I claimed a while ago that I think that a large number of GTA V sales are going to kids more than anyone else. Why? It's because kids believe in a magical, secret sauce that their parents keep from them, which instils more elation than what they have.
From a certain perspective it's like chocolate, I suppose. You can give a kid a bar of chocolate, but they're always going to be overly fascinated by the liqueurs their parents "hide" from them. Obviously, the liqueurs must taste better, because that's the only reason a parent would hide something from a kid. This kind of notion has been instilled in kids as well by entertainment, honestly. Even in recent cartoons like Recess, which depicted the usually grotty teacher's lounge as a palatial land of endless luxury.
Even decades ago this was true, back then the 'secret sauce' was Mortal Kombat and its ilk. Why did kids want Mortal Kombat? Because the essence of taboo was intentionally created around it, even in the advertising. It's not a game for kids, therefore kids want it.
The more you make something not for kids, the more they desire it.
It doesn't help that television builds up controversy around this, either, as kids see about this game on television which should be kept away from them and it piques their interest. It's a secret taboo which is to be kept from them -- obviously, then, it's more fun than the games they're allowed to play. So they'll do whatever they can within their power (often ceaselessly nagging one of their parents) to buy it for them.
By generating controversy, Rockstar has made a game that kids want. it's ultimately like Mortal Kombat in how much of a kiddie game it is. It's also been designed in an incredibly modern and contemporary way, to ensure kids can understand it. There are games that kids wouldn't get despite their appearance, due to the humour going over their head. I'd say that Psychonauts is more of a game for an older audience simply because the kids wouldn't appreciate the humour.
Most kids today probably don't even know who Godzilla is, and that's integral to enjoying one of the levels. Nor would they understand the conspiracy theorism that the Milkman level so wonderfully parodies. So that's the kind of game that really is for an older audience. But GTA is a kiddie game, it's a kiddie game in that there's nothing there which will go over their heads. It's violent, yeah, but it's easy to understand violence rather than anything nuanced or clever. It's just gratuity.
And there are millions upon millions of kids out there who want this faux secret sauce. GTA is designed to be very, very accessible for as young an age bracket as possible, yet it's marketed and talked about in a way that makes it desirable to children. Rockstar wants the controversy, because it makes kids interested. That's the nature of youth, even up to and including the teenage years.
Parents should know better, but often it's easier for them to just give in and buy the game, as is obviously the case with the article.
Personally, I prefer games which are a little more clever than GTA, games which have their own personality and soul. And games which can make me laugh or feel by actually being clever. GTA doesn't really set out to do any of that, as it really is very much a kiddie game. This is the topic that no one wants to discuss, it's the elephant in the corner.
And whilst people may want to shoot me down, the truth is very evident from the linked article.