GTA: Chinatown Wars Features Drug-Dealing Minigame

GTA: Chinatown Wars Features Drug-Dealing Minigame

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Rockstar's Dan Houser says Grand Theft Auto on Nintendo's platform is still an adults-only game, but that hasn't headed off criticism of a drug-dealing mini-game in GTA: Chinatown Wars.

In an interview with Edge, Houser, the co-founder and vice president of Rockstar Games, was very clear that the appearance of the game on the Nintendo DS in no way meant that it had been toned down for kids. "Nintendo wanted us to make GTA, and we wanted to make GTA on their platform," he said. "They didn't want us to make a GTA for kids, and we weren't interested in making a game we wouldn't normally make. GTA is about stealing cars and shooting people - how could it not be an 18 rating? You couldn't do GTA without that 18 - it wouldn't feel like it's supposed to feel."

As if to emphasize the point, Houser also revealed the presence of a mini-game in Chinatown Wars in which players can sell six different types of real-world drugs across Liberty City, including heroin, cocaine, marijuana and Ecstasy, taking advantage of "market conditions and demands based on geography" to turn a profit. Unfortunately, and entirely unsurprisingly, despite Houser's statement the presence of the drug-selling game quickly came under fire for its negative impact on kids.

"Anything using drug-dealing as entertainment is sending out the wrong message," said Darren Gold of the anti-drug-use group Drugsline, speaking to The Sun. "Glamorization doesn't help our work of trying to educate kids of the dangers of substance abuse." Interestingly, Gold seems entirely unaware that this is hardly an original idea - Drug Wars and its spawn have been around in numerous forms since the early 80s, when many of us grown, functioning, non-drug-abusing adults played it as kids.

Grand Theft Auto: Chinatown Wars is not yet rated, but will undoubtedly be very M when it is. The game is currently scheduled for release in early 2009, exclusively for the Nintendo DS.

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GTA: Chinatown Wars Not For Kids

Porn: Not for 8 year olds.
Cancer: Not for the people who like living.
Guns: Not for murderous psychopaths.
Children: Not for paedophiles.

...sorry.

It's all very foolish. The only way a kid would see this is if his/her parents were stupid enough to buy it for them, in which case the blame rests on the parents for not looking at the big M rating on the back of the box and taking note of it.

And they will, and then when a 14 year old is caught smoking pot, it'll be "GTA MAKES YOUR KIDS INTO DRUG FIENDS AND STEALS THERE SOULS!" in the daily mail or American/where ever you are equivalent.
On a side note I had drug war's running in DOS box the other day. And as for adding at as a game play element I reckon it's a great addition.
Especially if you get to stand on street corners and shout out "GET YOU HIGH!?"

Obviously Mr.Gold is not a fan of 'The Wire'

It's annoying how every time there is a game that isn't "cute n' cuddly" for a nintendo system everyone goes on about Nintendos image and how it will;
A) help Nintendo show they're not just kidie
or
B) Ruin Nintendo's image

Unfortunately, since this image in deeply engraved in the peopel's minds who buy a nintendo console, someone somewhere is oging to buy this game for their kid because it's on a DS and therefore, must be good for their kid and then find out "Holy shit, it has an M on the box! What the hell does that mean?" and proceed to yell at the person who sold them the game.

Oh well.

When I first heard of GTA coming to the DS, I just knew immediately that some idiot is going to buy it for their kid.

How much clearer do rating systems need to be? In Australia we made it all colourful just so people might actually take notice.

Can no one read?

I doubt it will glorify drug use, apart from perhaps with the green, I mean the people you sell crack to won't look cool, I expect they'll look like, well.. crackheads!

Its just another group protesting about GTA, I doubt anything will happen in the west,. Though I read GTA got banned in Thailand, sucks for them.

Seems every time Rockstar releases a game they get more infamous.

At any rate, I can't help but think even Rockstar can start pushing luck at some point. Not to be a Jack Thompson here (we have enough of those already), but the company seems to eat up controversy like, well, like an attention-starved media whore (see: Jack Thompson). Don't get me wrong, I totally respect their right to publish whatever they want. But since they already get game ratings through the roof, one wonders if a) they're just used to controversy and like to step it up, or b) if they're just asking to flirt with condemnation to the deepest pits of censorship.

Also, I apologize for the overly-played-out JT jokes, but I'm just so damned happy he's finally getting his comeuppance.

GreenHerring:
At any rate, I can't help but think even Rockstar can start pushing luck at some point. Not to be a Jack Thompson here (we have enough of those already), but the company seems to eat up controversy like, well, like an attention-starved media whore (see: Jack Thompson). Don't get me wrong, I totally respect their right to publish whatever they want. But since they already get game ratings through the roof, one wonders if a) they're just used to controversy and like to step it up, or b) if they're just asking to flirt with condemnation to the deepest pits of censorship.

Any publicity is good publicity...

Anyways, like Novajam said, can't people read? I mean, why is it that, despite the colourful rating on the box, right in the lower left hand corner, they decide that it's alright for Little Timmy?

 

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