According to this New Zealand Herald report, the Office of Film and Literature Classification (OFLC) has been warning retailers this week to stay off supplying GTA IV to parents “demanding” the game for their children.
“If it’s perfectly obvious the parent is buying the game for the child, don’t sell it to the parent,” said New Zealand’s chief censor Bill Hastings. “If a game is R18 it’s R18 for a reason and it’s illegal to make it available to anyone under that age.”
He added: “When the violence does happen in Grand Theft Auto, it is of a quality that makes it R18 – the degree of it, the intensity of it, the realism of it,” says Hastings. “When you shoot a body it reacts in a very human way. It’s not just stickmen falling over. It looks real.”
Parents that buy a game rated as 18 for a minor can face up to three months in jail or a $10,000 fine.