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Grand Theft Auto Video Game

Grand Theft Auto Video Game

From Grand Theft Auto.

September 26, 2007 —

Not long ago, video games were considered a harmless distraction for young people.  Teenagers and children may have wasted their time in front of their televisions, pressing buttons and staring at the tube, but few believed they were doing anything more than killing brain cells and spending too much time inside on summer days,  In recent years, however, adults have increasingly become the most prevalent video gamers with industry magazines, web sites, and even tournaments rapidly spreading.  With this transformation have come more violent video games, a rating system, and the possibility of federal regulation.  Politicians such as Hillary Clinton have spoken out again the violence, but many believe that video games are simply artistic expression (protected by freedmon of speech), entertainment, and even educational.  Nonetheless, one company stands out as a purveyor of violent video game content.

Rockstar, the maker of the notorious game Grand Theft Auto, came under fire in 2006 due a game called Bully.  Even before the game was released, activists attacked the game for glorifying or trivializing school bullying.  The game was given a rating of “T” (suitable over age of 13) by the Entertainment Software Rating Board and received positive reviews.  Subsequent attempts to ban the game in Florida prior to its release failed when the judge ruled the game was not a public nuisance.  The company also received criticism for Manhunt 2, a game so violent that the Entertainment Software Ratings Board gave it an Adults Only rating.  That game was also at the center of a court case that ruled that a law that banned selling games to minors was unconstitutional.   Rockstar seems to be at the center of the video game controversy.  As a result, parents and activists have called for boycotts of either specific games or the company as a whole. 

Rockstar has publicly supported calls to protect children from violent games without restricting adults from purchasing and playing its games.  The company has reacted to pressure and made its games less violent in order to receive acceptable ratings, but many people believe the company does the bare minimum to protect children from the violent images.  The crux of the issue remains the violence of the games and scientists are still trying to examine the impact of video games on participants.  In addition, the reaction to Rockstar means that pre-release fervor is often overwrought.  For instance, Bully actually received some praise after its release since the protagonists is often depicted as defending the weak and fighting with school bullies.  Boycotting Rockstar is a difficult proposition, but for parents concerned about the impact that video games will have on their children, it is advisable to avoid Grand Theft Auto, Bully, Manhunt 2, and other similar games.

Post a comment about Grand Theft Auto Video Game:

I agree with most things on

Submitted by Anonymous on August 6, 2008 - 16:06.

I agree with most things on Ethical Shopper, though I must argue this, for two main reasons. One: The Grand Theft Auto series, or games in general, do no harm to the planet, to persons or the economics or anything that ethicalshopper.com stands against. It can, it negative situations, be a very bad influence on modern, first-world youth, yes, but that's why it is up to the parent or guardian to regulate their child's usage of the game. (Assuming it is indeed a child playing.) Adults, and even most mid-age to older youth are quite capable of distinguishing between games, and real life, and know what is ethically acceptable in reality.
My second reason, is the concept of video games themselves. In the past, yes, video games were not more than toys, but times have changed. The video game industry is now a multi-billion-dollar per year industry, and it caters to a huge audience of every demographic. It is a mainstream form of entertainment, and what people fail to realize is that it is, in essence, just like any other form of media. A video game should not be regarded differently than a movie or TV show. An example of the failure to see this point: I believe it was the movie Hostel, or something similar to it, which portrayed a dead woman's naked breasts, with blood dripping down them. The movie won an academy award. If that same content were in a video game, it would be banned without hesitation. Why? Games actually have a much stricter regulation system than movies, provided in North America by the ESRB. The only reason is that people fail to realize that games now are not toys; they are a medium in which interactive entertainment is distributed to everyone. It is best to think of video games as interactive movies, or even storybooks. It is a serious business in this day and age.

I can understand why this site would imply boycotting the Grand Theft Auto series; on the surface, they portray guns, violence, sex and drugs in video games. I am however both surprised and upset that ethicalshopper.com actually failed to look deeper into this scenario; GTA is not meant for kids. If it is even too terrible for adults, why doesn't this site boycott M. Night Shymalan's "The Happening"? That movie actually shows two kids, not even teenagers, get shot in the chest and head with a shotgun. You wouldn't take your child to see that movie, nor would you let your child play Grand Theft Auto. So why is it any different?

I think the person that

Submitted by Anonymous on October 22, 2008 - 07:31.

I think the person that wrote this article needs some grounding in reality. Me and my friends have been playing violent computer games since we were children and we are as gentle as you can find. Blaming computer games is nothing but a bad parents excuse for not bringing up thier children correctly

A scapegoat is what everyone

Submitted by Anonymous on November 11, 2008 - 20:29.

A scapegoat is what everyone is after. If we can somehow twist what is happening in the real world, and blame it on video games, then that is what will happen. I agree with the first reply 100%.

This story is retarted to say the least. Shallow and lazy. The only reason this game would have ANY impact on the younger generations, is if a PARENT allowed them to play it; But this leads on to a much bigger subject in on itself... parenting... or lack thereof.

If parents don't let the kids play the game, well guess what, they can't be "corrupted" by it. The idea that our children are becoming more violent and lazy due to video games is ridiculous to say the least. It is the parent's responsibility to teach their children how to proceed with their day.

School standards have dropped so far now it's almost to the point in which History is the only subject where new matter is introduced. Is it because of video games? NO! I vote bad parenting.

They always said that the world would be overrun with stupid people, since they are irresponsible, and have more children than the "smart" and "responsible" ones.

Cheers

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