Wayne Country Prosecutor Kym Worthy has made a bit of a laughingstock of herself on the Internet. The Detroit area lawyer apparently felt the need to put out a list of the Top 10 Violent Video Games because Jack Thompson was too busy fighting to keep his law license down in Florida, but she managed to produce a list that is, well, less than current:
Grand Theft Auto topped a list of the top 10 most violent video games that Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy released on Monday, urging families not to buy the items for children during the holiday season.
The video game “absolutely glorifies” carjacking, Worthy said, and encourages shooting, running over pedestrians and other violent acts.
Other video games on the list make a sport out of buying and selling drugs, show children witnessing the murder of their father and Rapper 50 Cent being involved in the drug underworld.
Please do not buy these video games and bring them into your home,” Worthy said. “It desensitizes (children) to violent acts.”
Now in her third year of releasing the list, Worthy said it is necessary to bring these games to the public’s attention.
So what constituted this list of such notorious titles? The folks at Game Politics provides an annotated list:
1. Grand Theft Auto (last released on consoles 2004; PSP, 2006)
2. Manhunt (2004, we assume they mean 2007’s Manhunt 2)
3. Scarface (2006)
4. 50 Cent Bulletproof (2005)
5. 300 (Feb, 2007)
6. The Godfather (PS3 – March, 2007; other versions, 2006)
7. Killer-7 (2005)
8. Resident Evil 4 (Wii, PC 2007; other versions 2005)
9. God of War (2005; we assume they mean 2007’s GoW2)
10. Hitman Blood Money (2006)
Wow, that’s quite a list… of outdated games… several of which suck.
“It’s no wonder we’re seeing the crimes we’re seeing lately,” Worthy said, adding there are many more violent games than those on her list this year.
Yeah, it’s all the game’s fault. Doesn’t have anything to do with bad parenting (e.g. perhaps looking to see if that game is rated M for Mature before buying it or, for that matter, giving a shit about your kid’s welfare in general) or the crushing effects of urban poverty or the just general shittiness of the environment a lot of kids grow up in. All the game’s fault.
It doesn’t help that a recent University of Michigan study on violent media made the rather dramatic claim that exposure to violent media in general, and video games in particular, was a health risk second only to the effect of “cigarette smoking on lung cancer.” That seems a bit overblown to me and there’s already some criticism of the study, but it’s been getting plenty of exposure on the gaming blogs and it’s only expected that the anti-video game folks out there would jump on it.
Still, it would help Prosecutor Worthy’s image if she was at least warning parents about games their kids might actually be asking for this Christmas instead of two or three Christmases ago. Better still would be if she just encouraged parents to not buy M rated games for their kids. It reinforces the usefulness of the rating system and encourages parents to pay attention to what their kids are consuming. Requires less research on what the hot trends are as well.