It is with disgust in my heart that I write today.
A few years ago, I played Grand Theft Auto (GTA) with my friend John where our primary aim was to break into Buckingham Palace and steal the Crown Jewels.
However hard we tried the game just wouldn’t let us; there was absolutely no way we could get into Buckingham Palace… we tried climbing walls, bus-ing our way in, ramming the gates, pretending to be a police unit, jumping over the wall on horse back… nothing worked.
This Christmas, GTA 5 will be eagerly unwrapped by sweaty handed teenagers all over the world. I know to most of you this is no big news or recent controversy but it is something I need to rant and rave about today. I’m in one of those moods.
Over the last few versions of the game, it seems the designers have let a lot of dark, deeply routed, misogynistic fantasies out.
I am of course referring to the fact that you can pick up prostitutes, that your energy increases as you have simulated sex which has become more and more visible, most of the fake prostitute women are then killed, you can buy and sell women – in fact I have just read a report which stated in one version, you can meet sex traffickers who openly sell and then kill the women they are abusing.
Simulated, virtual rape. Weird.
I know that it is only a game and designed for over 18s but a lot of people are going to having their first sexual encounter (virtual or otherwise) with a women they have bought and then killed. It’s crazy.
Other than the grotesque, sexy, glorified portrayal of violence against prostitute women, the problem is that it normalizes a certain type of thinking and attitude that can seep into someone’s subconscious influencing and affecting behaviour.
In 2009 a 10 year old boy who said he learned to drive playing GTA, took his family’s car on a 10 mile trip then crashed. That same 10 year old boy has also been learning how to buy people, how to abuse them and is getting basic training in how to traffik women. Freaky weird bad times ahead for that 10 year old boy.