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6 Reasons why kids should play GTA

News To Us
Thanks to cop-out phrases like "People are saying..." and what can only be described as flagrant abuse of the question mark (“Does Grand Theft Auto cause cancer in infants? Film at 11.”), the mainstream news has been allowed to sling baseless allegations while skirting any and all accountability.

But the truth is crime, all crime, has been in steady decline every year since the 1970’s. Car theft, for one, has dropped over 50% since 1991 and continues to fall. (And this is according all according to official US Department of Justice statistics, so we’re not talking out of our asses.) As much as the non-gaming media loves to speculate a correlation between violence and GTA, the numbers don’t fib. Observe:

As each successive Grand Theft Auto game sells more and more, the violent crime rate in America - assault, rape, murder, all that fun stuff - has plummeted. Since the franchise’s inception, 2003 is the only year that saw a slight increase in violent crime in juveniles, and that was a year without a GTA game.

Studies done by the US Secret Service showed that only 12% of school shooters were even attracted to violent video games (books and movies proved twice as high, at 24% and 27% - HA!) Many surveys that directly correlate games like Grand Theft Auto to an increase in violent behavior are either based on limited information or set out to find a predestinated causality. If games are prevalent in 90% of American households, that leaves only a 10% window for juvenile crimes that can’t be blamed on video games. By that flawed logic, the news could just as well attribute a school shooting to Windex or iPods.

Wacky Jack is back!
"If it wasn't for ‘Grand Theft Auto,’ three people might not now be dead," Jack Thompson, in a wrongful death case against Take-Two Interactive. 14-year-old Cody Posey had gunned down his father, step-mother and step-sister and Wacky Jack was out to prove a video game starring Ray Liotta was the culprit. Of course, the defense managed to bypass Vice City altogether, and countered with more substantial claims of severe abuse, claiming the father frequently beat his son, burnt him with a welding rod, and even (allegedly) instructed him to have sex with his own step-mother. It’s a wonder the case was thrown out before they could ask why a 14-year-old had such easy access to a firearm and ammunition.

It’s easy to see how a politician, pundit or talking head can blame games like Grand Theft Auto, but it’s also important for everyone to recognize it as complete and utter horseshit. Imagine yourself in a position of power, someone charged with quelling a populace reeling from a Columbine-esque disaster and providing answers about what’s to be done in the future. Would you point the finger at adolescent cruelty, parents working longer hours, an overwhelming sense of hopelessness radiating through the middle class?

Maybe... but what about that plastic rectangle right with the disc in it right over there?! It's so tangible... yet without all that “old money” power of the gun lobby. Huzzah, the illusion of progress can be upheld!

A New Victim
And let’s remember the biggest victim within any GTA game is cars, which consistently kill tens of thousands of people every year, which is waaaay more than guns, and almost as many World of WarCraft.


Above: Actual auto theft - not easy to do, and even harder to get away with

It’s not all the fault of the media. Some people clearly know better. But if you’ve ever been arrested for something stupid, you’ll notice how easy it is to disperse responsibility on everyone but yourself. I know when I was picked up for shoplifting a VHS copy of Joe’s Apartment, I was quick to blame rising box office prices and less than stellar reviews.

So kids, do us all a favor, the next time you get in serious trouble for something, instead of blaming GTA, blame Steve McQueen. Or better yet - John Wayne! Let’s see how quick these old farts are to put their idols on trial.

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13 comments

  • MarcoBaby - October 21, 2011 2:10 p.m.

    I Was Introduced To GTA3 By My Father. I Knew Nothing About The Series & I Fell In Love The Moment I Started Playing. Afterwards It Kinda Became MY Game Due To The Fact I Never Gave Him A Chance To Play Anymore.
  • RobotsRevFront - February 13, 2011 6:23 p.m.

    i was 8 and my dad let me go on gta sa and red dead redemption. Kids need gta :)
  • mrmorozov987 - February 1, 2011 11:35 p.m.

    While I would necessarily say that kids should play it, what with all the strip clubs and all, you're absolutely right in saying that the series is just as harmful to the brain as Tic-Tacs.
  • Forsakenday - August 23, 2010 11:50 p.m.

    @Slayer he's from Serbia.
  • Xplosive59 - August 23, 2010 8:41 p.m.

    the problem is is that parents only see in black and white (mostly) ussually if a game is said tobe bad by the news they automatically believe that this game is the work of satan, most parants dont even believe that videogames have story or even cut scenes let alone think about the morals that the game has set, if you do something bad prepare to pay for it is the rule in most games but parents just hear the news and believe that you can do this stuff in game without consequences because thats all it is to them a game like monopoly where you can create your way of getting through it without believing that there is something holding you back, but in videogames it is not ussually as simple as get from point A to point B and there will ussually be something pushing against you depending on what your actions have been, if you gun down a bunch of civilians with an Ak-47 on route to point B make sure to make a drastic detour of that route because of what you have done, because after all its the player not the game
  • humpiedumpie - August 23, 2010 8:06 p.m.

    Amen to that
  • Slayer11496 - August 23, 2010 12:35 p.m.

    if anything GTA4 says crime never pays.Who wants to grow up and have their girlfriend killed by the mob, constantly get chased by cops, and realize that they're screwed for life? PS does anyone know where Nikko's from?
  • MrQueenie - August 23, 2010 12:33 p.m.

    I started playing Star Wars: Jedi Outcast were you can cut off arms at 5. Doom 3 when I was 9... And Gears of War at 10:)
  • FNG - May 23, 2010 8:50 p.m.

    I am 13 and i just got Red Dead Redemption from my dad.
  • robloxpwner - March 30, 2010 12:33 p.m.

    Im a Kid And i played GTA SA And then My 62 year old dad said "Its Violent!Dont play it!' And my bratty 13 year old sister Beated me up But still until today I keep thinking of the game and i wish to download it
  • AnonymouZ - February 12, 2010 10:44 p.m.

    oh hell no. as soon as i was getting a blowjob from a hooker i thought: goddamnit... there's a kid who's way younger than me who is actually watching this thing... it kinda soured the game for me for a while... till i realized... hey, i'm getting Niko a blowjob... AWESOME! xD
  • ecoman - December 9, 2008 9:27 p.m.

    with supervision of course.
  • newoleans1 - November 28, 2008 11:39 p.m.

    ha i know kids need to play GTA

Showing 1-13 of 13 comments

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