Grand Theft Auto V is a video game produced by Rockstar Games that has grossed over $1 billion its first week on sale. That is a very impressive achievement, if I was interested in sales this post would end here, but I’m not. The Entertainment Software Rating Board (ESRB) is rated Mature for Xbox 360, and Playstation 3. Here is the rating summary:
In this open-world action game, players assume the role of three criminals whose storylines intersect within the fictional city of Los Santos. Players can switch between each character to follow his storyline, completing missions which often include criminal activities (e.g., stealing cars, executing heists, assassinating targets). Players use pistols, machine guns, sniper rifles, and explosives to kill various enemies (e.g., rival gang members); players also have the ability to shoot non-adversary civilians, though this may negatively affect players’ progress as a penalty system triggers a broad police search. Blood-splatter effects occur frequently, and the game contains rare depictions of dismemberment. In one sequence, players are directed to use various instruments and means (e.g., pipe wrench, tooth removal, electrocution) to extract information from a character; the sequence is intense and prolonged, and it involves some player interaction (i.e., responding to on-screen prompts). The game includes depictions of sexual material/activity: implied fellatio and masturbation; various sex acts that the player’s character procures from a prostitute—while no nudity is depicted in these sequences, various sexual moaning sounds can be heard. Nudity is present, however, primarily in two settings: a topless lap dance in a strip club and a location that includes male cult members with exposed genitalia in a non-sexual context. Within the game, TV programs and radio ads contain instances of mature humor: myriad sex jokes; depictions of raw sewage and feces on a worker’s body; a brief instance of necrophilia (no nudity is depicted). Some sequences within the larger game allow players to use narcotics (e.g., smoking from a bong, lighting a marijuana joint); cocaine use is also depicted. Players’ character can, at various times, consume alcohol and drive while under the influence. The words “f**k,” “c*nt,” and “n**ger” can be heard in the dialogue.
As a Christian, and as a decent, civil human-being I would encourage you to protest and petition stores in your town not to carry this item because of the violence, sexism, and racism that it promotes. To be sure we need to have consistent ethics with our media usage, but in this instance I am asking you to think about the impact that games like this have on young people. Violence against women, promoting drugs, and inappropriate sexual conduct are all issues our society has to combat in order to stand up for those who are marginalized, abused, and discriminated against. What will you do today?
Check out these articles: