Highly anticipated video game Grand Theft Auto V was released last Tuesday; it earned $1 billion in sales in three days, making it perhaps the fastest-selling entertainment product in human history.
Grand Theft Auto V will undoubtedly be hailed by some as a masterwork of game design, conception and execution. It’s also undoubtedly one of the grittiest, most casually violent and morally ambivalent games ever to earn the Entertainment Software Ratings Board’s “M for Mature” advisory. While the ESRB’s attempts to legally restrict the sale of games based on content have failed thus far, many, many retailers have voluntary policies on the books, and will not sell an “M”-rated game like Grand Theft Auto Vto anyone under 17.
Which means fuck-all if some cretinous parent wants to buy it and use it as a babysitter for their 10-year-old.
On Monday, gaming site Kotaku.com published an essay by an unnamed video game retail worker titled “I Sold Too Many Copies of GTA V to Parents Who Didn’t Give a Damn.” In it, the anonymous author writes about being worn down by selling so many copies of GTA V — and other “M”-rated titles — to parents who are obviously buying the game for kids “who could barely see over my counter,” despite the clerk’s attempts to sway them without pissing them off.