Last night, just when I made my first step to enter our house, a TV news flashed in front of me explaining the growing sales and popularity of “Grand Theft Auto IV” – a newly released game by Rockstar Games and a sequel to the GTA series. The news informs that GTA IV is already booming in terms of number of sold items. For the first week of its release, GTA IV hit 40 million pounds of sales which constitutes 631,000 copies sold in the market. Basing on this figures, no doubt a lot of people are really waiting for this product to get released. But what’s with this game that made a lot of people crave for it anyway?
Way back years ago, I was also an avid player of GTA Vice City (the second series). My uncle and my little brother were the ones who first introduced it to me and I find it interesting and fun! At first, I really enjoyed the game but later on, as the game goes on to the next chapters, the game missions were getting brutal and more violent. The game is obviously for matured persons but a lot of people nowadays are playing it. Even my 9 year-old sibling knows how to play the game. Given this situation, it is very alarming how the game influences the mentality of the young ones. Playing a role of a bad guy, stealing cars, assassinating people, transacting with gangs, and etc. – we really cannot blame parents and other concerned people to really criticize the game. Although the game was given an M (Mature) rating, critics are still not convinced with this resolution and requested to totally ban the game. As for the part of those Pro-GTA people, they insist that violence in such games has nothing to do with the player itself. It has not been proven that a child who plays a violent game can also acquire a violent attitude – as studies where conducted to prove the claim.
Even so, the issue is this in the hot seat and is currently debated by a lot of people. Whether we are pro or anti, the question still remains: to Play or Not to Play? It’s our decision and we are responsible for our own actions.
Hope this post of mine helped you. Please leave your own opinions regarding this topic in a form of comment. Click here to comment. Cheers!
· GTA 4 was originally scheduled for release October 16, 2007 but was moved to April 29, 2008. The game’s publisher Take Two Interactive claimed that the change was not because of technical difficulties but “technical challenges.”
· The Grand Theft Auto series has been the subject of controversies because of the numerous criminal acts found in the game. Florida lawyer and activist John Thompson is known for having filed several lawsuits against Take Two Interactive.
Last year, he vowed to “take necessary and proper means” to block the release of GTA 4 because of a certain assassination mission in the game wherein the target is a lawyer who screams, “Guns don’t kill people, video games do!” He strongly suspected that the lawyer was based on himself.
· Hollywood executives blame award-winning video game Halo 3 for the poor movie ticket sales during the week of its release. They fear that GTA 4 will do the same thing by spoiling the showings of films released recently.
· GTA 4 is expected to haul a whopping $400 million in sales just on its first week of release.
· The first trailer of GTA 4 was released in March 29, 2007. The one minute and three second long video clip literally clogged the servers of its official site because of the large number of users who logged on to watch it.
According to TeamXbox.com, they posted the video in a thread and it received more than 19,000 views in just a span of three hours.
· The game is set in the fictional Liberty City but much of it was based on New York City itself. It has its own versions of The Big Apple’s landmarks like Times Square, Central Park and the Statue of Liberty.
· Because Liberty City was based on New York, its mayor said through his spokesperson that he does not “support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers.”
The executive director of the International Game Developers Association fired back at him saying that there are other forms of media like books and movies that use New York City as the setting for its violent stories.
· The game’s protagonist, Eastern European Niko Bellic is like most Filipinos in the States. He migrated there for the “American Dream.”
· Cops are considered the biggest threat of the protagonist throughout the past episodes of the Grand Theft Auto series. But in GTA 4, Niko can call 911 for help.