Grand theft common sense

Games-Grand Theft Auto V
The “Grand Theft Auto V” billboard is displayed at the Figueroa Hotel in Los Angeles. The game has been subject to controversy since its release on Sept. 17. (Courtesy of AP)
As the sun rises in the east each morning, so too must a member of the ill-informed press make obnoxious accusations about subjects they simply do not understand.

On Sept. 17, Rockstar Games released its much anticipated video game title, “Grand Theft Auto V,” to critical and commercial acclaim.

The title has already set numerous sales records, including making $800 million through its first 24 hours, and over $1 billion in three days, putting it atop the mountain as the single highest grossing entertainment property in history.

This series has seen its fair share of drama from the outside world in the past, with numerous antagonists from the likes of major cable news outlets, to attorneys and government officials, and now Pastor and writer John S. Dickerson.

Dickerson recently had an article published by Fox News declaring the youth of America tainted for playing such a reprehensible game, even going as far as to say that “Grand Theft Auto V trains millions of young Americans to walk into public places and shoot innocent people.”

What a strange thought, considering the amounts of people who purchase Madden NFL Football every year and barely any of them have turned into the next Vince Lombardi.

He continues by implying the recent attack at the Navy Yard in Washington D.C. on Sept. 16 was due in part to Aaron Alexis’ immersion for “hours at a time in this lifelike virtual reality of violence.”

Never mind the fact that Alexis was a former member of the Naval reserve. Try to forget his legal possession of a firearm, even though he had been discharged from the military after multiple run-ins with the law. How about skirting over the fact that barely a month before the shooting of 12 innocent people he had allegedly called the police due to his hotel room’s walls and ceiling talking to him.

It must be that damn video game that hadn’t even come out yet.

The people creating the most buzz about the violence within these types of open-world games are doing nothing more than helping sales figures by creating free press.

Society today always wants to point a finger to something it doesn’t understand and blame crimes on things it can’t wrap its mind around.

People who commit egregious crimes against humanity are not simply doing so because they wish to live out their sick fetishes, which were concocted from a video game.

None of the recent tragedies, such as Sandy Hook, Conn. and Aurora, Colo., were performed by men of a sane mind. Their fondness, or lack thereof, for video games has nothing to do with anything.

Men like Dickerson stain things they do not understand and redirect the blame from where it needs to be. If these loudmouths in the press would actually take the time to study the facts instead of linking tragedy to a convenient release date, maybe they’d earn the notoriety they are so clearly reaching for.

Costa is a senior majoring in journalism.

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