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'Grand Theft Auto' and other societal dangers

In response to the Perspectives column written by Charles Cooper, "If video games kill, what about the Bible?":

While the Bible may refer to sex, wars and murder, it doesn't graphically describe these acts or provide interactive training on how to do them yourself. In "Grand Theft Auto," players can commit cold-blooded murder on a mass scale with a variety of weapons and guns, beat up and rape prostitutes, and commit other despicable acts.

And these are just side "fun activities"--they're not even part of the main game. The "Grand Theft Auto" series enables players to participate in virtual rape, murder and many other horrible acts for two purposes: entertainment, and profit for the developers and publishers.

You mentioned that every time a new technology and/or entertainment medium comes along, the fundamentalists and right wingers grip their hands and worry. I recommend some research for you: Compare the types of crime we are progressively dealing with in this country since TV became a mass medium. Put them both on a graph to show the rise in certain types of crime as TV has proliferated and matured.

Video games pose a greater "danger" to our culture than books, plays and movies. They allow the players to participate directly in the activities and share the risks and rewards through their avatar in the game.

Is stupidity involved? Sure, but any society that allows this kind of "entertainment" is responsible as well. There are some things that just shouldn't be.

Do I recommend banning all video games? Of course not! I love to play games on my PC, but there is a line that can be crossed, and I truly can't understand why we don't have enough discretion and common sense to understand this as a society when these vile games are sitting on our store shelves.

Me? I'll stand for God and sanity any day, whether it is popular or not--no matter how much of a narrow-minded fool I appear to those in a society that has lost its direction.

Shane Stacks
North Little Rock, Ark.