Industry Apologetics: It's Not Just A Game

In my last column, I defended Grand Theft Auto IV from allegations of sexism, based on my opinion that it treats everyone distastefully. It provides a sandbox experience, I said, that allows players the opportunity to explore the underbelly of humanity and themselves, reflecting their own worst impulses back at them.

I was pleased that the article provoked thoughtful, in-depth discussion about the treatment of race, gender and other social issues in games, but in debunking a single individual's attack on Grand Theft Auto, my intention was not to provide a blanket pass to games that permit (and arguably, in this case, promote) antisocial behaviour. So I was more pleased at the commenters who criticised the virulence of my GTA IV defence than I was at those who agreed with me (though, hey, who doesn't like to be agreed with?).


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