Of course, because news reporters love controversy, I’ve seen a lot of articles about the GTA4 launch this week and frankly, I’m kind of happy to see that it’s selling as well as it is. $310 million on its first day nearly doubles Halo 3’s sales for the first week, and an amazing $500 million its first week is more than most theatrical movies earn from start to finish! In a culture where so many conservatives are so adamant that video games are the root of all evil around the world, it’s somewhat comforting to see sales figures to back up the notion that said idiots are the minority, not the other way around as Fox News would like us to think.
And as for the content, I don’t really have a problem with it and as far as I’m concerned, as long as Wal-Mart (and all of the other retailers) take whatever steps they normally do to “card” underage purchasers to prevent kids from getting their hands on this violent hit, the ball’s in the parents’ court after that. As long as my generation continues to be the driving force behind video games, you’re going to have to get used to the fact that some games are going to be made just for adults, and just like with movies and music, there’s only so much the providers themselves can (or should have to…) do to keep little Timmy all innocent and safe. Frankly, it doesn’t bother me if you can allegedly have sex with a hooker and then kill her afterwards in GTA4 because technically you could do the same thing in GTA3, and anyone who thinks that sounds simply blasphamous clearly hasn’t seen it actually done in the game. At the end of the day, it’s still pixelated cartoon sex and violence, and if I want to see the real thing, I can certainly find a lot more disturbing imagery on the local news between shots of the bad neighborhoods in town and the ongoing coverage of “the war” in Iraq.
I think if anything, the only thing that bothers me about GTA4 is that I can’t play it right now! With the wedding coming up in less than five months now, I can’t exactly plunk down the extra cash for a new system that I’m only really interested in for one title at this point, especially when we’re planning on doing so after the wedding by getting a Wii … probably not much chance of seeing GTA4 on the Wii, though! Oh well, I guess I’ll just have to beat up hookers and innocent bystanders the old fashioned way in GTA3, Vice City, and San Andreas until I can get my hands on a PS3 or a 360 at a decent price… 🙁