My youngest daughter got a Nintendo DS for xmas, complete with a bunch of cutesy games which seem to involve patting animals of various kinds. It is, of course, pink. Which has kind of summed up the DS, a handheld games console for the family which is all cuddly and inoffensive. All that is about to change as the DS goes X-rated.
Yes, it is true, while mum has her brain training games, and the kids can save a Lego universe or an endangered animal, dad has pretty much been left behind. Until now. With the news that Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS has been granted an adults only 18 certificate by the BBFC for the UK release in March, the DS had finally grown up.
In awarding the 18 certificate, which used to be known as an X-rating here in the UK, the BBFC warns consumers that the game "contains very strong language and drug references" and was awarded the certification with no cuts being made at all.
GTA, of course, has a habit of making the news. Be it for breaking entertainment sales records or involving virtual paedophile stings in the game there is always something to keep we the media happy. Or should that be unhappy? After all, most of the headlines will be of the 'chugging beer and watching porno less harmful for kids than playing GTA' ilk.
Now that we have some evidence that games are not all bad, that the Wii is helping new amputees to walk again and games such as Tetris can delete painful memories in Post Traumatic Stress Disorder patients, perhaps the Nintendo DS can be added to the good news list.
Has Rockstar Games created the ultimate pocket stress buster for grown ups? A little virtual drug dealing, gangland violence, car theft and sleeping with prostitutes during your lunch hour can't do any harm, can it...