be 17 to buy it.
But Isett, director of public policy for the PTC takes issue with that rating.
And he's concerned about kids younger than 17 being allowed to buy it.
A secret shopper operation conducted by the Federal Trade Commission 6 months ago found stores sold M rated video games to 16 and under 13% of the time.
That is an improvement over a similar survey done by the PTC in 2008 that found stores selling M videos 36% of the time. Those findings are celebrated by the Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB), "We applaud video game retailers for once again demonstrating our industry's ongoing commitment to parents."
Isett, however, says it's still too much, “Let’s think about that for a minute... If we'd had 20% failure rate we wouldn't celebrate that at all. It’s abject failure.”
We sent a 16 year old into Best Buy in northwest D.C. and into the Game Stop in Westfield Shopping Mall in Bethesda. Both times he was turned away, unable to buy Grand Theft Auto V.
Isett says,”Good for the store today for enforcing the rule. Wish that were always airtight... But it's not.”
In its first week, Grand Theft Auto has sold more copies than the launch week sales of all other GTA versions combined.
The PTC is urging retailers to make sure they comply with the ratings system and parents to be fully aware of the video games their kids are playing.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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