Art and Entertainment


Grand Theft Auto IV Released amid Controversy

April 29, 2008 02:17 PM
by findingDulcinea Staff
April 29 marks the release of Grand Theft Auto IV, the latest version of a video game that many suggest encourages violent behavior.

30-Second Summary

Grand Theft Auto IV, one of the most highly anticipated video games ever released, has met with emphatic resistance from parents and lawmakers. Enthusiasts say the game will provide “hours upon hours of the most immersive and interactive entertainment ever seen," and there are reports of people scheduling vacations from work simply to play the game.

But the Parents Television Council is urging retailers not to stock the game, as its violent and pornographic content could have a negative effect on children. Although the game is intended for adults and is rated M for Mature by the ESRB, there is concern that children will still be able to get their hands on the game that serves to “teach children how to kill.”

Attorney Jack Thompson argues that playing previous versions of Grand Theft Auto inspired his client Devin Moore to murder three police officers. “The video game industry gave him a cranial menu that popped up in the blink of an eye, in that police station," says Thompson. “And that menu offered him the split-second decision to kill the officers, shoot them in the head, flee in a police car, just as the game itself trained them to do."

Thus far, the only country to censor the new version of the game is Australia. Parents can review the game content on What They Say and make their own determination whether the game is appropriate for their children.

Headline Links: ‘What is Grand Theft Auto, and why does it cause such controversy?’

Reactions: Game must be kept away from minors

Background Links: Grand Theft Auto blamed in cop killer case

Related Topic: Game censored in Australia

Reference Links: Game content and rating system


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