The View’s surprisingly reasonable take on violence in GTA 5

During a time when most traditional media outlets are pouncing at the opportunity to attack violence in video games, the ladies on The View have presented a fairly reasonable debate in Grand Theft Auto 5. It basically comes down to parents actually being parents and policing your own children — and it's the last thing I'd expect to hear on The View.

Barbara Walters brings up the tiresome question: "Do these video games like [Grand Theft Auto 5] incite violence?" And while you'd expect the typical mainstream media view, the ladies take quite the opposite stance.

Sherri Shepherd likens Grand Theft Auto to the "2013 of Cops and Robbers," pointing out that the game's target audience — mostly men — like to "play pretend" to release their aggression or anger in the video game. Jenny McCarthy chimes in that it all comes down to "policing your kids."

In a statement I actually agree with, Shepherd adds that sometimes games like GTA can desensitize you. "I think sometimes you can get desensitized," she says. "Especially if you're a teenager. Like a grown person knows the difference between what's reality and what's pretend."

Perhaps the best argument in defense of video games comes from none other than Whoopi Goldberg who argues, "You're parents. You absolutely have the right to police what [your children] do and what they see.

"Maybe I'm crazy, but you have the right to put your foot down as a parent," she adds. "You're the grown up."

I could not agree more. I agree that violence in games (on television and in movies) do desensitize us, but I disagree with the notion that any of these forms of entertainment lead to aggression or violence. There just isn't any formidable evidence to back such a claim.

Either way, it's definitely not the argument I thought they'd be making; that's for sure. For as much as these ladies squabble, I'm actually pleasantly surprised with their reasonable views. They don't take the easy way out and just blindly blame video games for a supposed increase in youth violence. And ya know what? They actually seem to know a thing or two about games — particularly Whoopi who throws out a Diablo reference at the very end.

I highly recommend checking out the episode (skip to the second block) or just check out the shorter clip on Kotaku.