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Grand Theft Auto continues to take a beating.


Romier S
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Heres the link to the article:

 

http://www.nypost.com/business/14640.htm

 

An excerpt:

 

SO before turning to Take-Two's other problems, let's first pause for some thoughts on the core question of what this company actually does - which is to produce and market video games of such luxuriously violent and disgusting content as to leave one simply speechless.

 

The latest installment in the company's best-selling "Grand Theft Auto" series - "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" - has been on the market for a little over a year now and has already sold more than 5 million copies.

 

Lately, the game has been in the news quite a bit - though not for any reason Take-Two would have wanted - as leaders in the Haitian community and elsewhere have gotten noticeably torqued up about a line of dialogue that consists of the following: "Kill the Haitians."

 

The offending line has brought public rebukes of the company from both Mayor Bloomberg and the Anti-Defamation League, and Take-Two has responded by saying it will remove the words from future editions of the game.

 

But trust me when I tell you that considering what else goes on in "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City," that phrase is nothing.

 

 

My comments, which I just need to make here:

 

People, this is insane. This is 10,000 times worse than the worst thing anybody thinks Michael Jackson ever did to a little boy - or than any lie the feds think Martha Stewart ever told them, or any line in any song that Bruce Springsteen ever sang that rankled a cop in the Meadowlands.

 

Can we say hyperbole? A videogame is 10,000 times worse than a child being molested? Pardon my language but what fucking nonsense.

 

I think if anything we're lucky this guy didn't play Manhunt. :lmfao: Of course since Manhunt isn't selling anywhere near the pace of GTA you can't be on that moral high horse, nor can you be a sensationalist.

 

Take-Two was founded in 1993 by a young fellow named Ryan Brant, who was apparently raised in a family steeped in its own Vice City values. Ryan's daddy, Peter, a polo-playing fop from Greenwich, Conn., did time in federal prison for tax fraud after trying to write off $1.5 million worth of massages, jewelry, scalp rubs and what-not as business expenses.

 

I'll leave the above to speak for itself.

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I just love how he considers it his moral duty to compare people who work for Take Two, a producer of the odd naughty computer game as "10,000 times" worse than child abusers, while working for Newscorp. As in the company that brought you such upstanding feats of moral decency as "Freddy Got Fingered", "Fear Factor" and "Temptation Island".

 

And that is long, long before we get to the absence of calls to not buy stocks in arms manufacturers, cigarette companies or whatever. Clearly, while Take Two employees are despicable scum, the guy who invents new anti-personnel mines isn't in any way responsible for what they get used for.

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Originally posted by MrMike@Dec 30 2003, 02:21 PM

Whatever. Does anyone really take people who complain about video games like this seriously anymore? How can anything in that "article" be taken seriously?

I'm sure those who do not play videogames still take rantings like this seriously.

 

EDIT: I would like to respond to one comment this guy makes in his editorial.

 

Besides: By what preposterous reasoning can one argue that once someone turns 17 years of age it magically becomes OK to glorify mass murder? Are we saying that it would have been OK for that Beltway Sniper guy - who was apparently in his 40s - to have been allowed to play "Grand Theft Auto" before going on his killing spree, but it wouldn't have been OK for that young teenager who went along with him to have done the same?

 

It's probably the same reasoning that says I can go see R- and NC-17-rated movies without the company of an adult. It's probably the same reasoning that says I can legally buy cigarettes when I turn 18. And it's probably the same reasoning that allows me to purchase alcohol once I reach the magical age of 21.

 

In other words, once I become an adult, it is no longer any of your business or my parent's business what I watch and what I play. When I play a game like Grand Theft Auto, I am causing no harm to any one in my community, nor does it turn me into a homicidal maniac.

 

As for the Beltway Sniper, I do find it interesting that - as far as I know - he did play the game at all before going out on his killing spree. I guess a videogame can't be blamed for everything after all.

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I'd recommend against email him. Thats exactly what he wants. He's just going to take all the letters that are with him and post a summary of them and then take the letters that are against him and ignore them. Maybe writing to his editor would do more good. Then again it is the New York Post. No one takes it seriously anyways, at least those people that matter.

 

This story was also on fark and slashdot.

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Just to be contrary a little bit, other than the sweeping hyperbole and the shameless beating of the "videogames cause violence" dead horse, I see little else in this article that is factually incorrect. His main message seems to be "sell your Take Two stock", and his arguments are two-fold: first, the company appears to be on the verge of a smackdown by the SEC, and secondly, he has some moral objection to the products the company produces.

 

Personally I don't see anything wrong with either point. If the company is indeed in dutch with the SEC then as a stockholder I would sure want to know about it. As far as the second point is concerned, that's a little dicier. I guess the author's intent is to inform people who may own the stock but not know the company just what it is that the company produces. Now keep in mind that this is an opinion piece in a tabloid newspaper, so of course it is going to be rife with exaggeration and sensationalism. I'd feel a lot worse if this was in the Times, but it's a garbage rag that no one really takes seriously.

 

Besides, his descriptions of the game are pretty much accurate:

 

HERE'S the game's basic bit: You're a cocaine dealer, see, and you get ripped off in a drug deal that goes bad. So your mission is to get your drugs and your money back - by committing as many violent, homicidal crimes as you can possibly think up.

 

You can pursue your goal by killing Haitians, of course, but you can also kill anyone (or everyone) else. You can machine-gun them, beat them with baseball bats, chop them up with machetes or run them over with stolen cars.

 

And when you do, everything will look incredibly and shockingly real, with blood spewing everywhere.

 

You can kill a cop, steal his gun, and then use it to shoot someone else. Or you can pick up a prostitute and have sex with her in the back of your stolen car, then beat her to death - or shoot her, bludgeon her, whatever you want.

 

In fact, "whatever you want" is what the game is all about. Thanks to its artful and complex programming and its incredibly realistic graphics, the game creates the impression of being inside a totally unscripted, live-action drama in which you can manufacture your mayhem as you go along.

 

Now, other than the "shockingly real" graphics bit, that's all pretty much spot-on, right? So let's assume for a minute that you are Johnny MiddleClass with two school-age kids and a stock portfolio that includes Take Two. Wouldn't you want to know just what it was that the company produced? I know the game is really popular among our crowd, but it is awfully violent and I can see where someone would not want to support such a product by owning stock in the company that makes it. Heck, now that I'm a father I'm not sure I would support the company if I were a stockholder. I've got no problem with that part of the article.

 

The other garbage about this game being worse than child molestation and the nonsense about the Beltway sniper, well that's just reprehensible and I share your outrage there. But again, remember that this is trashy tabloid and all of their articles are laced with inflammatory and wildly exaggerated claims. That's their bread and butter. I wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about this article. People will read it (assuming they make it to the business section at all), get mildly fired up about it, and that indignation will last until they reach the sports page and read the latest "inside scoop" about how Jim Fassel was fired and they'll get all riled up about THAT and forget about this piece.

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I wouldn't spend a lot of time worrying about this article.

 

I don't think anyones worried per se. Especially with the posts reputation having a light shining upon it at least to these eyes. It would be far more detrimental to see an article like this in Time magazine or something like that but you get my drift.

 

It however makes a great conversational piece. ;)

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Originally posted by kfredericks@Dec 31 2003, 04:48 AM

Please everyone, e-mail this guy with your opinions.

Actually, I'd definitely recommend emailing either his editor, or perhaps some of the advertisers on that page, rather than him. His management might well be interested in his crusade to damage the stock price of anyone who produces violent entertainment (like, say, the Die Hard Trilogy, which has characters performing terrorist acts), and his advertisers certainly wouldn't want to be associated with the message that child abuse isn't that bad, in the grand scheme of things - roughly on a par with The Boss singing the odd contentious lyric.

 

But then, the whole point of this article is that, since selling GTA3 is legal, people shouldn't give him such a hard time about abusing children, isn't it?

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  • 4 years later...

I read the Post every day even though I realize it is mostly garbage. Have to keep up on NY sports.

 

I will just point out that the Post's parent company also happens to be the company that was going to print OJ's "If I Did It" book before the backlash became too great. People who throw stones...

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