Tuesday, July 12, 2005

Grand Theft Morality

So here is something really dumb. There is this video game, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, where you're a criminal and you do criminally things. Recently, a program was released on the internet which allows you to modify the game so that you can have sex in it. This may or may not have been hidden in the code of the game to begin with, but it was not intended to be in the game (read more about it here).

Here is the dumb part. The people who rate games are launching an investigation into whether the sex was secretly embedded in the game or not. If it was, the game may get an "adults only" rating, which basically equates it with porn and would make most stores unable to sell it.

What the hell? This is a game where you steal cars, run over hundreds of people for fun, break into houses and steal stuff, shoot cops, shoot hookers, etc etc. All things that are clearly wrong. Yet a bit of sex - sex with clothes on (see the picture above) - can push the game to the "adults only" category? That makes no sense. This is clearly sending the message that images of brutal and pointless murder are fine for kids, but a little pixelated implied sex should only be seen by adults. In the real, sane world, murder is bad, and sex is good. Something is backwards here. It's ridiculous.

This is just part of a problem that affects all forms of entertainment, and I think it's terrible. We come within centimeters of penises and vaginas every day when we interact with people, blocked by a thin layer of cloth. Sex rarely hurts anybody, and usually brings joy to everyone who has it, which is everybody. However, most people will never come in direct contact with guns and murder, and those who do will have their lives destroyed by it. Violence should be the reason for an adults only rating...not sex.

I'm not saying that violent games and movies should all be for adults only. I'm just saying that games with sex should be at the same level or lower on the rating scale than games with violence. Both should be controlled so that adult involvement is needed for kids to view them. Completely shielding kids from these things can only make it worse, but if parents get involved and talk about it with their kids, it can be an educational experience that prepares kids for the real world. And above all, lets them have fun without fucking them up.

P.S.What I predicted earlier about sex in video games may now be a step closer to coming true.


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