Blogging Religiously

From a New York point of view

Religious groups quiet on ‘Grand Theft Auto’

Posted by: Gary Stern - Posted in Grant Theft Auto, Religious group protests, Religous groups and Grand Theft Auto on May 27, 2008

Religious groups, of course, protest just about anything.

Every day, I sign on to my email and get at least a few emails of complaint.

So it surprises me that there has been little—any?—religious outrage over Grand Theft Auto. Lot of groups have protested against the incredibly violent video game—police, Mothers Against Drunk Driving, and prostitutes among them (the game allows interaction between prostitutes and clients and alludes to the rape of prostitutes).

0602755600.jpgTo be clear, I’ve never played the game (or seen it). But based on what I’ve read about its contents, I’m simply surprised that the religion world hasn’t taken notice. Religious groups complain about a lot less. And GTA, you would think, would be a target that liberals and conservatives could agree upon.

It’s worth noting for those disconnected from the video game world that Grand Theft Auto is not some fringe game. It is incredibly popular. GTA 4 wracked up $500 million in sales during its first week this month. By comparison, the Iron-Man movie took in $100 million during its first weekend.

There must be some religious protests out there. But where?



8 Responses to “Religious groups quiet on ‘Grand Theft Auto’”

  1. Grant

    Perhaps there has been little to no religious protest because most religions realize the game is just that, a game, and there is no reason to protest. There is no rape whatsoever in the game, the drunk driving is and prostitutes are both optional (and both cause the Police in the game to turn on you and arrest you), and the violence in the game is nowhere near as bad as many other games ignored by the media, and many popular R rated movies. The only thing that you’re guaranteed to see in the game that might offend you is the obscene language, and you can ignore that with the mute button.

  2. Andrew

    Honestly, it gives me hope as a Christian that the “church” has not protested (singled out) GTA IV. Perhaps one day we will find it within ourselves to raise our children without worrying about everyone else’s. No man is perfect and we all have fallen short of the glory of God, why take this piece of interactive beauty (and yes, it’s beauty imho [I own and play and love the game]) and single it out as a bad influence? It is designed for mature audiences, for those who know the difference between make believe, and reality. We as human beings are responsible for our own choices, personal responsibility is a big part of Christianity (I speak of it only because it is my own faith, not because it’s the only one that does) so let people make their decisions. We were given free will so that we could make the right decisions, and although I think there is an argument as to what is “right and wrong” when it comes to playing GTA IV (for an adult that is), the freedom is key to our existence while we are here on this Earth. Why do so many Christians believe in forcing people to make what they believe are the “right” decisions? Let people make their own choices, raise your children in what you believe, respect others and do not infringe on their same right to make their own choices.

  3. yati

    These games rated as Mature are quite an oxymoron and actually should be rated “I” for immature. No genuinely ‘mature’, evolved person would wish to play. As one evolves thru life and following a path within their chosen religion, this becomes evident. Yes, that is why life allows individual will, so we eventually learn by our mistakes and then can “play” the game of life in a moral ethical relationship with “reality”. “Make believe” becomes part of our “reality”. Not seeing that, one is not free.

  4. J.

    “No genuinely ‘mature’, evolved person would wish to play.”

    That’s great that you can dismiss people like that out of hand and feel superior for it. Is that what your faith does for you? I guess us unevolved wretches should just be glad your devotion keeps you from not treating gamers like subhumans even though you might think they are.

  5. yati

    Please do not confuse clear judgement with dismissal. What makes this observation, one from “superiority”? Can not a hummble person constructively make a critizism? I did not imply these “gamers” in question are sub human or necessarily “wretches”, that’s where your mind goes. Their consciousness, however, is brought to the the sub of the sub-conscious state. These games bring the gamers there. Have you ever been into a dark, dingy, smelly,dusty, moldy, cluttered basement and now remember being out into a beutiful natural setting? How does each effect you? It is just a logical, apparent law of nature. How “superior” does a gamer feel killing, raping, stealing etc. while ‘playing’. The inevitable outcome,can be deduced, as in the old saying, “junk in, junk out. Such games, although “make belive” define the players as clear as any of their actions, i.e.; immature.

  6. Steven

    It would extreme hypocrisy by these people to protest violence in a video game, when religious Zionists have murdered Sephardic Jews and Arabs in Israel,
    and certain groups in the U.S., have been somewhat bloodthirsty, especially FLDS Mormons and a few other groups.
    And there are other examples as well.
    Am I blaming all religious people? Of course not. But many religious leaders have partaken in wrongdoing, deaths or no deaths. And they’re afraid of being exposed.

    @andrew: I believe in Jesus myself, and have played all of the games except for LCS, VCS, and IV. I am not a violent person at all.

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