So I wanted to wait until after the opening weekend before talking about everything related to the touted "best video game ever" because, and hear me out, I wanted to know as much of what was going on as possible. My hypothesis in relation to the launch of Grand Theft Auto V is that people need to stop overanalyzing everything. I don't want to be a hypocrit, so I'll say off the bat that these are all stories I've heard about/read about and my first impressions/reactions to them.
1) Sales figures
Okay, so GTA V is the best selling game in history, making over $1 Billion in the first three days. That's great. I'm sure the folks at Rockstar Games worked hard to put this game together, and in fact, I am certain that it is a great game. I've played the previous iterations of the game, which were fantastic. The record breaking game definitely deserves the sales.
The problem that these sales figures poses is a moral one; how many parents have come in for the game and bought it for their 10 or 12 year old as a means of letting the game do the parenting? I don't even care that kids are getting their hands on the game, but it's when the parents aren't there being parents for their kids that the obvious debates arise. It's the same with any form of entertainment: if you aren't being the parents your kids need, your kids are going to learn from something else, and how it affects their moral compass is really hard to say.
2) People getting beaten and robbed of the game
In one instance, there was a stabbing, in another, there was a brick. The hyperbole of news outlets aside, my initial response is how desperate do you have to be to rob someone of a video game? These are the kind of stories that lead people to think that games cause violence. Of course, a rational person would understand that there is a correlation, but to say that there is causation is a bit of a stretch. Violence in video games does not inherently create violence - there are a number of factors including (as I mentioned before) bad parenting, and lack of education.
My point in this article is that we as a species may well be screwed, but if so, it's not because of a video game. I take no sides as to opinions on the matter, but that's because it shouldn't be an issue at all. What matters is how we're reacting to it, and at the moment, the vocal minority of people who don't deserve to have priviledges like video games and entertainment, are doing a pretty bang up job and representing the rest of us.