I love video games but I’ve never gotten into the Grand Theft Auto series. The most time I ever spent with Grand Theft Auto was when I would listen to the Vice City soundtrack while cleaning the backroom when I worked at a video game store. Grand Theft Auto 5 came out last week and, in its first three days, had already generated $1 billion.
I’ve never played the Grand Theft Auto series but I know what they’re about and they’re not about much good. The games glamorize and glorify all sorts of illegal and illicit behavior. Some of the most egregious behavior includes killing cops, hiring prostitutes and selling drugs. And while I haven’t played it, I know that Grand Theft Auto 5 falls in line with its predecessors.
In spite of its glamorization of illegal activity, Grand Theft Auto 5 is just a game. Just because someone plays Grand Theft Auto 5 or any other video game doesn’t mean he or she is going to turn to a life of crime and violence. I get frustrated when politicians blame the gun violence in this country on video games. I’m sure it may be a small factor with some unstable individuals but, if there really was a causal relationship, I would have stabbed something with a sword and snipered someone in the face a long time ago.
Even if violent video games like Grand Theft Auto 5 don’t lead us to go on an illegal and violent rampage, we still need to examine how they affect our lives. I’ve avoided the Grand Theft Auto series because while I know it’s entertaining and well made, I don’t really need it in my life. I don’t need to fill my life with violence, prostitution, drugs and anarchy, even if they are of the digital variety.
I know that plenty of people love Jesus and can play Grand Theft Auto 5 without being negatively impacted by it. Knowing my propensity to be influenced by whatever media I ingest, though, I have chosen to not even give it a shot. I may miss out on the newest and coolest game but I’m also not losing a part of myself in it.
What’s your attitude towards violent video games?