Take-Two's “Grand Theft Auto V” launched Tuesday, and made an astonishing $800 million dollars within the first 24 hours, as reported by Aaron Smith of CNN Money Thursday. Alan Lewis, vice president of corporate affairs and public relations for Take-Two said,
"This is the biggest entertainment day launch in the history of any entertainment medium."
For such an incredibly graphic, interactive game, one would think there would be more controversy over it's overt drug use, highly charged sex scenes and mind-numbing violence. Many of the headlines from the mainstream media tout the game's incredible graphics and spectacular success. After all, GTA 5 made close to a billion dollars in it's first day.
It is rare, however, to find anyone who is meaningfully discussing the impact such a popular game will have on kids, whose parents may not be aware of the intensity of the violence.
On Glenn Beck's radio show Thursday, he described getting a letter from an executive whose company ordered "Grand Theft Auto V" for the employees as a company tradition when new games are launched. Beck read the letter on the air,
"I don't know if anybody really knows how bad Grand Theft Auto V really is, but it is the most degenerate game I've ever played, Glenn. I mean, I'm really hard to shock, but even I am shocked by this game. There is almost no storyline. It is just crack-smoking, lap dances and strip clubs and crime. Not only is there graphic sex with hookers in cars, but they even upsell specific services. One of the missions you have to shoot is a video of a young actress extremely graphically having sex on a picnic table, and your job is to shoot it for the paparazzi. The "N" word is used every ten seconds. The whole game is a string of expletives for the sake of using them as many times as possible. There is also no way to tone down or turn off the language. Oh, and then there's all the killing, but that's an afterthought to everything else....The sad thing is there are children crying to play this game. No child, anywhere, should ever be playing this game. Ever...Please make sure everyone knows, this is not just another game."
Surprisingly, Noah Rothman of Mediaite reported that MSNBC's Ed Schultz also strongly decried parents who would allow their children to play the game. He said in part,
“It’s got stealing cars, shooting people, and beating up hookers,” he said. “If you're a parent and you allow your son or daughter to watch this – even if they're beyond 18-years-old, you're a lousy parent in my opinion.”
“When did the First Amendment and responsibility part ways?” he asked. “If you think as a parent this is good for your kid, you're wrong. It’s not.”
Without the drug use, graphic violence and sexual images, "Grand Theft Auto V" could be awesome for kids. Sadly, the makers did not make a version for children.