Tuesday, April 29, 2008
How to handle a GTA IV press request
On the eve of the latest release in this celebrated and vilified series, here's all you really need to know in order to handle
a question about Grand Theft Auto from the press:
1) The question they all want to ask: "Aren't these games too violent for kids?"
2) The answer: "Yes. Hence the M rating for Mature. (click as you hang up)
I wish there were national headlines each time a new crime movie
came out, saying "Is this movie too violent for kids?"
The unspoken implication: All videogames are for kids. And videogames twist kiddie minds.
Yet note that as videogames proliferated throughout the Nineties and 2000s, the rate of violent crime among American youths fell dramatically.
(Duke Ferris's excellent summary of the decline in youth crime
as it paralleled the rise of
videogames; and here's a link to the plummeting rate of violent crime in U.S. schools.)
Paris Hilton gets her head harpooned in the movie House of Wax and that earns no more outcry than some jokes on Talk Soup. Carjack somebody in a videogame and it's the front page of the New York Times.
All of which is to say that I'd wish the media would relax.
Gamers -- mature gamers, that is --love Grand Theft Auto for all the same reasons that they love gangster movies and
Stephen King novels...y'know, all the things everyone loves.