Wednesday, May 14, 2008

To Game? Or not to game...

So on Father Rodericks Daily Breakfast 478 - Looking For An Audience, he was asking how to evangelize to GTA IV gamers. Thats "Grand Theft Auto IV" for the non gaming crew out there. Now I dont play this game, and I refuse to give it any press, hence the above picture from my favorite game, "Call of Duty 4". Now some might say that COD4 is just as violent as GTA IV, and while I can see why, they'd say that, I dont agree. COD4 is good Vs. evil, there is an objective, saving the world. GTA IV is all about climbing your way up the corporate ladder of criminal enterprise. "The main character can commit a wide variety of crimes and violent acts while dealing with only temporary consequences, including the killing of policemen and military personnel." Wikipedias entry for the entire GTA series of games.

But I digress; Fr. Roderick's question was, how can we, as Catholics, evangelize to the kids who play Grand Theft Auto? Certainly no other game has been maligned quite so much as GTA, even to the point where there have been numerous law suits against it's creators purporting that the game led to the murders of
Aaron Hamel, Kimberly Bede, Delbert Paul Posey,Marilea Posey,Tryone Schmid, as well as another case where a young man by the name of Devin Moore shot and killed 3 police officers in Alabama after being arrested for (surprise surprise) Grand Theft auto.

So clearly, this game has led more than a few people down the wrong proverbial path, and while you cant say the game directly made these young men murder these people, it certainly seems a safe bet to say it had something to do with the acts. But how do we reach the players, and once we reach them, what do we say to them? Like I said, I dont play this game, and I dont think I personally know anyone who does. So how do we help these people to differentiate between what is game play and what is reality? There has to be a way to get through to the kids who play this brutal "game".


Tausign said...

I'm guess I would question any redeeming quality in these sorts of games based upon 'good vs. evil'. I understand and agree that we will be required to show and use force at times. But these games project 'violence' instead which is force and much more; typically malice, hatred, extreme cruelty, dehumanization and on and on.

Beyond all this 'game hype' is the loss of what is the real nature of true evil and what is the ultimate weapon to confront it. Try this post of mine:

Peace and all good.

Steve said...

True, but does GTA IV help perpetuate "Thug Life"? In being that all the characters are corrupt, all the characters are criminals or prostitutes, does the game do nothing but glorify the life of low level crime lords? Doesnt that make it worse than say "The Lord of the Rings" video game?

Barb, sfo said...

First I will say that we will not allow our son to buy this game (I'm not sure if he even wants to, but we will not allow it). He does play COD 2 (when his little brother is not around to see it).

I have to wonder, though, if the game "leads people down the wrong path" or if the people who buy the game are the type who would go down the wrong path regardless of the game they play, the music they listen to, etc. Basically--is there a proven causative factor here?

I'm just not convinced that the game is a symptom, not the problem itself.

Tausign said...

My original gaming started with stuff like 'Pong' then 'Pac Man' then 'Mario & Luigi' and so on. I have a 30 year old son so I've watched this stuff change over the years. Somewhere along the line this began to change into more and more violent fare. Even thought GTA may be extreme, a lot of the other stuff is still graphic and violent. I haven't seen much in the last few years so I'll not be specific.

My point is that this stuff may be 'normal' in that most American boys are playing it - that I don't doubt. But I still hold that we as parent consumers and they have become innoculated or anesthetized to the level of violence in these games. Again, I don't know COD but even the graphic you illustrate seems violent to me.

I know I spun off tangent from your original query: (How to evangelize to kids who play GTA) But I read (or misread) your comment that the shootin, military assaults, enemy killin' violence was ok as long as it was 'good vs. evil'. That's what really drew my attention. Maybe I'm just being oversensitive to this stuff.