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Popular games: Grand Theft Auto (GTA)

3 minutes reading time
11-17 years
Tool description

Grand Theft Auto (GTA for short) is a computer game series very popular among young people. The first-person shooter is only released from 18 years – so not suitable for children and teenagers. 

In a nutshell:

  • Action game from first person perspective in a fictional world
  • Numerous contents not suitable for children and young people (violence, prostitution, etc.)
  • Multi-player mode with the possibility of exchanging with each other
  • Game for PC, Playstation, Sony PSP and Xbox or as a complementary game app

What is Grand Theft Auto?

GTA V (5) is the latest version of the popular game series. In the fall 2021 three older parts of the GTA series (GTA 3, GTA Vice City, GTA San Andreas) were released for PC and newer consoles (

Xbox X/S
) re-released.
In all parts of the series, the player takes on the role of a criminal and has to complete missions and tasks in a fictional city. The character moves through a vast, open 3D world and has to commit a bank robbery or steal a car, for example. Through the First-person perspective and the realistic graphics immerse players particularly deep into the world   and can feel the game is very real. 

The game is also available as online multiplayer (
GTA Online
), where players move together in the world and communicate with each other. 

What fascinates young people about the computer game?

Among 14 to 17 year olds, the GTA among the most popular games. The game is very exciting, because gamers can do almost anything in the game and always have to complete new, very different tasks. The competitive nature and playing together with other “like-minded people” in the online multiplayer mode makes gamers stick with it. For 
GTA Online
 there is regularly new game content that can be downloaded, such as new missions or vehicles. 

Young people can experience new things in computer games. This also includes the fact that they can test and cross boundaries here – in a fictional world without consequences. With such a game, some teenagers already feel older than they actually are. They prove to themselves and each other that they can already play such a game and endure the content, even if they are actually still too young. 

What is problematic about the offer?

The game sometimes depicts violence very drastically, even without it being necessary for the gameplay. Particularly problematic are Violence and Torture scenes and the questionable portrayals of women. For this reason, the USK comes to a Age rating of 18 years. Minors are therefore not allowed to be sold or given access to the game. Despite or because of this clear regulation, young people try to play the game and may come into contact with content and presentation that is not suitable for their age. The consequence can cause anxiety, abut also a permanently distorted image of women, for example. its. 

What does the provider think?

Grand Theft Auto is one of the most successful games worldwide and is considered a cult game in the gaming scene. Since GTA V ‘s online mode is only available if you have Purchased the game and accordingly  has proven his age, the provider is not obliged to take any further protective measures. As a result, retailers, online game stores and, ultimately, you as a parent are responsible for this. 

What should parents pay attention to?

Although not every child is equally and differently developed, parents should consider the Age ratings take seriously. These are determined by experienced examiners in controlled test procedures. When accessing games online, make use of the technical setting options, e.g., in the 
Game console

Of course, it is impossible to completely avoid the possibility that your child may come into contact with the game through friends or other means. Talk to your child about first-person shooters and computer games if you know they are being used. Content and its impact should also be discussed and it should be made clear that not everything corresponds to social reality. 

Peer pressure can also make your child eager to try the game. Confer with other parents and consider join with them a joint course of action. 

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