British newspaper The Guardian has published yet another pro-gaming piece off the back of Grand Theft Auto IV.
In an article written by Catherine Bennett entitled, 'I'm game for Grand Theft Auto. You should be too,' Bennett criticises politicians for condemning games without experiencing them and suggests that British Prime Minister Gordon Brown might benefit from a session on the game.
"Had Hillary Clinton, for instance, subjected herself to Grand Theft Auto before she fingered it, in 2005, as a 'major' moral threat to Americans?" writes Bennett. "Had [Obama] ever played a video game [after his comments last week]? No, gamers suspect, given his obsolete references, any more than David Cameron had last year, when his party attacked their 'extreme, casual and callous violence in a context of social indifference and social ambiguity'."
Bennett continues her pro-gaming tirade throughout the article and highlights one of the main problems with both parents and politicians getting first-hand experience for themselves.
"With a violent and nasty movie, or corrupting literature, the thing is simple," she writes. "You merely have to buy a ticket for, say, No Country for Old Men, or There Will be Blood, and watch it, with a keen eye for anything that might be violent or nasty.
"How different for the mature student of Grand Theft Auto IV, who discovers that acquisition of the game, an Xbox 360 and a working television will not be nearly enough to expose the sickening extent of its moral bankruptcy. For that, you need time, skill, dedication and, I suspect, youth."
We concur. To get even close to the extent of the depravity GTA allegedly contains, you've got to be playing it from start to end with a 6-star wanted rating.
More revealing is her final comment though. She writes, "Gamers beware. If there is one thing worse than the middle-aged gaming ignoramus, it will shortly be the middle-aged gaming know-it-all, who's discovered that, misogyny aside, they're really quite an art form."
Has GTA finally broken games out of the specialist arena? We'll have to see if The Guardian continues it's gaming coverage in a couple of months, when the game of the week isn't GTA and all that's out is some Wii Shovelware.
May 6, 2008