GTA controversy over-hyped, says crime expert

Critics sayGrand Theft Auto IVwill incite youth gang violence, but one crime expert has said the controversy over the game is blown out of proportion.

Leading North American gang crime expert and author Michael Chettleburgh says, "If you actually go out and talk to young gang members about the top 10 reasons why they joined a gang, you will never hear them talk about the influences of hip hop, videogames or media."

Rockstar Games'GTA IVlaunches today, and as details of the game are finally unveiled by media and by gamers, there is a high likelihood of increased backlash by critics, if past GTA installments are any indication.

But all of the furor that is poised to boil over may just be a bunch of hot air, according to Canada-based Chettleburgh.

"[Violent media is] just not a primary driver of why kids join gangs," he said.

Chettleburgh is a criminal justice consultant, a crime researcher, a frequent media commentator on crime and author of the 2007 book, Young Thugs: Inside the Dangerous World of Canadian Street Gangs.

Courtesy of Next Generation.

Apr 29, 2008