GTA 5’s Controversial Sex Scenes Draws Response From Take-Two CEO

Videos of GTA V’s first-person sex scenes have been making the rounds and circulating throughout the gaming sphere. Gamers have been able to see first-hand exactly what it looks like to get it on with a prostitute in first-person. Some gamers thought it was cool. Some gamers thought it was repulsive. Some gamers thought Rockstar had gone too far. Well, the CEO of Take-Two Interactive, the parent company of Rockstar Games, has finally chimed in on all the chatter surrounding the chronically controversial Grand Theft Auto V.

For those of you who don’t know, there’s a series of videos currently making the rounds on blogs, gaming websites and YouTube featuring the sex scenes from GTA V, just from first-person view.

The videos are definitely NSFW but you can check out one of them below, courtesy of These Video Game Moments.

The video above – and ones similar to it – have managed to create a sparkling debate about the inclusion of sex in games and the extent in which the intercourse is put on display.

Some argue that it’s okay, others argue that it’s not suitable for gaming.

The reality is that the scenes have been in GTA V for an entire year, and the only difference now is that the inclusion of the first-person perspective makes the experience that much more visceral.

Well, in an interview with Bloomberg Television Take-Two’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick, was asked about whether or not players can have sex with a prostitute and then kill her, as evidenced in the video above. Zelnick responded, saying…

“Well, I don’t look at it that way at all. Look, this is a criminal setting. It’s a gritty underworld. It is art. And I -- I embrace that art, and it’s beautiful art, but it is gritty. And let’s not make -- you know, let’s not make no bones about the environment in which we operate. And we stand shoulder to shoulder with other major picture releases and major television shows that explore a similar universe. So yeah, this is a tough universe because it’s a criminal universe. However, there’s hundreds of hours of gameplay. People have been engaged with Grand Theft Auto Online for over a year and there are plenty of things to do, and it’s an incredibly exciting environment.”

I suppose an opposing argument can be made that opposite of television or movies, where those consuming the content are watching as a viewer, the acts of violence and sex in GTA are committed and acted upon by the viewer. It’s a deliberate form of interaction. Heinous acts in games aren’t committed unknowingly or unwittingly as they are in movies or television.

Now could an argument be made that by making the perspective more immersive (via first-person) – in addition to allowing players to exercise the option of deliberately carrying out atrocious acts – makes GTA or similar games more violent, damaging or affective than other mediums? Possibly.

One thing to keep in mind is that in the same way that games enable you to take certain liberties to extreme degrees of absurdity, they also allow you to refrain from partaking in those acts altogether. The presence of choice is the defining factor that changes how we consume games compared to movies, books or TV shows.

GTA V is available right now for the PS4 and Xbox One for $59.99. Play at your own risk.

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