Saints Row: the Glorification of a Sociopathic President
The fourth installment in the Saints Row video game franchise was released in 2013, and it really took the story to a presidential level. In the past games, the saints were your average street gang who committed above average crimes. Players run through the two fictional cities of Stillwater and Steelport, jacking cars and killing civilians to their hearts content. In this fourth installment the leader of the saints (the role taken on by the player) has become president of the united states. After the earth is blown up by Aliens most of the game takes place in a simulation created by the Aliens. this game is one of the first of its kind to really push the limits of the rating system. It puts people in the position of a sociopathic president who just wants to, and I quote, have "Murder time fun time."
Saints Row four is controversial because it creates this ideology that glorifies the life of a sociopathic criminal that goes unpunished. By showing that he made his way to the top despite his mental condition and past actions against humanity.
One of the main ways this game pushes the boundaries is through the main character's interaction with other members of the Saints. Once the player gets to a certain part in the game, they can make their character have sex with almost anyone else in their crew. This is another form of glorification that the game uses. If the player ever feels the urge to commit mass murder they simply have to walk out onto the street and pull out a gun, or they can enter a feature in the game that is essentially a game show were you just kill people and get money for doing it (this feature also carried over from the previous game). This form of glorification is not new to the public. We have seen this many time before in other video games, its simply another way to glorify something negative.
As a fan of this franchise I don't think its all bad, in fact I really love playing these games. Many reviewers agree with me as well, IGN gave the game a 7.3 out of 10, simply saying it was "good". Its outrageous elements and story still create controversy among many people. Many parents don't want to expose their kids to this type of media, not because they think it will turn their kid into a criminal, but because it can cause a warped sense of right and wrong in some situations.