As long as video games have been made, they have always been under immense scrutiny for being laced with violence or material perhaps not suited for the kids who play them.
The only thing that has changed over the years is the level of chaos that children are exposed to and the incredible difference between simple animation and realistic graphics.
Donkey Kong snatched a woman, climbed to the top of a building with her in tow and hurled barrels at you while you attempt to save the damsel in distress. Flash forward some 30 years later, and the video game world isn't throwing barrels, anymore, but rather grenades.
And the carnage created by them isn't just on our television screens.
Games like Call of Duty and the Grand Theft Auto sports story lines that are straight out of Hollywood with blood flow that would make Arnold Schwarzenegger or The Rock turn away. The latest Grand Theft Auto, the fifth installment, allows the game player to pick off innocent people at will or vanquish law enforcement officers devoid of remorse.
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That realistic game play is one of the reasons Grand Theft Auto V is experiencing tremendous sales and a revenue stream that isn't going to make the game creators question their strategy. The flip side to the sales aspect is the violence and how it relates to those immersed in it. Video games often are a scapegoat for violence among not only kids but adults who play those same games.
No one is going to argue that the theme of games like Grand Theft Auto would suggest that they're way past gratuitous, but the amount of cash these games generate has built a wall of protection that ironically no automatic machine gun can penetrate.
So what is the ultimate compromise?
Quite frankly, the only guarantee in this dilemma is that there aren't any guarantees. Parents probably are the solution as far as kids not being permitted to play games that are deemed inappropriate based on their age. If you can't watch an R rated movie, why should you be allowed to play an R-rated video game?
Adults that buy these games aren't going to be subjected to a background check, so there's nothing that says they're competent cognitively to handle the shooting spree they see as part of the video game. The hope is that common sense wins out as far as game play goes.
Consumers or those who don't advocate video game violence probably will be waiting quite a while if they're believing Grand Theft Auto 6 will suddenly be PG. But the video game makers aren't the ones responsible for policing the world.
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