Is Grand Theft Auto an issue or not?

GTA, Video Games, GTA V, Grand Theft AutoJust to let you know, I am an enthusiastic video gamer.  I do not know if it is sad or cool that I am 48 years old and still love video games.  This week the most expensive ever game/media came out.  It is a video game called Grand Theft Auto V and it cost about 250 million dollars to make.  I’ve read some reports that on the first day it came out, it made around 800 million dollars.  Wow!  I was so excited to get it.  I had never purchased one of these series, but with all the hype, I was excited to give it a try.

Something interesting happen that convicted me.  The day that Grand Theft Auto came out, I had several parents call me to ask me what I thought about it.  I told them that they should do their own research and how I do it.  I had not purchased the game yet and thought I would do the research prior just because people were calling me.

I Google-d “GTA V Review”, “GTA V Christian Review” and “GTA V Sex”.  These searches give me details on all the language, violence, and sex acts that are in the game.  Also, looking at Game Play on YouTube you can see that every other word is pretty rough.  What got me, and I am almost ashamed to say, is I looked at a YouTube video where,  in the game, a 8 to 10 year old boy goes into a strip club, and he explains how to manipulate the topless women so that one can take her home and have sex with her.

While at the store as my son, who is 17, and I debated about the purchase of this game, a person asked us about it.  I told them they need to make their own decision but this is what I found out about the game.  They said they had already bought it for their son and needed to go watch him play.  They seemed very concerned.

I would assume that 90 to 95% of the game is just like any other game I play.  The concern I have is that this alter ego allows kids and adults to do things that can be funny to most but promote a level of thinking that could have a greater impact on the human spirit.

To go into a virtual city and kill or rape anyone with no consequences seems to be something that can really alter the spirit of a person.  If someone played this for one hour I might be able to justify that this is not an issue; but you and I know that no one is going to play this for only an hour.  Some people turned it on last night and will not stop until Monday morning.

Please know I am not judging you but rather informing you of the road I have traveled.  Some people may read this and think I don’t care about video games.  Some of you may say I am crazy for pushing back on something that is just a game.  The biggest concern I have is that millions of people are playing this right now and I can’t see this having zero impact on our culture.  Note, these millions are not just USA but all over the world.

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.  Do not quench the Spirit.  Do not treat prophecies with contempt but test them all; hold on to what is good, reject every kind of evil.  May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through.  May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.  The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.  Brothers and sisters, pray for us.  1 Thessalonians 5:16-25 (NIV)

With all this said, it still temps me to play the fun parts of the game, do you have this kind of desire?  Do you justify that things are not that bad and do them anyway?  Are you so sucked in that you do not turn away?  Are you willing to make a stand and not support what is evil but what is good?

Pray for me and I will pray for you!!

Avid Gamer!!

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2 Responses

  1. SEAN

    I am also having trouble. I have played all GTA games from GTA3 on. I am 21, but I haven’t been playing video games much, as I have been busy with school and work. I have become a Christian this year and I wasn’t thinking about Grand Theft Auto V. I had interest in playing it until my Dad started talking about it being the best-selling/ game of the year and he went and bought it for my 21st birthday. Since I’ve been busy I haven’t got to playing it. It’s still in the wrapper. I don’t know whether to play it for the fun things in it and take the violence, sex, and drug-dealing as some kind of education, like a policeman having to deal with violence, corruption, and perversion of the real world… or to avoid playing, apologize to my Dad and return the game. I am really tempted to play, I would like to hear your opinion.

    1. Sean, reading your comment is the same issue I am dealing with. I know how to separate reality from video gaming but I wonder where do you draw the line? Knowing that kids under age are playing this is very bothersome. You are old enough to play but you have convictions in your heart and do not know if you are making it a big deal about this or not. Am I reading this right?

      My wife has a saying that is, “When in doubt, do with out!” I believe God wants us to have “fun” but not at the sacrifice of what He is calling us to do. If you are playing the game on how you can witness to youth, are you playing the game for complete self, or both? Are you a better witness not playing? What kind of impact would you have on your father by making the statement of what you believe?

      I still have not purchased or played but I sure want to. I sometimes think this is making a bigger deal than the game is but due to my convictions I am still not playing it. What I do know is that if I play it that within months I will be moving on to something else and this really want matter.

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