GTA 5 released to high-acclaim, but its launch was marred by criticism from the mainstream media, saying that the game promotes and rewards violence, even being called the cause for the attack on an SA school teacher, but the voice actors of the game have responded, saying the claims are all a “misconception”.
“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,” said Ned Luke, who plays Michael de Santa. “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.”
De Santa explains that the story of Michael is not about violence, but rather about a family man who has lost his way.
“He’s trying to become a good guy, but he can’t. He just has all these demons that he’s battling. It’s the struggle. Take that and look at how he loves his family even though he wants to kill them and that’s what it is,” Luke said. “Look for the relationships. Look for the humor. Look for the irony and the satire in the game. That’s another big misconception, ‘What, do they think we’re serious?'”
Steven Ogg, who plays psychotic Trevor Phillips in the game, said that games are often the scapegoat to any act of violence.
“The hypocrisy drives me crazy,” Ogg said. “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.”
“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.”
Shawn Fonteno, who plays Franklin Clinton and was a real gang member, said that the blame on games often detracts the real problems with parenting and negligence.
“People already have it in their mind that GTA is for kids because it’s a game,” Fonteno said. “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.”