Niko Bellic, the Eastern European protagonist of Grand Theft Auto IV, represents a damaging stereotype, according to the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants, an advocacy group based in the U.K.
MCV UK reports:
The JCWI has told The Times that it disagrees with a Balkan being portrayed as being involved in a criminal underworld – and that the game could even make ‘life hard’ for real-life Eastern European immigrants.
A spokesman said: “The figures show that East European immigrants are not proportionately responsible for any increase in crime. This plays on untrue stereotypes.”
UPDATE: Gamasutra presents an alternate opinion from UK game journalist Simon Parkin.