Video games and especially GTA 5 are currently again in the sights of US politicians: Because Chicago is plagued by more and more car thefts, local government officials are campaigning for the sale of Grand Theft Auto and Co. – like them Chicago Sunday Times
GTA 5 (again) in the sights of politicians
That happened: In 2020 there were more than 1,417 cases in Chicago, and in the first three weeks of 2021 a total of 144 cases of so-called carjacking. This refers to thefts in which car owners are forcibly removed from their vehicle while the engine is running. In Europey this is known as a predatory attack on motorists.
Video games as a scapegoat: The Republican politician Marcus Evans Jr. now claims to have recognized the cause: “Video games that glorify violence” such as Grand Theft Auto 5. According to Evans Jr., video games could be responsible for the car thefts because many of the perpetrators involved are still minors.
So got loud Fox32 For example, a 16-year-old and two 15-year-old offenders were recently arrested in connection with carjackings. On the basis of this, the politicians involved argue that the young people are inspired by comparable video games and, because of their young age, do not have to fear excessive penalties.
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Why you dull through games – and what you can do about it
Sales ban of GTA and Co.? As a result, Evans Jr. submitted a bill in February 2021, on the basis of which the sale of similar games should be banned. Specifically, there is talk of video games that »cause psychological damage and represent carjacking«.
How are the chances? At the moment it remains to be seen whether the submitted draft law will actually be implemented. The Chicago Sunday Times, however, does not rate the draft’s chances of success as particularly high: Accordingly, there have already been comparable attempts in the past, none of which were crowned with success.
Real violence VS. Violence in video games
Not a novelty: Video games and especially GTA have always been the target of politicians and potential bans in the past. Games have repeatedly been suspected of encouraging young people and children to commit crimes. In the meantime, however, there have been several studies that refute or at least refute this thesis.
Objection from ESA: In the meantime, ESA – the largest video game association in the United States – responded to the Chicago Sunday Times report with the following statement (via PCGamesN):
“While our industry understands and shares concerns about current affairs in Chicago, there is simply no evidence linking interactive media violence and real life violence. We believe the solution to this complex problem lies in examining the real factors that drive such behavior as the falsely blaming video games based on sheer speculation. “
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We have already dealt with the subject of violence in video games on GameStar: In the following plus articles, we cover, among other things, what fascinates developers, but also gamers, about violence. We also clarify to what extent video games can actually dull its consumers – and what can be done about it.