More than 70 percent of American teenage boys have played the violent but popular "Grand Theft Auto" video games, and they are more likely to have been in a fight than those who have not played, according to a new Gallup company poll released on Tuesday.
Although the study showed twice as many boys who had played the criminal adventure game reported having been in a fight in the last year, the survey's authors cautioned that did not prove a link between game violence and real-life behavior.
The Gallup Poll Tuesday Briefing found in an online survey of 517 teenagers aged 13 to 17 conducted in August that 71 percent of boys in that age group have played "GTA," along with 34 percent of girls.
"Grand Theft Auto 3" was the best-selling video game of 2001, and "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" topped the charts in 2002. They have been decried by parents and lawmakers, among others, for depictions of graphic violence against women, law enforcement officers and the elderly.
Both games, published by Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., carry "Mature" ratings from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, meaning they are not intended for persons under age 17.
The survey found that 34 percent of boys who admitted to being in a physical fight over the last year have played "GTA," while 17 percent who were in a fight have not played the game. ...more at Reuters