Don’t hate the game just because of what most players do.

The days of video games being strictly for kids are long gone, with more adult-oriented titles than ever before being produced. Games in general do still have an innate appeal to young children though, so if you’re a parent who’s also a gamer, you may find yourself looking for something you and your kid can enjoy together, and one father in Japan has found the perfect game for his three-year-old daughter: Grand Theft Auto.

That’s a pretty shocking choice, since even though the dad didn’t specify which installment of the series his preschool-aged little girl is playing, pretty much every game in the GTA series includes incentives for criminal activities such as murder and theft. Some also offer the option to partake in vices such as prostitution and illegal drugs, and while not completely photo-realistic, the newer games’ graphics are incredibly detailed and lifelike in their depictions of violence and mayhem.

Japanese Twitter user @sakai0129 recently shared the unexpected parenting strategy, tweeting:

“When my friend told me, ‘My three-year-old daughter has been playing Grand Theft Auto’ I thought he was crazy. But then he explained, ‘She never steals cars, and waits at intersections for the light to turn green, just like you’re supposed to in real life. She takes the helicopters for peaceful sightseeing flights and rides the trains.’

He says it’s a good educational tool, but also that ‘It’s incredibly hard to play the game without doing bad things.’”

So instead of playing the game like most people do, alternating between scripted heists and random impulses to kill or take whatever they please, the daughter is just leading the life of a responsible citizen, traveling around and seeing the sights in GTA’s massive world. With Grand Theft Auto 5 generally giving your character a car parked outside their residence when you start playing, stealing someone else’s ride is actually a completely optional part of the game, and the open-world design means you’re not required to actually start any of the various crime-filled questlines, no matter how many hours you play.

However, as a number of commenters pointed out, the GTA world isn’t exactly populated with the nicest group of NPCs either. Sure, being set in realistic, modern-day cities means you’re not getting randomly attacked by bandits, dragons, or any other typical video game bad guys, but GTA’s hair-trigger AI means that getting into a fender-bender, or sometimes even just bumping into another pedestrian on a crowded sidewalk can cause them to promptly start throwing punches or shooting bullets at you.

▼ Basically GTA’s equivalent of “Excuse me, sir, could I have a word with you?”

However, @sakai0129’s friend is aware of the potential for GTA to shift from peaceful driving simulator to all-out bloodbath in a matter of seconds, so he uses cheat codes to turn down triggered NPC aggression and keep them from coming for revenge against his daughter for unintended slights. The periodic need to enter cheat codes would also imply that Dad is supervising as his daughter plays, and ostensibly can step in should she, for example, be about to wander into the game’s strip club or some other part of the game that’s not appropriate for a child of her age to see.

So as weird as the idea of Grand Theft Auto as a great game for kids may be, as long as there’s some parent supervision, it seems like it really is possible to keep the fun clean, whereas it’s pretty much impossible to play Super Mario or Pokémon without crushing a turtle or electrocuting a small animal.

Source: Twitter/@sakai0129 via Jin
Top image: Pakutaso (edited by SoraNews24)
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