Dan Isett, the Parents Television Council’s Director of Public Policy, was caught lying about the content of top-selling game GTA IV, and his experience of it, by an enterprising reporter who went to the trouble of actually playing it himself.
Have you played the game?
“I’ve actually played ‘Grand Theft Auto IV,’ and it’s right in keeping with previous versions. The series continues to lower the bar and this is the first game that has an alcohol content warning. You get points for driving drunk in this game.”
You know that’s not true, right? The game doesn’t have points.
“If nothing else, it’s a rewarded activity. Necessary for advancement.”
I don’t think so.
“But there’s an alcohol content warning and a scene of drunk driving, correct?”
They don't really care about the game; to its critics, it's just a button to push. But when everyone is generally savvier about the game's content than them, especially the media, how can they expect to be taken seriously?
"You get points for driving drunk in this game" [AZ Night Buzz]
Update: Reuters has a short feature on "Grand Theft Childhood: The Surprising Truth About Violent Video Games and What Parents Can Do ," a new book from a husband-and-wife research team at Harvard Med that argues that the link between aggressive behavior in kids and violent videogames might be the inverse of the common argument.
The researchers found that 51 percent of boys who played M-rated games -- the industry's equivalent of an R-rated movie, meaning suitable for ages 17 and up -- had been in a fight in the past year, compared to 28 percent of non-M-rated gamers.
You have to love the hysteria implicit in the Reuters headline, too, as if the idea that videogames created killers was the consensus view until this new book was published. – Joel