Friday, January 27, 2006

Los Angeles sues over 'Grand Theft Auto' game - Yahoo! News

Back in the news again, so I am going to repost my original here....hope you get a good read out of it. Check out the link in the title for an article on this.

Original post follows:

Where do I start with this one....I have so many issues I don't even know where to begin.

Okay, let's walk through this...we have a game that is already rated for 17 years and older because some idiot thinks we need to play at killing cops, stealing cars and creating general mayhem. The rating is there mostly to inform retailers and parents of the content, without having to actually play the game themselves, and to let kids know that this is definitely the game they want because it has all sorts of cool shit on it, right?

So we are assuming (or the rating board is) that at the age of 17 and older (which we know is NOT the age of most users of this game) an individual will know enough to realize that this is just a game and that none of the stuff in it is not meant to actually be done or idolized in any kind of way. I agree with the fact that we have a rating system on games (except that I find it amazing that we even find fun or humor in these types of games, which causes them to exist in the first place).

So now, we find out that there is some hidden sex scenes within the code on this game. NOW we want the rating changed to adult only (thus adding only ONE year to the age that a buyer must be to purchase) and that is going to make it all better. I am sorry, it should have the adult rating for the violence and general nastiness, not the sex....because sorry to say, but by 17 the animated sex on this game is not going to be anything new to the players. Somehow the rating board, parents and whomever are all in a snit because someone over 17 but not yet 18 might see some animated sex? But it doesn't seem to bother them that killing, stealing, and any number of other felonies are being paraded around like some kind of war medals?

This is a perfect example of the major hang ups that US society has as a whole with sex. Now tell me why is it that the retailers are taking the game off their shelves? The article makes is sound like they are taking some kind of moral highground not stocking Adult Only games. I think it has more to do with the fact that since SEX is involved, they know parents wouldn't dare buy it for their 13 year olds any longer and that means it is just taking up shelf space that some other money making item can use.

Now before anyone who loves this game starts to give me hell in the comment section, let me point out a few things. I do not believe in censorship of any kind. I am not by any means saying that we should do away with this game or any other game like it (even though I would never buy it, play it or condone it being played in my presence). This is a free market and apparently there is a market for this game and others of its genre. It is sad that this is true but it is.

I also do not believe that garbage about "my kid did it because he saw it on TV" crap. Number one, you are the parent, so you are in charge....turn the damn TV, computer and Play Station off once in a while. Second, talk to your kids and explain to them (in case you bought this game outside of the recommended age bracket) that it is not real, should not be real and that people who do this kind of shit in real life die early or live long in prison.

I absolutely believe that parents are the number one responsible person(s) when it comes to what their children do, learn, and say. I know that it is a hard job and gets harder each day but that is what happens when you procreate, you make the choice to take on that job. It is not up to the rating board, the teachers at your school, or the sports/movie star on TV to teach them right from wrong.

My entire rant really stems from the idea that we are so caught up in warning labels and who to blame in this country for the things that happen to us, that we seem to have forgotten to look in the mirror and take some responsibility. Does changing the rating on this game really do anything "to keep children safe" and help us all sleep better at night? No, it doesn't but what it does do is cost a bunch of people money (retailers, manufacturers, lawmakers, taxpayers...etc), and makes a little sidenote on CNN, and a few blogs.

What exactly are we focusing on, the symptoms or the actual problems?

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