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Joined: 2006-10-15

Probably not as well known in the USA as his brother (Christopher Hitchens), he currently writes a weekly column for the Mail on Sunday.


[QUOTE]A squalid game that steals young minds

Could it possibly be bad for a child or a teenager to spend long hours impersonating a violent car thief?

Old-fashioned childhood games did at least have goodies and baddies – and the goodies were supposed to win.

But Grand Theft Auto, the squalid mind poison now going on the market in its latest version, assumes that wickedness, callousness and violence are cool, and has no goodies at all.

The consumers of this mental slurry all maintain that it's just a game and has no effect on them.

But isn't the most potent brainwashing the kind you aren't aware of? When do you find out that you are a desensitised amoral husk, capable of dreadful actions you once couldn't have contemplated? When it's too late.

In the US, the game has been accused of influencing several young men into committing violent crimes.

Of course, these claims cannot be proved conclusively. But it is in our imaginations that we solve moral problems.

If our imaginations are full of the toxic fantasies of Grand Theft Auto, more realistic every time it is "improved", aren't we more likely to make the wrong choice?[/QUOTE]

Oh and his response to some comments -
[QUOTE]As for computer games, I am touched by the belief of so many that age restrictions are observed by parents, and the belief of even more that somebody over 18 is immune to the corruption of the mind conveyed by this electronic slurry. Interestingly these (rather cross) people are all 'gamers',to whom I say, 'Aren't you automatically disqualified from judging if you yourselves have been affected by this stuff? Shouldn't you ask someone else, preferably someone who doesn't play computer games, if they think you have been affected by hours spent impersonating an amoral car thief?'[/QUOTE]

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