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GTAV Voice Actors Tackle Violence In Games Controversy

One of the biggest issues anti-game activists have with games like Grand Theft Auto V is that they supposedly glamorize - and as a result, promote - violence.

But the main voice actors for GTAV have stepped up to defend Rockstar's game. In a recent TechAdvisor interview with all three of the actors who played the trio of protagonists, we hear a lot of good sense. Personally, I like the first quote from Ned Luke, who plays Michael de Santa:

"Anyone who has any conception at all about the games and hasn't played them should go play the games before they open their mouths. The biggest misconception is that it glamorizes violence. It really doesn't. If you look at my character, Michael, he's rich, but he's a miserable man. Even in the commercials you see that. This is a guy who's struggling with his life's decisions."

Darn good point. Luke added that de Santa is a man who really tried to love his family and do the right thing (he starts the game retired) but somewhere along the way, his temper gets the better of him and he becomes, well...un-retired. Luke said the character "has all these demons" and it's a constant struggle, which makes things interesting.

Then there's the completely psychotic Trevor, played by Steven Ogg. Ogg said video games are nothing more than an "easy scapegoat" when real-world violence occurs:

"The hypocrisy drives me crazy. It just sets the wrong focus. Why not talk about gun control? Why not talk about parenting? Why not talk of lack of family values? There are so many other things to talk about. Look at what's on TV. Breaking Bad had that episode where ********** got his face blown off. There's a lot of intense stuff out there. Video games are just an easy scapegoat. My nephew plays this game. I asked my sister if she was worried because there's some pretty nasty stuff in there and she said, 'I know he's not going to go to school tomorrow with a gun. He's not like that.'"

Sort of makes a lot of sense, doesn't it? As for Shawn Fonteno, who plays the character of Franklin and is in fact a former gang member, he says the constant misconception that games are "just for kids" only makes it easier for the haters. This is something I've been ranting about for years:

"People already have it in their mind that GTA is for kids because it's a game. Then they hear about the violence and they're instantly going to attack because it's a game. Now, if it was a movie it would be a different story and these same people would be out there supporting it. GTAV is like a movie. Once they get the game in their hands, they'll see. It says it big as day--Mature. It's not for the kids to go get. It's for Mature audiences only. If kids get it, then that's on their parents."

Now, why aren't these statements seen on CNBC? Why aren't these statements put in the New York Times? Why aren't these statements being heard on talk shows where people with concerned, condescending voices try to tell everyone how dangerous video games are?

Related Game(s): Grand Theft Auto V

Tags: grand theft auto v, gtav, violent games, violence in video games

10/4/2013 11:24:05 AM Ben Dutka

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New Comment System

Legacy Comment System (18 posts)

Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 11:52:55 AM

I totally agree. Why aren't these people on the news and talk shows? It's because they have something to do with the games industry. Sad, but true.

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 12:17:34 PM

As someone who is not fully caught-up on Breaking Bad, thank you for censoring the spoiler from Steven Ogg's quote!!! :-)

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 2:08:09 PM

As someone who will never watch it, me too.

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 12:18:21 PM

I can't stand watching the news, nothing worth watching on there besides flood warnings and the weather. It's all violence, politics (snore) and other crap.

They even have a vaccine for HIV doing trials, and it's been successful of ridding the body of it with no trace. Where is the news about this?

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 12:56:26 PM

The HIV vaccine isn't exciting and controversial enough for the news to cover it.

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 1:04:40 PM

Yeah i know, it's pretty sad really.

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 1:16:17 PM

Very sad

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 2:12:54 PM

Well we sort of have to organize these folks into... dare I say it... a lobby. There has to be a positive, accurate message machine from the gaming industry to defend against ignorance and inform the masses. ECA is doing a little of the work but there has to be a solid coalition of the willing, then games could be even more successful as an accepted medium.

But yeah, portrayal does not mean glamorization. Futhermore, nobody on the outside understands that the virtual characters actually have stories and are just as well made as novel and movie protagonists, they think we login and murder because we want to murder people with our bloodlust because games couldn't possible be an artistic medium "Killing people! What's artistic about that?"

Well, I bet some people died in the best novels, paintings, movies and music of all time. You don't get to constrict the creator if you want great creations and injustice against gaming goes against all forms of expression.

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 3:20:25 PM

I love the comment: "'I know he's not going to go to school tomorrow with a gun. He's not like that.'"

....and if the kid did?!?! You would blame the game. Just like any other parent out there; blame someone else for your ill parenting.

Being the "cool" parent, though easy...isn't always the best solution.

Last edited by anjpikapp3 on 10/4/2013 3:21:59 PM

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 5:01:51 PM

Ben, you ask why aren't these statements seen on CNBC or the NYT (funny that you omitted the most frequent offender, Fox News). Good questions made.

However, why don't you also ask "why aren't game companies, retail shops (GameStop) and the gaming industry in general, EDUCATING parents about the rating system?

Why is the whole industry throwing the ball to parents? when they fully know for a fact that parents obviously don't know the damn difference between a E for Everyone game and one that has an M rating on the box. And they obviously don't know the difference because they keep buying their kids GTA and Cod games.

We can only ask parents to be responsible when they finally GET IT. When they fully understand what that M on the box means. They won't buy their kids R rated movies or alcohol. They're already informed as to why they should keep that stuff away from them. But they have yet to fully understand that videogames aren't about freakin Super Mario or Pac-Man anymore. They need to get with the times and understand that videogames are targeting adults these days, not just kids.

So its easy to blame the media and politicians or parents. But apparently its really hard for us in the gaming scene to understand that the responsibility needs to be shared by the gaming industry as well. Placing a letter on a box obviously isn't enough to keep kids away. Not when parents don't fully understand what that letter is all about.

But like I've said before. There is a TON of money to be made on the back of clueless parents who don't understand what an M rated game means. And that is why no one in the gaming industry is going to go out of their way to educate them on it.

And if they continue to refuse to do it, then guess what? The whole issue is going to continue to be used by the media and politicians for their own benefit and profit (ratings and votes).

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Sunday, October 06, 2013 @ 12:42:02 PM

The GameStop I go to has a poster breaking down the ratings, as does the Wal-Mart I go to, what more are they supposed to do, stop every adult that enters the store and give them a 5 minute dissertation about the video game rating system and what it all means? It IS pretty self explanatory to most people, and those who don't understand it probably aren't buying/playing games... From what I have seen the video game and retail industries has done pretty much all they can do to educate people.
All YOU are doing is throwing the "ball" back at companies saying THEY are responsible when it really is the responsibility of the INDIVIDUAL to educate themselves w/ the material that amply provided.

If the INDIVIDUAL doesn't want to learn/educate themselves they will NEVER learn, period. What's that saying, "can lead a horse to water...........".

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Tuesday, October 08, 2013 @ 10:45:25 PM

Oh yeah, your anecdotal evidence sure was a convincing argument against anything that I brought up on my post. Jeeesu.

Listen, the gaming & retail industry are not really doing $%#@&! about trying to educate parents on the rating system. These individuals NEED to be educated. Since their ignorance about the rating system is the source of the freakin' issue we're talking about here. About how the media portrays videogames as a thing that fuels violence in our society.

So no, its not up to those knuckledraggers (clueless parents) to see the light by themselves, like you ridiculously suggested on your post. For the simple reason that parents still consider videogames as TOYS. And haven't got the damn message that videogames target adults these days. Videogames are not about Super Mario or freakin' Sonic the Hedgehog anymore. They need to be EDUCATED ASAP.

And the gaming/retail industry won't do it, because there is a ton of money to be made. All that money coming from all those kids pestering their parents for CoD and GTA is just as good as the money coming from older teens and adults.

And as long as they wanna continue riding on the backs of all those ignorant parents, the opportunist politicians and yellow media outlets are going to continue spewing the same mantra that says that videogames is the root of all evils.

And sites like this one are going to continue to complain about the absurdity of it all.

But its a problem that, like any other problem dealing with ignorance, gets resolved by educating people on the issue.

And come to think of it, retailers and gaming companies also need to be educated on it as well. Because they're having trouble looking at it as a problem. So far, its a problem that brings them a lot of $$$$$ - so they are very slow to act on doing away with it.

Last edited by Bonampak on 10/9/2013 12:16:42 AM

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Friday, October 04, 2013 @ 10:20:21 PM

Power to them!!
And am I the only one reading their statements with their character voice?

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Saturday, October 05, 2013 @ 5:53:43 AM

absolutely cudn't have said it better myself although some people will still disagree

happy gaming =)

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Saturday, October 05, 2013 @ 8:47:42 AM

so sick of this grade A bullshit!
even at the EB expo on friday the demonstration of dying light was boring as batshit because one stupid mother complained that little timmy was watching a zombie get cleaved in half.
so thanks for that ms stupid b*tch!
the dev had to play his game running around the world not touching a single zombie, and the developer even got told off because of a set piece your required to set off traps causing huge explosions you cannot avoid.
well, maybe, stupid mommy shouldent let little timmy watch a screen which is littered in R18+ stickers?
i mean jesus christ, are people really that lazy?
f*ck, were becoming almost as bad as the americans!

gotta feel sorry for the developers too, poor guys come half way across the world to be treated like this?
yea, thanks!
now they probably think were a bunch of hippy tree loving pussies and will never want to come back ever again.
thanks b*tch, just as we were finally starting to get some bloody recognition and starting to see publisher interest in actually doing these types of events here, about f*cking time, you just had to go f*ck it up.
thanks for that!

really disgusts me how careless and lackadaisical parents are these days.
if i had a nickel for every time i saw kids, wouldent be any older than 6, walking around by themselves, or waiting in line to play ACIV for 2 hours to only find they need mummy, id be the richest man alive!
they just dont give a f*ck, its here i brought you here now get lost.

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Saturday, October 05, 2013 @ 3:06:41 PM

Actually it does glamorize violence. It makes it cool to kill someone. Yep there are only game consequences when you do it in the gaming world. But the game does glamorize it and being the game it is, you are forced to commit violence. UNLESS there is someone out there that has played GTA and not hurt anyone in game? lol.

If people cannot admit that violence in games... is fun. Then why are they playing these games? Is it the cars? The money you can accumulate? Because if it is those then its just a sim game. No I think people play it because they like to kill people or beat them up to see what happens. Why? because its fun and it is glamorized in the game, because really, its the only way to get far in the game. Thats my guess anyway.

Enjoy the game anyway. I mean I liked the Assassins Creed games, did not play it cuz I enjoy killing people. I enjoyed it because of the theme and the story. Killing was just a means to an end, but not the focus of the game.

I will admit... and someone can tell me for sure please... what is the focus of the GTA games in general. I kinda know from my perspective but would be interested in knowing what others think. And yep, I know, its just a game but games, most, have a focus.

Enjoye and Keep playing!

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Saturday, October 05, 2013 @ 10:19:18 PM

Completely agree with you.

From my perspective GTA does of course glamorize violence and from my eyes the aim is to become the best criminal mastermind(s) out there.

I play it for the random things that happen in it such as people trying to rob their car back after I take it. I find it fun.

Last edited by shaydey77 on 10/5/2013 10:20:35 PM

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Saturday, October 19, 2013 @ 6:05:26 AM

i know people who let their kids watch porn play m rated games the whole problem these days is most parents are basically kids themselves and dont know how to raise a kid properly because they still have that teenager emntality

and this is really where are problem lies and because of bad parenting most kids in NA by 14 have already had sex in the middle school bathroom

where are the parents oh wait those parents were doing the stuff when they were young so they think its ok for their kids to do the stuff so the rating system means nothing to these parents

in NA i hear enough about young kids stabbing people raping people and all that other stuff this isnt due to videogames its due to bad parenting

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