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MADD Targets GTA IV Over Drunk Driving Scene 703

eldavojohn writes "The watch-dog group Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has set its sights on the rating of GTA IV, primarily because a player can drive drunk in the game. MADD released a statement saying that 'Drunk driving is not a game, and it is not a joke. Drunk driving is a choice, a violent crime and it is also 100 percent preventable.' MADD also is asking Rockstar Games to consider removing GTA IV from distribution 'out of respect for the millions of victims/survivors of drunk driving.' Rockstar replied to MADD by saying 'we have a great deal of respect for MADD's mission, but we believe the mature audience for "Grand Theft Auto IV" is more than sophisticated enough to understand the game's content.' As expected, Jack Thompson is making his usual attention-whoring remarks by comparing GTA IV to the polio virus."
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MADD Targets GTA IV Over Drunk Driving Scene

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  • Not a game? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by JustinOpinion ( 1246824 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @10:53AM (#23263272)

    Drunk driving is not a game, and it is not a joke.
    True enough. Regular driving is also not a game (in fact, "using a vehicle as a toy" is explicitly illegal in most places). However having a video game involve driving (even reckless driving) isn't a problem, is it?

    Drunk driving is a choice, a violent crime and it is also 100 percent preventable.
    Many forms of entertainment describe crime. Books and movies depict theft, murder, rape, etc. Many video games involve killing or worse. These are all, in real life, choices and preventable crimes. Does that mean that our fiction and entertainment cannot involve these subjects, out of some sort of "respect for the victims"?

    Rockstar's response is right on the money: adults should be able to distinguish between entertainment/fantasy/fiction (where murder may be depicted, or drunk driving may be a game) and reality (where these things are illegal and unethical). Adults who cannot make those distinctions are a danger to society (regardless of what video games are on the market).
  • by BUL2294 ( 1081735 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @10:55AM (#23263294)
    ...from an organization with a noble cause to a right-wing, Prohibitionist, Evangelical, whiny group that would desire a socialist nanny-state with breathalyzers in every car? I mean, sheeeesh!!!
  • Re:Dear MADD, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by pintpusher ( 854001 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @11:10AM (#23263528) Journal
    I had a lengthy conversation with a MADD representative one day. She was calling to solicit contributions. I spent probably twenty minutes with her debating their position on alcohol in general and their "mission creep".

    She was essentially irrational about it. I pointed out that possession and consumption of alcohol was (generally) not illegal. She went off on a tangent about how drugs and alcohol kill children. I pointed out that she was calling as a representative of MADD and was, in theory, attempting to prevent drunk driving, not drinking in general. The conversation quickly meandered back over to a general anti-alcohol rant.

    Eventually I told her that I had no respect for an organization that claims to fight drunk driving, a laudable effort, but is actually a bunch of teetotalling prohibitionists. They've never called back. :)
  • Re:Dear MADD, (Score:5, Interesting)

    by gnick ( 1211984 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @11:18AM (#23263636) Homepage

    Besides which, you could make the argument that this is counterproductive in terms of reducing drinking -- prohibit something and you just make it that much more attractive for teenagers.
    There's another side effect too. Back before my buddies and I turned 21, booze was too much trouble to acquire (have to find somebody to pull for you, pretend to like him/share with him/whatever, etc.) So, we typically just avoided the whole mess and sat around smoking weed. Those retailers never check ID.
  • by Devir ( 671031 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @11:26AM (#23263778) Homepage
    I was playing GTA IV last night and took "my cousin" to a local bar to hang out. Watching two virtual russians stumble around plastered was quite possibly the funniest scene in the game (so far). I could barely control my character and he was tripping over his cousin while they were both laughing and mumbling. The scene was simply great.

    Hailing a taxi (well trying to at least) got random incomprehensible shouting as my pretend character and his cousin stumbled in the streets of Libery City. Finally after 3-5 minutes the pretend character I was controling was "sober" enough to actually drive a car. So after 10 attempts to jack a car I finally managed.

    Driving now was a horrid affair. The car was very unstable and hard to control. A slight left would smash my character into the walls, lamp post, pedestrians... The bar, silly me was well across town so it was a huge challenge to navigate there. But that's not all...

    COPS, POLICE, 50... would see my pretend characters virtual drunken ass driving and give chase. Yes, even in a pretend game drunk driving was illegal and had I gotten caught served a penalty. Luckily It is only 1 star and easy to evade even at the slow drunken pace.

    My assumption is that MADD had only caught wind of the drunk driving in GTA and didn't actually witness it. Had they experience the same scene i had, they'd know that while funny as all heck, there were penalties.

    Now... My mother had been an alcoholic in my youthful years. She loved to be out all night at bars drinking her life away. On a school night when I was 8 she was out with her friends drinking till 2am. Yes that is a horrid act in it's own right leaving a kid in the car to drink but that is not the case to prove only back ground... Well her Beau of the time was going to drive us home, her more sober friend offered me a ride and somehow I refused and stupidly allowed me to ride with my mother and her drunken boyfriend who was driving.

    Well the car didnt get far before hitting a stone wall, flipping 3-4 times and landing upside down in someone's yard. I woke up in her friend's car. I suffered a broken tibia and elbow and got to spend christmas in a wheelcheer. She suffered most of her life with a bum hip until a recent replacement.

    Long story short my mother smartened up and will never get into a car after drinking, nor with anyone who has drunkin. I would qualify myself as one of MADD's statistics. One of the "Millionas of people" who have suffered drunk driving trauma in their life. While no life was lost it is still traumatic.

    Speaking on my behalf I found the GTA IV drunk scenes hilarious. I found it to be a fun and refreshing challenge to an ever increasing stagnating market. I love the game and have played every GTA released so far. I've yet in real life to drive drunk, shoot cops, run over people, jack a car, pick up use and shoot hoes, deal drugs, participate in a gang war, drive by shooting, break an enter, steal and save someone from a burning fire and do unique stunts. Though I've managed to do all that and more playing GTA...

    Jack Thompson needs to get a real education and job. MADD needs to stop speaking for me and quite honestly STFU. MADD served their purpose and needs to vanish. THey got draconian laws passed. what more do they want? "Driving while buzzed" now? What's next "Smelling Alcohol before driving is bad and will get you tossed in jail and lost license for 10 years"?

  • Re:Dear MADD, (Score:2, Interesting)

    by DarrenBaker ( 322210 ) <darren@f[ ].net ['lim' in gap]> on Thursday May 01, 2008 @12:35PM (#23264784) Homepage
    I had the same thought once, in regards to roadblocks... How are the police able to pull you over with no probable cause, and investigate your vehicle, when they can't do anything even close to that to your person as you walk down the street?

    Turns out the law is funny on this one - Since driving and using vehicles is a licensed and controlled activity, they are allowed to routinely pull people over for things that relate ONLY to the operation and licensing of the vehicle, ie. Is the driver intoxicated, are the plates up-to-date, are things falling off the car, etc...? They aren't allowed to search inside unless given permission by the driver.

    Not sure how this 'licensed activity' thing will hold up as it has become essentially a necessary thing for anyone in the US, and should probably be considered a basic human right at some point, which would render it free of much government control.
  • by kesuki ( 321456 ) on Thursday May 01, 2008 @04:41PM (#23267872) Journal
    "How will MADD know if I'm playing any of the other driving missions in the game...but I'm drunk in real life while doing it? Surely that must be worse than simulated drunkenness."

    I was wondering if they'd have double vision or some kind of delay on when you press a button and when you get a response, after all without those features it's not really a drunk sim but just a 'slightly buzzed sim'

    I don't play GTA games at all myself, but i would think a simulation that really really made the game harder to play (just as it would if you really got drunk) might make it easier to demonstrate to people how much harder it is to drive drunk. It's pretty sad when one of the major beer vendors slogan is 'drink responsibly' eg: don't drink and drive. I've seen people who only get drunk at home, vs those that only drink at bars, and often are too stupid to have a ride home, and the latter is far far more sad a state of denial to be in. Especially when you've gotten your third dui and you still aren't getting that you have a problem.

  • They would say that using a simulator as a training exercise is different than using a simulator as entertainment.

Karl's version of Parkinson's Law: Work expands to exceed the time alloted it.