December 19, 2002

virtual victimizers

National Institute on Media and the Family says video games victimize women.

In its annual review of the video game industry, the Minneapolis-based institute singled out several games, most notably “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.” In that game, participants ramp up their score by having sex with a prostitute, and gain additional points by killing her. The game includes scenes in which blood splatters out of a woman’s body as the player beats her to death.

Rep. Betty McCollum, D-Minn., said such games “are creating a culture of virtual victimizers.”

Ok, here’s a lesson for you advocacy groups out there. if you’re going to get pissed off at something, get your facts right. In Vice City, your score does not go up when you pick up a prostitute. Your health goes up and your money goes down. You can kill the prostitute and get your money back, but it’s only $20 or so… you can get much more than that by killing gang members or killing country clubbers or working as a taxi driver. Doing so would also make the NIMF really happy because then you could kill men, who apparently deserve to die.

Also, blood splatters out of everyone when you beat them in Vice City. Women bleed just as much as men. Fat mafia members bleed just as much as pimps. It’s really neat when you carve someone up with the chainsaw, because then the blood splatters on the screen in neat little refractive drops. Some delicate programming, there.

Now, if your spat with Vice City is that it victimizes everyone, I’ll give you that. Vice City is completely reprehensible and devoid of any moral value. It is also quite possibly the best video game in creation.