30 October, 2008

"...I sold people."

Grand Theft Auto introduces a human trafficker to their game.

Now, let me say that I am not one to get riled up about video games. I don't think playing whatever that stupid game where you run around shooting people leads to real people being shot. I don't think listening to angry music makes you monstrous... But this is just wrong.

When did it become ok in our society to sell people? When did that become an ok thing to lift up as a justified past decision? I would have loved (not really) to have been in that creative meeting.

- "So we're done the rebel and the gang banger, and the pimp and we've shown women being abused and attacked and killed. We've covered the gangster and the auto thief (it's the obvious one), I know, let's make a trafficker!"
- "That's a great idea!" They all cheer!

(Maybe I just proved my own point.)

Stereotypical, I know. But come on. Oh, and I love that he has an Eastern European accent - because that's who trafficks people - those dang Russian mobsters. (and they do, but so do a lot of other people).

The entire ad is inane. But then again, I find this game inane (as I do most video games actually). Go live in the real world, with real people and do something productive, or something that requires you to use a piece of your brain.

And, yes, I realize it's just a video game. And it is, and it isn't. GTA is a representation of our culture. It is an image of how we protray ourselves. And when people buy it and money goes back to the company we are saying that what they put out is ok. It's like watching a TV show that promotes promiscuity or going to a movie that makes it seem like being a prostitute is just the dream job for pretty girls stuck in down in the dumps circumnstances (it's not and mr. right won't be buying you either). By what we spend our money on we say what's ok and what we value. Most people will play this game and never give a second thought to the fact that the concept of character is based on someone who sold other people like cattle (aka a slave trader). And that is my point: people won't be upset, and they should be.

And this goes beyond the stupidity of GTA. Is this idea that it's "cool" or "ok" to have "sold" people (one good thing, maybe, at least it's in the past tense...) - traffickers are vile people who recruit, harbor, transport, and sell people using force, fraud and coercion for the sake of explotitation.

Let me say that again: the only purpose of a trafficker is to EXPLOIT someone else.

And that's who we should make a video game character out of?

Give me a break.