Ten Paces

Should We Worry About Violent Video Games?

A face-off over Grand Theft Auto V.

By and From the November 2013 issue

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Imaginary Guns Don’t Kill People, EitherBy Scott Shackford This year’s biggest blockbuster didn’t appear in movie theaters but in living rooms. Grand Theft Auto V, the sprawling, cartoonish vice simulator of a video game, was released on September 17 and earned $800 million in just 24 hours. By the end of the week it had passed $1 billion in sales worldwide.  Like the game’s predecessors, Grand Theft Auto V is a violent, profane sandbox, allowing players the freedom to engage in the sorts of brutal behavior for which we tend to lock people up for long periods (sometimes ending with a trip to an execution chamber). So, as with the game’s predecessors, its release evoked fretting in the media about its content and reminders that it is intended for mature audiences.

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About the Author

Scott Shackford is an associate editor for Reason 24/7 at Reason.com.