Deputy UK Prime Minister Nick Clegg criticized violent video games hot on the heels of Rockstar’s incredibly successful Grand Theft Auto 5 launch.
Take-Two Interactive’s open-world crime saga is one of the fastest-selling games in history. After three days on retails shelves, GTA 5 has reportedly amassed $1 billion in sales. That number is only going to get higher as the holiday season approaches.
As millions of people are running over pedestrians and shooting hookers for fun and profit, Clegg wonders what sort of effect violent entertainment is having on the masses. According to the deputy prime minister, it isn’t very good.
Clearly these games can have an incredibly powerful, and I suspect in some cases corrosive effect, on someone’s behavior, someone’s outlook; they get shut off, they don’t talk to other people, they just stay in their living room, their bedroom hunkered down in front of their computer. They occupy a hermetically sealed world of their own and that can have a very detrimental effect.
Although Clegg seems concerned about what Grand Theft Auto 5 is doing to your brain, he said there’s little the government can do about it now. Even the deputy prime minister admits you can’t put restrictions on how much time people devote to violent video games.
“There are, of course, restrictions around content. But we cannot limit people’s use of [video games], certainly not the amount of time they devote to this by law or by edict,” he added.
Clegg didn’t quote any specific reports or studies regarding the “corrosive effect” games like Grand Theft Auto 5 are having on gamers. While GTA-related deaths have occurred over the years, the game continues to dominate popular culture.
“‘Grand Theft Auto’ is a cultural phenomenon and Rockstar Games continues to redefine what can be achieved in interactive entertainment. We are incredibly proud of the extraordinary critical and commercial response to ‘Grand Theft Auto V,'” Take-Two said in a recent statement.
Do you think games like Grand Theft Auto 5 have a negative effect on the people who play them?
[Image via Rockstar Games / Take-Two Interactive]