"It’s got stealing cars, shooting people, and beating up hookers. 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."
-- Ed Schultz on Grand Theft Auto V, which was released today
Well, at least we can say that the inevitable and therefore entirely predictable avalanche of stupid outrage over GTA V started in a surprising place. I figured one of the usual conservative mouthpieces would be the first to lose his mind and have a public meltdown over this game, decrying it as the end of civilization as we know it.
Look, Grand Theft Auto V absolutely isn't made for kids, the same way that every game in the GTA series that came before it wasn't. If you think it's perfectly okay for children to play this game, you really are out to lunch. As for the influence of pop culture, in general it can of course play a role in a person's development; its negative aspects, meanwhile, almost certainly have the potential to do damage to a warped mind. But the thing is, that mind has to already be warped and therefore susceptible to the suggestion. Grand Theft Auto V doesn't make normal people into sociopaths or spree killers.
There are so few cases of violent art being a direct driver of abnormal behavior that statistically the entire premise is negligible. But saying so doesn't make for good TV and it doesn't allow a buffoon like Schultz to do what he does best: breathe fire into the ether. Jesus, at least Grand Theft Auto V doesn't sell itself as being the truth night after night on cable TV. You tell me what really causes more damage to us as a country: a video game or a guy on a nationwide news network who claims, without providing any sort of attribution or evidence, that a gunman who shot up a Navy Yard was "a big fan of this kind of stuff," with this stuff being violent video games.
Schultz's pearl-clutching diatribe is what it always is: silly political shtick and nothing more.
Now I have to go. My mom is calling me from Florida to tell me that I'm not allowed to play Grand Theft Auto V