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Grand Theft Auto: Grand By Name, Not By Nature

Posted by DanielleNicole15 from Cardiff - Published on 01/10/2013 at 08:53
20 comments » - Tagged as Culture, People, Technology, Topical

  • GTA 5

The views in this article are those of the author and not necessarily those of TheSprout.co.uk

Everywhere you look on Twitter you see hash tag "GTA".

This British video game sensation has had gamers hooked to their television and computer screens since 1997, and whether or not it has had any sort of effect on crime rates across the world is highly questionable.

The name of the game itself just screams bad influence. Clearly ‘grand’ and ‘theft’ are far from synonymous, so why place them together? Fair enough, the game is rated 18, but come on, we all know that younger kids are getting their hands on the game somehow. Just think about the negative impact all the swearing, sexual explicitness, constant fighting and crime have on the average twelve-year-old playing the game. Yes, many will argue that GTA is "only a game", but overtime, it is likely to influence even the youngest gamers to want to follow in its crime-filled footsteps.

As you may be aware, the most recent GTA was released on Tuesday 17th September 2013 in the UK. Hundreds of eager gamers took to pre-ordering GTA or even queuing outside game shops until ridiculous hours, just to be the first to get their hands on it. Surely this alone is enough to prove the popularity of this game, hence the likelihood of its damaging influence on the people playing it.

It may seem rather dramatic, but surely if people are sat glaring at their screens playing GTA for hours on end it is likely to impact upon their lives socially, encouraging them not merely to ignore the real life around them but to actually want to become part of the game, which they’re playing. Seeing the youngest of children acting out their own favourite video games such as Sonic or Super Mario makes one wonder whether or not, a couple of years down the line, they will be imitating games like GTA, which they have played or witnessed someone else play.

As daunting as this may sound, it could soon become reality.

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20 CommentsPost a comment



Commented 31 months ago - 1st October 2013 - 09:08am

From Wikipedia regarding the use of the phrase Grand Theft...

"Grand theft or grand larceny is a category used to rank the severity of crime associated with theft. Generally, in the United States it is defined as intentional taking property of others in an amount exceeding the state statutory amount."

And generally this article makes me think of this...



Commented 31 months ago - 1st October 2013 - 16:53pm

I completely agree with this article. I think the game is a bit over-rated considering what you have to do.

What really pushed me over the edge was what happened to the man who got his hands on the first copy. Some people are sick.

i completely agree with the video

"Please think of the Children!"

Children are influenced by what they grow up with. For example if you start watching Horror movies at a young age, as you grow, you're getting used to them.

Then think of someone who is an adult and just started to watch Horror Movies, they're probably going to be just as scared, whilst this child is going around watching everything!

I really think parents should monitor what their children play, and if possible, try to stop them playing games like this...

But then comes the bullying. A couple of people in my class were having a go at boys in my form because they don't play GTA V instead these boys play things like 'Portal'.

Parents could feel guilt for not letting them play it... And so they get it that way!

It all narrows down to:




Thanks for your article x



Commented 31 months ago - 3rd October 2013 - 20:22pm

I agree with your points, but many people who have played it (and similar games) state that they haven't been influenced negatively due to the games.

I've heard things like, "I'm not a chef if I play Cooking Mama, so I can't be a thief just because I play GTA". That said, people are influenced by things all the time without realising it. The horse-meat scandal was so shocking because people have been brought up to believe that eating horse is bad and 'not normal' (it's not the best analogy, but go with it). In the same way, I think these kinds of games promote that breaking the law is normal. I don't think people will go on rampages and start burning buildings, but people can get pretty violent if they're persuaded too much. Most of the people in the London riots joined in because "everyone else was doing it".

So, in closing, I think that these kinds of games are bad in the sense that it dulls the brain to knowing what's right and wrong. Saying that, I've never played the game and since it's a sandbox game, every player's experience is different. It all depends on the player, how old they are and how easily persuaded they are.



Commented 31 months ago - 5th October 2013 - 13:28pm

I disagree, I don't believe GTA has a bad influence on kids and in all honestly I dont think it will, I know that many people under 18 play this game, like me for example but most kids are sensible these day so i dont think it will have an impact as the game is at the end of the day, only a game.



Commented 31 months ago - 5th October 2013 - 19:48pm

This is a reply to three people, and then a little bit on the end is just an extra part of my ill-informed opinion.

@CeefaxOfLife You're right, Grand Theft Auto is a reference to what Americans call car theft. Apparently to them, killing someone is normal, but stealing a vehicle is "grand".


@MarshMallo You can say the same about books, films, tv shows, the internet and the like.

It annoys me that people complain about games "promoting violence and crime", while still consuming and creating other forms of media that does the same or worse.

Games like Grand Theft Auto are mere stories. It's no different than reading a book or watching a film. The only difference is that instead of just looking at words or moving pictures, you have a (limited) choice of what will happen. I mean, even games like Call Of Duty and Halo, a game that's main focus on multiplayer, has a story mode. Only problem is that most games, like CoD and Halo, only focus on multiplayer.

And yes, GTA now has an online mode, but it's a more story-driven online mode than just "set up a death match and the shoot everyone on sight".

People see the guns, the strip clubs, the casinos and the like in games and instantly send negativity its way without seeing that there is a story woven within.

There are books that glorify homophobia, films that glorify terrorism, and only a handful complain. The moment a game has a vague sense of realism and everyone loses their minds.

The thing I have in my mind is simple - games, books and films about violence or crime, they don't make a bad man. Non-comsumers of these forms of media need to understand this.


@twilightcrazedxxx From my experience, I was never bullied for not having a certain game, and I've never seen it happen. I've not seen anyone be bullied for not reading a certain book or not watching a certain film.

If goes one of two ways, either they say "Ah, you should, it's great" (or the opposite if whatever they are talking about was crap) or "Oh, that's a shame" and they just carry on.


To me, games like GTA aren't the problem, it's when the media creates tonnes of films and books and games about zombies and the apocalypse.

There's no story to them except for survival, and I hate that. It makes people have survival kits and possess weapons if there are zombies or other scientifically impossible beings around. Surely something like that is far worse than a story-driven game that happens to have crime at its core?


Commented 31 months ago - 5th October 2013 - 23:16pm

In reply to all the comments (which are great so far, some good discussions and points being raised!) it is a highly debated and controversial issue, do games (and to a further extent films, books, music etc.) influence the consumers?

During my time at university I wrote a few papers, and my dissertation, on consumer behaviour and whether people are or can be influenced by games and films. My work was focused on violence, but can be attributed to a range of issues.

My work was framed around censorship and whether it was necessary, and I won't go into detail, but it is interesting and worth having a look at yourselves, the validity of the studies that were conducted and the reality that it is more likely the environment an individual is raised in and external factors that shape them, not a piece of fictitious entertainment. That being said, I do think that violence in games and films, can affect people if they are prone to being influenced. As I said, the issue is very controversial and complex.

In regards to Grand Theft Auto and other violent video games and movies, which depict, promote or even glorify acts of violence, we must remember that they are fictional. In reality our morals should be strong enough to remind us that violence against others, including threatening behaviour, bullying etc. is wrong.

As a side note, I grew up watching horror films and playing 18 certificated games, long before I was 18. My parents obviously monitored me and my behaviour, but allowed me to watch and play these, and I am glad they did. The only way me divulging in these has affected me is, it made me want to make horror films, and now I am lucky enough to actually do that.

So before anyone jumps on the moral panics the media like to whip up every few months to sell papers, actually have a look at some studies on the effects, and have a little look into the research. Mark Kermode has written extensively on these issues (in relation to films) and it is interesting to see both sides of the argument.



Commented 31 months ago - 6th October 2013 - 11:12am

I'm really happy with the feedback for this article, thank you!
I still believe that games like GTA, even though it may not primarily appear to be the case, in fact, do have an underlying effect upon the behaviour on the person playing it. It may seem dramatic, but I think that in subtle forms, an individual is likely to be influenced by games such as GTA, with some more influenced than others.



Commented 31 months ago - 7th October 2013 - 13:04pm

@DanielleNocole15 The thing is, you're only saying that games like GTA have this affect (I'm assuming this is about its focus on crime and not the sandbox genre of gaming). There are far worse games (and other forms of media) that can do worse damage to a person than GTA.

Again, people forget that GTA is a story. It's a story (in the least spoiler way possible) about three men trying to make something of themselves. Yes, unfortunately they attempt to do this via heists.

Also, GTA is influenced by films. Vice City was influenced by films such as Scarface, GoodFellas, Manhunter and other films, for example. Some of these films are considered works of art (I wouldn't know, not a film-goer myself), and in many respects so is Vice City, San Andreas and now GTA V.

To me, gaming is as damaging to people as films, books, the internet, anything. It's like being against Pokemon for promoting the concept of evolution, or that thing with Portal 2 where people thought it was against orphans.

I think the tagline for Final Fantasy XV says it best - "This is a fantasy based on reality". People should realise that when they consume all forms of media. It's a shame that's not the case.


Commented 31 months ago - 11th October 2013 - 09:09am

best game ever

chicken fc 69

Commented 31 months ago - 11th October 2013 - 09:10am

gtv 5 is the best game ever , yeah every voliate , but it shows you what gangstaers r like soo DDDEEEAALLLL WWWWIIITTTTHHHHH


Commented 31 months ago - 11th October 2013 - 09:11am



Commented 31 months ago - 11th October 2013 - 09:12am

GTA V id the best game ever! Who cares if it is very rude and rascist


Commented 30 months ago - 15th November 2013 - 09:44am



Commented 14 months ago - 27th February 2015 - 09:44am

gta v is an epic game :)


Commented 14 months ago - 27th February 2015 - 09:46am

gta5 its a populour game


Commented 14 months ago - 27th February 2015 - 09:46am

gta 5 is a epic game AMAZING


Commented 14 months ago - 10th March 2015 - 14:02pm

GTA 5 is amazing


Commented 13 months ago - 27th March 2015 - 09:35am

this is a awsome game

Insert Name

Commented 13 months ago - 27th March 2015 - 09:42am

I agree this is a good game some things it could do without.

Insert Name

Commented 13 months ago - 27th March 2015 - 09:48am

GTA V is a good game some of the stuff you do you could do without

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