Grand Theft Auto

I’ve enjoyed playing Grand Theft Auto since the day I discovered it’s more fun than going to work. With the release of Grand Theft Auto IV there was a little bit of chatter about video games and violence. A random review I read says: “Commentators agree that the game, with its sophisticated graphics, sets a new standard for realistic violence and sex.” It then goes on to cite studies linking violent media with real life violence.

It seems to me that there are a lot of people out there that don’t want other people to have fun. GTA comes with with a “mature” rating and an explicit warning about what the game contains. While GTA is an incredibly popular franchise it certainly doesn’t appeal to everyone. A study that sets out to link video games and violence is going to prove just that. It’s no different than a study aiming to disprove the link achieving its goal.

There is no conclusive connection between video games and violence. Just as there is no clear link between movies and violence. Blaming media for problems in society is simplistic. Video game players and their developers are going to defend their efforts, just as the producers of an ultra-violent movie would stand by their work. No one knows what comes first: the violence or the depictions of violence.

Now leave us alone and let us play video games. They’re fun!