Did you know you can kill hookers in Grand Theft Auto? Of course you did. Everybody knows that. People who know nothing else about Grand Theft Auto know you can kill hookers in it. The murder of prostitutes in GTA is cultural shorthand for all that is immoral and depraved about modern video games. Whenever the U.S. Congress holds a hearing on video games it’s guaranteed to come up.
It’s rich hearing outrage-peddlers mourn Liberty City’s hos. Who knew there was so much concern for the plight of sex workers in America? Non-polygonal flesh-and-blood prostitutes are killed all the time by abusive pimps and johns, largely owing to our Taliban-like criminalization of prostitution, which denies hookers the protection of the police. We arrest thousands of prostitutes — locking them in cages, breaking up their families and destroying their lives — for something that’s not even a crime in most other countries. So if violence against women is what you’re concerned about, forget regulating video games; legalize prostitution.