Rockstar Games Social Club

 
(i)

 

A place to boast about your GTA rank.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Grand Theft Auto, as the name implies, involves crime glorification. There's a contest for anyone who can complete 100 percent of GTA IV within seven days of its release to earn the key to Liberty City and enter the Hall of Fame.

Violence

Some of the avatars to choose from include men toting guns of all sizes and Mafioso-looking characters. Video footage on the Police Blotter shows tamer clips of the game and guns and shootings, but no blood. Also, players must play Grand Theft Auto IV -- which is notoriously violent -- to post their scores on the social club.

Sex

A porn star is featured as one of the characters in the intro. Most of the avatars are male, with only four females to choose from and half of those are presented in sexually suggestive poses.

Language

There are mentions in the site rules about inappropriate language, but as of launch, there's no place for users to write comments or post anything that could be vulgar.

Consumerism

The site promotes all things GTA. It also has tie-ins to Amazon's new MP3 music sales, and other GTA products. At about $60, GTA IV is a required purchase to really contribute to the site.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

A couple of avatars smoke cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens need to be 17 to join, and even though it's dubbed as a "social site," there's no chat function or message board. Users do need to link their XBox Live Gamertag or PlayStation Network sign-in ID to this site to get full access to everything. Despite its connection with Grand Theft Auto IV the content is nowhere near as violent or sexual as the game; in fact, you don't even need the game to use the site (although you won't be able to post your stats if you haven't played). Some of the avatars you pick to represent you are posing in sexual positions (the women) and some are carrying guns or smoking. There's a high level of competition to this site -- players try to finish the 40+-hour game the fastest so they can be recognized (by user name only) in the 100% Club. A multiplayer game is coming soon and the site says it will be adding new features in the future, including an expansion to cover all Rockstar games.

What's it about?

If your teen (particularly your male teen) is into the gaming world, he's likely already heard about the long-awaited release of Grand Theft Auto IV and the companion ROCKSTAR GAMES SOCIAL CLUB. Released on April 29, the site has a Police Blotter that tracks the daily crime rate in numbers; the 100% Club for those who've already finished the game, and a place to house all your MP3s from the game (if you hear a song that you like while playing GTA IV you can tag and then purchase them in Amazon's MP3 store.) Some games, contests, competitions, and special events are "coming soon," as well as a multiplayer game.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

Like the video game, the site is really nice to look at. It does a great job of organizing the limited content, but the problem is just that -- it's limited. Some features aren't working yet and the main draw to this site would be to boast to the GTA community that you're further along in the game than other players are. And, do we really want a site that promotes the game? But, it'll be interesting to see if the upcoming online multiplayer game is as sensational as the console game is.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about why this site isn't as gory, crime-ridden, or sexual as the game itself. If you're playing the game already and have seen its mature content, why wouldn't the company feature it on the site? Families can also talk about the competitive nature of the site. Is it not enough to just play the game, or do you have to be the first to finish it, too? Is it important to have your name as the top player? You also might ask your teens if they think video game violence is different from TV or movie violence.

Website details

Genre:Gaming
Pricing structure:Free

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What parents and kids say

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Parent Written byhelper + February 9, 2012
 

bad

more crap
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much consumerism
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking
Safety and privacy concerns
Teen, 16 years old Written by89851675699 May 27, 2011
 
Adult Written bybuketserefli February 2, 2015
 
What other families should know
Too much violence
Too much sex
Too much swearing
Too much drinking/drugs/smoking

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