#687 – Grand Theft Auto 5



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?


4 comments on “#687 – Grand Theft Auto 5”

  1. GTA has made a name for itself as being “over the top,” though i’d argue that Saints Row has won in that arena. I respect your honesty in not participating. i’ve heard some folks complaining about the violence and what not, but yet they’ll watch violent shows or movies, heck even the evening news is full of provocation. Another point i’d like to say is that these violent games are age restricted. I’d assume adults can tell the difference between reality and fiction, and are mature enough to process such information so as not to effect them negatively.

    1. Thanks for the comment!

      I love plenty of violent media and, like you said, can tell the difference between enjoying a Quentin Tarantino movie and wanting to take a baseball bat to someone’s head. I’m not opposed to violent movies or video games but I think we need to be honest about how they’re affecting us. We need to go through the process of examining the media we ingest, how they affect us and determine whether or not we really want or need them in our lives.

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