Is Grand Theft Auto Unethical?

Grand Theft Auto (film)
Grand Theft Auto (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Of course it is.

You steal cars and commit crimes. It’s a shrine to mindless violence and slaughter. People, even children, should know better. It’s not hard to pick up the meaning in games and decide whether or not you should go along. I used to play the original Fallout game. One of the add-ons provided me with an adventure in which I could end the scenario successfully by doing one of two horrendously unethical things. Those two were my only choices. For you aficionados, it was kidnap the child or join the evil guy. I refused to make that choice. I started a new game and never played that part of it again.

I currently play Fallout New Vegas. I teach ethics. I play as a hero. Nothing else is possible. You fight for the right and if the cause is just, you may have to die for it. There are moral ambiguities but I enjoy them because in this arena I can experiment and see what the outcomes would be of my actions, something denied me in real life.

I understand the occasional need to experiment with the dark side, but as far as I can tell, Grand Theft Auto is the dark side. I don’t think it is good business ethics to buy or play it.

Moral choices are important even in video games.

James Pilant

“Grand Theft Auto V”: Gaming’s dark misogynist cesspool –

I kind of know what Bissell is talking about. I am familiar with cesspool, reflective of so much of the Internet’s worst misogynist, homophobic and racist tendencies. That “internalized residual shame” is one reason why I personally gave up gaming. Solitary play, hacking and slashing, mowing down opponents in a rage of slaughter, just didn’t seem physically or mentally healthy. So I packed it in. Now I worry about what all the time my son spends gaming might be doing to him. Hell, I worry about what a generation growing up on ubiquitous, amazingly immersive gaming will do to the culture at large. Something, surely? A billion dollars was just spent in three days on a game whose structure encourages random violence and brutality. That can’t be good.And yet, at the same time, I don’t know what Bissell is talking about at all. Video gaming culture should not, cannot, be reduced to young men screaming profanities as they play “Grand Theft Auto V” on their dedicated consoles. Gaming, today, encompasses much, much more. My son and his friends spend hours in the cooperative, creative world-building domain of “Minecraft,” or chuckling their way through humor-drenched indie games like “Don’t Starve” (“An uncompromising wilderness survival game full

via “Grand Theft Auto V”: Gaming’s dark misogynist cesspool –

From around the web.

From the web site,

Grand Theft Auto is the ultimate male escapist fantasy. Grounded in a heightened reality of prostitutes, car chases and sweltering machismo, the series gives the player the ability to assert authority and control at the barrel of a gun. With only two weeks left until the release of Grand Theft Auto V, I stepped back into this world by replaying the previous entry, Grand Theft Auto IV and looking at a game which defined a console generation and offers clues to the next step. I’ll be trying to focus on some of the game’s elements and themes in each new post and how each worked together to create one of the most important games of this console generation.

From the web site –

Home to Reflections, Opinions, and Beer Reviews.

When the game starts and we’re introduced to the characters, everything seems very fluid and interesting. After a brief and intense bank robbery to introduce us to the mechanics both old and new, we launch to Michael in his therapist’s office doing a wonderful Tony Soprano impression. The focus then quickly shifts to Franklin, who is walking by on the street and asks Michael for direction. From here the game’s story begins as we learn Franklin is a repo man for a car dealership, as well as a sometimes gangster. Franklin meets Michael while attempting to repossess his son’s car, and Michael offers to help him find ‘real work.’ We meet Trevor, Michael’s old bank robbing partner, after Franklin and Michael rob a jewelry store. This is where we learn that Michael had faked his death after the opening sequence, and is now in hiding, with Trevor setting out to find him while working on his own ‘business enterprise.’

From there the game expands into more heists, some government intrigue, and figuring out exactly what happened years ago between Trevor and Michael. While all of this is interesting, in a sense of the word, it never fully engages us in a solid narrative. In fact, there’s still plenty of ‘story missions’ after the main tension between Trevor and Michael comes to a head. Sadly though, a solid resolution never really comes about. Until the last few minutes of the game, Trevor still pretty much hates Michael and with very good reason.

From the web site, The Grand Theft Auto Blog.

The series is set in fictional locales heavily modelled on American cities, while an expansion for the original was based in London. Gameplay focuses on an open world where the player can choose missions to progress an overall story, as well as engaging in side activities, all consisting of action-adventuredriving, occasional role-playingstealth, and racingelements. The subject of the games is usually a comedic satire of American culture, but the series has gained controversy for its adult nature and violent themes. The series focuses around many different protagonists who attempt to rise through the ranks of the criminal underworld, although their motives for doing so vary in each game. The antagonists are commonly characters who have betrayed the protagonist or his organisation, or characters who have the most impact impeding the protagonist’s progress.