The voice actors behind Grand Theft Auto V‘s three protagonists—Franklin, Michael, and Trevor—responded to criticisms about the game’s violence in a recent interview with PCAdvisor.
“Anyone who has any conception at all about the games and hasn’t played them should go play the games before they open their mouths,” said Ned Luke, who lent his voice to Michael de Santa. “The biggest misconception is that it glamorizes violence. It really doesn’t. If you look at my character, Michael, he’s rich, but he’s a miserable man. Even in the commercials you see that. This is a guy who’s struggling with his life’s decisions.”
“The hypocrisy drives me crazy,” Steve Ogg, Trevor Phillips’ voice actor added. “It just sets the wrong focus. Why not talk about gun control? Why not talk about parenting? Why not talk of lack of family values? There are so many other things to talk about. Look at what’s on TV. Breaking Bad had that episode where [redacted] got his face blown off. There’s a lot of intense stuff out there. Videogames are just an easy scapegoat. My nephew plays this game. I asked my sister if she was worried because there’s some pretty nasty stuff in there and she said, ‘I know he’s not going to go to school tomorrow with a gun. He’s not like that.'”
“People already have it in their mind that GTA is for kids because it’s a game,” Franklin voice actor (and ex gangster) Shawn Fonteno said. “Then they hear about the violence and they’re instantly going to attack because it’s a game. Now, if it was a movie it would be a different story, and these same people would be out there supporting it. GTAV is like a movie. Once they get the game in their hands, they’ll see. It says it big as day—Mature. It’s not for the kids to go get. It’s for mature audiences only. If kids get it, then that’s on their parents.”
GTAV launched September 17 on PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360. Within three days, it broke the record for fastest selling entertainment product by raking in $1 billion in sales. The online multiplayer component, Grand Theft Auto Online, launched earlier this week, on October 1. Unfortunately, numerous issues have plagued GTA Online‘s launch. The PS3 version has since been patched, and the Xbox 360’s patch is expected to go live sometime today.