Gran Turismo 5
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that Gran Turismo 5 is rated "Everyone" by the ESRB because it is free of graphic violence, profanity, sexuality, and illicit substances. However, moms and dads should be aware that the game is filled with advertising and product placement from prominent brands in the automotive industry. Parents should also know that the game fails to depict high speed car crashes with authenticity -- cars show only minor signs of exterior damage and drivers survive unscathed -- meaning younger players could get the wrong impression about the dangers associated with high speed collisions. Note, too, that this game supports open voice chat between online players. Common Sense Media does not recommend open online play for pre-teens. Parents might want to turn off the option for voice chat by using the parental controls that are part of their console system.
What's it about?
PlayStation 3 gamers had to sit idly by last year while Xbox 360 gamers gushed about Microsoft's Forza Motorsport 3. Now, PS3-owning driving fans can climb behind the wheel of Sony's near photo-realistic GRAN TURISMO 5, and for the first time in the coveted series, race with or against up to 15 friends in a handful of online modes. While only a few are available at the start of the game, roughly 1000 unlock-able real-world cars are available, all of which can be modified for better performance or aesthetics. Toy with new camera options, including a view from behind the wheel, as your vehicle hugs the asphalt and reacts in real-time to turns, bumps, and slight imperfections in the road. Those who prefer a more arcade experience can turn on driving assists, if preferred.
Is it any good?
Gran Turismo 5 was well worth the wait for a number of reasons: tight handling, accurate physics, a huge number of cars, outstanding graphics (including 3D support) and ambitious online support. The game houses more than 20 track locations in total, but variations of those tracks (such as mirror mode) bring the number closer to 70. Fans of this best-selling franchise can also expect mechanical and minor external car damage, night racing, and for the first time in the series, NASCAR, Super GT, and World Rally Championship licenses are in the game. Truly, all the bases are covered here. Kudos to Polyphony Digital for delivering a fun, deep, and stunning racing experience that's well worth the wait.
Online interaction: This game supports open voice chat with other players, opening the door for players to be exposed to coarse language and inappropriate conversations. It also makes possible the sharing of personal information.
Families can talk about...
Families can talk about how a child's perception of driving might be altered as he or she plays racing video games. If a game downplays the dangers involved in high speed racing, will kids think it is safer than it actually is?
Would you prefer racing simulators to be more accurate in their depiction of crashes, even if it meant adding graphic violence?
Families can also discuss the dangers associated with online play. How can you tell if you encounter an online predator? What steps should you take?
Can playing car race games lead to risky behavior when driving in real life? See our discussion here.