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Censorship Entertainment Games

NY Post Says GTA Worse Than Molesting 251

wiredbeat2000 writes "The New York Post has an inflammatory article which argues that Take Two's Grand Theft Auto is worse than child molestation and more harmful than second hand smoke. The story, which appears in the business section, calls for an outright ban of video games it claims are no better than snuff films, and concludes: 'Stay away from this [Take Two] stock - far, far away - and you'll be doing both your wallet and your fellow man a favor'." Lucky the author hasn't checked out Manhunt yet, huh?
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NY Post Says GTA Worse Than Molesting

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  • read, laugh, move on (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Blob Pet ( 86206 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:46PM (#7836502) Homepage
    This isn't news. It's a piece of opinion from some guy at the NY Post. People read the Post to get riled up and nothing more.
  • by iainl ( 136759 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @01:58PM (#7836666)
    Isn't the New York Post a Newscorp product these days? Owned by Rupert Murdoch, and part of the same conglomerate that brought us:

    Fear Factor
    Temptation Island
    Freddy Got Fingered
    Aliens Vs. Predator (the game)

    Come to think of it, I wonder if this is in any way, shape or form connected with the fact that this company is also responsible (certainly in license at least) for Simpsons Hit 'n' Run, a game that steals so much from GTA that its a wonder that Take Two haven't sued?
  • Amusing to consider (Score:5, Interesting)

    by bugbread ( 599172 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @02:08PM (#7836777)
    That editorial was beyond awesome. My favorite part:

    "This is 10,000 times worse than the worst thing anybody thinks Michael Jackson ever did to a little boy"

    If my math works right, with sales exceeding 25,000,000 copies, he would prefer if there were 25 million fewer GTA players and 250 billion more child molestors.

    Alternatively, he would find someone turning off their PS2 and molesting a neighborhood kid to be an improvement.

    I think we can guess this guy's real agenda (hehe).
  • by MBraynard ( 653724 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @02:29PM (#7837012) Journal
    But newspapers have, namely the Spanish American War, and namely the newspaper for which the NY Post is present day incarnation - William Randolph Hearst's New York Journal. See more here [].

    Perhaps newspapers should also be banned?

  • Re:ookay (Score:2, Interesting)

    by ronfar ( 52216 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @03:12PM (#7837492) Journal
    A relevant quote from an article about Rupert Murdoch:

    In legend Murdoch has an infallible popular touch, displayed in escalating circulations. But the legend misleads somewhat: Murdoch is not commercially invincible in areas where governments can't help. The plinth of his British empire, the rigorously prurient News of the World, was selling more than six million copies when he bought it: since, half its sales have vanished, while other papers have gained. The New York Post consistently loses money, and most companies would close it. -- "I Am Thy Father's Ghost": A Journey into Rupert Murdoch's Soul []

  • I can see it now... (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Captain Beefheart ( 628365 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @03:25PM (#7837675)
    When this toad comes strutting back to his column for the next installment, he'll preen for a good paragraph about the huge reader response and quote some eloquent people who agreed with him, thereby implying that the response was largely positive, never mind the legion of people, gamers or otherwise, who express confusion and outrage at him favorably comparing pedophilia to playing a videogame.

    I did a little research on this guy, and he has several non-fiction books under his belt with the same hellfire-and-brimstone invective. They also didn't cause so much as a blip on the cultural radar. Yet in an interview at [], he has the gall to say, in response to asking why he had no problem with saying in his column that Martha Stewart had a nice ass, "One of the things I try to do in these columns that I write -- I consider this as kind of a personal mission -- is to try to purge our language of political correctness. It just stultifies. Isn't that what provocative, memorable language does? It forces back the frontiers of expression."

    So this guy sees his newspaper column as the beacon of a lingual crusade? I think what we're dealing with here is delusions of granduer, which goes partway towards explaining his vehemence about GTA: Vice City. (But I will not pick apart what he wrote about the game, not for a Bill O'Reilly nutball of the print world.) That, and the fact that he's no spring chicken or versed in videogames, otherwise he couldn't claim the game's visuals were almost photorealistic.

    Bah. Don't grace this hack with an e-mail.

  • Second hand smoke? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by JabberWokky ( 19442 ) <> on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @03:29PM (#7837735) Homepage Journal
    Speaking of the oft cited "truth" that videogames are bad for you, has there ever been a scientific study that has shown second hand smoke does anything other than distress people with asthma? The WHO did several studies that said it was safe.

    Evan "I hate being around smokers for asthetic reasons"

  • by *weasel ( 174362 ) on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @04:37PM (#7838416)
    funny how grand theft auto is really nothing but an interactive version of Scarface (which Vice City makes nearly a literal translation) -- yet scorcese is a visionary while the video game needs to be banned. cute hypocracy.

    at lest this guy isn't calling for a ban on violent content in video games. oh wait... no... he essentially is by calling the rating system 'unenforceable' (no more unenforceable than the MPAAs rating system) and by suggesting the legitimacy of spurious game-blame lawsuits (suits that contend games make people killers)

    the silver lining is that the medium is still gaining momentum. i just hope it sticks to its guns and lets developers make whatever they want, and lets the gamers decide what gets supported with their money.

    american media industries that -have- stuck to their guns:
    literature, painting, rock music, sculpture, film

    american media industries that haven't stuck to their guns:
    roleplaying games, comic books, cartoons

    one set of these media is heralded as art, as 'legitimate'. individual works are judged on merit and the media itself carries no preconceived notions of 'allowable' or 'appropriate' content.

    the other set of these media is heralded as fit only for children. why? because of self-censorship of content.
    TSR took 'offensive' material out of D&D. ensuring that under no circumstances would anything other than cartoony child-safe good and evil be depicted. similarly with comic books and cartoons.

    these industries willfully decided that only child-safe content should be created in their styles and media. so now their content is wholly marginalized and looked down upon based solely on its media.

    consider japanese anime and their comics. sure, we make jokes about tentacle pron but they are not regarded derisively as child's materials in japan. they are individually judged on content, not with a blanket assumption based on its media.
    why? because their industry -didn't- decide that tentacle pron was inappropriate for comics, or nudity and demons inappropriate for roleplaying games.
  • by bigbigbison ( 104532 ) * on Tuesday December 30, 2003 @08:45PM (#7841083) Homepage
    The problem is that Grand Theft Auto III is very obviously patterned after some very well known mafia movies. If those movies are ok, why aren't videogames?

    Not long ago, an official from Australia called for the ban of Project Gotham Racing 2 [] because it "...sends the wrong message to young people. It is actually glorifying speed and power." So videogames are bad despite the fact that this game is at least advertised as being like the Fast and the Furious films.

    The problem is not that videogames are exempt from being sometimes troubling. The problem is that so many in the media seem to think that other forms of media are exempt from being troubling. Videogmaes are scapegoats and when they do the things that have been done for years in other forms of media they get attacked.
  • by pezpunk ( 205653 ) on Wednesday December 31, 2003 @01:27PM (#7846263) Homepage [mailto]

    "don't you think your article was a tad .... ridiculous? do you propose we ban real life? it seems that your main problem with the game was how "realistic" it is. how free the player is to do whatever he wishes. what a horrible world that would be, if all of man's urges were suddenly loosed upon the world! hah. guess what, they already are, brother. and people don't go around killing hundreds of people at a time. sure, crime happens, but it's not because of a silly video game. if only Jeffrey Dahmer, Joseph Stalin, Jack the Ripper, Osama Bin Laden, and Adolf Hitler hadn't been influenced by those naughty video games, we'd be living in a clean, christian utopia by now!

    it's offensive to you. don't play it. you think it's bad for kids. so keep your kids away from it. don't tell me how to parent. MY kids will know the difference between right and wrong, fantasy and reality. maybe if you'd tought your kids the same, you wouldn't be so worried.

    the game is a simple power fantasy indulgence, just like a comic book, a sports car, or newspaper editorial. and frankly, it is an extremely well-done game. they didn't sell millions of copies simply based on gore. sure, that's what grabs the headlines, but the game is truly a tight bit of programming with fun, rewarding, and challenging play mechanics.

    "This is 10,000 times worse than the worst thing anybody thinks Michael Jackson ever did to a little boy"

    the most amazing thing i have ever read in my life is your suggestion that IMAGINARY VIOLENCE is worse for a child than REAL LIFE CHILD MOLESTATION. you say you would rather let your child be RAPED than play a VIDEO GAME. sir, now I am the one who is deeply offended, and frightened for your children."

Honesty is for the most part less profitable than dishonesty. -- Plato