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Call to ban GTA 4 in New Zealand

6 comments | 12:32 pm | top |
I have long been opposed to computer games where the environment is almost indiscernable from the one we live in. This is the intention with games like Grand Theft Auto, where no detail is spared in an effort to transport the player into a parallel world to the one he lives in. In this virtual world, the player is rewarded for breaking laws, hurting and killing people and a host of other morally and ethically questionable actions.

Grand Theft Auto 4 is due to be released in New Zealand this week. Family First is calling for a nation-wide ban on all the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) video games.

Grand Theft Auto IV is scheduled for release this week. It follows on from previous Grand Theft Auto games which included constant graphic violence and sexual situations. Players could re-enact having sex with a prostitute, beating her bloody, taking her money and running her over with a car and shooting at police officers.

Rockstar Games which produces the game says the company is going even further in its pursuit of realism with this latest game in the series and players can buy cocaine, set enemies alight, shoot a policeman, drink drive, and visit strip clubs...

...“It is completely naïve to believe that teenagers and young children won’t have access to and be able to play the game,” says Bob McCoskrie, National Director of Family First NZ. “It is also completely unrealistic to believe that young people will not be influenced in their attitudes and behaviours by constant exposure to this type of material.”

- Family First Press Release 27/04/08

"But what about our freedoms!", you scream. Would you still support people's right to own and play the game if pedophilia was one of the themes? I don't bring this up light-heartedly, however we must ask - if it's wrong to portray that in an interactive video-game, then it must surely be wrong to portray murder and drug-use. Even more so in such a realistic game, set in such a similar World to the one we live in.

On 17 April 2007, I wrote on the subject of violent computer games, and the link with violent crimes, particularly school shootings.

Video games such as Unreal Tournament, F.E.A.R., Half Life, Doom and Quake. These are games that idolise, sensationalise, stylise and glorify violence. Gore (blood) levels can be increased or decreased to suit the gamer. In F.E.A.R., extremely violent acts can be perfomed in explict detail on your victim (ie. a guard). Games such as these are immoral and have been proven to be the cause for gamers getting out there and "playing it real".

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"33 murdered students, Elephant, video games" Star Studded Super Step, 17/04/07

In that post I recommended that people watch the film Elephant, and concluded by saying that it is important that legislators don't swing too far the other way. Where are we as New Zealanders going to draw a line in the sand? Or are we forever going to push moral and ethical boundaries?

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6 Comments:

Anonymous Pascal said...

Andy, this article looks at Sociolotron. That is a walk down some rather dark and disturbing material.

1:52 pm, May 01, 2008 
Blogger Simeon said...

Andy I agree, we need to stop going down an anti-moral and anti-ethical road. We need to say "enough is enough" to the destruction this government has done to the family unit.

1:54 pm, May 01, 2008 
Blogger Andy Moore said...

Thanks for the link Pascal. Wow.

2:13 pm, May 01, 2008 
Anonymous James said...

"But what about our freedoms!", you scream. Would you still support people's right to own and play the game if pedophilia was one of the themes?'

YES!

Because its a game....not a real life situation ....no ones rights are being violated so its no business of the busy bodies.

A game that freatured that would be blasted by the market as people voted with their scorn and non patronage of the companies that made it.....social stigma is a powerful regulatory tool in a free market.

3:56 pm, May 04, 2008 
Blogger Andy Moore said...

NO!

no-one's rights are being violated at the moment the game is being played.

But that doesn't necessarily make it ok.

"A game that freatured that would be blasted by the market as people voted with their scorn and non patronage of the companies that made it..."

That wasn't the case a few years back in Rome, when the market voted for "the collosseum".

9:31 pm, May 04, 2008 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The game is a satirical parody of western capitalist culture. If you cant see that message then i would be worried if you were to play it. Its not promoting sex,violence etc, its making a mockery of society through irony.

10:24 am, May 22, 2008 

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