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Nielsen: 17 Percent Of GTA Buyers Minors
Nielsen: 17 Percent Of GTA Buyers Minors
August 13, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander

August 13, 2008 | By Leigh Alexander
More: Console/PC

17 percent of Grand Theft Auto IV purchasers were minors age seven to sixteen, according to a new Nielsen survey focusing on the game.

Of these, 61 percent of the young gamers bought the game on their own; 39 percent had "someone else" buy the game for them, said Nielsen as reported in game news site GameDaily.

"Interestingly enough, parents/guardians were pegged as the biggest facilitators for getting the controversial game into the hands of these young respondents, garnering 80 percent of the response," said Nielsen. "Friends, siblings and other relatives rounded out the other 20 percent of the response."

In May, the Federal Trade Commission conducted an "undercover shopper" survey that found kids sent into 253 different stores to buy Mature-rated games were turned down 80 percent of the time.

Also among the findings in Nielsen's GTA IV report was that 25 percent of those who bought the game on Xbox 360 did so with that platform's exclusive downloadable content as a primary factor, while 64 percent said they just "prefer" the Xbox 360, according to GameDaily.

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Jason Pineo
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Is there a conclusion that I'm supposed to draw, here? At first I figured I was supposed to be bothered by the 17% of 'purchasers' being minors. But if only 61% of them are buying it themselves, then the 17% figure may represent end consumers of the game but not *purchasers*. I firmly support parents/guardians being the major facilitator for minors who play M-rated games, because that is the beauty of having a parent/guardian: they aren't minors, and are able to make adult decisions for those they parent/guard.

Luke Rymarz
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Despite the title and the tone, this is good news.

1. Parents are involved in what their children purchase.

2. Kids unaccompanied by parents are being turned down when trying to buy M-rated games.

Benjamin Quintero
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Though I do not agree with all of the effort being made to turn M-rated games into some kind of narcotic I must say that Rockstar is not making it easy for us to argue against it. I think that they need to put more effort into the consequences of their GTA lifestyle instead of the fictional storyline; that would be a truly immersive experience. Making the screen fuzzy when you drink too much is not exactly driving the point.

Justin Keverne
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Actually I worry that this signals the exact reverse, I'm concerned how many of those parents or older siblings involved in the purchases truly understand the content of the game they are buying.

I would be deeply concerned about any parent who willingly and knowingly purcahsed GTA IV for their seven - sixteen year old child.

Tom Newman
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This is a good thing... right?

Basically this article states that nearly 90% of all copies of GTAIV are in the hands of adults, or minors with parental concent. This sounds good to me, especially when the voice of censhorship often comes from the false perspective that only kids play video games. This report argues the opposite.

Brighton gardiner
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Maybe the ESRB should elect graphics instead of Letters to display the content of a game.

Put a Headshot icon on the box.

Not that I think it matters. Its up to the parents anyway.

I think that giving an Age number is much clearer than a age group.

But even still 17% is pretty good all things considered. But if you consider that times the volume of sales, there are a LOT of minors playing GTAIV.

Maurice Kroes
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Well you can't stop it 100%. Same as drinking, smoking with under aged kids. But you can strongly discourage it anyway, at least as shop holder in my point of view (and of course parents). When I picked up my pre-release copy there was a great group of people that really shouldn't have got it.