Violent video games are directly to blame for an increasing acceptance of violence in everyday society, an Australian police commissioner has claimed.
The comments come in the wake of an apparent wave of stabbings amongst the younger communities of Sydney.
There is nothing more potentially damaging than the sort of violence [young people] are being exposed to, be it in movies, be it in console games they’re playing," Andrew Scipione told The Sydney Telegraph.
"How can it not affect you if you’re a young adolescent growing up in an era where to be violent is almost praiseworthy, where you engage in virtual crime on a daily basis and many of these young people [do] for hours and hours on end.”
He went on to either specifically reference Grand Theft Auto – or at least draw upon many of the widespread conceptions of games violence.
You get rewarded for killing people, raping women, stealing money from prostitutes, driving cars crashing and killing people,” he added.
"That’s not going to affect the vast majority but it’s only got to affect one or two and what have you got? You’ve got some potentially really disturbed young person out there who’s got access to weapons like knives or is good with the fist, can go out there and almost live that life now in the streets of modern Australia. That’s concerning."