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By Usama Jawad96
Chicago lawmaker proposes bill to ban all violent video games due to rise in carjackings
by Usama Jawad
The debate about whether video games cause violence or not has been raging on for the past couple of decades. Indeed, our forums contain multiple threads about the topic dating back to 2004 and polls created in 2013. While the general consensus is that there is little to no correlation between violent video games and real-world violence, from time to time, we see people contesting this topic. Back in 2010, the push for California to ban the sales of violent video games to youngsters even hit the U.S. Supreme Court.
Now, a Chicago lawmaker has proposed a bill to ban the sale of all violent video games due to rise in carjackings in the area.
Image via Rockstar Games Under the current Violent Video Games Law in the Criminal Code of 2012, only the sale of violent video games to minors is prohibited. However, Democratic Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. intends to amend this law and ban sale to everyone in the state of Illinois as part of his HB3531 bill. The summary for the bill reads:
The bill was first submitted by the representative on February 19 and had its first reading on February 22. It is currently under consideration by the Rules Committee.
The Chicago Sun-Times reports that Rep. Marcus Evans Jr. proposed the new bill due to the rise in carjackings in the area. Apparently, similarities were observed between real-life carjacking attempts and those carried out in video games. It remains to be seen whether the bill will be passed as a law but it is currently getting a lot of backlash from the community.
Grand Theft Auto V is coming to Xbox Series X and PS5 with exclusive content
by Pulasthi Ariyasinghe
During the PlayStation 5 reveal event today, Rockstar Games revealed that its massively popular third-person action game Grand Theft Auto V is coming to next-generation consoles in 2021. The new releases will be heralding enhancements too. Check out the announcement trailer above, though sadly, it features gameplay from the current generation consoles.
Rockstar says that the new versions will come with "a range of technical improvements, visual upgrades and performance enhancements to take full advantage of the latest hardware, making the game more beautiful and more responsive than ever."
The studio will be delivering exclusive GTA Online content for the next-generation consoles and PC once the new launches come through as well. A standalone version of GTA Online is also planned for the new consoles, and it will be completely free for PlayStation 5 players during the initial three months after the game's launch. Standard pricing information was not released today for this multiplayer-only variant.
Continuing on with the PlayStation bonuses, Rockstar will be giving away a million dollars of GTA Online cash every month to PlayStation Plus members who login to the game. The promotion will run until the game's PlayStation 5 edition arrives.
Grand Theft Auto V as well as the standalone Online portion are releasing in the second half of 2021 on the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5. It doesn't appear as though current generation owners will be getting a free upgrade or anything of the sort.
By Hamza Jawad
Grand Theft Auto V is now available on Xbox Game Pass for Console
by Hamza Jawad
Last month, Microsoft introduced a bunch of games to Xbox Game Pass for Console, including The Witcher 3, Pillars of Eternity, My Friend Pedro, and more. Now, in a somewhat unexpected announcement, the firm has announced the availability of Grand Theft Auto V for subscribers of its Game Pass for Console service starting today.
The hugely popular action-adventure title that took the gaming world by storm likely needs no introduction, even for the casual gamer. For those who are unaware of it, however, GTA V is the latest entry in Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series, and it first launched on last generation consoles in 2013, followed by a current generation console release in 2014 before arriving to PC a year later.
Notably, those who are subscribed to the Ultimate version of Game Pass, or to Xbox Live Gold, will also be able to access GTA Online for free, which received The Diamond Casino Heist update earlier last month. Game Pass users will be able to purchase the Criminal Enterprise Starter pack and Shark Cash Cards for up to 10% off the regular price. These users can buy the base game from the Microsoft Store for 50% off for the next six days as well. And finally, something that may be of interest to those who want to enjoy the online component with their friends - the first three months of Game Pass Ultimate for new subscribers can be obtained for a mere $1. This deal will end on January 6.
Although its quite likely that fans of the Grand Theft Auto series have already experienced the title in some form or another over the past few years, a digital release offers a slight incentive to those Xbox owners who currently have it on discs. And of course, there are bound to be people who will revisit the title due to the value in replayability it offers.
By Usama Jawad96
Saudi Arabia bans 47 video games including GTA V
by Usama Jawad
A few days ago, we learned that 86% of parents in the UK do not pay any attention to age ratings for games. While this is a problem that likely needs to be remedied, another problem concerning video games has arisen, this time in Saudi Arabia.
Saudi Arabia has banned 47 popular video games, reportedly in response to two children committing suicide due to the Blue Whale Challenge.
The Blue Whale Challenge is a "game" that gives incrementally difficult tasks to the player, most of which have elements of self-harm. The ultimate challenge requires the player to commit suicide. Although the viral phenomenon did not spread to the west, it allegedly spread quite quickly in countries like Bangladesh, China, India, and Iran. Apparently, the challenge also led to the suicides of two 12- and 13-year old children in Saudi Arabia.
As a result, reports indicate that authorities in Saudi Arabia have decided to ban 47 games, including extremely popular ones like Grand Theft Auto V, The Witcher 3, Hitman: Absolution, God of War, Wolfenstein II, and various games from the Resident Evil series. The full list of games can be seen below:
Agents of Mayhem Assassins Creed 2 Attack on titan 2 Bayonetta 2 Clash of the Titans Dante's Inferno Dead Rising 3 Apocalypse Edition Deadpool Deception IV : The Nightmare Princess Deus Ex Mankind Divided Devil's Third DmC - Definitive edition Dragon Age: Inquisition Dragon's Dogma: Dark Arisen Draw to Death Dissidia Final Fantasy NT Fist of the North Star: Ken's Rage 2 God of War 1 God of War 2 God of War 3 Grand Theft Auto V Heavy Rain Hitman: Absolution (2012) Life is Strange Mafia 2 Mafia 3 Metro Redux Okami One Piece Burning Blood Past Cure Prison Architect Resident Evil 5 Resident Evil 6 Saints Row IV Splatterhouse Street Fighter V Street Fighter 30th Anniversary The Order 1886 The Saboteur The Witcher 3 The Nonary Game Thief Vampyr Watch Dogs Wolfenstein 2 Wolfenstein: The New Order YO-KAI WATCH While authorities have not clarified what links the aforementioned 47 games to the tragic suicides, it is important to note that most of these games do contain elements of violence. That said, violence would still be a strange reason to outright ban so many games without any prior public indication.
Source: The Saudi General Commission for Audio-Visual Media via GameRant
Why do you think Saudi Arabia has taken this drastic action? Let us know in the comments section below!
By Usama Jawad96
Lindsay Lohan's appeal against GTA V gets thrown out of court
by Usama Jawad
Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most expensive video games in history with a budget of $267 million. It is also among the best-selling games of all-time, with Grand Theft Auto Online still being a significant cash cow for the publisher, Take-Two Interactive.
But actress Lindsay Lohan (Mean Girls, The Parent Trap) has long been wanting a piece of that pie, with the celebrity suing GTA V developer Rockstar Games back in 2014. Her latest appeal against the title has once again been unceremoniously thrown out of court.
Lohan filed a lawsuit against Rockstar Games four years ago, saying that an in-game character Lacey Jonas (pictured above on the right, in case you were confused) was an "unequivocal" reference to herself. Lohan's lawyers further claimed that a mission in GTA V - in which the player must help Lacey Jonas evade paparazzi - "contains identical events to the Plaintiff's life".
The suit also claimed that the marketing material for GTA V, which featured a blonde woman, was deliberately based upon Lohan in terms of likeness. Another pre-game intro sequence also sported the woman being handcuffed by a police officer. In response, GTA V's creators called Lohan out for being an attention-seeker with her frivolous lawsuit, and the case was thrown out of court in 2016.
Lohan claimed that the blonde woman at the top of this image was based on her However, it appears that Lohan and her lawyers still haven't had enough, with the party filing an appeal against the decision. Unsurprisingly, this appeal was once again dismissed by the New York State's highest court in a unanimous 6-0 decision that agreed that the fictional characters were most certainly not based on Lohan.
The decision claimed that the characters were nothing more than a "cultural comment" and the blonde woman in question was merely a generic "twenty-something" female. Judge Eugene Fahey's ruling stated that:
It is unclear if Lohan will continue to pursue the case, but given her lawyers' seemingly undying dedication to this cause, we'll likely hear about it again soon enough.