GTA 4: The Ballad of Gay Tony - Carrying sex and violence to excess?
The Ballad of Gay Tony, the latest add-on for Grand Theft Auto 4, has been just recently been released and again causes heated discussions about sex and violence in video games - at least in Germany.
Just recently the new GTA 4 add-on The Ballad of Gay Tony has been released for the Xbox 360. The extension has been anticipated by many fans of the games and reached rather high scores in a lot of reviews. Rockstar again stuck to their principles and thus The Ballad of Gay Tony definitely is not intended for minors. A Mature rating by the ESRB due to criteria like Strong Sexual Content, Use of Drugs and Alcohol and Intense Violence as well as several others isn't surprising to anyone. In Germany, the game is for adults 18+.
But the video game once again attracts the attention of critiques who think that violence and sex as they appear in the modern media are harmful to ethical values. Just recently gameswire.net posted screenshots of The Ballad of Gay Tony that show Luis ‘in action' with three different women'. Nothing special one might think but the combination of sex and violence displayed might - and apparently does - offend certain people. Thus there are discussions about efficiency and sufficiency of the rating boards or if those institutions are operating on outdated guidelines. It is not a big secret that the responsible authorities in certain countries have their own standards: While in North America sexual content is among the most critically observed criteria, violence is regarded to be more offensive in Germany and in Australia a game might receive a higher rating because of drug abuse.
But all in all it is still up to oneself to decide which games to play and thus it is one's own responsibility what extend of questionable activities you will have to deal with. What do you think about this ongoing argument about what should or should not be allowed in video games? Tell us in the comments.