Here's an interesting tidbit from the production of Rockstar Games' soon-to-be-released Grand Theft Auto V: some of the voice acting was performed by real gang members. Apparently Rockstar had a "guy" who went around recruiting gang members to record for certain characters in the game, and some of these gang members even helped better shape the dialogue to make it more authentic. This information comes from game producer Lazlow Jones, who talked about the process during a recent interview with Chicago radio station WGN (via VideoGamer.com).
"When we record all these ambient characters that are in the world, we go towards authenticity," Jones said. "So in the game, part of the element of the story is that there's rival gangs.
"There's black gangs, there's Latino gangs, and we recruited a guy who gets gang members, like actual gang members, real gang members. I mean, El Salvadorian gang dudes with amazing tattoos and one of which literally had gotten out of prison the day before. And we brought these guys in to record the gang characters because, you know, you don't want a goofy LA actor who went to a fancy school trying to be a hard gang member. There's nothing worse than that."
And these gang members would often call out dialogue that they considered inaccurate or too scripted:
"They look at the lines and they say, 'I wouldn't say that. If I was upset at another gang, I wouldn't say that'. So…say what you would say. Authenticity, you know?," Jones added. "There's a lot of sessions that we would have where we would just throw the script on the floor and be like, this thing we wrote is irrelevant, let's just work out something real."
It's interesting to know what lengths a developer will go to make a game more realistic, but it also could lead to more scrutiny by politicians and law enforcement, who might see the game as "glorifying" the gang lifestyle.
GTA V launches worldwide on September 17 for the Xbox 360 and PlayStation 3.