GTA V is without doubt one of the biggest games ever, in more ways than one. Currently the 4th best selling game of all time, over a billion dollars worldwide in 3 days, sitting pretty with a score of 97 on Metacritic and with GTA Online still going strong, the game has reached a massive audience, all of whom are supposed to be adults. We all know the reality of kids playing games that are restricted for an audience of a certain age, but the question I have is: “Can I play GTA V in front of my kids?” The short answer is… YES! But with a few concessions.
Concession 1: Stay away from story missions.
While there are many missions that are harmless enough, unless you have finished the game and have a really good memory (or a guide I guess) you can never know what you’re going to get. It could be hauling freight, shopping, tracking someone down, a shootout, fistfight or pulling out teeth. Missions that involve all three characters are especially fun and deserve your full concentration. There are heaps of side missions that are very tame. Things like flying, skydiving, taking part in a marathon, driving a taxi and the many, many different types of races will keep a player busy for hours and will keep you moving towards that elusive 100% completion.
Concession 2: Put on subtitles and turn dialogue off
If your child can read, well, it should be obvious. Oh, and skip any talk on radio stations. And if you aren’t familiar with a song, change station because swears abound!
Concession 3: Maybe skip playing as Trevor
If you follow the concessions above, playing as Trevor can be fine, but from his “borrowing a car” animation (a nice way to put it for a little one), the crazy intro scenes when you switch to him (my favourite was finding him in nothing but his underpants), to his tendency to fly off the rails in the most seemingly innocent side missions, I’d stick to Michael or Franklin. On a side note, I’d hate to miss any of the hilarious random quips Steven Ogg throws out as Trevor. His performance is amazing.
The easiest way to keep things from getting too hairy – Explore
This is mostly how I play GTA V in front of my kids. I’ve almost completely gotten rid of the “fog of war” on the map and doing so has been some of the most fun I’ve had playing the game. The world is incredible, beautiful in parts, and whether it’s driving along the coast in a fire truck, climbing ladders looking for collectables, trying to ride a quad to the top of Mount Chilliad, flying a crop duster under a bridge, flying a plane straight up and skydiving from it, jet skiing to the many small islands or snorkelling around said islands, just to name a few, Rockstar have outdone themselves in creating a world that can be explored without having to do deplorable acts. Just stay clear of the airport and the military base.
Sure, the best thing to do is not to play a game that is R18+ (or whatever the rating is in your country) in front of a toddler, but by keeping things clean and not equipping a weapon I don’t feel like a bad parent.