Journalist Calls Out PTC on GTA IV Drunk Driving Claims

May 9, 2008 -

Taking  the Parents Television Council up on an interview offer, Phil Villarreal of the Arizona Daily Star spoke with Dan Isett (left), PTC Director of Public Policy about Grand Theft Auto IV.

Along with a number of other watchdog groups, the PTC has been highly critical of GTA IV in recent days. Villarreal, however, reports that Isett's knowledge of what is actually in the game is a bit lacking:

Isett: I’ve actually played ‘Grand Theft Auto IV,’ and it’s right in keeping with previous versions. The series continues to lower the bar and this is the first game that has an alcohol content warning. You get points for driving drunk in this game.

Villarreal: You know that’s not true, right? The game doesn’t have points.

Isett: If nothing else, it’s a rewarded activity. Necessary for advancement.

Villarreal: I don’t think so.

Isett: But there’s an alcohol content warning and a scene of drunk driving, correct?

Villarreal: Yes. Did you play that part?

Isett: No, no. I didn’t get that far...


Comments

I wonder where these folks were when Vice City featured the "Boomshine Saigon" mission, in which the utterly smashed Phil Cassidy blasts his arm off and starts spouting bizarre Vietnam-inspired messages about black crows coming to take him away while the screen spins and dilates as Tommy Vercetti tries to drive him to the hospital? That was one of the most surreal gaming experiences I'd ever had, yet I never heard nary a word of complaint against its portrayal of the dangerous use of explosives.
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Fangamer

I find it amazing that someone (or some organization) would make a national campaign of railing against a form of media without observing it for themselves. It takes a good deal of work to put together a national campaign like this, would it kill someone in office to sit down a play the game first?

@ Simon Roberts

That was a mandatory mission in the game, and it is quite clear that these type of people don't play the game; so they would have no idea that it's in there. Besides, the naysayers focus on the optional, non-important aspects of the game.

When you get drunk in GTA4, your friend tells you probably shouldn't drive and suggests you call a cab. If you ignore him and drive drunk anyway, it's very difficult, you're likely to crash and/or hit pedestrians, and if the cops see you they will pull you over and arrest you.

That's totally the same as the game requiring you to drive drunk in order to advance, right?

Why didn't the interviewer tell him that? His response of "I don’t think so" is so disappointing. I wanted to hear that ignorant asshole get *shut down*. It was a perfect opportunity, wasted. :(

You'd think the PTC would have learned it's lesson years ago about false information when they paid the WWF/E three million to settle a lawsuit brought against them due to the BS they were spreading.

Wow he was not right about anything. Including them lowering the bar. If anything the bar has been raised. The violence is barely graphic, any negative behavior is punished, and, most importantly, the graphics sure are pretty.

Isett = Fail

I've never even played the GTA games, and this is rediculous! Made me laugh, though :D Asshole. He judges a game and insists he knows everything about it, then admits he hasn't finished it. GP, please tell me you made this whole thing up...this can't be court!

@Kovitlac

Actually, this is par for the course. The 'experts' have seen 5 minutes of video, have never played the game, and are latched onto an idea that can easily be proven as wrong.

Just a normal day in the week for Game Politics I think.

So you admit you are a shit talker then? Well I never imagined...

Adding to Simon Roberts' post, an LiveJournal friend of mine pointed out that in Saints Row, you could get drunk and high while driving and nobody said anything about that then.

No, Isett, don't bullshit us. You think we were born yesterday? You didn't get this far in the game because it was impossible for you, for the simple reason you simply didn't put the game inside the console. Heck, if you've read the back cover of the game, I'd already be surprised. Moron.

First thing I did when I played the game was check up online and find out how to drive drunk. Bad idea. The only reward I can see is pulling off a god-awesome stunt and posting a video on YouTube.

Just about every crime you break in a GTA game is a punished behavior. You rack up money (Might as well be points, I guess), but the higher that wanted level goes, the harder it is to do anything except hide under a bridge and hope the cops keep driving into the river instead of taking the ramp around the other side. Its fun going on a rampage, but if you're in the game to finish it (which is what I generally consider the "reward"), you're not getting very far by making a big scene all the time.

I actually drove drunk in the game for the first time today. Not only is it not a 'rewarded activity' but it's incredibly stupid from a gameplay perspective. The police are all over you if they even get a hint that you're driving drunk and, since you're weaving all over the road the odds are very high that they'll catch you. Then, since you can't even walk straight they'll either lock you up (confiscating your weapons - a decidedly BAD thing) or put you in hospital - neither of which are 'rewards' as far as I can see. Personally, I don't play the game with the goal of getting jailed or shot - maybe Dan Isett does.

In fact, as others have said, the game consistently punishes 'violence for its own sake'. The best course of action is almost always to keep the level of violence low. For instance, when you're tasked with killing a gang and the police show up you'd be crazy to start shooting police. The only mission I've seen where this isn't the case is the bank robbery, where you have to defend yourself by shooting cops.

bitch FUCK MOTHERING slapped

This guy obviously doesn't know his ass from a hole in the ground.

In other news, ignorance has once again reached never before seen levels...
 
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Kronodebate. Becaus apparently people who only post on Reddit are supposed to police twitter before they're allowed to question anything about the people involved.09/18/2014 - 10:40pm
KronoI highly doubt many, if any are using journalistic integrity as a cover for harassment. The people harassing are essentially trolls. They aren't interested in subtle. More often it's othe other way around. People use "but X is being harassed" to shut down09/18/2014 - 10:38pm
Andrew EisenAnd exacerbating everything is the fact that all the cries of ethics violations have been obnoxious and easily proven false.09/18/2014 - 8:59pm
Andrew EisenProblem is, I would imagine, the sheer number of people who are using journalistic integrity as a cover for their harassing actions or only bringing it up on the false pretense of journalistic integrity.09/18/2014 - 8:47pm
Andrew EisenHaving said that, I can certainly see how one would be frustrated if they truly just wanted to talk about journalistic integrity and someone said they were one of the people harassing Sarkeesian, Quinn and others (though I've seen no examples of that).09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoThat's been the common refrain, that talk of journalism ethics is just an excuse to harass people.09/18/2014 - 8:44pm
KronoLines like "like a partial compromise with the howling trolls who’ve latched onto ‘ethics’ as the latest flag in their onslaught against evolution and inclusion." are taring everyone questioning the ethics as a harasser.09/18/2014 - 8:43pm
Andrew EisenKrono - Except, none of the articles were talking about gamers complaining about journalist ethics, let alone called them white male misogynists. They were talking about the gamers who were harassing others.09/18/2014 - 8:36pm
Kronomakes plenty of sense. It's rather hard to dismiss someone as a white guy running a sock puppet when they've posted proof they're a woman, or black, or another minority.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat any critics of journalists were white guys that hated women, and could be dismissed as such. It seems to have helped some. It's kind of difficult to maintain the white guy narrative in the face of a bunch of women and non-white guys. So the tag09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronothat, someone vented on a #gamergate 4chan thread about being dismissed like that. The suggestion they got in return was to organize their own hashtag in response, with #NotYourShield being suggested. Thus the tag came into use to combat the undercurrent09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Kronomuch more general problem. And while several of the articles were fairly tame, they spured a bunch of people to dismiss any critics of the journalism involved as misogynistic men. Usually with insults aimed at the geek stereotype. After about a week of09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
Andrew EisenSleaker - Not sure what that has to do with anything but yeah, the gender percentages differ depending on how the study defines what a gamer is.09/18/2014 - 8:32pm
KronoThe rhetoric pushed by the spearheading articles that the "gamers" complaining about journalist ethics were just angry white male misogynists, insulted a lot of people that were previously fairly neutral. It made it go from a Kotaku problem, to a09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Krono@Andrew I'm not surprised overlap exists. I expect much of it is a rush to jump on the bandwagon, either by reporting on the original articles, or rushing out their own. The point is that was a major flashpoint, much bigger than the reddit mass deletion.09/18/2014 - 8:31pm
Sleaker@AE - well the gamer trend was described with stats on Factual Femenist. Only 1 in 7 males plays games 20+ hrs going into college vs 1 in 40 females. So gaming is definitely still male dominated despite fake stats trying to say otherwise.09/18/2014 - 8:30pm
Craig R.Do conspiracies ever make sense? The fact that people are now having to defend themselves against nutjob websites like Breitbart.com shows how far down into the rabbit hole we've all been forcibly dragged.09/18/2014 - 7:05pm
Michael ChandraBut when the mountain obviously exists...09/18/2014 - 5:49pm
Michael ChandraMind you, if someone makes a mountain out of a molehill with a secret agenda as motive, it'd be fine.09/18/2014 - 5:48pm
Andrew EisenOkay, so I guess I'm not making sense of #notyourshield because it doesn't make any sense.09/18/2014 - 5:28pm
 

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