''Every time someone under 30 commits a high-profile crime, gamers (the ones who pay attention to the news, anyway) tend to brace instinctively for the media to make the inevitable "videogame link." And aside from perhaps 1993's Doom, no games get linked to crimes more often than the Grand Theft Auto series, a favorite target for nongaming technophobes who enjoy ranting publicly about perceived threats to children.
When Grand Theft Auto IV hits at the end of this month, however, we fully expect the moral-panic machine to kick into high gear. In addition to being deeper and better-looking than the previous entries, GTA IV is one of the most convincing virtual worlds we've ever seen. And while the added realism makes a lot of its violence more unsettling than cool, we have every confidence that we'll soon be seeing all sorts of misconception-riddled stories about how GTA IV glorifies and inspires horrific crimes.''