Grand Theft Auto Lawsuit Essay

884 words - 4 pages

In the article “Can a Video Game Lead to Murder?,” Ed Bradley reports on an incident in Fayette, Alabama involving the shooting of three police officers by a teenager and a multi-million dollar lawsuit against both the makers and sellers of the Grand Theft Auto video game. In his report Bradley uses inflammatory words, skewed facts, and quotes of prominent public figures to try and agitate uninformed parents and make them more conscious of games and the effects they may have on their children.
Bradley starts off his report with asking the reader to imagine a game that would let them “decapitate police officers, kill them with a sniper rifle, massacre them with a chainsaw, and set them on fire” (Bradley). This use of extremely graphic and inflammatory diction is used for only one purpose, to prime the reader’s mind with a sense of anger by putting forth an affront to their morality and sense of decency. Bradley describes the game to parents as brutally as possible to leave no room for questioning the possibility of any redeeming aspects present. Being told that the game is governed by “the laws of depravity” and that the entire reason for playing the game is to kill police officers would instantly change any parent’s thoughts to anger towards this game (Bradley). Bradley’s goal is to immediately horrify parents and frighten them with the possibility that their own children might be playing such a game. This would immediately grab the reader’s attention and keep them reading the article which is exactly what any good journalist would want, but what price does attention grabbing pay with regards to the truth of the subject?
The article does have merit when Bradley reports on the lawsuit being brought against the makers of the game and he reports the emotional response of the families involved in the incident rather nicely. Bradley, however, says that “there are police at every turn, and endless opportunities to take them down” and this is just not the case (Bradley). Bradley’s description of the game play is irresponsible because it only shows a single aspect of the game and makes the parents believe that this is the only thing the game offers. With Bradley quoting people who call the game a “murder simulator” how can parents look at that and not expect the game to be anything other than a mindless rampage through a city (Bradley). According to Meriam-Websters Online Dictionary, a simulator is “a device that enables the operator to reproduce or represent under test conditions phenomena likely to occur in actual performance” the comparison of a video...

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