Once upon a time, the Grand Theft Auto remake Rockstar announced a few days ago that it would let everyone prepare for the redeployment in the culture war. CNN chyrons will advertise Rockstar’s latest massacre, promising a wave of foamy killers. The U.S. Senator will rush to deliver a statement of high concern about the vulnerability of our youth, all of them captured by the fantastic crime frenzy in Liberty City. Teenagers gather together to make plans—as I have done before—about how to use minors’ ID cards to obtain copies of M-level games. This is our way of life throughout the 2000s, when Grand Theft Auto was the most popular and dangerous video game in the world.
Honestly, you can say Grand Theft Auto still Dominating the gaming culture, but Rockstar’s belief that children are becoming killers has faded to the brink. Compared with 2002, video games nowadays are not so scary. At that time, the media was updated, and the way the mass media’s decent scale was calibrated was also different.
As we wait for the remakes of Grand Theft Auto 3, GTA: Vice City and GTA: San Andreas, here are the highlights and troughs of the murder simulator mania, from Tommy Versetti to Michael, Trevor and Franklin.
1997: Design protest
The original Grand Theft Auto-when it was a top-down arcade shooter-had been begging for drama long before the franchise moved towards 3D and the footage became nuclear. The game’s designers David Jones and Mike Daley hired a controversial public relations expert named Max Clifford, who is known for making up sensational stories and once represented OJ Simpson. Naturally, Clifford deliberately angered the first official “murder simulator” on the market.
“Max Clifford made this happen,” Daly said in 2012. “He designed all the protests, which almost guarantees [media publications] Will get involved…he will do anything to maintain high profile. “
The pedigree of GTA has undergone major changes after GTA 3 entered PS2: It is one thing to involve the media, and another to Congress.I mean, who is real Lost confidence in 2D shooting games? Or those who complain about the deathmatch? Nevertheless, it worked. Lord Campbell of Croy expressed indignation at the game’s attack on our social order. “Nothing can stop kids from buying it,” he said. Interestingly, even in the early days, the original Rockstar think tank knew what cultural field they were moving into.
Clifford’s story went in another direction: he died in prison in 2017. Convicted of a sex offense in 2014.
2001: Banned in Australia
This is the early 2000s. You just graduated from high school, hitchhiking with your friend Glenn to drink Jolt Sodas, start the first Alien Ant Farm CD, and play the world’s greatest video game Grand Theft Auto 3 for about 12 hours. Of course, unless you live in Australia, you are unlucky there.Australia’s video game regulations are a riddle wrapped in a mystery, which is why no one should be surprised OFLC refuses to rate GTA 3-The now-defunct lower-level government agency, as the country’s version of the ESRB, is now replaced by the Australian Classification Board. Rockstar had to go back and edit the GTA 3 version that complies with Australian regulations, which significantly reduced the bloody smell. If you are curious, YouTuber Vadim M Put together a compilation showing the differences Between the different versions, it provides a strange perspective on the universe where GTA has been rated as Teen T.
2002: Still banned in Australia, Miamians are angered
Grand Theft Auto: Vice City was released in exactly the same way as GTA 3 was released-censored versions were called in certain markets, and they still hold a prehistoric view of video games. The only difference is that this game has also received some (reasonable!) boycotts in the Haitian and Cuban communities of South Florida, who oppose the game’s instructions to kill the “Cubans” and “Haitians” gangs in Vice City. .
Jean-Robert Lafortune of the Haiti-American Grassroots Alliance quoted: “Games should not be designed to destroy human life, nor should it be designed to destroy a certain ethnic group.” In the old CNN story.
I really want to know how some of these stories and the universe will perform in 2021. Tommy Versetti is obviously a complete Scarface imitation, but I bet that if Rockstar renders Miami’s deliveries now, it might be more difficult to consider how it represents these communities. I think we have to see how the remake adapts to today’s feelings.
2003: It’s the era of Jack Thompson
In 2003, two teenage boys in Tennessee shot and killed a motorist. Later, they claimed to have been inspired by Grand Theft Auto, and they often shot at passing cars. This led to a $200 million lawsuit against Rockstar, which was later voluntarily dropped. The lawyer representing the plaintiff in that situation?You guessed it: the shameful legal operator, Hami, the unrepentant talking head, and the real weirdness Jack Thompson.
Maybe some of you young readers don’t know Thompson. Basically, this man is a careless lawyer in Florida who builds his career by taking these exhausting and dubious allegations of moral panic to court. (Rap music, Howard Stern, and violent video games are often targets.) Thompson has become a fixed thing in this decade, and whenever there is a new GTA, Thompson will always appear. He was disqualified since then, and I don’t think anyone knows what he is doing now.
Above: Jack Thompson appeared on Fox News after the shooting at Northern Illinois University.
It’s a bit of an aside, but when I look back at Jack Thompson’s reign, I can’t help but think of how bad his entire deal has become.Not only does the game have become a permanent fixture of global multiculturalism, it can power the Space Jam sequel and the Ryan Reynolds project (although this is really important!), but if you look through the stack, you can find that person Causes panic about Bully—Especially about how Jimmy Hopkins kissed other boys.In retrospect, that particular element was a complete improvement. Thompson has always been on the wrong side of history. It’s actually a bit impressive.
2004: Hot coffee, the most notorious mod
Oh boy, we are gone. I am not going to conduct an exhaustive review of Hot Coffee, because it is one of the most famous and well-documented legends in the history of video games. In short, Rockstar released Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas and added a cheeky sex game to its source code. It should be a gimmick shared between developers, but the tinkerer discovered this mini game, put it in a mod, and triggered one of the dumbest and most frustrating calculations in the history of this hobby.
ESRB reclassification all The San Andreas version-not just the PC port that the mini-game was initially accessible-to “adults only”, which was a distributed kiss of death that caused US retailers to stop selling the game, according to policy , These retailers do not stock any products with a rating higher than Mature. This triggered a large-scale recall, which resulted in Rockstar relisting the San Andreas version of the obstructed mini-game. Senators Hillary Clinton, Joe Lieberman, and Evan Beh participated, and they signed a bill requiring federal oversight of the ESRB.
This was a critical moment for Rockstar. The dam broke and the publisher transformed from a relative hindsight to a single enemy of the moral majority. The company had to make a table tennis game to calm down, and then return to the folded state. Too bad (not a table tennis game, which is good). The worst part? All this blood was shed for a stupid, clothed sex mini game, and the public would not even be able to use it if the crack was not installed.
Although stupid, the hot coffee incident had a huge impact on the game.At the time, there were fewer console games on PC, partly because console exclusivity really meant Exclusivity Back then: Microsoft didn’t publish everything on Xbox and PC as it does now. Piracy is also a concern for publishers. Hot Coffee is worried that PC mod developers will dig inside each game to find all the controversial Easter eggs hidden by slutty game designers.
Hot coffee also laid the groundwork for sex and nudity to begin to appear deliberately in ESRB rated games. Fox News later referred to Xbox as the “sex box” because of the embarrassing, almost non-pornographic sex scenes of “Mass Effect”, while “Grand Theft Auto 4: Lost and Curse” features a short view of the penis, which makes the usual The conservative media watchdog group is uneasy.
In the end, the US federal government did not take over the enforcement of ESRB ratings; it is still an industry self-regulatory organization operated by the Entertainment Software Association. In 2011, the US Supreme Court finally determined that video games are protected by the First Amendment. call.
The Console Certification Board and ESRB have always been foreign powers on the PC-when Fox was upset about Mass Effect, it was obviously not aware of the naked module-but these controversies seem even more absurd today, because PC games are more ridiculous than ever All became more mainstream. At the same time, Steam began hosting hardcore animated porn.
2008: The downfall of Grand Theft Auto 4 and Jack Thompson
Remember the first trailer for GTA 4? Where does Niko Bellic stare at the port of Liberty City and think about the future of America? Obviously, Rockstar is eager to get rid of some of the crazy excesses of the previous trilogy. To be honest, there is not much controversy about its release. Of course, Jack Thompson is as usual. My man spent the entire hype cycle trying to get GTA 4 Prohibiting in advance won’t helpMothers who oppose drunk driving again hope to get an “adults only” rating, possibly because the player can fill up with cargo, jack up the car, and trail in the oncoming traffic. That measure also failed.
Honestly, it should be remembered that GTA 4 is a peaceful end to the anxiety of the baby boomers surrounding the franchise. The aforementioned nakedness in Lost and Damned DLC caused some angry letters, but the idea that games are children’s toys finally disappeared; if HBO can do it, they can do it too.
Today, no one in the mainstream advocates that Rockstar can trigger the potential campus shooting instincts in the vulnerable minds of lonely young people. Instead, we just broke into a fake New York on a permanent, windy, late autumn day.
Grand Theft Auto 5 captured Rockstar in full-author mode. The company survived the early tribulations and became a true cross-media blockbuster machine—recruiting their favorite bands to produce soundtracks and uncovering American distorted narratives about money, power, and crime. Rockstar games are now regarded as the Scorsese epic; they only appear once in about ten years, usually with grand statements about what it’s like to be alive.
It makes me think about the future of franchising. In the inevitable Grand Theft Auto 6, can players hire and murder sex workers like in previous games? This is one of the strongest ongoing criticisms in the series today. In contrast, when most of “Grand Theft Auto 3” looks tacky and overworked, will this kind of blatant teenagers continue into the 2020s? The only thing we know for sure is that Jack Thompson will not appear in the photo.