US Talk Show Host Has No Regrets About Buying GTA V For Her Son

Today, US talk-show host Wendy Williams talked about our open letter from a retail store veteran who sold too many copies of GTA V to uncaring parents. And she admitted that she indeed bought a copy for her 13-year-old son.

Previously, Williams justified buying her 13-year-old son Grand Theft Auto V by saying that all her son's friends have it, that some of them were as young as eight, and that her son is really mature for his age (All reasons that sound like they could be plucked from the original letter in question).

"There comes a time when kids look like freaks and weirdos when they don't have if they don't have or do or participate in certain things" said Williams, as one of her guests groaned audibly.

As a single, childless man who grew up pleading my parents to buy me violent games, I'm in no place to tell anybody how to raise their kids. I will say this though — you should be completely aware of what any game you buy for your kid contains. If you are fine with your kid playing scenes like this (spoiler warning), and you've had a thorough discussion about the content of the game with your husband and son, that is your decision to make.

Wendy Williams Has No Regrets About Buying GTA V for Her Son

One of Wendy's guests, Tami Roman, called her out — saying that she was undermining other parents, and that while it's great to be the cool kid, sometimes "You're not always gonna have what you want, and that is how I parent. It is what it is."

Also, Wendy, no mention of our site? Throw us a bone! It's pronounced "Ko-Tah-Koo", if you're having any trouble.


    US talk shows, there is no intelligence in any of the hosts, don't take them seriously.

    ahh yes, the 'everyone else is doing it so i have to as well or my kids not cool' excuse.
    sound like smartphones to anyone?
    well played.

    tell your freaking kids 'no' once in a while, if not more. it will prepare them greatly for the real world where we DON'T get want we want just by whinging and being obnoxious.

    Last edited 28/09/13 2:07 am

    Parenting 101: Hello class today we are going to show you how to teach your kids that caving into peer pressure and "everyone else was doing it" is perfect for every situation. Goddamn idiot if you are going to buy your kid a violent game at least be responsible enough to remember the bloody title.

    Or she realises that 11 probably old enough to handle that video games aren't real?

    Gamers used to be the people with commonsense, now they just jump on the bandwagon like eveyone else! There isn't any proof video games have a derimental effect on younger minds. it's all pure speculation and conjecture, as with adults too. No one has the right or knowledge tto dictate how parents raise their kids. Take a look at the law too, the only material illegal to exibit to minors in ones own home are X rated films and RC material. Fact. Read the actual legislation. If they want to buy GTA and then complain about it, that's their problem. You are dhoving your views down their throats in exactly the same way ACA and politicians do it to us gamers.

    Mutual respect is key. Be objective and stop jumping on the bandwagon.

      Save your breath, these people want to parent everyones kids because they think they'd do a better job.

      If you don't think children are impressionable by the things they watch/play then you obviously haven't spent much/any prolonged time with a child. Kids watch Star Wars and run around fighting each other with sticks, they watch/play any action movie/game and go around pretending to shoot everything. They want to try smoking because it looks cool :P

      The reason people want games to not be RC (and passed as R18+) is because 'Adults' seperate fantasy from reality and aren't influenced by violence, etc in video games as proven in many studies. Children are influenced by these things though, because they are fucking kids, this is the same reason they aren't tried as adults in the legal system.

      Is GTA likely to turn a child into a raping, drug-dealing sociapath? probably not....unless that kid had issues to begin with. That doesn't mean it won't effect them - Did you watch that torture scene??

      As to the legislation, in USA, it's all recommendations so I can't really argue about that. In Australia though MA15+ and R18+ are restricted sales to those over 15/18 years old (because they are designed for people over that age. How shocking that some of us get annoyed when ignorant parents ignore that.

      Also how is this a bandwagon? it's been an issue since I was a child, just now it's games not movies.

    Most of us consumed A LOT of so called objectionable material as kids. I was watching horror flicks and even an old porno I found long before many of you were even born. Guess what? I wasn't a problem child, and to this day have never gone on a shooting rampage or treated a woman like dirt.
    Why is it that so many here are quick to moralise when it comes to what other parents choose to do? Games don't turn kids into monsters, they just make monsters worse. Personally I think some young adults are just worried that little Billy playing violent games somehow makes their own choice in entertainment seem childish.

      Well, if this is the approach we're gonna take, why not throw in some hard liquor and porn for the 8-13 year-olds while we're at it? I mean, they're mature enough to handle it, right?

      Not my place to tell you how to raise your kids, people... but FFS, this is proper adult stuff. I'm 38 and even I was more than a little disturbed by the torture scene.

      I'd also be willing to bet that this woman would change her tune if she actually took the time to play the game herself and saw what goes on, but who has time for things like taking an interest in their child's upbringing? Oh no, we're all too busy and important to parent these days...

        Alcohol is an intoxicant, your comparison is highly flawed considering how many adults can't handle it. What I'm saying is we can't have it both ways. If video games are truly harmless to well adjusted people, then nobody should have a problem with a well adjusted child experiencing it if the parent consents.

          The point I'm trying to make is that alcohol is kept away from children for a reason... And so should games like GTA V. I don't care how "well-adjusted" an 8 year-old is, you can't look me in the eye and tell me that exposing a kid to things like tearing out a man's teeth with a pair of pliers while he begs and cries for mercy is a good idea.

          Surely you can see the distinction between what's suitable for kids and what isn't! If you think that sort of thing is okay for kids, or that a parent should be allowed to say "yeah, it's fine, I give my permission" , then I've lost the argument before we even start. I'm all for freedom of choice, but this is proper, disturbing, grown-up sh*t, man.

    So the pendulum has swung from "you wouldn't jump off a cliff if your friends did it" to "well, you better to that cliff jumping, your friends are waiting"? Okay then.

    My dad wouldn't let me play violent video games even though my friends had them. So I just hung out with them and played those games, and hey that was kinda fun and cool, you get to hang out with friends and stuff!

    Meh. In all honesty, there's a big difference between an 11 and a 13 year old. Especially seeing as GTA used to always be MA15+ here in Australia, only two years off. I was always an exceptionally well behaved child and I can definitely imagine my mum using this logic to buy me the game and she would have been right. In fact, she did.


      That means you were the exception to the rule, the odd one out if you will. It wouldn't make sense to base everything on the basis of a minority, it would defeat the purpose altogether.

    There's a big difference to kids serrupticiously accessing restricted stuff - be it violent movies or games, alcohol or whatever - and parents condoning and facilitating the behavior.

    The argument "it did me no harm" or "they'll just do it anyway" doesn't wash. It's not just about the content itself, but the life lessons that are necessary part of maturing; including that you don't always get what you want, and just because someone else has something or does something doesn't mean you have an entitlement to the same.

    As I said In another article regarding parents buying their children GTA5, I believe that the suitability of the game for the child should not be based on age but rather their maturity. If the parent knows their child is mature enough to handle the content then they should go ahead and if not, they should sit down with their child and explain why not. Im 15 years old and growing up I didnt have many restrictions on what I could and couldnt watch and play because my mother understood that I was mature enough to understand the content and know when it crosses the line. I strongly feel that it should be judged by maturity over age.

      I believe that the suitability of the game for the child should not be based on age but rather their maturity

      That sounds ideal, but there's no real way to measure that effectively, Generally people become more mature and intelligent with age, so using age as a way to determine whether someone is mature enough to understand the context of whatever is in the game is the most straight forward, all encompassing way.

      Obviously the parents should be taking responsibility for their kids and pay attention to what they are getting them, but that isn't always the case.

    With all due respect sir - bull, f*cking, shit. We fought long and hard to get an R rating for video games here in Australia us adults can enjoy mature content in games, the same way we can in every other medium. It was a long fight, and is not over as the Christian lobby and other interest groups continue to assert that video games are a child's medium and so ALL of it should be vetted with that in mind. D!ickhead parents like the chick in this video are handing the argument to these lobby groups on a silver platter - that despite the rating, kids are still being exposed to this material.

    Oh and by the way you are wrong about the legislation as it depends on the state. For example for Victoria:

    Private exhibition of certain films in presence of a minor
    s. 10
    S. 12(1) amended by No. 6/2005 s. 5(h)(i)(ii).
    (1) A person must not exhibit in a place, other than a public place, in the presence of a minor a film classified RC, X 18+ or R 18+ or an unclassified film which would, if classified, be classified RC, X 18+ or R 18+.
    S. 12(1)(a) amended by No. 6/2005 s. 5(h)(ii).
    (a) if the film is classified, or is subsequently classified, R 18+—20 penalty units;

    This is stupid, kids shouldn't just get what they want, and parents shouldn't just get it for them to stop them whinging. 13 is too young IMO to be playing games as graphically violent and also as darkly satirical as GTA5. it's not made for them, it's made for a more mature mind, one that can understand the context of the violence and dark humour and how to interpret it.

    18 is decent cut off for games and movies such as this, but I would personally say 16-17 would be 'ok' for a kid that seems pretty well adjusted and has a decent grip on things. Having said that I know a few people in their 30s who aren't well adjusted and definitely don't have a decent grip on anything, so it's always debatable to some extent.

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