Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Grand Theft Psycho

A family that had several of its members killed by yet another member has sued the responsible party – a video game. Actually the suit is against a division of Sony that makes “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.”

To clarify, a 14-year-old boy was the triggerman in a triple murder at a ranch in New Mexico. But the suit claims the game showed him how to become “an extraordinarily effective killer without teaching him any of the constraints or responsibilities needed to inhibit such a killing capacity."

I’m quite sure the game didn’t teach him those things. That’s his family's job. A video game should not be relied upon to teach values. If they don’t already have them, video games should have a label reading “FOR ENTERTAINMENT PURPOSES ONLY.”

It’s long been claimed violent video games and movies desensitize impressionable young minds. If they desensitize anyone to anything, it’s make-believe violence, not the real stuff. No mere game should be able to undo an individual’s value system.

This boy didn’t have one, you say? Then, there’s your problem.

Or maybe he had one, but it wasn't strong. Well, whatever his moral structure growing up – religious or otherwise – I doubt it included the suggestion that actually gunning innocent people down is acceptable.

Granted, we’ve come a long way from Pong. Some games feature graphic violence, hookers, drug dealers and other questionable stuff. But playing one does not free anyone from the moral or legal constraints to which all human beings should be expected to adhere.

If a kid truly has been inspired to violent acts by a game – and I am only playing devil’s advocate in saying that – that kid is apparently lacking a grasp on reality and/or proper rearing.

Kids who have no grasp on reality or no moral system shouldn’t be let out of the house, but, instead, should be put into a "special" one.

And families of those kids should take some responsibility instead of trying to turn a senseless tragedy into a payday. There should be no rewards for bad childrearing.

12 comments:

Sanford B. Hines said...

The US Government is guilty of training people to kill. Why has this never been brought up by anyone.

The Flabbergasted Heathen said...

Been playing violent video games for years...haven't shot a soul...

...yet?

Pete Bogs said...

sanford - they don't make video games, but they do benefit from them... instead, they make deceptive military recruiting ads...

flab - gun-wielding maniacs seem to stick to the French-speaking provinces...

CROAK said...

The wide array of subject matter you write about is breath-taking.
Maybe certain video games have to have a restriction of 'not for under 16 years old' or something ( or do they already).
I do believe the military do use 'video' games in their training.

But I agree values taught young cannot be so easily wiped away.

Pete Bogs said...

croak - video games here having ratings like movies do... but ratings don't stop everyone... I used to sneak into lots of movies! I think violent, sex- and drug-oriented video games should be reserved for adults... but I don't think adults can hold games responsible for their kids' ills...

Sanford B. Hines said...

What about when Ice-T came out with the song "Cop Killer"? Does that mean that people should go out and kill cops?

Pete Bogs said...

sanford - a lot of the same arguments about the influence of entertainment were made at the time of that controversy... they were bullshit then, too...

K9 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
K9 said...

/bark bark bark

i love GTA. but vice city is too clean...it looks like miami, and there are lots of similarities to scarface in how the characters dress as well as references to the movie. its got voices by burt reynolds and dennis hopper...and avery the real estate tycoon is ted turner! i like GTA san andreas better.

this game is innocent enough! you work your way through the game doing drug deals, offering protection, killing people, money laundering. yeah, just like my real life. grrrrrherherhaha

the big controversey i thought was that there was a cuban crime syndicate and a haitian drug cartel to be dispatched as a part of the story line. of course that made those groups angry. then there was the kid who killed 3 cops in alabama where GTA was blamed.

listen, if your kids face looks like edward scissor hands, he wears black nail polish and eye shadow, trenches and in general is a freak who never sees daylight, then you might want to keep an eye on him and review the elementary primer "its not nice to kill people".

games dont kill people! people do. grrrherhaha

/grrrr

Pete Bogs said...

k9 - bark bark to that!

K9 said...

/bark bark bark

OT: saw your comment re: visiting bloggaz in the real. Q and i talked about trying to get together with you, but i ended up flying down for just a few days and he was leaving for asia so there wasnt any time. but i would like to chill over a pint with ya next trip. but you may need to take a benedryl first. howl! im flea free btw.

/grrrrr

Pete Bogs said...

k9 - I do better with shorthaired dogs, so not to worry... catch you later...