Video game retailer writes a letter to parents about his experience selling GTA V….to them.

Posted: September 23, 2013 in Rockstar Games
Tags: , , ,

I’m not going to post the whole letter, but as someone who worked video game retail for two years, I can relate to every word of this letter.  It’s worth reading and absolutely true.  The vast majority of parents are clueless about video games.

Dear Parents… We need to talk. There is something that has been eating at me for awhile, and I have had enough.

I have been working in video game retail for almost 10 years now. I love my job. Some of my best memories begin with loving, bewildered parents walking into our store, naïve to the gaming world but eager to learn. I would find myself talking to them about platform choices, game franchises, and getting started online. I’d then enlighten them with my own gaming experiences with my kids. This approach got them interested in what their children were doing and encouraged them to play the games alongside their kids.

There is no better feeling than a happy parent returning to my store, pleased with my previous advice, and wanting more product.

Every week, new M-rated games are released. Some are more of an M than others. I have no problem letting my kids watch me play M-rated games like Halo, Skyrim, and Fable. Then there are the games like Duke Nukem, Saints Row, and Grand Theft Auto, which are the very reason I am writing this letter today.

Last week my store sold over a thousand copies of GTA V, at least a hundred of which were sold to parents for children who could barely even see over my counter.


  1. It’s not as black and white as the article suggests. I too worked for years selling games and I used to have a similar attitude. I still do in some respects but now I also know what it’s like to be a parent. I’m lucky, I’ve been playing games for 30 years so I feel able to judge content well enough. I bought GTA V for me and I’m not going to let my son play it but if I thought he was ready to play, I would let him – supervised of course. Appreciated I’m the exception to the rule but not all parents are ignorant push overs.


    • Matthew Ira says:

      Thanks for posting and reading thedad!

      No, not all parents are pushovers, but I think what the letter is saying, which I agree with, is that far, far too many are. And then inevitably a horrific tragedy or crime takes place that authorities tie to a game like GTA and the media runs wild with it while saying very little, if anything, about what the parents were doing, or should have been doing. Parents need to know that you don’t have to be a gamer yourself to know what your kids are playing. As I’m sure you know, the ESRB rating system for games is actually quite good if parents would just take a little time to understand it. It’s not that much different than the rating system for movies.

      The only group of people more clueless about games than most parents is the mainstream media. They very rarely talk about games unless they can use it to sensationalize a tragedy or a crime that has taken place.


      • There’s no doubt far too many parents are clueless. When I (we?) were young it was films, now it’s games and in the coming years I think it’ll be social media and the opportunity for bullying/sexting/exposure to all manner of nasties it brings.

        Your point about mainstream media is absolutely spot on. Easier to foam at the mouth and rage than actually educate yourself and your readers/viewers about what games are truly about as a medium.


  2. Matthew Ira says:

    Personally, I think video games are the new rock-n-roll. Or, I’ve heard from older comic book fans that comic books used to get the same kind of negative attention when they were new as well. I’m not a comic guy myself, but I strongly believe in the 1st Amendment and it infuriates me to see talking head idiots even on Fox News (which has a strong conservative, pro-Constitution slant) talking about monitoring gamers that play violent games. It’s pure hypocrisy.


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