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Watchdog Group Deletes Misinformation About GTA IV From Parental Alert

Watchdog Group Deletes Misinformation About GTA IV From Parental Alert -

Here's something you don't see very often: a media watchdog group actually scaling back  the Grand Theft Auto IV fear factor in the interest of presenting more accurate information.

But it's true. The Parents Television Council recently issued a a video alert which warns parents about the violence and sexual content in GTA IV.

On July 11th GamePolitics reported on the alert, which is narrated by PTC president Tim Winters. Among his criticisms of the game, Winters repeats the oft-heard, "You get points for [insert nasty activity of your choice]..."

In the latest edition of, the player is a thug who gets points for having sex with prostitutes, running over pedestrians and even shooting police officers.

There are no such points in the GTA series, of course. Never have been, despite the frequent assertion of such by watchdogs. At least two GamePolitics readers, hayabusa 75 and NecroSen, wrote to the PTC to voice their objections. Lo and behold, a few days later the PTC edited the "You get points for..." line out of the video.

GamePolitics received this comment on the change from Gavin McKiernan, National Grassroots Director for the PTC:

[Winters] misspoke.  He knows there are no points in GTA and we of course want all of our productions to be completely factually accurate so we corrected it.

Catch the edited video alert here.

GP: While the viewpoint of the PTC is often at odds with that of gamers, credit is due for taking the trouble to correct this error. Kudos as well to the GP readers who contacted the PTC to point out the misinformation.

[Game Politics]

Huh. Maybe people are listening to gamers. Now, if only they'd believe us...

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Parents Television Council Issues Video Alert on "Sick" GTA IV

Parents Television Council Issues Video Alert on "Sick" GTA IV -

Watchdog group the Parents Television Council has issued a "entertainment alert" condemning Grand Theft Auto IV as well as the CBS TV series Swingtown.

PTC president Tim Winter narrates:

Unfortunately, sex and violence often go together in today's media environment. That's especially true for many of the violent video games that are now flooding the marketplace. Topping them all for worst content is Grand Theft Auto. 


In the latest edition of, the player is a thug who gets points for having sex with prostitutes, running over pedestrians and even shooting police officers. And our research shows that many chidlren are able to buy this adult-rated video game far too easily. That's because the retailers don't have any consequenced for abiding by their own rules. We're asking major retailers to not carry this sick game at all...


You can also write Congress to ask them to pass the Video Games Rating Enforcement Act which will give teeth to the current ratings system.

Via: GameArgus

GP: Thanks to Matt Paprocki for the heads-up!

[Game Politics]


At what point will honesty come into play in the video game violence debate? I'm tired of this witch hunt and of the PTC, in particular. They're the real menace and I shudder at the thought of the number of people in the world who - either willingly or inadvertently - allow themselves to be manipulated by people like this -- people who have an agenda and wish to pursue it with deliberate mischaracterizations and outright lies.

For the last time: there are no damned points in GTA, nor is there any active encouragement to run down pedestrians or sleep with prostitutes. Yes, people can choose to do both, but that's the key right there -- it's a choice. Why should the PTC, or anyone, be allowed to strip adults of their choices? Because children play GTA? If you accept that as true -- and honestly, I'm not willing to -- then the question becomes: How do children get to play GTA?

Could it be, perhaps, because their parents allow them to? And isn't that the parent's choice, informed or otherwise? Even if the store sells the game to a child, at the end of the day, that child is playing that game in someone's home, right? Someone who, I dunno, maybe ought to be watching and - god fordid - parenting those same children? When will we finally admit that the failing here isn't the system that allows these games to be made, or the people who make them, but the parents who allow children access to games clearly marked as inappropriate for them?

Of course, all of that supposes that kids can easily buy these games and I think that the characterization that children can easily buy GTA has no basis in fact, just like the outright lies the PTC pedals about the content within GTA. Don't buy the hype, and if you have it, take the time to tell both the PTC and your local government representatives how you feel about this issue. Just remember to be civil and polite. Just because the PTC feels the need to lie and mischaracterize does not mean we need to stoop to that level by being impolite, or insulting.

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If you think Health care is crazy in America, try dental insurance...

In the game industry we, typically, get really good benefits from our employers. I wish I could say this was always true, but in general it can be said the benefits we get (in the form of health coverage, etc.) are pretty good compared to similar benefits packages from other industries in our pay ranges. The one place this is never true, however, is dental care. This isn't a problem with the game industry, however, it's the sad and sorry state of affairs in the dental and dental insurance industries. Read more»

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Death Penalties are stupid

I've been playing some Age of Conan this weekend, as I'm sure many of you can imagine. You know, despite not having a machine that can play the game at any sort of frame-rate a normal human being would call playable, I've been enjoying it... Enjoying it, that is, until now.

The problem is, as it often is in MMOs, death penalties... Read more»

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News: Voice of GTA IV's Niko Bellic wants more respect

News: Voice of GTA IV's Niko Bellic wants more respect - The voice actor who portrayed Niko Bellic is unhappy with the wage disparity between traditional and electronic media [ news]

Actually, what it is he's talking about here, is royalties. How many hours of performance did his 100k payment for his 15 month gig actually get Rockstar? Did he work full-time during that 15 months? Somehow I doubt that. Read more»

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