Sega's Yakuza series has often been likened to Grand Theft Auto, since both games involve gangland dirty work in the big city. Despite the similarities between the two games, however, franchise designer Toshihiro Nagoshi seems quite unimpressed with Rockstar's legendary series, referring to it predominantly as a game in which you "kill people or do whatever."
"I thought one day someone is going to have to make something like this," he explains. "Personally, because I think you must think about the influence games have on people, I would never think about wanting to make a game like this. However, because of this moral issues in this game, I think we should have a healthy debate.
"In gaming, if you make a decision, there is a reaction, and it's the most stimulating form of media, I think. And thus, it can asked if it's the most dangerous media... Depending on what you make, perhaps."
It seems almost to me like Nagoshi is tempted to climb aboard the "videogames can turn people into killers" train that FOX news and The Daily Mail love to ride so much. I'm not entirely sure there is some big moral debate worth having here. It would be like me trying to debate the existence of Santa Claus or God or whatever. If you don't believe the problem's there, and all evidence points to you being correct, what debate can you really have?
I just think the very point of arguing about the mental impact of GTA is beneath me, and any other sensible person. There is no mental impact to debate, outside of people who are already emotionally screwed up, and those guys gave way more important problems to deal with than games.