If you’ve been on the internet in the past day or so, you may have heard about this whole Grand Theft Auto IV game, and how IGN made a little video playing up some of the more controversial elements of the game (read: having sex with prostitutes and also killing them.). Apparently, IGN started to get cold feet after the video made a few waves on the internet, cause the offending clip has disappeared from their website.
We’ve finally been able to lift our heads out of the resulting shitstorm, and this is what we would like to say:
Let’s get one thing straight: we have nothing against video games.
We don’t even have anything against violent video games, or video games where players have the option to kill sex workers. We’re fully aware that there’s a very big difference between fantasy and reality. Hey, you want to (fantasy) kill (fantasy) sex workers on your XBox, we want to dress up like giant babies and play at nursery. Whatever, it’s all good. To each their own.
But there’s a difference between engaging in a fantasy in the privacy of your own home, and publicly promoting (or appearing to promote) the more, say, controversial aspects of your fantasy. We have nothing against people engaging in a little Nazi fetishism on their own time: but we wouldn’t recommend that you parade around in your Nazi uniform in front of some Holocaust survivors. Likewise, you should feel free to engage in virtual lady killing in the privacy of your own home (or your friend’s home, whatever) — but making a video that appears to promote, or at least condone, violence against women, and then publicly releasing it, is pretty much asking to be taken out of context. It’s pretty much asking people to read you as a violent, sexist, sex worker killing psychotic.
It’s all about context, kids. It’s all about where you share things, and how you package things. And the IGN video — well, let’s just say it was a faux pas.
Now where’s my giant diaper?