Sex Workers Against Violent Video Games

It’s late on a Friday afternoon, so why not? Check out this odd little piece, Sex workers call for boycott of ‘Grand Theft Auto’ from News.com.

Here’s a bit of it:

The Grand Theft Auto franchise is getting attacked from all angles.

Joining the ranks of politicians, policemen and attorneys in their crusade to see the game lifted from shelves are the nation’s sex workers.

On its Web site, the Sex Workers Outreach Project USA, or SWOP, is asking parents to assist them in calling for a boycott of Take-Two Interactive’s controversial game.

Citing a 2001 document from the National Institute on Media and the Family’s David Walsh, SWOP is calling “on all parents and all gamers to boycott Grand Theft Auto.”

OK, we all get why this made the news. “Ha ha.” Sex workers objecting to someone else’s line of business. But the real point is a more serious (and controversial) one: here is yet another group, one intimately familiar with real street violence, arguing that this game is dangerous. I’ve blogged about video games before (here and here) and I take it that there’s no evidence that games like GTA actually have real-world bad effects; but when everyone — from cops to prostitutes — who actually knows about street violence is worried about this game, it certainly does give me pause. At the very least, it makes me think it’s unseemly to make a game out of what is for some a tragic existence.

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