I remember the very first time I saw the game Grand Theft Auto. I was living in the dorm at Tyndale and a friend of mine had the PC version of it. I played it and the sequel. When Grand Theft Auto 3 came out not long after that, I bought a PS2 just for this game. GTA3 and GTA: Vice City were, by far, the best games on the market. GTA: San Andreas was, however, a step above, both in the ingenuity of the game and the raunchiness. I finally decided that this would be my last GTA game. I could not, as a Christian, play this game anymore, not to mention that I knew that if I ever had kids, I could never play it in front of them.

I was, however, surprised today when the rating was changed from M to AO. It effected me indirectly as I work in retail and we received urgent news from headquarters to pull the game. Despite the rumors, Target (the store I work for) did not voluntarily pull the game. The makers of the software asked each retailer to pull the game. Not only has the game been pulled, but it will no longer be made.

The hypocrisy of this really strikes me. The fine line between M and AO is indeed very fine. Check out his list of M and AO games I found online and you tell me if GTA crossed the line.

“The Guy Game,” ($30, PC, PlayStation 2, Xbox). This quiz-show format game involves scantily clad female spring breakers on the beaches of South Padre Island, Texas. The goal involves testing your brain power against a series of half-nude female partygoers, who’ll strip down and flash their breasts if you can successfully predict if they’ll correctly answer questions. The game is rated “M” for crude humor, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content and alcohol.

“Playboy: The Mansion,” ($40, PC, PS2 and Xbox). A computerized Hugh Hefner strolls around in his red smoking jacket, half-naked women latched to his arms. As Hef, your goal is to schmooze, party, flirt – and then some – as you become a national icon. The ESRB gave it an “M” for nudity, strong sexual content and use of alcohol.

“Postal 2,” ($20, PC). This game from the creative minds at Running With Scissors aims for shock value but earned an “M” rating for blood and gore, intense violence, mature humor, sexual themes, strong language and use of drugs and alcohol. You control a disgruntled postal worker and lead him on unabashedly ultraviolent killing sprees involving hapless civilians in an Arizona town.

“Leisure Suit Larry: Magna Cum Laude Uncut and Uncensored,” ($30, Vivendi Universal Games). You are Larry Lovage, controlled in a quest to score with the ladies at a local community college. As charmingly innocent as it may sounds, this special cut of the game earned an “AO” rating for mature humor, nudity, strong language, strong sexual content and use of alcohol.”

Did GTASA really cross the line here? Or was it hypocrites like Senator Hillary Clinton who blew this out of proportion so she can snag some headlines for her 2008 presidential run?

This is indeed Grand Theft Hypocrisy.

Dave M.


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