Gordon Copeland has come out this week saying he wants “Grand Auto Theft IV” to be banned (its Grand Theft Auto IV btw Gordon).
He was interviewed on 95BFM’s “The Wire” show this morning and I encourage you to listen to what this independent Member of Parliament has to say. There’s some scary stuff…
So lets take a quick look at some of Mr Copelands claims from his interview:
“Grand Auto Theft IV has got no redeeming features.”
Grand Theft Auto IV is rated the best game ever released by the critics. As Tim Neale from BFM mentioned, Rockstar expect to sell 6 million copies in the first week alone. What was the last book that sold 6 million copies at over $100 a pop? What was the last movie that grossed US$400 in its first week? There’s got to be some redeeming features for the game to be this BIG.
“We’re an already violent society and the last thing we need is a game like this to come in and to let people pretend to be… criminals.”
Would it be true that pretending to be a criminal… is better than actually being one?
“As human beings we become what we watch…”
If we become what we watch… then I’m going to become an All Black. And a ninja. This statement is idiocy. It’s more likely that the environment you are raised in determines the person you become. In fact, experts such as Philip Zimbardo suggest that while parenting, schooling, upbringing, genes etc all help determine who we are… its our environment and our immediate situation that actually tips people to commit crimes.
“I think its time and say No to this video… its a small word but we should use it more”
Thankfully saying “No” is still the job of the Chief Censor, Bill Hastings. Can you imagine Mr Copeland having a say on our censorship laws? Sounds like a good time to say “No”.
“I don’t believe any individual needs to spend valuable time watching such rubbish”
Spending time playing video games or watching movies is a freedom of choice. One which a lot of people do exercise. I’ve personally been playing video games for over 30 years… and I still haven’t morphed into something evil. Well… at least not in the real world.
“The very fact we make it R18 gives it an aura for kids…”
Most people suggest that calling for the game to be banned is adding to the so-called “aura”. I’m not. I’m going to suggest that with good parenting, this is a non-issue. Parents should keep an eye on their kids video gaming habits, as they should for the movies they watch, the music they listen to and the friends they hang out with.
“We may well find the murderer has been given a steady diet of porn and violence”
Supposing that a murderer had links with porn and violence is irresponsible. Trying to link this game to the murder of Marie Davis’s just seems wrong?
“Things like Grand Theft Auto IV is a simulator”
Video games are not simulators. Video games do not train you to do anything. So far I have not turned into a ninja, nor a pilot, nor a soccer player, nor a secret agent, a warlock, racing car driver or even a tennis player. Video games may improve your hand-eye co-ordination and even your problem solving skills… but train you to be something? Unfortunately not.
“Why take the risk?”
Well why stop at video games? Why not ban all adult material and take no risks? No porn? No violent movies? No violent books? How about those cigarettes? Ban alcohol? Ban cars? Dumbing down our whole world for the sake a few idiots would kinda suck? A lot?
“The police and parents in particular are saying the same thing”
Good parents have already banned their kids from watching or playing this game. Its R18 remember?
If there’s one thing Gordon does highlight… it’s that the MMP system can be very flawed at times. But thankfully, we can all say that we didn’t vote for this guy — he’s a list MP after all. Bring on the next election!