Thursday, April 15, 2010

Grand Theft Auto: The Game

Grand Theft Auto: The Game: If there ever was a video game that resembled what English political philosopher Thomas Hobbes referred to as the "state of nature," then Grand Theft Auto (GTA) certainly qualifies. When Hobbes published Leviathan in 1651, England was on the verge of entering a de facto military dictatorship under the rule of Oliver Cromwell. The traumatic events of the English Civil War in the 1640s pushed Hobbes to question what would happen to a society devoid of government. As a result, he conducted a hypothetical thought experiment in which men proceeded to fight each other in the name of land and liberty (bellum omnium contra omnes). As for GTA, the idea of a "war of all against all" becomes a virtual reality when players are immersed in a world where objective morality ceases to exist. Players can steal cars, kill pedestrians, rob stores, and even copulate with hookers. Critics claim that the game's graphic imagery incites violence and sets a poor example for young children. But the game can also be considered a teaching tool with regard to the importance of having a strong central government, especially in a society of ruthless individuals.

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