ECA's Hal Halpin Talks GTA IV, Growing Influence of Games on CBS News

April 30, 2008 -
Entertainment Consumers Association (ECA) president Hal Halpin appeared on the CBS Evening News last night during tech reporter Daniel Sieberg's segment on the Grand Theft Auto IV launch.

Hal spoke about how games are becoming as influential as movies in terms of entertainment.



And while it doesn't appear on this video, did anyone notice the snotty aside which Katie Couric directed toward GTA IV?

As Sieberg wrapped up the GTA IV segment he said: "Of course, that's assuming you'll want to spend more time with characters... like these..." As Couric came back on camera she dropped an acid, "No thanks."

GP: Thanks to GamePolitics reader Mark of Cain for YouTube'ing the video of Hal's appearance!

Full Disclosure Dept: The ECA is the parent company of GamePolitics

Comments

[...] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptEntertainment Consumers Association (ECA) president Hal Halpin appeared on the CBS Evening News last night during tech reporter Daniel Sieberg’s segment on the Grand Theft Auto IV launch. Hal spoke about how games are becoming as influential as movies in terms of entertainment. [...]

Most video games that come from movies suck. Why? Because the development teams are only given less than a year to complete a game and get it on the shelves by the time the movie is released. I don't see this as being a good thing of the industry to "join forces with "Hollywood." What are the best videogames? NOT the movie-adapted ones, that's for sure.

It seems that Tom's Games already had a nice rant about movie-games yesterday.
http://www.tomsgames.com/us/2008/04/29/column_movie_tiein_games/

It could be that Katie Couric is also "old media". She is 51 years old. Or maybe she is upset at the low ratings and job insecurity... http://ap.google.com/article/ALeqM5i5YnhTMUXvR3Bg6c4AAbsfWDlvgAD90BQ3KG0

Remember "don't trust anybody over 30"? It is more like 40 now, but still applies. Those under 40 "get" video games and their entertainment value.

"Spending time with strange women." Wow, is CBS News misogynistic? Or do they think any woman that isn't pure and virginal is "strange."

I agree with JohnnyD-Couric is "old media" and video games steal from non-interactive TV.

JohnnyD: yknow, I was going to follow that up with something about how old Hal Halpin is, but I can't find his age anywhere on the 'net... he's the Highlander!

And how come they always pick the worst gamers ever to do the demo videos? I was just waiting for Niko to drop while the player was trying to punch the cop. Going hand-to-hand with the law is a pretty good way to get busted in real life or GTA.
---
Fangamer

Well I think that to those people who do the news, you get to meet strange women,

To us gamers, these women have already been introduced to us and we have to first talk to them and even help them before they ever kiss.

*sigh* I like how the "spending time with strange women" was actually a shot of Niko with the girl that your introduced to in the game and is one of the characters available to date. I guess going on a date with anyone you've recently must be spending time with strange women.

That parting shot isn't surprising from the talentless hack that Couric is. I remember she did something similar with Manhunt 2, suggesting that anyone that would want to play the game had something wrong with them mentally.

@JohnnyD

I'm 43, and I "get" video games.

And that is why feces are measured in Courics!

Speaking of TV, The Daily Show did a small thing about GTA4 last night. It doesn't really have anything to do with the contraversey, but it talks about how surprisingly non-violent the people waiting in line for it were being.

Katie Couric among most TV personalities do not like these games, or games in general. No offense to the majority of our elders but most of the Baby Boomer Generation and prior do not like video games either, and thats me speaking in general. Of course this is from my own unscientific polling but it seems to be the general trend.

----
Papa Midnight

In my eyes,games are WAAAAYYYYYY better than movies nowadays.
I don't watch movies,TV shows,or anything like that anymore,except for Scrubs,South Park,Family Guy,The Soup,and That 70's Show.It's just when I see a movie that's not Hot Fuzz,I think,"Now how could I have better spent my time?".Games are more absorbing,more worthwhile than any movie nowadays(save for,once again,Hot Fuzz).

Movies and games joining forces = Bad idea. Unless it's Star Wars, a game based on a movie will suck, and vice-versa. That's why the majority of us stay clear from them.

@ TheEdge

Games can be better than movies & shows but the criteria for mesuring them is far too different. Sure a good plot and decent acting and characters benefit them both but for games those are just a means to an end. Also Sean of the Dead even better than Hot Fuzz in my opinion.

Couple things:

-The woman Niko Bellic was making a move on was a woman you had been dating since nearly the beginning of the game. To get to that point I image you'd have to take her out on a number of dates first. The prostitution scenes in GTA IV are far less "in-depth." Way to misrepresent.

-New video games cost $60 to buy. New movies cost around $10 to see. And my guess is the near $10 billion/year number they gave only counted retail and the box office. The fact people spend (around) the same amount of money on video games as movies is not that ridiculous. That doesn't mean the same number of people play video games and watch movies.

-Katie Couric is a bitch. Letting preconceived notions (especially when those notions are bullshit) get the better of you makes you look like an ignorant fool.

Not bad, not bad at all. I was impressed by their coverage of it. They rightfully and correctly point out that it is violent but never dive into the usual JT brand of bullshit. They let people actually defend the game and do not get overcritical of the violence.

Couric is a has-been hack. Her only tools are innuendo, FUD, and nasty side comments. It's like she's the stereotypical mother in law...
-- If your wiimote goes snicker-snack, check your wrist-strap...

Saw this on YouTube last night. Good piece and Hal's appearance and quotes were great. Also glad they left out Couric's offhanded "No thank you," at the very end. :)

I can't stand Katie Couric. She's absolutely terrible as a person, and she's a terrible anchor-bitch.

What about Vin diesel, Chronicles of Riddick and Wheelman? Those look awesome...

Just to point out an error in the report, video games do NOT make as much money as movies. I keep seeing this urban legend spread, and now CBS is perpetuating this myth.

Problem is Katie Couric has the depth of character as a Starbucks Latte. She's good if you want a quick fix of an artificially amped up caffine and sugar rush, but other than that is just over-hyped and leaves you with an empty, cheated feeling afterwards.

The media still believes there is only violent games avaliable for consumers and talk about them like they were the maximum threat for society. Even when this report is not biased like Fox News, it still feels a little sensationalist at best.

Honestly, I really didn't see a problem with how this segment was done. I'm glad they interviewed a game reviewer, and Hal Halpin, I'm happy they pointed out the fact that GTA IV has a strong storytelling aspect, and I'm especially happy they didn't interview Thompson or even that guy who heads NIMF (Walsh I believe? forget his name.) For mainstream news coverage of GTA IV I'd say it's some of the best and most fair I've seen, so I would hold back my criticism of CBS and even Katie Couric, atleast in this instance.
@ Ken
Chronicles of Riddick was a pretty good movie to game adaptation, and let's not forget f-ing Goldeneye. Seriously I'm suprised that I'm the first to point that out. Now for game to movie adaptations... I got nothin (seriously anyone wanna defend the Rock in Doom? I won't.)

Didn;t the Chronicles of Riddick game come out a looong time before they decided to make a prequal movie though>

I'm getting a "we're sorry this video is no longer available"message.

Ok, 1st, sorry if I offended anyone over 40. I read an article recently, (can't find it now of course!) that pegged the year of birth the supposed "tipping point" is at 1969... My bad and apologies. My gaming mentor 20 years ago was over 40 at the time and I certainly would not want to lump the exceptions in with the generalities and stereotypes!

I agree that the coverage wasn't bad, but certainly lacks a lot of the depth we are getting from the print media (Go NY Times!!). Could it be the different demographic that is pushing them in a different direction??? hmmmm...

"Unless you want to spend more time with characters like these..."

You find the same damn characters on prime time TV. And books.

Couric is just a fraud and it's showing. I'm not sure HOW she got where she is today, but apparently that base that got here there has left and now her true colors are showing.

http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=167329&title=aasif...
http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=167330&title=grand...

The second video is especially poignant - comparing longtime super-conservative Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia's views on torture to GTA IV. (Scalia says that the Eighth Amendment of the Constitution doesn't apply to torture because torture isn't punishment.)

Transcript (after Jon Stewart plays clip of Scalia saying this):

Aasif Mandvi, Senior Virtual Correspondent (playing GTA IV): I'm sorry, did Scalia just say torture is not punishment?!
Jon Stewart: Yes, that is his legal argument. Semantics, yes.
Mandvi: In what kind of world can inhumane acts of brutality be dismissed so glibly? Wait, wait! Is that guy real, or an avatar?
Stewart: He's real. He's human.
Mandvi: Wow! That is fucked up! And Jon, that's coming from a guy that just ran over a crossing guard in an El Camino! Yeah! C'mon, c'mon copper! C'mon! I will cut you in your donut hole! Yeah!

What are the best videogames? NOT the movie-adapted ones, that’s for sure.


I'm glad you said "most," because one of the best videogames was one adapted from the movies: James Bond: Goldeneye.

Marlowe: I'm sorry, I didn't see your post. Thanks for pointing that out.

Spekkio: I saw those clips. Jon Stewart is excellent as usual. I'm surprised they're not on GamePolitics' front page, though.

It would be nice if they would not show scenes of the player goofing of instead of actually playing the game.

Reply to Joel

Games can. Games can cost just as movies to make so what do you expect? GTA4 costs 100 million to make and it will profit with an upwards of more than 300 million. Halo 3 has done so. You can point that only blockbusters but then I can say the same with movies as well.

As for Catie, I hate naive self-centered people. She is full of herself.

It was a decent report until the last sentence.
 
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