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Author Topic:   Grand Theft Auto 3 Video Game causes controversy
Dzuunmod
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From: Montreal, Quebec, Canada
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posted 12-26-2001 05:45 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dzuunmod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is bad. I'm usually a pro-free speech sorta guy, but I believe that those in a position to test the limits of free speech should try and be responsible about it.

Grand Theft Auto 3 is, or recently was, the number two selling video game in North America. According to the link posted above, injured players in the game revive themselves not by finding food or medicine, but by hopping into a car with a prostitute. Of course, you have to pay for those sorts of services, right? So to get your money back, simply run her over, or beat her with a baseball bat after you're through with her. (And I'd imagine that there aren't any male prostitutes in such a game.)

My word! Who's buying this garbage? Is anyone out there capable of offering up a defence for this rubbish?

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My God can beat up your God.
-Weights and Measures

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 12-27-2001).]

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Kite
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posted 12-26-2001 08:27 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is sickening. I don't know why so many people would want to buy a game like that. If you think that most computer gamers are probably in their early teens and this game is supposedly sold mostly to adults, the numbers become even more frightening.

I don't know that it's good to ban it, though. The censorship road is slippery, goes downhill and doesn't have many traffic cops on it after the first few miles.

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Lynne
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posted 12-26-2001 08:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lynne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Though this game certainly shouldnít be played by children, I donít see how itís any worse than your typical first person shooter. They both involve simulated illegal activity, but this game isnít going to make a person beat up prostitutes or women any more than Quake is going to make that person go on a shooting rampage. Why should running a prostitute over with a car be any worse than mowing down people with a machine gun?

Also, is part of the problem the fact that the prostitutes are women? Would people not be complaining so much if all of the gameís victims were men? Because, frankly, thatís quite sexist.

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To the rational mind there can be no offense, no obscenity, no blasphemy, but only information of greater or lesser value.
-- Jennifer Diane Reitz

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Dude_who_writes
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posted 12-26-2001 09:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dude_who_writes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have to agree with Lynne on some respects. Yes, this is a game that simulates illegal activities, and that's the bottom line. I'm going to assume that most people who are going to play this game are simply doing it for the joy of being able to immerse yourself, for a time, in a simulated world where illegal activity has no consequence. No one gets hurt (except for motion-sickness, which is another story). No one goes to jail. You're allowed to vent your anger/rage/[insert emotion here] in a world that doesn't exist. Then, when you've either vented or become throughly entertained, you hit the OFF button, and the world disappears. And you understand that the activity that you partake in while immersed in the gaming world isn't appropiate in the real world.

This game shouldn't be censored or boycotted for the reason that one of the illegal activities that it chooses to demonstrate is violence against prostitutes (particularly in a society where 5 percent of all violence against prostitutes is performed by those displaying police identification, according to BaySWAN... but that's another story.)

The bottom line:

quote:
...this game isnít going to make a person beat up prostitutes or women any more than Quake is going to make that person go on a shooting rampage.

Couldn't have said it better myself.


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Tim (a.k.a. the dude)
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"Don't knock masturbation-- it's sex with someone I love" -- Woody Allen

[This message has been edited by Dude_who_writes (edited 12-26-2001).]

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Celtic Daisy
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posted 12-26-2001 10:52 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Celtic Daisy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Dzuunmod:

My word! Who's buying this garbage?


My brothers are actually. I watched a bit of it yesterday, and i thought it was stupid. I didn't take it realistically though, so i don' think i found it that bad. I definatly wouldn't let my younger cousins are anyone younger watch or play it, but that's the kinda stuff that many teens like today, and i doubt too many of them take it too seriously.

Not my kinda stuff, but it sells to a lot of people.

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"where'ths my mommy?"
-Shawna

Akimsa (non-violence)

~Erin~

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Kite
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posted 12-26-2001 11:29 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Kite     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Though this game certainly shouldnít be played by children, I donít see how itís any worse than your typical first person shooter.

In my case, at least, it is highly improbable that I am ever going to find myself walking down corridors shouting "Hail to the King, baby!" while strange bloodthirsty creatures attack me from behind; whacking somebody on the head with a baseball bat is far less outlandish. I think that makes a difference. That said, I don't think that the average user will turn into a drug-smuggling, prostitute-abusing individual just from playing "Grand Auto blah".

I got "Monkey Island 4" for Xmas and I can't stop playing it. It's a pity that nice, funny, hard adventure games like that rarely get made anymore. Anybody here a Lucasarts and/or (old) Sierra fan?

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DC_WillowFan
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posted 12-27-2001 12:22 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for DC_WillowFan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well, this is our typical world. Always criticizing something/someone for no real reason.

GTA3 isn't going to turn someone insane, it might, but it's not too probable. At least, if you have the consciousness to tell apart a real world from a virtual one, you're fine. Aren't video games supposed to be for entertainement purposes only ? And the game is even rated "M", so as long as it's not a little children that is playing, everything should be fine. A game isn't supposed to be taken seriously. I've played 3D first person shooters, and have I thought of really killing someone, just for fun ? No. If you're a grown up, act like one and don't complain about the consequences of your acts.

David

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- I hope I shall be able to confide in you completely, as I have never been able to do in anyone before, and I hope that you will be a great support and comfort to me.

Anne Frank to her journal
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Milke
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posted 12-27-2001 12:55 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Milke     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
My video games are mostly the old ones, so yep, I've made Prince Alexander walk off a cliff just to hear the splat, let my pioneer children be eaten by bears (can't remember what that game was called, but it was an educational one we had in school), heck, even masturbated a giant, pink penis with cursor keys (Stroker, it's maybe the worst C64 game I've ever seen), but none of those things ever seemed to have any relation to reality. For one, most of the games had a sense of humour to them, and for another, they really weren't that realistic. There's no way that something made up of about eight pixels looks like a human, and if it's all obvious that it's mostly joking anyway, that seems alright. But anything that's too realistic, or seems malicious just creeps me out. I can't play text games where all the actions you can choose seem cruel, and I never liked Duke Nukem. I don't think this game should be banned (it'd only make it more popular anyway), but sometimes it seems too bad that you can't make good taste a legal requirement.

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Dzuunmod
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posted 12-27-2001 10:19 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dzuunmod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
In response to the sexist stuff, well, I don't pay much attention to video games, except a few select kinds that I enjoy (none of which are anything like this), so when I saw it, it rather shocked me.

The thing that I see is that in most video games, there's some sort of difference between the good characters that the people can play as, and the bad characters that you're fighting against. Right or wrong, that's my perception of what's going on in most games. In shooters, I always figured that you were shooting at bad guys, and that the bad guys had most likely given you a reason (however flimsy) to want to shoot at them. Here, however, you are the bad guys. I remember when running over people in your car was cause for a penalty, not a reward in video games. That's where this is coming from on my part, Lynne, DC, and others.

Finally, as I pointed out, the game seems to portray women as just being there for sex, and then to be thrown aside when there's money to be had. You'll never see video game portrayals of men like that - and that's another cause for complaint in my mind.

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My God can beat up your God.
-Weights and Measures

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 12-27-2001 10:31 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I can see the follow-up game now, "The Green River Killer." You get to scoop up women, sex workers and not, fromt the streets and mutilate them, then drive your truck around to find more. You get extra points for hiding all the body parts or for getting babies with the women you slaughter. Lovely. That's entertainment, apparently.

I honestly dislike this sort of thing and have the same reaction Dzuun does, though I also agree than banning it iss neither helpful to eradicating that sort of violence, and poses a real problem with freedom of expression. Things like this, in my mind, tend to be symptoms of our general mores and ethics culturally, rather trhan causes.

So, my mind tells me that the solution is working from the causes -- like working for equality among people, the protection of sex workers, and a greater sexual education and understanding.

And while no, one game like this isn't going to make people emulate that behvaiour, living in a society where everything one is surrounded with is full of this sort of thing can't really help, either. And I have a hard time buying that when someone is entrenched in anything overmuch, they aren't going to become more apathetic to it.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

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emsily0
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posted 12-27-2001 01:20 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for emsily0     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i love those old games! monkey island, king's quest, space quest, duke nukem 1 and 2. milke, the game with the pioneers is called oregon trail, they came out with a new version of it a few years ago. i like it too. does anyone remember a maxis game called el-fish where you breed fish and make fishtanks?

em

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Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk - real straight talk about souls - for life is holy and every moment is precious. I heard the Denver and Rio Grande locamotive howling off in the mountains. I wanted to pursue my star further. -Kerouac

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Confused boy
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posted 12-27-2001 05:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oooh deary me I forget to check this forum for 1 second and all of a sudden you go all anti-choice (a different sort naturally) on me!

"Who's buying this garbage?"

I am!! Beneath the unsubtle exterior this game is a brilliant satire of the American way of life. You just have to listen to the radio chatter or look at the adverts around the city. There are also clever allusions to the Godfather movies and naturally Tarantino (Resevoir dogs et alia). The actual game is probably the most non-linear currently available for the playstation.

This game is naturally not suitable for everyone but it will not effect adversely a person of sound mind.

edit: the bit about the prostitutes is misleading. Its not part of the main game and the main way of healing is to go to a hospital. It is more of a secret that most people wont bother doing.

Oh I am a fan on Monkey Island as well. So funny.


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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

[This message has been edited by Confused boy (edited 12-27-2001).]

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Lynne
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posted 12-27-2001 07:09 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lynne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
El-Fish! I remember that game! I think it's still on the old computer that's lying around my house, actually.

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Touchstone
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posted 12-27-2001 10:08 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Touchstone     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I dunno, although games are just games i think theres a difference between Quake, Half=life, or other 1st person shooters and GTA3.

A game for adrenilline junkies where you run around shooting people is different than a game for perverse adults who enjoy killing prostitutes.

Whats worse, shooting aliens or beating prostitutes?

[This message has been edited by Touchstone (edited 01-04-2002).]

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Gumdrop Girl
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posted 12-27-2001 11:01 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Gumdrop Girl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i've played GTA2 on a crowded commuter train. in GTA2, you kill police officers. and with all due respect BruinDan, I was amused by the game. why? because it was a stupid video game. simple as that. a game. i like police officers. playing GTA2 did not make me want to kill them, or even tell bad jokes about them involving donuts.

i haven't played GTA3, but my friends like it (i'm not a big gamer in general). but i think i would play GTA3. and while killing prostitutes, stealing cars and killing police is extremely poor taste, it's just a game. just a game. just a game. it has no bearing on my perception of reality. when i shut off the game, i still know it's wrong to steal cars and kill women and cops.

imho, i can't stand censorship. maybe i'm naive to believe this, but i think a vast majority of the population is able to discern reality from a stupid video game and they too will shut off their computers and not feel compelled to go on a prostitute killing spree.

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srm? wtf? iyhta ... rtfm!

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Confused boy
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posted 12-28-2001 07:13 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And GTA3 doesnt force you to go around killing prostitutes Yorkshire ripper style or indeed any civilians. But part of the game is offering you the freedom to do what you like so some people will. You progress through the game doing missions that are in no more bad taste than anything the modern film industry throws out. Anybody it effects will be just as likely to be effected by films, music, the web.

Therefore banning this game would have no practical basis. The only reason would be a moral one: you dont want people to experience this game. That would require you to make one of those "moral value judgements" upon other people.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 12-28-2001 07:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm going to play devil's advocate with an analogy here for a bit, just to see what you guys would suggest, because I'm earnestly curious.

Doing what I have done for years, working in sexuality, there basically is NOTHING you can show me or tell me about when it comes to sex that will shock me, or invoke a very strong reaction from me with. I may not like it all, but it is VERY hard to upset me or give me pause without my stopping to really think about it.

That is what happens, really, with anyone and anything when you immerse them in it, whether it be wonderful food, sex, money, violence, what have you.

So, now, hearing about this sexual proclivity or that is not likely to make me run out and try it (though when it's really inventive I'll give it a go most times), but I can tell you that it does very much make me a lot more able to accept nigh unto anything and I have to really work to check in with how I feel about things because I don't have big immediate reactions anymore.

Now, with sex, with friends, with food, money, clothes, living somewhere lovely, etc. I'm not sure that's a problem per se, and it's certainly not for me, because those things tend to be positives (though with the taking money for granted or getting too used to it, it could certainly become problematic, as could becoming very blase about sex if you forget to take care of yourself and others...).

But what about with things like violence, or with becoming very easily accustomed to or simply used to accepting, say, living in an unsafe neighborhood, or being physically abused by a partner: how do we act or react then when while one thing or incident isn't going to create that scenario, being utterly currounded or absorbed in that element is? Yes, it is a moral judgement to say violence, poverty or being phsyically abused is negative, and I'll accept that. But if we make that judgement and it is our feeling that things like that are negative, how does that flavor a scenario like the one being discussed here?

Just some hors d'ouvres for thought.

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

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Dzuunmod
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posted 12-28-2001 09:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dzuunmod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I just wanted to note, everyone, that in my initial post, I said not a word about banning the thing. I just wanted to know if there were any intelligent folks (like the type that frequent this board) that were into playing a game that looks, to me, to have very little value.

And, seeing as we're all so intelligent, for us to say, 'I've played the game and I can handle it' isn't a fair representation of the populace at large. I remeber people who, at 18 in high school, wouldn't be so mature about the whole thing. I'm not suggesting that this game is going to turn people into serial killers, but it may well advance thinking that says that women aren't to be respected. If that sort of seed has already been planted in someone's mind, this sort of game, along with, say, WWF wrestling and countless other things only furthers the notion.

In short, don't ban the thing, but let's certainly acknowledge that this can have negative effects on some of its users.

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My God can beat up your God.
-Weights and Measures

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emsily0
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posted 12-28-2001 11:09 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for emsily0     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
i just wanted to say that i played this game yesterday and even thougb i usually don't like video games, i think this one is on the whole pretty good. just in the way it's designed and the extremely wide range of things you can do within the game. in other words, it's sort of lowbrow and tacky, but i don't think it's completely without value. it's fun.

em

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Boys and girls in America have such a sad time together; sophistication demands that they submit to sex immediately without proper preliminary talk. Not courting talk - real straight talk about souls - for life is holy and every moment is precious. I heard the Denver and Rio Grande locamotive howling off in the mountains. I wanted to pursue my star further. -Kerouac

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Lynne
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posted 12-28-2001 01:02 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lynne     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To address Miz S's point, I think that there's a difference between seeing something in a game (or in any other fictional context), and actually having it happen in one's reality. Case in point: the World Trade Center attack. Americans see images of violence on a regular basis in their computer/video games, television, and movies. Most have seen multiple fake plane crashes, explosions, and building collapses. Yet when the real thing happened, the country was horrified. Seeing a thing portrayed time and time again in a fictional manner hadn't left the public able to deal with it when it actually happened. The countries whose populations can take terrorist attacks in stride are countries that have actually experienced many attacks.

However, I do think that fiction can have something of a desensitizing effect, in the sense that it makes an idea familiar to its audience. For example, if there were individuals out there to whom terrorism and mass destruction were simply unheard of, those people would have been even more shocked by the WTC attack because they simply would not have had any idea what was going on. Something unknown, simply be virtue of being unfamiliar, will garner a reaction -- specifically, a "What am I dealing with?" reaction. Make the thing in question familiar, though, and the "What am I dealing with?" reaction vanishes. (And really, I don't see how that can be harmful.)

To summarize my little theory and bring this back to the game: Fiction is not sufficient immersion to make an individual accustomed to something. Specifically, unless the individual in question has never even heard of violence against prostitutes, GTA3 will not affect his/her feelings about such violence.

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To the rational mind there can be no offense, no obscenity, no blasphemy, but only information of greater or lesser value.
-- Jennifer Diane Reitz

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Confused boy
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posted 12-28-2001 01:16 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Well I dont think I know anybody who would be effected by this game but then I suppose I have a fairly closed social peer group. Those who will be effected are already disturbed and in a healthy society will already be looked after by social services and psychiatric help.

This game does not demean women at all. It merely acknowledges the existence of prostitution in every major city. There are also very strong female characters in the game. Indeed one of them is your boss and gives you missions. She also has a sexual relationship with another woman and yet does not make a stereotype of it like most games would tend to. The characterisation of women is far better than something like Tomb Raider.

So in a way this game is pushing same sex relationships into mainstream society more than most television soaps are (something which Scarleteen should support). The fact that she happens to be a member of the Yakuza and her lover is the ex-lover of a Mafia boss is really beside the point.

One of the funniest scenes I found was when you have just recieved your mission you hear the speech from inside their appartment "oh Asuka you have a messager"

"That is NOT a messager!"

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 12-28-2001 01:25 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Confused boy:
This game does not demean women at all. It merely acknowledges the existence of prostitution in every major city.

Nitpick: so I take it that given in most major cities, there are more active male prostiututes than female ones, I take it then there are male prositutes in the game to which the same things apply?

I'm guessing not. I think we can actually go ahead and acknowledge when things may have a sexist slant without it meaning any given piece of work or creative endeavor has no worth or should be shielded from it's audience. Take, say, everything henry Miller ever did. He was a sexist, but flatly, he was an incredible writer who invented an entirely new approach to fiction.

I'd hate to see his work tossed or dismissed because he was a sexist. What I'm hearing in some of this discussion in some aspects strikes me as an attempt to dismiss or deny sexism or vioelce thinking that if one acknowledges it exists in a body of work, that makes it (capital) B-A-D. Which I don't think it does.

Lynne, those were really interesting points you made up there, btw. I hadn't made a distinction bewteen fictional immersion and actual and that really adds something (as long as we're talking about people who are not small children, because as a former teacher of small children, I assure you, they can't make those distinctions a lot, but I'm assuming we aren't talking about them).

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

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Confused boy
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posted 12-29-2001 07:24 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Sorry is it right that you are saing there are more male prostitutes in REALITY in cities than female ones? Was that what you meant because that certainly is a new fact to me.

I assumed that women dont tend to use prostitutes much so I assumed male prostitution would be mainly for the gay male population, which is naturally smaller than the straight male population. Also do they tend to be on the street or secific bars because GTA3 is mainly a street game and doenst let you enter many buildings.

Anyway, the game is no way at all aimed at small children and in this country an 18 certificate means that even I cannot buy the game on my own. I think its fine for it to be that way.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

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Miz Scarlet
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posted 12-29-2001 08:11 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Miz Scarlet     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Just some FYI info and stats on prostitution if you're intereted:

- Yes, most male prostitutes serve men (clients who may also identify, by the way, as heterosexual, as well as homosexual or bisexual), but per capita in terms of population served (given, as you stated, that clientele is smaller) there are more working male prostitutes, as an estimated 20 - 30% of sex workers are male, and in some major cities a goodly chunk of the female prostitutes are not bio-women, but are transgendered. In San Francisco, it's eastimated that as many as 25% of the female prostitutes are transgendered.

- Street prostitution in general, for male and female sex workers, is not the norm in the states. In most large US cities, street prostituition (opposed to off-street, via things like massage parlors, outcall services, etc.) only accounts for about 10 20% of all prostitution.

Onee more interesting stat that is off-topic, but which you might find interesting is that the U.S. Department of Health has reported again and again that less than 5% of the STD and STI transmission in the US is related to prostitution (compared with 30-35% among teenagers).

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Heather Corinna
Editor and Founder, Scarleteen

My epitaph should read: "She worked herself into this ground."
-- Kay Bailey Hutchinson

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Daniel
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posted 12-31-2001 09:47 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I find it quite curious that whilst none of the people I've talked to that own GTA3 had ever actually beat up a prostitute to get their money back, the writer of that article acts as if it's the entire aim of the game (he certainly gave that impression to Miz Scarlet, it seems, with her original bombastic response)!

I have a game for my Playstation 2 based upon the WWF, where you can create your own wrestlers. By the logic of the author of this article, if I were to create a racially-stereotyped character, like a black man with a sloping forehead and a bone through his nose who walks like a Neanderthal and can make no noises more intelligible than a grunt, then that would make the entire game racist.

Mind you, I'm actually assuming quite a lot in this post: namely that the person who wrote that article had actually played the game before getting outraged. I really doubt it.

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Dude_who_writes
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posted 12-31-2001 10:03 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dude_who_writes     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Daniel raises a great point. In my experience, many critics (of whatever they choose to crtique, be it games, literature, politics, etc) find that, when reviewing an entire piece of work, discover one small (and sometimes inconsequential to the rest of the work) element and become fixated by it, choosing to damn the whole as opposed to seeing the good beyond the minor element that they find offensive. Just a thought

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Tim (a.k.a. the Dude).
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Dzuunmod
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posted 12-31-2001 10:42 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dzuunmod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The article itself is a news piece, so, taken piece by piece, all the information in there is probably true. I haven't heard anyone in the thread quibble with the facts in there, just the light that the author put them all together in.

That the violent acts in question aren't the aim of the entire game is better, but it's still there. Besides, if my video game playing experience is anything to draw on, and the prostitute killing part of this game is an added bonus, kids'll probably be sitting around trying to figure out how to do it for hours. If the game programmers slipped it in there as not part of the larger plot, it's probably meant as some sort of deplorable joke. But, it isn't funny, despite what thousands and thousands of people sitting around their TV screens at this very moment probably think.

"Ooh, now I wanna kill the hooker!" They might say.

My main beef, I guess, is that rarely are there video game depictions of men who are as weak as, say, the sex workers in this game.

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My God can beat up your God.
-Weights and Measures

[This message has been edited by Dzuunmod (edited 12-31-2001).]

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Confused boy
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posted 12-31-2001 11:12 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oohhh no no no... you misunderstand again. You can kill almost anyone in GTA3. Pedestrians are just as weak as prostitutes and they come in all sorts (workers, businessmen, other gang member). I very much doubt many people will go around killing hookers because for a start it will usually get the local gang in that part of town pissed off with you and shooting back not to mention the police!

You could just as much go on a taxi driver killing spree or lawyer killing spree as a hooker killing spree. There is nothing specific in the game against sex workers: its just against everyone!

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

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Daniel
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posted 12-31-2001 01:43 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ay ay ayy... perhaps it'd be quicker if you went out and played this game before commenting further upon it Dzuunmod, rather than you posting your preconceptions here and being corrected each time =o

(Obviously, this policy doesn't apply to other aspects discussed as Scarleteen: do not go out and have sex if you have any dodgy preconceptions about it)

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Dzuunmod
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posted 01-01-2002 09:26 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dzuunmod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Unfortunately, I don't have access to a Playstation 2 and my financial situation these days leaves me quite unable to afford one. But, Daniel, you're quite right, I shouldn't be coming down on this particular game so hard without having played it. The one thing I'll point out, is that I'd be willing to bet that you don't have sex with the pedestrians, and then kill them anywhere in this game. That's the difference. If I'm wrong on that, correct me. Again, I didn't assume that women were the only ones being killed, just that they were the only ones being used in such a way as they are. Am I wrong?

Anyway, I've got no problem, with much video game playing experience under my belt, saying that women are largely portrayed in ways that make them seem much weaker than men, but how is that different from the rest of society, right?

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My God can beat up your God.
-Weights and Measures

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Confused boy
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posted 01-01-2002 11:51 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
The computer gaming industry often goes a bit silly around women. GTA3, I would say, is one of the lesser offenders since it presents both weak and strong women in the game (some of them are far more powerful than the player). In the same way men are equally as weak or as strong in the game.

And look it wouldnt really make sense in the game to go around having sex with lawyers would it? You have sex with prostitutes, thats their job description. They are far more protected in the game as I said before by criminal gangs than other members of the public.

Their are an equal number of different tricks you can do with other types of people. For example, you can steal a taxi, drive over the taxi driver with his car and then activate the taxi light to enter a mini-game in which you take the role of a taxi driver for a few minutes.

So should we complain about the terrible things you can do to taxi drivers (and indeed their passengers once you get some). No because it seems this prostitution thing is somehow special and I can only assume it is because of the sexual aspect. Now in this society anything vaguely sexual is immediately made more serious and "disgusting." This is the reason that sexual offenders are forced to sign up to registers so that everyone can know who they are while murderers and drug traffickers do not. Therefore, by arguing that this particular tiny aspect of the game is somehow especially wrong and disgusting apart from all the other things you can do in the game, you are (I am sure by accident) supporting the continuation of this stupid bias in many Western societies against sexual matters.


I will not even try to defend the whole games industry since most of it is aimed at the young male "demographic" anyway so bias easily creeps in. I will say that it is getting better and there are not so many stereotypes of women anymore. Indeed I would say the true "elite" games never had any female bias in it. Every Monkey Island game has had Governor Elaine Marley in it. "The Longest Journey" starred a lesbian. Many games shops refused to stock the game, not because the star was a lesbian but because the star was a lesbian who did NOT have sex throughout the whole game! So that just shows silly bias within the shops and not the games industry itself.

I recently bought Civilisation 3, a game in which you are just as likely to take on the persona of Catherine the Great of Russia or Elizabeth I of Britain as Alexander of the Greeks. Things are looking up are not much worse than the occasionally shoddy film industry and media in general.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

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bettie
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posted 01-01-2002 12:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bettie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I suppose a concern is that it is much more common in reality for prostitutes to be beaten and killed than taxi drivers (though it does happen). I have yet to hear of serial murders of taxi drivers, but most major Western cities have had serial murders of prostitutes.

I understand that it is "just a game" and that it can be defended as a satire on Amercian culture. I still see such games as rather sad.

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Louise Lalonde
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"Glad to have a friend like you,
And glad to just be me"
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Confused boy
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posted 01-01-2002 02:13 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
It might be a cultural thing because I think the GTA 3 designers are British (though living in America). There are several jokes that will be understood most by the British audience: a well known tabloid "The Daily Sport" appearing on the front of a porn shop for example. Is there a Daily Sport in many countries?

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

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fortigirl
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posted 01-02-2002 01:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for fortigirl     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
my 13 yr old brother recentely recieved this game for christmas. he has many other violent games that are rate "m for mature" as well. he knows what the prostitutes are, and he chooses not to use them, and instead uses a cheat code to get his health up in the game. i agree that this game shouldn't be played by younger children, but i why is it different from any other violent games out there?

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Dzuunmod
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posted 01-02-2002 09:17 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Dzuunmod     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm certain that in the United States and Canada, there is no Daily Sport. But, I'm confused, Confused. Are you saying that the violence in GTA3 is a cultural thing, and would be best understood by a British audience?

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My God can beat up your God.
-Weights and Measures

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Confused boy
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posted 01-02-2002 12:19 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I am saying that the intricate nature of the game may not be fully understood by everyone (particularly those who havent played it) and many will not get some of the clever in jokes that have been inserted by the British side of the design team.

I suppose in this country, since there are no guns allowed on the streets, the whole game seems a bit more removed from reality and therefore perhaps not as offensive. And of course the satire of a large American city might hit people harder in the states than the British who are willing to have a perfectly innocent jape at our cousins across the pond. This is suggested by this being pretty much the first game to be reviewed on Front Row, an Arts programme on BBC radio 4 (I think it can be heard from anywhere on the net from http://www.bbc.co.uk/radio4/)

So in a way over here, it is being at least suggested that this game is a form of art because of its freeform nature and carefully added humour.

So my personal opinion is that anybody who doesnt realise the great ironies and cleverness of this game are either not intelligent enough to understand or, as is the case of many people here, simply ignorant of the game and are all too willing to tow the line of the mainstream media. Now most people dont agree with the rubbish spurted out by news on matters they understand (sexuality here) so why should you believe them so readily on the subject of computer games!

(Wow I keep coming up with rambling arguments to defend this game, you would think I was a emmber of Rockstar Games or something)

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

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Lisa D
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posted 01-02-2002 01:55 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Lisa D     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Not to fan the flames, but what parent in their right mind buys this for a 13 year old? i mean, adults playing games such as this is one thing, but buying a game like this that is explicitly marked "M for mature" seems a bit crazy to me.

I would agree that fictional immersion provides a very different experience than one that is reality based, but either way, I'm not a big fan of these types of games. I'm just not real keen on introducing more violence, fictional or not, into american Society, as well have a plethora of it as is.

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Daniel
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posted 01-02-2002 05:22 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Daniel     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I quite agree with you Lisa D. I expect the type of parent that will buy this game, which is clearly not meant or aimed at (At least, I hope not) children is the same sort of person who clamour for a game to be banned without even checking it out (no one here, I think).

I disagree with bettie's reasoning, because, well... you can kill almost any character on the street in GTA3, so prostitutes shouldn't be excluded any more than it shouldn't be allowed for flamboyantly gay or black characters in my wrestling game to be beaten up, or for certain civilizations that have suffered terrible atrocities in the past to be excluded from the possibility of terrible atrocities in Civilization 3 (great game CB ). It would just make the gameplay stupid to exclude certain options for such reasons. Prostitutes are clearly there to give players (like my PhD-studying mathematician friend who mentioned this bit of the game in his online journal a couple of days ago) a bit of a giggle when they find out that using one can restore a player's health better than a hospital can- sex is a great healer!

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bettie
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posted 01-02-2002 06:15 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for bettie     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did not say it should be banned or that certain characters should not be killed. I said that in reality certain people are more likely to be beaten up and killed depending on their profession (and gender) and that I found it sad. Other people may find games which feature this amusing or satisfying but I do not.

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Louise Lalonde
-Scarleteen Sexpert & Volunteer du Jour

"Glad to have a friend like you,
And glad to just be me"
-Carol Hall

[This message has been edited by bettie (edited 01-02-2002).]

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Confused boy
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posted 01-02-2002 07:07 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Confused boy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually a hospital in the game heals you completely for free. There is no practicle reason for using the prostitute method, which is why I never have. As for it being sad, the game is only as sad as the person playing it since what happens on the screen is determined so much by the player.

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'An Anarchist is a Liberal with a bomb' Trotsky

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