Friday, September 27, 2013

Violence and Human Right Violations in GTA V

        For many individuals across the world, the most exciting event within the last two weeks was the release of the anticipated video game Grand Theft Auto V. Individuals waited hours upon hours to be first in line for the most successful video game launch in history, and some of these buyers have reported beating the game in close to thirty-five hours of consecutive game-play. The series itself is famous for its high-quality and realistic graphics,  but is this installment of the series too graphic? Many individuals believe so.
        Aside from the obvious scenes and actions of murder and assault throughout the video game, Grand Theft Auto V takes the violence to a new and disturbing level with an in-game torture scene where players can electrocute and beat a man to death. While I agree that this type of material should not be a part of a video game that young people are playing, I do not necessarily see what makes this violent act any worse to include in a video game than the running over and shooting of random citizens that the video game is known for already. Electrocution and torture are very extreme acts of violence and clearly violations of human rights, but I think that critiques of the game should also find importance in addressing the somewhat overlooked aspects of the game that are just as disturbing and violent.
        In addition to the human torture scene in the game, the Grand Theft Auto series also makes use of prostitution and strip clubs as recurring situations that the players may become involved in, which bring up further issues of female (and human in general) rights. It is important for this kind of video game to have a mature rating where individuals under 18 may not purchase the game, but even with this restriction in place, many parents are purchasing the game for underage players without realizing the type of images to which they are subjecting their children. If young people see these images of violence towards humans, what could be the results in everyday life and societies around the world? The possibilities are frightening.

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