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Grand Theft Auto

Grand Theft Auto brings out the nutters


Comment: A Bafta for the Makers of Grand Theft Auto...

And the fine achievement is greeted with nothing but miserable whinges from the likes of Mediawatch-UK

Link Here 17th March 2014
Full story: Grand Theft Auto...Grand Theft Auto brings out the nutters
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has honoured Rockstar Games, the company behind the Grand Theft Auto series, with its illustrious Fellowship award. They will now be presented with the prize for their revolutionary approach to games . They have also been commended for bringing the medium to the masses .

But this fine achievement is met only with a barrage of whinges from moral campaigners, courtesy of course, the Daily Mail.

Pippa Smith of Safer Media, a religious campaigner against violence, sex and bad language in the media, said:

We have had a lot of concerns about Grand Theft Auto, and we would not agree with this at all. A Bafta Fellowship is a very prestigious award and it is giving out a very dangerous message.

Grand Theft Auto is obviously hugely popular and makes an awful lot of money, so as far as the gaming industry is concerned, it is a big money spinner.

But it is horrifying that they are being recognised in this way. We know for sure that people are affected by the violence in these games, and in this particular case players are even encouraged to kill prostitutes.

Vivienne Pattinson, director of lobby group Mediawatch UK, said:

My biggest criticism is that we know that children who are a lot younger than the age limit of these games are playing them. Gaming companies have a very important role to play in making sure that under-age children are not exposed to these games.

They are marketed in places where children are likely to see them, on the sides of school buses for example, and for Bafta to be giving them an award at a time when there is still a lot of work to be done in protecting children from this kind of violence is wrong.

I can appreciate the quality of these games are good. But we cannot just hold our hands up and say that the content doesn't matter.

Offsite Comment: GTA, The Baftas And How The Daily Mail Make Morons Like Mediawatch-uk Look Even More Ridiculous

17th March 2013. See comment from

  So the Daily Mail is whipping up outrage over the Grand Theft Auto games being given a BAFTA award. This is a classic example of the Daily Mail trying to make outrage over absoloutly nothing. To demonstrate that there outrage and controversy they've wheeled out two of their favourite rent-a-quotes, Pippa Smith from Safermedia and Vivienne Pattison from Mediawatch-uk.

...Read the full comment



Extract: Peter Hitchens Recommends Grand Theft Auto V...

If the Devil invented a would be GTA V

Link Here 23rd September 2013
Full story: Grand Theft Auto...Grand Theft Auto brings out the nutters

If the Devil had his own bible, it would probably take the form of a computer game. It would be sly and witty, enjoyable and slick. It would start with small, almost funny misdeeds.

It would offer the player the joys of money, successful violence and easy, responsibility-free sex. There would be drugs which didn't fry your brain or burn holes in your nose.

You would be made to feel brave, while not actually needing to be. None of your pleasures would be paid for in coin, pain or grief. Hell hound: An image from the heavily hyped and violence-filled new computer game Grand Theft Auto V

Everyone else in the game would be disposable and forgettable. And it would contain one big lie. You would come out at the end happy and unharmed, and wanting more.

As I understand it, this is roughly what happens in the new, much-praised Grand Theft Auto V.

...Read the full rant

Comment: Good Publicity

23rd September 2013.  See  comment from

Hitchens panders to the American pro gun lobby by linking the US navy shooting to violent video games...

...Read the full comment



Update: Engrossed Players, Grossed Out Teachers...

Association of Teachers and Morality Lecturers has a whinge about Grand Theft Auto V

Link Here 17th September 2013
Full story: Grand Theft Auto...Grand Theft Auto brings out the nutters
The Daily Mirror has a bit of fun with the new Grand Theft Auto V and spouts:

In the 18-rated violent crime game's most shocking scene yet, the player is instructed to pull out his victim's teeth with a pair of pliers

A brutal scene in a new computer game where players carry out gruesome torture techniques has been condemned by teachers.

Today sees the official release of Grand Theft Auto 5, one of the most highly-anticipated games of all time.

In a torture scene in the PEGI 18-rated crime game, the player is instructed to pull out a victim's teeth with a pair of pliers. Gamers then pour a flammable liquid over a victim tied to a chair. Players then smash the victim's kneecap with a monkey wrench and give him electric shocks using spark plugs as he pleads for mercy.

Alison Sherratt, president of the Lecturers and Teachers Association was suitable 'outraged':

Up until now we've been warning of the dangers of children seeing these games but saying it's the parents responsibility to keep children away from these video games. But this scene takes things a step too far and the games makers need to consider what they are producing.

Children in our playgrounds are displaying more violence and we have conducted polls and found they are viewing games like GTA. My concern is that little brother or sister walk in to the room and start watching something like this because an older brother is playing it. They don't understand the difference between reality and fiction because it's so awfully graphic and real. and they do copy it. They imitate what they see and this scene is taking it way too far.

Labour MP Keith Vaz says he is astonished by the torture scene in GTA 5 and contributed a sound bite:.

I am astonished at the level of violence depicted in this game.

It is worrying that this type of content could be accessed by young people, particularly considering the previous links to real-life violence. It is important that the video game industry takes steps to fully inform the public about the level of extreme content. Responsibility also lies with parents to ensure that their children do not access these types of games until it is appropriate.


2nd April

Extract: Jacked by David Kushner...

Driving the hype for the Grand Theft Auto video game

The Grand Theft Auto series redefined gaming, pioneering the go-anywhere, do-anything sandbox genre and touching off worldwide debates about sex and violence in videogames. Wired contributor David Kushner tells the riveting history of the series in a new book, available this week from Wiley, titled Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto.

In this excerpt, we learn how Rockstar used an unorthodox public relations strategy to get British politicians denouncing the first Grand Theft Auto before the public had ever so much as seen it. Rockstar head Sam Houser was behind the plan, but game designer David Jones had his reservations.

In the United Kingdom, publicists didn't get much bigger or more controversial than Max Clifford. Having built his career representing everyone from Frank Sinatra to Muhammad Ali, the quick-witted, silver-haired Clifford had become, as one journalist put it, a master manipulator of the tabloid media.

Blunt and opportunistic, Clifford urged BMG to forget about convention and embrace GTA's criminality in all of its glory. If it's part of the game, he said, it's part of the game.

Clifford recommended not only owning up to the violence, but shoving it down the media's throat. What better way to get people talking? Clifford said he knew there would be the wonderful elitist members of the establishment that would find something like this absolutely repulsive.

Criminal computer game that glorifies hit-and-run thugs, the Daily Mail duly hyped. Imagine yourself being an up and coming low-life car thief, stealing exotic cars, and then add murder one, cop killing, car-hacking, drugrunning, bank-raids and even illegal alien assassination!

...Read the full article


4th June

Update: A Cure for Bullshit...

ASA censures religious centre for nonsense claims of miraculous healing

A circular for Mount Zion Restoration Ministries was headlined Come and See and had the strapline Real life testimonies from London Miracle Centre . The front cover featured pictures of three individuals, whose testimonies of miraculous and prayer-assisted healing were printed inside the circular, under the headings Miraculously Healed after Near Fatal Car Accident , Cancerous Cells Disappear After Prophetic Healing Service and Miraculously Healed of Cancer . The front cover also featured a picture of a man in a tuxedo with the caption 'Jesus Wants the Best for You in Life' Senior Pastor, Dr Abraham . The same picture appeared again inside the circular with the caption Senior Pastor: Dr Abraham Daniel-Joel . Issue

One reader challenged whether the:

  1. advertiser could substantiate the claims that they had cured cancer and the serious complications suffered by the car accident victim;
  2. ad was irresponsible and could discourage people from seeking essential medical treatment for serious medical conditions; and,
  3. use of the term Dr misleadingly implied that Dr Abraham Daniel-Joel held a general medical qualification.
  4. The ASA challenged whether the testimonials featured in the ad were genuine and could be independently verified.

ASA Assessment: Complaints Upheld

1. Upheld

We noted that the ad featured three testimonials that claimed Dr Abraham had cured cancer and serious head injuries sustained in a road accident. However, we also noted that we had not seen robust, independent evidence that demonstrated that Dr Abraham had successfully treated these conditions. We therefore concluded that on this point the ad was misleading.

2. Upheld

We noted that the ad stated ... I have seen the dead raised and I have witnessed nearly all types of healing miracles. Church ministries are like restaurants. Here ... we serve miracles. We also noted that the testimonials referred to series medical conditions, and suggested that Dr Abraham's healing abilities were responsible for curing them. Two of those testimonials also described explicit refusals to visit a GP, go to hospital or undergo emergency surgery. We therefore considered that the ad implied that Dr Abraham was able to treat serious medical conditions by healing alone, and we concluded that the ad could therefore discourage some people from seeking essential medical treatment for serious medical conditions.

3. Upheld

The ASA noted Mount Zions explanation that Abraham Daniel Joel had a PhD in Computational Fluid Dynamics. However, we considered that consumers were likely to understand the term Dr to mean that Abraham Daniel-Joel held a general medical qualification. Because we understood that was not the case we concluded that the use of the term Dr was misleading.

4. Upheld

We noted that the CAP Code required advertisers to hold signed and dated proof for any testimonial that they used, and stated that claims made in testimonials must be supported by independent evidence of their accuracy. Because we had not seen signed and dated copies of the testimonials used in the ad, or independent evidence that verified the claims made in them, we concluded that the testimonials were misleading.


3rd June

Update: Game Over for Chicago Buses...

Chicago Transit Authority ban on mature games adverts found to be unconstitutional

The Entertainment Software Association (ESA) won a partial victory earlier this year by obtaining a temporary injunction against the Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) over an ordinance that attempted to prohibit Mature (M)-rated game advertisements

A Judge has now permanently banned the CTA from enforcing or directing enforcement of the ordinance. In a ruling handed down on May 17 in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Rebecca Pallmeyer ordered judgment against the CTA.  It was also ruled that the ESA was entitled to recoup reasonable attorneys' fees and costs related to the lawsuit.

Ordinance 008-147 took effect in January of 2009 and prohibited any advertisement that markets or identifies a video or computer game rated 'Mature 17+' (M) or 'Adults Only 18+' (AO). The ESA had argued that such a ban was unconstitutional.


23rd June

Update: BBFC on Meths...

BBFC become a talking point over checking out crystal meth recipe

Wow, we've all heard the stories of how “bad” Grand Theft Auto games are for our society, but as it turns out, the BBFC once investigated whether Grand Theft Auto IV contained a genuine recipe for manufacturing crystal meth.

The Times reports that the discovery prompted crisis talks with developer Rockstar. In testimony last year before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons, BBFC head David Cooke discussed his organization's review of GTA IV:

We did examine [GTA IV] extremely thoroughly and we are the only regulator I know of who looked, for instance, at the particular issue where… there was a concern about whether you were being given instructional information about how to make the drug crystal meth.

We actually took independent advice on the point and eventually were able to satisfy ourselves that some of the crucial ingredients and techniques were missing so it was not a genuine cause for concern.

REALLY? The recipe for Crystal Meth. Inside GTA IV? Good job BBFC, perhaps this is just one example of why you're no longer in control of ratings in the U.K.


2nd December

Update: Ratings Theft...

Claims of an uncut PC version of GTA IV in Australia

This week will see the Australian launch of Grand Theft Auto IV for PC, and in a statement, Rockstar confirmed to GameSpot AU that unlike the console versions currently on sale, the Australian PC retail release of GTA IV will be sold completely uncensored.

Grand Theft Auto IV PC has been rated MA15+ strong violence, sex scenes, coarse language, and drug references by the Australian Classification Office. The PC game is unedited in any way and identical in content to the international version, a local Rockstar rep said.

Update: Confirmed

28th December 2008. Based on article from

Rockstar obviously came to the conclusion that they had over reacted because when it came time to get the PC version rated they submitted the uncut game. This was rated MA15+ (Strong violence, sex scenes, coarse language and drug references) on November 8th.


7th November

Update: A Worrying Mirror...

Grand Theft Auto takes the rap for sex assaults

A judge attacked a violent video game as he jailed a teenager. Ryan Chinnery had subjected four women to degrading sex assaults.

Sentencing Chinnery to eight years, Judge Philip Statman said: It is not for this court to enter the controversy as to whether such conduct is encouraged by pornographic material and video games such as Grand Theft Auto. But there is a worrying mirror of conduct between that which pornography presented to you and that which you have carried out.'

He said: You were driving alone at night to select a female victim, replicating that which was in your fantasy. You have sought to dominate and humiliate women to gain sexual satisfaction. You thrive on the feeling of power and control.

Maidstone Crown Court was told that Chinnery had a secret dark side when he would spend hours playing video games, watching pornography and taking cannabis.

He attacked his first victim under a railway bridge, groping her breasts and pulling down her trousers. A month later, Chinnery stalked another woman, dragging her along a path before he was scared off by passers-by. He set upon a third woman as she made her way home from work – grabbing her arm and fleeing only when another man approached. In August last year, he grabbed a 42-year-old woman around the throat as she walked home at 2am. Her arm was broken in the struggle. Her clothes were torn off and she was sexually assaulted.

Patsy McKie, from Mothers Against Violence, said last night: The Government must ban these games as soon as possible. The only people they benefit are the makers, who cash in on the misery they have generated.


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