Legal and ethical stuff
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- 1. There are many controversial themes that can influence the users of Grand Theft Auto. Here is a list of the themes that are used in Grand Theft Auto which hold a possible influence on the users of the game: Drugs Prostitution/Strip Clubs Killing Drinking Theft Driving Wrecklessly
2. Drugs During the game the player finds themselves in many drug dealing situations. Usually after these missions they will have earned a substantial amount of money. As well as this other people will be taking drugs and describing them in a positive way. This may intrigue the player in taking drugs or having something to do with drugs in real life thinking they may make lots of money, or want to use them recreationally. 3. Prostitution/Strip ClubsThe game includes side activities which you can do with the characters friends. One of these activities is strip clubs. This is where you can go on your own or with other characters to pay for women to give them promiscuous dances. This appeals to the typical male audience and therefore might influence them into going out to real life strip clubs and spending large amounts of money for their own pleasurable benefit. 4. KillingAnother action you can perform in the game is killing people using different weapons or techniques. You are mostly asked to kill or assault someone on the majority of story missions within the game. This usually results in some kind of reward such as a car, weapon, money, revenge or sometimes a house. When you kill someone on the free roam mode, things may fall out of the victims pockets such as weapons or money. This helps the character progress through the story by enabling them to have new ways in which to buy weapons or use the weapons dropped to kill more people. This could influence the players of the game to kill people in order to find a reward or get revenge.Story about GTA 4-Influenced murder On 27 June 2008, police arrested six teenagers who went on a crime spree in the town of New Hyde Park, New York. The group mugged a man, knocking his teeth out, attempted to car-jack a woman driving a BMW and smashed a passing van with a bat. According to the Nassau County Police, the teens claimed they were inspired by Niko Bellic perpetrating violent crimes in Grand Theft Auto IV. 5. Drinking As a side activity in the game the player can go to pubs or clubs with friends and will become heavily drunk. When this happens the view becomes wildly distorted and movements almost unpredictable. The players also have the ability to access cars whilst still drunk. This may be conveyed to the audience as a comical moment as they are laughing at the silliness of the situation. Therefore this may influence the players to go out and get drunk in real life, and maybe try to steal a car to see if it is like the game. However the game does not actually promote drink driving to the players, if they are seen driving by police whilst intoxicated they will gain a wanted level and be arrested and fined, the character will also make remarks like I shouldnt be driving therefore showing to the audience that this should not be done.Story about GTA 4 Drinking and Driving Controversy The organisation Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) sharply criticized an in-game option that allows players to drive while intoxicated and called for a stricter rating on the game that would effectively ban its sale in the United States. "Drunk driving is not a game and it is not a joke," MADD said. "Drunk driving is a choice, a violent crime, and it is also 100 percent preventable." MADD is asking the Entertainment Software Rating Board to bump Grand Theft Auto IV's rating up to AO for Adults Only from M for Mature and calling for Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games to consider stopping distribution out of a sense of social responsibility, or out of respect for those who've been hurt or killed by drunk drivers. The ESRB describes that the game includes "Use of drugs and Alcohol". 6. Theft Different missions and side missions throughout the game require you to steal different valuable items for a reward. This usually involves stealing a car, stealing drugs from other drug lords, and one mission requires you to rob the citys bank. These missions all end up in rewarding the player with mass amounts of money which comes in handy to their progression of the game. This may intrigue the players into stealing in real life to earn moneyStory about GTA 4-Influenced murder and theft On 4 August 2008, BBC Newsbeat reported that an 18 yearold student had been arrested in Bangkok, Thailand after he killed the driver of a taxi while attempting to steal it. Bangkok police captain Veerarit Pipatanasak stated "He wanted to find out if it was as easy in real life to rob a taxi as it was in the game." According to local sources, the student was playing the game in an arcade and wanted to rob the taxi driver to get money to continue playing the game. As a result of this incident, the game (along with the whole series) was subsequently banned in Thailand. 7. Driving RecklesslyThe in game driving system enables the user to navigate their way around the games world. This gives them freedom to do more on the game when free roaming. The player is also able to shoot weapons out of their window at other cars or passers by, which is helpful when being chased by police or other gangs. As well as this the player can break road laws such as speeding, passing red lights, hitting pedestrians, and resisting arrest. This may influence a person into doing this in real life to get a rush of adrenaline and a feel of freedom. 8. The VSC was established in 1989 and fulfils two basic roles: It is a standards body for the video and video games industries and has a Code of Practice designed to ensure that both industries show a duty of care in their dealings with customers and the public generally. It provides its retailer members with a staff training course dealing with age restricted videos, DVDs and video games. It acts as an administrator of the PEGI system of age rating for video games. PEGI is used in over 30 countries. It is the UK regulator responsible for the age rating of video games supplied in the UK (using the PEGI system). In fulfilling this role it uses the name Games Rating Authority (GRA). From the Video Standards Council. The BBFC originally categorized games into age ratings, however after July 2012 the Video Standards Council had control over the categorizing of games ratings. Although the BBFC still regulate trailers and the content for computer games. 9. Copyright Law governing the ownership of intellectual property, including music and photographs, Copyright protects only the particular manner of an authors expression in literary, artistic, or musical form. There are many elements within the game that would need to obey copyright laws. These are such things as vehicles, products, music etc. A lot of vehicles within the game look like real life vehicles therefore in order to make sure no complaints were filed Rock star would have made sure the vehicles are named differently to avoid complaints and lawsuits from vehicle manufacturers. This would be the same for the food, drink and clothing products that can be purchased within the game. However the in game radio station will have had to get copyright rights for the songs to be able to use them. Royalties are paid to the band in order for the games company to sell the games soundtrack. 10. Child Protection Law governing how children should be protected by the state Cruelty to Animals Law governing how animals should be treated in society Both the Child Protection and Cruelty to Animals Law have been treated the same way in the game. Grand Theft Auto, so far, has never included any children or animals within their games. Animals such as rats are shown within the game to represent the class of society a player might be in. As well as this seagull can also be seen flying around in the sky, however neither of these animals can be killed. Although one side mission is to kill 100 pigeons or more known as flying rats that are scattered throughout the city. By using the term flying rats Rockstar has so far seemed to avoid any animal Cruelty controversy. The child protection law does not apply to the game as no children are featured in the game therefore no child actors were used. 11. This adult rating is applied when the level of violence reaches a stage where it becomes gross violence and/or includes elements of specific types of violence. In general terms it is where the level of violence is so visually strong that it would make the reasonable viewer react with a sense of revulsion. This rating is also applied where the level of sexual activity is explicit which may mean that genitals are visible. Any game that glamorises the use of real life drugs will also probably fall into this category. This is how the Video Standards councils defines an 18 rated game. Therefore by looking at the mass amounts of violence, sex and drugs in Grand Theft Auto it is clear to say that this is why the age rating for the game is set so high.