Saturday, April 26, 2008

Grand Theft Auto game features drug deals, strippers

VIDEO game enthusiasts can buy cocaine, visit strip clubs, fire rocket launchers and set enemies alight in a violent new game that has family groups expressing outrage.
The latest instalment of the Grand Theft Auto series, to be released worldwide on Tuesday, contained such graphic violence that it had to be modified to meet Australia's standards of classification.

The Australian Office of Film, Literature and Classification gave Grand Theft Auto IV an MA15+ rating and warned consumers to expect strong violence, coarse language and drug and sexual references.

"Violence includes hand-to-hand combat and use of various weapons including knives, baseball bats, a nightstick, pistols, machine guns, shotguns, rifles, grenades and rocket launchers," warned the board .

"A less frequent example of violence includes the ability of the player to set an enemy alight, causing them to burn.

"As the violence is relatively frequent, causing blood spray and injury detail, the impact is strong."

Australian Family Association spokeswoman Angela Conway said such violence could affect behaviour more than a violent film.

"Research ... indicates there's quite a distinct correlation showing up between exposure to violence in media and increases in violent attitudes and behaviours in young people," she said.

In 2006, Australians bought nearly 12.5 million games, worth $925 million.

Unlike films, which can attract an R18+ classification, games that exceed the MA15+ standard are banned in Australia.


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