The article in the NY Daily News about the release of Grand Theft Auto V, a video game expected to make one billion dollars in the first month, began with these words: “The game of crime pays — even in the wake of another gun massacre.”
It continues, “The latest installment of the ultraviolent video game franchise Grand Theft Auto will generate $1 billion in sales in one month, analysts predict — despite Monday’s massacre at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people.”
These are staggering numbers: How many products of any kind – let alone a $60 video game – make that kind of money? And what, exactly, are people getting for their bucks?
Writing with concern from England, James Delingpole reports:
“Yesterday, in the process of robbing a bank, I beat up an elderly security guard before shooting dead perhaps 15 policemen, exulting in their murders with the flip dismissal: ‘Shouldn’t have been a cop.’
“After that, I stole a succession of fast cars, evading my pursuers by driving on the wrong side of the road, mowing down passers-by and killing more police by ramming straight into them.
“Then I went home for a change of clothes, a nap, a beer and a joint before getting into my stolen vehicle to wreak more mayhem, pausing briefly to enjoy the services of a prostitute.”
But this is only the beginning (and note that there’s no mention of the flood of profanity that fills the dialogues):
“Had I kept going with this spree of orgiastic destruction and drug-fuelled violence, I would have got the chance to use much heavier weaponry, take stronger drugs, and not only murder people but torture them by pulling out their teeth with pliers, waterboarding them with flammable liquid, kneecapping them with a monkey wrench and making them scream with electric shocks.”
Michael Brown holds a Ph.D. in Near Eastern Languages and Literatures from New York University. He is the author of 25 books, includingLine of Fire. Follow him at AskDrBrown on Facebook or @drmichaellbrown on Twitter.