We are a company that prides itself on positive and sexy entertainment. This series is a commentary on the gaming industry and the tactics it uses to get attention. We do not condone violence in any shape or form. We support sex wholeheartedly, only when it’s consensual and fun.
Hope you’re having a horny day!
Today we’ll be covering another infamous game series that is a perfect fit for our sex and violence series. You could argue that it is the series that started this whole idea.
From a top down pixel nightmare to the most stunning sandbox experience for insane mayhem-loving individuals, Grand Theft Auto has always been fantastic. And the controversies surrounding each of the titles in the series even more so.
Grand Theft Auto is an open world, action-adventure video game developed and published by Rockstar Games. The game became subject to widespread online debate over its portrayal of women, substance abuse and the emphasis on violence. As a series, GTA has always been among the least favorites of all official governmental game rating associacions, being only second best to Mortal Kombat in terms of violence (after all, Mortal Kombat is the reason games have to be rated these days.
It is a widespread concern that violent video games promote aggression, reduce prosocial behaviour, increase impulsivity and interfere with cognition as well as mood in its players. And GTA has been cited as an example on multiple occasions.
Today we’re going to review the games under the Sex and Violence prism, pay our respects to a fantastic franchise and just sit down and have a good ol’ time.
“Blood and Gore, Intense Violence, Strong Language, Strong Sexual Content, [and] Use of Drugs.” – words that all GTA physical copy owners are far too familiar with. Almost every game in the franchise has been adorned with AO 18+ rating – Adults Only because of the depictions of all above listed acts of violence. From the infamous Hot Coffee mod to the appalling depiction of women, there’s plenty that GTA has always had to deal with in terms of media trouble.
After being installed, the widely available mod lets users play a bonus sex minigame as a reward for completing the numerous “girlfriend” missions in San Andreas.
After video of the mod was widely circulated, anti-game activists and US politicians blasted the game. Clinton went as far as to publicly equate violent games with cigarettes and alcohol as a hazard to America’s youth. ESRB launched an investigation, which looked into whether the mod was included in the original game or was made by a third party.
In response to the PC mod surfacing and gaining wide notice, Rockstar Games issued a carefully worded statement in reference to the mod. “So far we have learned that the ‘Hot Coffee’ modification is the work of a determined group of hackers who have gone to significant trouble to alter scenes in the official version of the game,” it read.
However, Rockstar’s statement did little to extinguish the fires of controversy. Soon, reports began to surface that console versions of San Andreas contained code for the sex minigame. Later on, GameSpot editors unlocked the code from a PlayStation 2 copy of San Andreas bought in October 2004, using an Action Replay Max device and a series of cheat codes. Since console games are written on unalterable DVDs and cheat codes cannot introduce new content, the fact the minigame was playable at all means it was included in the original PS2 San Andreas, albeit hidden.
Depiction of Women
“Yes, it’s misogynistic and violent, but I still admire Grand Theft Auto”
GTA V had a record $800 million in sales on its first day. As with past versions, the game generated controversy over its glorification of violence and drugs and its demeaning portrayal of women.
Some reviewers claim that the game’s portrayal of women is misogynistic. Polygon felt that the supporting female characters were constructed on stereotypes, and wrote that the game’s “treatment of women is a relic from the current generation”.
Los Angeles Times considered the satirical portrayals of women uncreative, and added that violent and sexist themes hurt the game experience.
Edge noted that while “every female in the game exists solely to be sneered, leered or laughed at”, it treated its all-male lead characters in a similar vein through their stereotyped tendencies towards violence.
GTA is as misogynistic as it is misandric. It has always supported the notion of disrespecting everyone’s lives and privacy, regardless of their background and social status. We wouldn’t go as far as to call it overtly sexist, as every character in the series has always been based on stereotypes. GTA is a parody of live and a successful one at that.
Overt Violence and Depiction of Torture
The GTA V mission “By the Book” caused controversy from reviewers and players for its depiction of torture. In the mission, protagonist Trevor Philips interrogates a man, to extract information about terrorists and threats to the FIB (Federal Investigation Bureau, the game’s version of the FBI). Trevor uses torture methods such as electrocution, removing teeth using pliers, hitting Mr. K with a monkey wrench, and waterboarding on the restrained man.
Once Mr. K provides the FIB with the information, Trevor is asked to kill him, but instead drives him to the airport, providing him an opportunity to escape. While driving Mr. K, Trevor monologues about the ineffectiveness of torture, pointing out Mr. K’s readiness to supply the FIB with the information without being tortured, and expressing that torture is used as a power play “to assert ourselves”.
Reviewers echoed that while the mission served as political commentary on the use of torture by the United States government, its use of torture was in poor taste.
Whether you love it or hate it, GTA is a giant in modern gaming and is likely to remain one for a long time. The world needs bread and circuses to distract from actual problems. And GTA gives plenty of Circuses.