Saturday, August 26, 2006

GTA: Corrupting youth without even playing it.......

There are a lot of little things you need to remember when working in a game store - the fact that Mario Party 5 trade-ins should include the microphone, most Resident Evil Gamecube games have two discs (although the case should give that away), Wavebird controllers should have the same settings on controller and receiver, and don't sell "M" rated games to kids. I've had some people argue that it's illegal allow a minor to purchase an "M" title, however this is not true: the rating is there as a guideline, it's not an enforcable law. Working at the store is a crash course in multitasking: you constantly need to run the CD cleaner, ring people up, answer calls, tell them when the PS3 is due out and how they're probably not going to get one unless they work for Sony, etc. So naturally, being spread so thin, I might let a GTA title slip out the door to someone who's not old enough to shave yet.

This was the case with one 15ish year old kid. He bought the game in the afternoon, and about two hours later he's back in the store with his dad. The kid's face is red and he looks like he's gonna explode. The father tells me that his son is not allowed to play this game, and is really cool about it. I was expecting some yelling, and got some, but not from the dad, this (fifteen year old, remember) started throwing the biggest hissy fit you've ever seen.

"Dad, why can't I play GTA! My friend can play it, you're such a f......... ass hole!"

"Now son, you know I don't allow you to play mature games....."

"Wuh wuh wuh mature.........I f........ hate you dad. Whatever." All this is said in the mocking, condescending tone, I wish I had audio I could play for you......

"Pick another game out son, you have store credit now......"

The kid grabs 50 Cent Bulletproof and say "I guess I can't buy this one either.........what do you know anyway.......god, you're such a moron......."

I have to hand it to the dad, he's the most patient person I've seen. If I had a kid who talked to me like that, you'd have GTA reinacted in the store as I drag the punk out and issue a reset on him, Mortal Kombat style. Thankfully nobody is directing this anger at me, just some domestic disputes at the local game store.

By now I swear this kid is almost in tears, still muttering things at his dad both out loud and under his breath. I can't remember what game he finally ended up with, but this time it was certainly parent approved. I can honestly say I've seen four year olds who dragged a copy of Shark Tale to their parents only to be denied throw less of a tantrum. Thanks to Rockstar Games for spoiling another one of America's youth................

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