Discussions of Mormons and Mormon life, Book of Mormon issues and evidences, and other Latter-day Saint (LDS) topics.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Wake Up, Parents and Leaders: Grand Theft Auto and Other Stepping Stones to Disaster

Some local LDS leaders in one quiet, conservative Midwest town have wisely expressed concern over what's happening with popular video games that many LDS youth play. Grand Theft Auto 3 is the particular example that sparked the alarm. A surprisingly large percentage of the LDS young men in our area have played it and some own it. Some just played it once in ignorance - sometimes at parties with other LDS kids - and didn't think it was appropriate. But others own it and play it frequently. The game is focused on vice. It involves activities such as stealing autos, using a helicopter to chop off the heads of police, shooting police, picking up pr0stitutes, going to str1p bars, and so forth. Players learn that after using a pr0stitute (which costs money but increases health points), they can get their money back if they kill her. One person who knew details about the game described it as a recruiting tool for the multi-billion dollar p0rn industry. Given the callous attitudes that this game will reinforce, I agree that it's a recruiting tool for something other than the Gospel.

President Hinckley has pleaded with the young men and adult men of the Church to treat women with greater respect and to avoid p0rnography like the plague. If LDS youth play video games like Grand Theft Auto (and there are much worse games), and if parents allow them to, then the words of the Prophet are falling on deaf ears.

I would urge local units to discuss this issue with their members. Bishops might want to inquire about more than just movies when they discuss entertainment with youth. For many, a few moments of teaching will help them realize the need to get rid of some offensive video games. Sadly, some of our members just don't seem to know how (or just aren't willing) to actually apply the principles of the Gospel and the standards in For the Strength of the Youth to their lives. Let's not ignore this issue.

And shame on Rockstar Games for producing this socially damaging garbage.

Here is an excerpt from Amazon.com's review:

With Grand Theft Auto III, Rockstar proves that not all developers are concerned with toning down the violence in their games. This sequel is even more bloody, violent, and sadistic than its popular predecessors, offering up an enormous 3-D city in which nearly any criminal act is possible. Players are free to steal cars, beat up the local population for their money (or weapons), make time with prostitutes, or simply roam to their heart's content.
Real men respect women. Real men don't do p0rn, and real men don't mess with offensive games like this one.

19 comments:

T said...

My hubby will admit that he plays the GTA games, and he was excited about San Andreas's release. But he was very disappointed in it. Too much swearing, for one thing. And he hates rap music, so he wasn't into the soundtrack, either.

Aimee "Roo" said...

I am really happy to say that my husband, and we are both avid video game players, has never played GTA. I haven't, and never will either. He has seen it, and has heard about it, and says that it will offend the spirit. It is sad though, many of his friends, also LDS men, do play it and think it is the best game ever.

I hope that more people will think twice about what games they play, and especially what games they let their kids play. As game lovers, I can tell you that there are a ton of really fun, really great games out there that don't involve killing, stealing, or anything else like that.

Invader Jim said...

I played Grand Theft Auto 3 and one of the very first missions is to pick up one of the boss' "girls." I'd heard all the stories about the pr0stitutes in the game, so I decided just to play with the cars. I regretfully did steal some of them, but they just looked so neat I couldn't resist. After about 15 minutes of doing donuts and jumping over trees, I decided it was time to take this one back to blockbuster and just stick with real video games.. like Madden.

It was a mistake renting it in the first place and I'm just glad I never "got into it."

Anonymous said...

I read a review of San Andreas and was kind of shocked to read that you could shoot and wound/kill people, and then hang around to shoot the ambulance workers who showed up to assist the wounded. The problem with games like this is that you know there's one seriously unbalanced person out there who will play this game and then decide how fun it would be to play in real life.

I highly suggest playing Tetris. Everyone knows that Tetris was designed to help the Elders of Israel practice fitting things together. Skills like that come in very handing when helping a ward member to arrange their posessions in the back of a truck. I know this because during the last move we did, someone put some items together in a nice snug way and then said "I play a lot of Tetris." Amen, brother!

Danithew
http://www.wump.info/wumpblog

Renee said...

Back in '89, I remember seeing a video game called Narc that involved going into drug labs and shooting dogs and prostitutes. This was well before I was LDS and considered myself rather liberal. I found this game very disturbing and it wasn't half as graphic as games today.

In the same way that our understanding of the gospel is built line upon line, our desensitization is built line upon line. If GTA came out in '89, there would have been protests in the street. Instead we got Narc which was just a little bit worse than what was already out there. Incrementally, we've gotten "just a little bit worse" every year.

If anyone makes a fuss, they are viewed as reactionary to get upset over such a little thing that isn't "much worse" than what was already available.

Anonymous said...

lol wtf? you guys it's just a game you are taking it way to far. you could say the same thing about any shooting game but u dont hear that about counter strike or true crimes streets of LA you guys need to realize it's a game and that it's not the producers fault if people do crazy stuff cause of a game. You guys blame the producers when it's not there fault. Shame on you guys you blaming on rockstar for crating a great game.

Anonymous said...

I play GTA SA a lot, it in no way encourages violent behaviour in stable adult minds. I have no idea what the age limit iswhereyoulive, but it';s 18 here. I'm pretty confident anyone 18+ wouldn't become more violent, tracist, etc as a result of this game.

As for teh porn? The chicks get paid, if they weren't compromising themselves in that way to make moeny they'd probably be prositutes. drug dealers. St people. I certianly don't think looking at porn makes me any less of a man.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

^I agree with you whole-heartidly, but you need to learn proper grammar skills. Anyway, if you don't like the game, don't tell other people not to play it. It's their own decision. You can't control someone else's life, and you shouldn't. Limiting what children and the public in general do as a hobby is basically playing 'god'. Let things be. There haven't been that many acts of violence that have been proven to be cause by violent games such as Grand Theft Auto, but the kids that do go on school rampages are usually the ones that are mentally unstable. That's not the Companies fault. Really though, shame on you for trying to convince others what not to do.

Signed- A 15 year-old avid gamer whom finds you guys much more disturbing then the game itself.

Anonymous said...

If you're wondering whats going on blog creator sorry but someone linked to your blog on apopular GTA SA message board. You can see the topic here:

http://boards.gamefaqs.com/gfaqs/genmessage.php?board=914983&topic=21293502

I'll try and get it removed. Don't take it seriously, they're just kids looking for attnetion.

Anonymous said...

seriously, get over it. It's a video game. I guess people who are jewish play a lot of mario cause you get a lot of money. I guess fat kids are fat because they played pac-man and decided to eat cheese like pac-man does. I laugh at you guys who try and blame and say "shame on Rockstar". First of all Rockstar doesnt make the game in hopes that a 15 year old kid will play it and do bad things. heres something to think about. You have to be 17-18 years to buy a game such as GTA:SA or any GTA's. How would a young child get in contact with a game like this, easily there PARENTS buy them. GTA has been all over the media and news saying how bad it is. So it's not hard to know or be educated that the game is "bad" for little kids. So before you go and blame someone else, how about you blame yourself cause after all, your the one who bought it for your mentally unstable child.

Anonymous said...

Haha. Yeah right, get a life. Real men don't hide behind a computer screen whining about a computer game (and everything else).

Anonymous said...

If Grand Theft Auto encourages you to commit a crime, then congradulations, you and your parents are retards.

Nicolas Croucher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
The other side of the coin said...

Wow. Just wow. Always blaming someone else. Why can't you just admit that if your child did something wrong, then you failed, not the creators of a violent video game.


"I highly suggest playing Tetris. Everyone knows that Tetris was designed to help the Elders of Israel practice fitting things together. Skills like that come in very handing when helping a ward member to arrange their posessions in the back of a truck. I know this because during the last move we did, someone put some items together in a nice snug way and then said "I play a lot of Tetris." Amen, brother!"

Is that a fact? Does everything revolve around your religion?


"Real men respect women. Real men don't do p0rn, and real men don't mess with offensive games like this one."

So, what do real men do? Plant gardens, take nature walks, and pray all day? You can't tell me that deep inside, you yearn to do the things that you can do in Grand Theft Auto. GTA is just a way for people to have fun and relieve their anger. Studies have actually shown that people who play violent video games have less of a chance to do drastic things.

Just some food for thought...

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Nicolas Croucher said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

lighten up guys- the topic creator is entitled to his own opinion, which i dont agree with but o well. o and im also conservative but have NO problem with this game

Mormanity said...

Hey, gamers, lighten up. This site is a site for people interested in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. If you don't agree with my views, that's OK - but cool it with the moronic swearing.