Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) want the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB) to reclassify Grand Theft Auto IV (GTA IV) from a Mature (M) game to an Adults Only (AO) game. Not surprisingly (NS), this is because of drinking and driving, which these mothers are against. Also not surprisingly, I think MADD should STFU. GTA IV doesn’t make the player drive drunk during the game. In fact it is discouraged. But if you really want to, you can. And having that option is what’s made MADD so, um, angry. MADD even asked Rockstar games to consider not distributing the game they spent 100 million dollars developing “if not out of responsibility to society then out of respect for the millions of victims/survivors of drunk driving.” So out of the millions of victims/ survivors of drunk driving, how many of them were killed or injured because of people drinking… in a video game? I suspect the number is about the same as the number of winning NASCAR drivers killed by blue turtle shells.
And if drinking and driving is a good reason to pull the game, what about everything else in the GTA IV? The game is named after a violent felony. It is essentially a crime simulator. Is MADD against drunk driving, but ok with killing cops with an AK-47? Besides, for a game that features a lot of driving, doing it drunk is annoying as hell. If I wanted to cruise around a virtual city with sluggish controls and blurry vision, I’d just play the game after a few Zimas. Driving like crap in a game isn’t going to make kids walk away with the idea that drunk driving is awesome. If anything, it might teach people that being drunk makes it difficult and dangerous to drive. Mothers should be more worried the aspects of the game that are awesome. For example, lately I’ve had the urge to steal a helicopter. In a country where drunk driving kills something like 13,000 people every year in real life, maybe MADD can work on that first, before getting their panties in a twist about the make-believe stuff.
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