Academic Probation
Grand Theft Auto V aims to reshape violent gamers into model citizens.
Michael Grondin/the Gauntlet

Gamers duped by release of kinder GTA

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Late last Monday, gamers took a short break from running over the homeless and stealing jet-packs from military bases to descend upon the world’s media-peddlers in order to be the first to get their hands on Grand Theft Auto V.

​They were, upon leaving the midnight-release, shocked when the ritualistic death-simulator marketed at them for the past 18 months turned out to be nothing more than a fictionalized impression of the bourgeois lifestyle they had been accustomed to before their minds were irreparably altered by Rockstar’s games.

​The Gauntlet reached out to one University of Calgary gamer following the game’s release.

​“I was really hoping to ascend to max altitude in a stolen helicopter and parachute out while I watched the prostitute I picked up helplessly plummet to the ground,” first-year film student Jacob Klebitz said. “Now all this game is about is attending Parent-Teacher Association meetings and protesting the wearing of shirts that show too much midriff.”

​Rockstar, Grand Theft Auto’s developer, apparently hopes that the alterations to gameplay for the game will mend the societal damage caused by their previous releases.
​“We here at Rockstar need to atone for the senseless hedonism we have been peddling to youth for decades,” said Travis Gaines, a representative for Rockstar. “In crafting Grand Theft Auto V, we felt obliged to immerse players in the life of a completely content character with absolutely no inclination toward depravity. You know, just to calm things down a bit.”
​Researchers have concurred that petty crime is, in fact, caused by the corruptible influence of media.

Upon the release of Grand Theft Auto IV in 2008, as in the game, real-world carjackings of sports cars skyrocketed.

Joshua Plant, an avid gamer and blogger for OMFGamez, voiced his concern for the probematic behaviour a violent video game like Grand Theft Auto IV can encourage.

​“Players, believing themselves to be channeling an eastern European gangster, had to steal a car in order to pick up their taxi-cab-company-owning cousin for the cross-city street race that was about to start,” Plant reported. “Of course, when they were inevitably disqualified because they thought shooting the lead vehicle with a rocket-propelled grenade would give them an edge in the race, the sick cycle began again.”

​Rockstar spent $150 million to market this latest iteration of Grand Theft Auto, hoping to hoodwink the public into behaving like rational human beings.

​“Why provide players with an intellectually stimulating satire on the underbelly of a morally bankrupt society rife with hypocrisy and inequality when we can have them play as a lifeless husk with no aspirations or intrigue?” Gaines said. “The former is just too risky.”

​Trends on social media are already reflecting the game’s influence. Posts describing passersby helping individuals across the street rather than mowing them down in a rage of ungodly bloodlust have seen sharp spikes in recent days.

​“At first, I thought the new changes were a little disappointing,” Klebitz said. “But now, I can’t get enough of helping strangers unload their groceries.”

​Rockstar has since released a letter of thanks to those tireless logical protesters who were the first to predict violent media’s potential influence.

​“These are the minds who tried to tell us that slaying pedestrians with ninja weapons in a virtual setting would lead to the same in reality,” Gaines said. “It would be morally objectionable for us not to learn from that truth.”

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