Feature: The IDA Attacks Grand Theft Auto V
Who’s up for another round of *insert anti-gaming group here* attacks *insert game here*?
It was going to happen sooner or later, wasn’t it? Let’s be honest. These days, with technology progressing faster and faster in the gaming industry, the available content within games nowadays is becoming more vast and, for the most part, more realistic.
So, who’s turn is it to be accused of influencing evil this time? It’s GTA V of course! The organisation in question? IDA (In Defence of Animals).
IDA is an organisation based in America. Their objective, mission and goal is simple – The protection and welfare of animals. However, they actually differ substantially from, what would be at first glance the RSPCA or even the WWF. The IDA wants not only to stop people from harming animals in any acts of cruelty (which is obviously a damn fine and noble cause) but to stop people from harming animals in the digital world because it promotes the wrong message to young people. What’s concerning is that IDA has now targeted a videogame in the shape of GTA V because you’re able to kill various animals throughout the game.
Now, GTA is no stranger to attracting attention from various groups, companies and organisations who, most of the time have no real interest in playing games for pleasure, I mean it comes with the territory. Ever since the first game you were able to steal cars, run people over, watch cut-scenes that had explicit language and violence and everything in-between. But the entire series of GTA is rated 18! Why are the GTA games rated 18? We know why. Because the law states that at the age of 18 an individual is the appropriate age in which to know that this amount of fiction can be realised from this amount of reality. Simple.
So, IDA are attacking GTA V because of the ability to run over animals like road-kill. Got that? So, they’re saying that having this ability will make the player decide, ”Hmm, this road-kill stuff is awesome. I should go out in my own car and do it for real!”. Really, IDA? Really? I play and have played violent games pretty much all my life. Games where I have the ability to hurt animals, kill people, fight people and so on, and not once in my life have I ever been inspired to just see a random dog in the street and kick the crap out of it, or take a chainsaw from my dad’s shed and slice someone in half that I really didn’t like, or have a fight with a random guy in the street and perform the finishing blow whilst shouting, ”SHORYUKEN!”.
Now, don’t get me wrong, I think we can all agree that organisations like IDA are doing a great job in sending a message to people that animal cruelty is just not right. They’re actually doing a great thing. I like the fact that there’s more people out there sending this great message to people. But to attack a simple videogame because of its content and, let’s face it, because it’s such an easy target is just time-consuming and a waste of resources. What about the Cabela games? The Cabela games are known for creating games that put the player in a situation where they have to kill animals. Oh, and to those of you who don’t play games or have never heard of these titles, there are no humans involved. It’s just you, a gun and the animals you hunt. Why aren’t these people attacking Cabela?
What about Duck Hunt for the Nintendo system? Anyone remember that? Sure you do! You played that game when you felt like shooting some random ducks out of the air with your light gun! Isn’t that worse than what IDA are saying about GTA V? You Actively went to play that game to kill ducks! You might say ”Oh, but that was a childish looking game. It had bright colours and was like being at an actual duck hunt”. That’s better? I mean the dog that accompanies you in that game actually holds up the ducks in glee when the round was over! It looked really happy! In fact, that dog made me want to go out and kick the crap out of an actual dog in the street because it was such a troll! I didn’t though, so don’t worry.
Now, one could argue with why GTA V has the ability to perform such ghastly acts. Why does the game need to have animals in the game for you to kill? Why does GTA have people you can run over? Why does GTA have an open world where you can do pretty much anything you want? If you have to ask these questions, then you’re not ready to play it. GTA V is an adult game pure and simple. If the game was rated 15, then I’m sure we’d all have something to say about it, but the fact is it’s meant for adults who know better. No one who worked on GTA V has actively encouraged the player to do anything other than to play the story and explore the world which they created. Everything that’s in GTA V is at the player’s disposal. If they want to kill an innocent civilian, they can do it. If they feel like punching a homeless guy in the street, they can do it. If they feel like running over some animals, they can do it. But they don’t have to.
So, what now? Nothing really. This is the same story we’ve all heard countless times about a videogame supposedly promoting violence, cruelty and evil to people around the world. How many people have killed anyone or anything because they claimed a game gave them the inspiration for it? Not many. And I’d quite happily bet that most of those people were lying because they needed a scapegoat. The rest? Maybe they were telling the truth, but even if they were, they’d have to have something wrong with their mental state or weren’t schooled correctly by their parents.
Games don’t promote evil. They support fun, an escape from reality, a place to spend time with friends. Sometimes the best outlet for rage or hate is to just simply turn on a console, slap on a copy of GTA V and let the bodies pile up in your rear-view mirror. In reality, we’d wouldn’t dream of it but who knows, without games like GTA, Call of Duty or Mortal Kombat, we may have seen more acts of cruelty or killings in the name of reality.
What do you think about the latest attack on videogame culture? Let us know via the comments section below.