MADD Gets Mad Over Drunk Driving in GTA IV …Calls for ESRB to Re-rate as Adults Only

Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has issued a statement critical of the opportunites for virtual drunk driving in GTA IV:

Each year nearly 13,500 people die in drunk driving crashes and another half a million are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes. This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk.

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 is calling on the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to reclassify Grand Theft Auto IV as an Adults Only game, a step up from the current rating of Mature and for the manufacturer to consider a stop in distribution – if not out of responsibility to society then out of respect for the millions of victims/survivors of drunk driving.

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookShare on Google+Share on RedditEmail this to someone


  1. 0
    timada says:

    As stated by the previous commentor, a Mature rated game, means that its for mature individuals. The issue here, is not that GTA promotes drunk driving, in fact, had any of the MADD members attempted to play GTAIV while intoxicated, they would quickly realize how intensely difficult it is to get anything accomplished while in that state.


    Alcohol Rehab Program

  2. 0
    RynoJvR says:

    Oh dear.

    GTA, while on the surface appears to be all about shooting random pedestrians, blowing up cars, and having sex with hookers, it does an obnoxiously good job at simulating real life. Keep in mind, it doesn’t attempt to <i>actually</i> simulate life, but all the same, it does a pretty damn good job. Within the game you are confronted with many choices. Do I want to shoot the cop I see walking down the street? And, following up on that, do I want to deal with the <i>ramifications</i> associated with my choice? The same thought process holds true for real life. very little stands in your way if you have a weapon on your person, and have an inclination to shoot a cop. Most of us don’t go around doing this. Because we understand the severity of our actions and accept the consequences that follow.

    Now, transferring again, most of that argument remains constant for the in-game drinking sequences. There are a handful of times that going to a bar is required, and after each and every one, there is a reminder in the upper-left hand corner of the screen encouraging you to get a Taxi. Additionally if you do manage to stumble your way into a car, Nikko himself will say various one-liners, all some paraphrization "I shouldn’t be driving when I’m hammered like this." <i>Also</i>, any comrades Nikko is with will say things regarding how risky it is to be driving. This is all not to mention the incredibly drunk-driving-sensitive cops, who will chase you down, even if you manage to stay within your lane.

    Speaking of the driving, the game developers purposefully made it excruciatingly difficult to perform. MADD themselves stated that drunk driving is a choice. GTA also maintains this same belief, and actually discourages this act.

  3. 0
    Akritov says:

    Yeah, and also if you’re seen by the cops while driving drunk in gta, they will chase you and you’ll ultimatly have to suffer the consequences for your actions…

  4. 0

    […] To the handful of people whom frequent this site, sincere apologies about lack of updates but this is due to two reasons: College/Work and a little game by the name of Digital Crack IV Grand Theft Auto IV. Yep, the murder simulation game that everyone is talking about. So it comes to no surprise that this next generation iteration of the franchise is getting rave reviews across the board. In this article, I will detail the fun little things to do and sights to see in the digital world of Liberty City. […]

  5. 0
    Irishdragon79 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    # Uh… Says:
    April 30th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Leave a comment here on their blog:

    One question Has any else left a comment there. I did a week ago and there, but it still says that no one has commented on “MADD at GTA IV”.
    Now I know they have to approve of any comment before they will post it, but its been a week or so and still no comments.

    Now I’m sure they have this feature enable so MADD doesn’t get lit up like the birthday cake of a 100yr old, but Is MADD deliberately not approving any comments at all.

    I left them a very fair comment, on how you don’t have to drive drunk in the game (you can hail a cab/ walk), and and that calling for an AO rating is a de facto ban, or for R* to stop selling would put them out of business.
    Finally I suggested that MADD should partner with R* on a drinnking and driving ad featuring main characters form GTA IV.

    I was just wondering if any one else has posted there,

  6. 0
    Adam ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Everyone just needs to remember. People getting pissed off at a game is usually just an excellent sign of a great game. The more they bitch the more I buy

  7. 0

    […] So, it shouldn’t come as a surprise that groups are pissed off, and yelling out demands like the game is bad, and etc. However, recently MADD (mothers against drunk driving), have issued a statement, explaining why GTA IV should have received an Adults Only rating for the game. Well, it seems that they may have had a good point, but unlike doing the Fox method of hiring someone off the street to give an opinion, this in-depth reporter decided to experiment. […]

  8. 0
    /facepalm says:

    Honest;y, everyone and there mother is going after GTA 4. Give it a fucking rest. The GTA 4 horse is long dead, and so anyone still beating is a necrophile.
    Have fun, MADD. You fucking perverts.

  9. 0

    […] Yes, both Mothers Against Drunk Driving and, more recently, the police force, have expressed their concerns over the fact that main character Niko Bellic can get himself half-cut and then attempt to drive a car. Funnily enough, I never even thought of the outrage it would cause when I first saw the sequence, although to be fair, I was too busy trying to make Niko walk straight. […]

  10. 0
    UrbanUK says:

    I really don’t understand all the fuss over drink driving in a game..

    I remember reading somewhere on teh internets that Tom Cruise authorised the invasion of Canada and enjoys stomping puppies.. maybe we should be concentrating on that!

  11. 0
    OmenLaughs. says:

    MADD, look. There is a variating difference between what is virtual and between what is reality. In reality, there has already been more than 1 video game that has portrayed Driving under the influence. And I won’t even begin to include the number of movies that portray drunk driving. So inevitably, to concern yourselves with rockstar’s decision to incorporate such an act is pointless. Violence is typically a part of everyone’s life, and so is crime. It has continuously prevailed through many Centuries and though many efforts have successfully reported substantial decreases in criminal activity, and DUI’s for that matter, it does not take away from the fact that people will stop doing it completely. If you really want to stop DUI’s. You’d have to ban alcholic beverages from the public. Which ISN’T going to happen. And while I stand by your efforts to take people driving under the influence off the streets. I don’t think it’s typically relevant for you guys to target a video game over the matter. Because the point is is that it’s just a video game. There is not enough evidence to support the fact that it “influences” these choices. I would stand by you guys 100 percent to help out with drunk driving. But as far as I’m concerned Rockstar came out with a pretty kick ass game. And you firms are trying to slap it down for your own advantageous gains. Unless there is hard evidence proving that these video games influence the public to commit such acts you should all just shut up and focus on what’s happening already in “reality”.

  12. 0
    SbE ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    also, just checked out their main blog page. 20 posts, 2 comments total, one was some guy asking MADD if they wanted to use the ad he just made, the other saying “This is so troubling.” when replying to a post about a drunk driver. Sure looks like they delete any comment that even hints at disagreeing with them.

  13. 0
    SbE ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    posted a comment on their blog, waiting for approval, but it still doesnt show any other comments at all. guess they haven’t gotten any comments that agree with them.

  14. 0
    DrunkDriver says:

    “Adults Only: This rating means what it says: The program or game is only for adults, meaning ages 18 and older. This is pretty straightforward. A game receives this rating if there are prolonged scenes of extremely graphic violence and/or sexual content. It is company policy that there are no AO games for Xbox® or Xbox 360.”

    Strait from the xbox official site.

    Would that mean it would no longer be available for 360 if they succeeded?

  15. 0
    G-Meister ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “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.”

    And it’s also a choice in the game. You’re not forced to drive your self home, in fact, every time I’ve gotten blitzed in GTA4 the NPCs have suggested I take a cab. I ignored them the first time, thinking that it couldn’t be *that* hard to drive drunk right? After weaving about madly, crashing into everyone and everything and being chased by the cops in the mean time, I’ve decided to call a cab rather than drive my self from now on.

    In fact, I think GTA4 has made me more responsible in that regard. I’ve never driven drunk in real life before, but I’m definately not doing it now.

    Maybe that’s why MADD has such a problem with the drunk driving section? If too many people play it, drive drunk, and learn their lesson, MADD won’t have anyone to preach to!

  16. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    OK, now that the “have to” has been changed to a “can”, there exists another issue here.

    A movie where the protagonist drives drink, does not recieve an X or NC-17 rating.

    Amoung the crimes which are in this game, including, but not limited to, drug related offences (possetion, transportation, etc), theft (I would guess of the Grand and Auto varriety at least), homicide (including vehicular and by deadly weapon), and prostitution, I would say that drunk driving is probably on the low priority side in the game.

    Yes, we realize that it is your focus, however, you must realize that it isn’t EVERYONES focus. You can’t ban movies or books because they include drunk driving, and you certainly can’t ban video games (and let’s face it, AO rating would just about amount to a ban) becaue you simply have the choice to drive drunk, and are penalized if you make that choice.

    In short, I think MADD is barking mad.

  17. 0
    DrunkDriver says:

    *Note I am not for or against MADD however there approach is a little unorthodox.*

    Just to let you know I think MADD has changed their statement on their blog, it reads exactly as follows…

    “Each year nearly 13,500 people die in drunk driving crashes and another half a million are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes. This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players can drive drunk.

    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 is calling on the Entertainment Software Ratings Board to reclassify Grand Theft Auto IV as an Adults Only game, a step up from the current rating of Mature and for the manufacturer to consider a stop in distribution – if not out of responsibility to society then out of respect for the millions of victims/survivors of drunk driving.”

    Notice the “…a game module where players CAN drive drunk.” I guess they have been informed that it is not a must but an optional decision on which the player decides what to do.

    Me personally, I like to take taxi for the simple fact I don’t like to get shot at by a squad of policemen as soon as I start up the engine and put it in drive, or the inability to run away fast enough when my car is about to blow from driving into everything. On a more personal note I have drove drunk before and ran my 97′ Grand Am into a patch of woods and into a group of small trees. Good thing I was on a back road and nobody was hurt. I’ll never do that again.

    I’ll help out MADD a little bit better than what they are doing will ever do. Here it is… “Don’t drive drunk folks, bad sh*t will happen eventually if not the first time you do it.” There you go MADD, I just saved more lives with that statement than your approach at the gaming industry, doesn’t that suck. I didn’t even have to take legal action.

  18. 0
    mogbert ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    OK, from what I heard from another news site:

    There is one mission where you have to go out and get drunk. When you leave the club, you can do one of two things (I also supposed staying there until you are sober is possible, but it wasn’t mentioned), you can get in your car which will lead to you either wrecking it (and then it blowing up in a ball of fire) or getting pulled over by the police, OR you can take a cab which is RIGHT THERE AT THE BAR! If you take the cab, you don’t get in any trouble and you make it back safely.

    I would like a RETRACTION from MADD stating that they appolagize for misrepresenting the game and that it does indeed show the negative consequences of driving drunk, including crashing, dieing, and/or getting arrested.

  19. 0
    Zen says:

    @ Eville1

    Same here and, as I stated before, I’m one of the people they believe this game will hurt. THEY are bothering me more with their actions rather than the game bothering me.


    Yeah, that does seem a bit risky incase something happens the kid can’t even stop the car correctly. At least in the game you can see ALL of what can happen without risking any real people.

  20. 0
    Eville1 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I left a completely respectful comment on their blog opening up a dialogue and asking them to refute the many good points we all have on here and of course it hasn’t been allowed to show up on their moderated board because it doesn’t fit their message.

  21. 0
    Shadowfox ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Because MADD sees the drunk driving as a “reward” in GTA IV, just like all of the politicians says the the game rewards you for having sex with a prostitute, killing her, and getting your money back. Also, MADD is saying that the game REQUIRES the player to drive drunk. Quite honestly, I would personally doubt that, though I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a mission that you started out drunk… In any case, at least the game provides the experience of the simulation, instead of no simulation, which never teaches someone what its like (and curiosity tends to get the better of people at times).

    @ lumi

    That seems very dangerous… Not knowing any more than you just told (like all GTA critics basing their claims off of recycled, and false, information), I’d think that the real simulation is of more concern than the virtual one…

  22. 0
    lumi ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    When I was in high school, we had a “presentation” where some people brought a car to the school and let us drive it around the parking lot. The car had been modified to simulate “drunk driving”, i.e. it would swerve unexpectedly, the brakes were slow to respond to simulate slower response time, etc. The idea was to give us an idea of how much alcohol can handicap our driving abilities, so we would think twice about trying to drive if we were actually drunk. This was a SADD/MADD endorsed activity.

    So…actually simulating drunk driving, in the REAL world, is supposed to help us make better decisions about drunk driving, but a virtual simulation of drunk driving is going to encourage us to do so?

    Yeah, that’s what I thought.

  23. 0
    lothar ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    OMG GTA HAS DRINK DRIVING IN IT!!!! NOW I CAN GO GET HAMMERED AND DRIVE THROUGH A MALL AND SAY THEY TOLD ME TO!!!!!!!! MADD is a joke along with every other protect the children jack off orgs. i like george carlins idea…….. Carlin on Children: “And what’s with all this talk about children? Save the children, help the children, what about the children…well, you know what I say? F*** the children! F*** ’em, they’re getting entirely too much attention already!”

  24. 0

    […] Lots of people are, predictably, up in arms about Grand Theft Auto IV, which features a certain about of violence and sex. It takes an organization like MADD, though, to miss the point as spectacularly as this: Each year nearly 13,500 people die in drunk driving crashes and another half a million are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes. This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk. […]

  25. 0
    Christophe J ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yea, come on people drunk driving isn’t funny at all! Shooting people in the face and kicking down people in broad daylight on the other hand those are jolly good games for the whole family to engage in… Good thing these MADD women cleared that one out.

  26. 0
    TheTrueMrJack says:

    We’ve heard about murder simulators, columbine simulators, and wastes of time. Those are the new terminology invented by people to make games seem bad.

    “game module”

    What? Where’d this one come from?

  27. 0
    Zen says:

    Ok, to start…my aunt (my mothers twin no less) was killed a few years ago by a drunk driver and it hurt me and my family GREATLY. The bastard that did it got off light on a plea bargin in Va. I’ve come to terms with this tragedy, but I don’t see how a videogame (and MANY movies that have shown it as well) are going to make someone go and do it themselves. I’m actually HAPPY with how they show it in the game. When Nikko’s brother shows up drunk…he TELLS HIM HE SHOULD NOT BE DRIVING AND TAKES THE CAR. Later, once you yourself get drunk, they tell you right away that you should not be driving and should call a cab. Knowing that this is only a videogame and not the real thing (once again going back to knowing exactly how it can hurt a family in the real world and telling the two apart) I hopped into a car and tried to drive. Almost instantly I was wanted and chased by the cops. Warnings about the behaviour and IMMEDIATE consequences. They leave those things out when they talk about this issue I’m sure.

  28. 0
    Baruch ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Wait, shouldn’t they be pushing this game? If driving drunk in the game in any way simulates driving drunk in real life, you want as many kids as possible to realize how utterly stupid it is to think you can drive under the influence

  29. 0
    Neeneko says:


    Looks like their ‘discussion’ blog doesn’t actually include any discussion. Every single post has zero comments. Comments are ‘allowed’ but moderated.. so I guess they just delete everything.

  30. 0
    Aliasalpha says:


    I always assumed that you were so messed up because of concussion from that large phils-arm-destroying explosion

    @JoJo Stix
    I like that idea, lets get a huge LAN party together with the MADD women, jack thompson & the idiots that believe everything on faux news and don’t let them out till they’ve played at least 12 hours worth.

  31. 0
    Jack Wessels ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    OK, you don’t have to drive drunk it’s an option that you can choose to do. In fact if you are drunk it suggests that you should walk or call a cab.

    Also, it is one of the easiest ways to get wanted stars. If you get in a car drunk and even tap on the R button for a split second you get chased down by the cops.

    They’re not glorifying it, they put it in to add realism to the game.

    So stop bitching and focus on real world drunk driving.

  32. 0
    Adam ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    THIS JUST IN!… It’s official, MADD and Jack Thompson officially have nothing better to do than bitch and moan about issues that don’t actually exist

  33. 0
    Channing ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If you read the press release off the MADD site right now — the link Dennis provides in the story is still valid — you’ll see that the text has been changed from “have to drive drunk” to “can drive drunk.” If the organization’s argument was week before, this change in verbiage pretty much kneecaps it. Yes, you can drive drunk, but a) it’s of your own choice, and b) you’ll almost certainly pay the in-game punishment, much as you will if you drive drunk in the real world.

    I’m not positive, but doesn’t MADD (or various law enforcement agencies) use a drunk-driving simulator to show how your ability behind the wheel is impaired by alcohol? Seems like getting that message out, for the low price of $60, would be something MADD should support.

  34. 0
    jParadox ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Does anyone remember the drunk driving scene in GTA: Vice City? Where Tommy is drunk after getting a whiff of Phil’s moonshine there, and having some? And he drives Phil to the hospital cause he blew his damn arm off? [CMIIW, it’s been a while since I played Vice City, but I believe this is how the scene goes.]

    Or the “tea” that Auntie gives Tommy, and he’s all doped up, killing people?

    Don’t these incidents already occur in real life? [Pending that you didn’t live a sheltered life…] Why should MADD get mad over GTA: IV, when drunk driving has occurred WELL BEFORE video games? And why didn’t they rag on GTA: Vice City? Or any other games that may reference drunk driving? [Sorry I can’t recall any, I’m mainly a GTA/RPG kinda girl. Heh.]

    Instead of worrying about video games, how about MADD worry about real life? Obviously, they’re just jumping on the “Let’s Bash Rockstar and Take-Two!” bandwagon. What a drag.

  35. 0
    SteveUK ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    If you get drunk in GTA4 and *walk* too fast, you fall over and lose a bit of health. If you’re daft enough to drink drive after that (which, let’s be honest, you’ll do at least once 😉 ) you will find several things impairing your ability to drive:

    1. The screen tilts from side to side, at the same time zooming in and out slightly. It’s very disorientating, to say the least. You will find your ability to judge speed is pretty much out the window.

    2. The car “anti-steers”, so even if you are driving straight (as in, leaving the left stick dead centre) you will be forced to take remedial action as the car swerves left and right.

    All in all, it models real-world drunk driving quite well (and don’t ask how I know).

  36. 0
    Yuka Takeuchi Fan says:

    @ Jojo Stix

    Believe me: I’ve played the game for a good 12 hours now and had the option of drunk driving a time or two, both as a result of going out drinking with Niko’s cousin.

    Here’s something to consider: The game tells you immediately that it’s probably a good idea to hail a cab and get yourself home that-a-way. It is. It will be the first action I take every time Niko drinks in the game, should it always be available.

    You wanna know why? My very first STEP- not drive, I mean literally, Niko’s first on-foot STEP- sent him crashing RIGHT to the ground. Driving went EVEN WORSE, with police coming after me on three separate occasions, WITH the camera swirling like a can of paint in a mixer, AND my controller taking my commands to go left or right as mere suggestions. I have no clue how in the blue blazes I made it back to Roman’s pick-up point intact.

    I PERSONALLY drive a $700 beater car I bought used and have put that much back into repairs for, with no means to get another car should this one crash. I think this game has proven quite well that nothing is to be gained from drunk driving except a smashed-up car and repeated threats on all nearby human life.

    …’course, the fact that I can’t stand the taste of most booze will only help me along the road…

  37. 0
    Zeke129 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If anything, GTA4 teaches people that drunk driving is dangerous. I managed to hit 20 people, destroy 3 cars, and accumulate 3 wanted stars in 5 minutes of drunkenness.

  38. 0
    Erik ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Okay, so I just decided to do a little drunk driving in GTA4. I can say if anything MADD should be using this as a tool to show teenaged drivers just how amazing bad of an idea drunk driving is. After slamming into a bunch of crap and eventually a cop car and getting arrested, yeah, its not a bright thing to do in the virtual or real world.

    Not once did I say “This is a brilliant idea!”

  39. 0
    Matt ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Just another group not getting their facts straight and shooting off at their mouths. They might want to look into joining MACS – Mothers Against Common Sense.

  40. 0
    Paulk says:

    Were they just waiting for something to criticize? For Chirst’s sake, complain about Family Guy for showing drunk driving as funny is your going to complain about GTA…

  41. 0
    Spooky ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I thought MADD was ‘Mothers Against Dungeons & Dragons”? Two groups of insane people with the same acronym?

    Oooooo … I can haz turf war? THAT would be funny!!!

  42. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    Is it just my imagination or does every group that begins with the words “Mothers Against” turn out to be a bunch of uninformed opinionated wankers who base their opinions on the opinions of other people who have clearly no contact with the issue?

    Besides, as has been said before, there’s strong encouragement to call a taxi when you’re shitfaced and there’s even greater encouragement to walk because its so damned funny.

    I’m right behind you on that water ban. You know I heard that hitler, stalin, ghengis khan and the creature from the black lagoon all drank water!

  43. 0
    Mech ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hey guys, look at that MADD logo. Notice the “period” after MADD above “education”? That is actually a star and somewhere on their site they claim they are in fact completely non-educational cause of the bullshit their spew. It’s true.

  44. 0
    Thomas ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Although I understand their feelings about real life drink driving.. every single person who gets behind the wheel of the car, under ANY influence of alcohol at all, should be jailed, there is no reason for it, it is irresponsible and stupid.. its a video game, its not real.

  45. 0
    gs2005 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    MADD, get a fucking clue about fictional video game entertainment, and get back to your real life battles before you lose more respect than you already have.


  46. 0
    shady8x says:

    I support the message against drunk driving 100%, but this is a freaking game, you can’t get drunk by playing the game you probably can’t play it in your car etc…

    MADD should shut the hell up, because if they don’t then angry gamers will start promoting drunk driving to see how MADD likes it when stupidity is promoted everywhere…

    Hey maybe we should ban water because it promotes drinking? It looks very similar to when people drink alcohol and people even do it in their cars. Ban water!!! “If not out of responsibility to society then out of respect for the millions of victims/survivors of drunk driving.”


  47. 0
    Charles ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My assumption is no one at MADD has played GTA IV. I encountered the opportunity to drive drunk once in the game, and I thought they were actually making a statement about how difficult it was, because in the game it is virtual impossible to drive while drunk. The car bucks and weaves and you can barely control it at all (and if you start driving the cops will immediately go after you). In fact, you can barely walk without falling down, much less drive, and the game actually pops up a little window suggesting you take a cab.

    It’s a pretty strong anti-drunk driving statement, but of course throwing brick bats at GTA is a popular activity so it’s not surprising everyone wants to get in the news by taking a dig of their own.

  48. 0
    Jack Thompson is a douchbag says:

    Being drunk in this game is your responsibility. Just dont drink then you wont get drunk. They should not make this AO rated. They are just upset.

  49. 0
    cpt crunchie says:

    bah, rubbish i say. its not as if the game glorifies drunk driving, or says “hey, drunk driving is fun, DO THIS KIDS”. and in my opinion, anybody who dies from drunk driving (that is, if they are the ones driving drunk, not if they get hit by somebody drunk driving) deserved to die. stupidity weeding itself out at its finest, id say.

  50. 0
    Nith ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    How many of these groups that complain of one element or another in GTA$ have actually PLAYED THE GAME?

    They see it has all sorts of elements: drugs, alochol, guns, driving, crime, etc, etc, etec….you know this game as I do. But really, they do not understand what they are talking about. They see these things and made wild comments on what it HAS to be about, not WHAT it is about.

    For instance. Lets say, instead of GTA4, we are cheering that the book “War and Peace” just came out. They see “War” an assume everything from death to nazis concentration camps….without even reading the preface! Maybe these people from MADD should examine the content in the game, before using that lump two and a half feet above their @sses (yes I know, GP, no swear words. Technically, I didnt write one. Your mind made the connection on its own).

    I’m sure MADD isnt the last, igorant idiots to come out about GTA4 to advance their own agenda. I’m sure we’ll have a few more. An after that, we GAMERS, will STILL be playing GTA4 for fun, laughs, and a few comical moments.

  51. 0
    Tammej says:

    MADD takes it too seriously. *Way* too seriously! It’s GTA, it is fun and games, it’s fantasy, made up, silly, hilarious, and just *like life can be*, it’s a joke.

  52. 0
    jer ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I heard in the news earlier this year that some police department released a game where you can drunk drive AND allowed children to play it. the driving aspect sounds similar to GTA-IV drunk driving but in a first person view.

  53. 0
    Papa Midnight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Why attack now? There was driving while intoxicated (thought not exactly on alcohol) in GTA Vice City (part of a side mission). What happened with that? Everyone just seems to want their chance to take a potshot. Reminds me of the soap party in Full Metal Jacket…

  54. 0
    HurricaneJesus says:

    I remember reading about what pieces of shit m.a.d.d. are. I remember reading about how they lie about how they spend funds. I remember about how almost none of the donated money goes towards the cause, and is instead used to keep the organization with full pockets.

    From my local paper:

    MADD had long claimed that about 84 cents of every dollar raised went to support its programs instead of 19 cents. The difference is because the organization was claiming its fundraising activities were also educating the public about drunk driving and, therefore, were not fundraising costs

    Disgusting fucks. They have no right to preach like this.

  55. 0
    GrimCW ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    why should it be made AO?
    its not for kids anyways…
    i seriously think they should just merge AO and MA, or boost MA to being 18+ and AO for XX rated crap like it sounds to be anyways.

    but this bullox about getting it boosted is just a shot at getting it banned (like manhunt 2… i still don’t see what was so big about it, the gfx are so low key its not that gruesome at all, i’ve seen PG-13 movies with worse scenes honestly.

  56. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If you’re old enough to drink legally, intelligent enough to have passed your driving test, and are a functional enough member of society to afford a car and its upkeep, then you’d think you would know that drink driving is a Bad Thing. yet people still do it. Why?

    Oh yeah, a game released in early 2008 told them it was cool.

  57. 0
    Jojo Stix ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As a victim of a drunk driver (car totaled, thankfully no injuries) I hope that this game DOES NOT get pulled because MADD is upset. I’m honestly offended at MADD right now for playing the “think of the victims” card. I haven’t reached the point where you can drive drunk in the game, but I do hope it makes it harder to drive a car.

    This is also absurb to be focusing on this one element of GTA. I guess MADD won’t have a problem with me running over virtual pedestrians while my virtual avatar is sober.

  58. 0
    Jrah says:

    In all honesty the game is pretty good at showing the dangers of drunk driving, after flipping over my camaro, I made sure to take a Taxi when stumbling out of the bar.

    The game should be applauded for giving a simulation that shows how bad it is to drive drunk.

    With that said overall the game lives up to its M rating, and its up to the parents to monitor what their kids are watching and playing. This facist BS really irratates me.

    As a parent of 3, I am my parents father, and they will not play the game or watch me play it.

  59. 0
    GuiguiBob80 says:

    Yay I will now be able to add drunk driver to the long list of crimes I am trained to do.

    Role playing isn’t dangerous… Not role playing is, it’s called being a psychopath (not having empathy for other human beings) and is a disease. Even if the entertainment you enjoy isn’t interactive if you have felt emotion for one of the character isn’t that an effect the movie, book had on you (it probably even shows activity on brain scans).

    GTA isn’t the most violent game ever or the worst but games that are really violent just for the sake of it don’t sell well and are a niche market. I just tried Army of Two demo and the violence in this game and the character’s reaction to it made me not like the game. I was like “I can’t care for those two guys they are stupid to react like that it’s humans they are killing”. I ended up wanting to die instead of killing my foes.

    My last point. Role playing is a proven learning tool. By watching your kid play games you will probably be able to learn his reaction to problems in life and teach him how to react according to the values you want to teach him (I suggest other games than GTA to start with).

    GTA simulates crime and if you play it you will learn one thing. Crime has consequences and they are often death. If you don’t want to die don’t be violent like the caracters in the game.

  60. 0
    Sai ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Lemme see, I did drunk driving in the game, the game told me I could hail a cab any time Niko is too shitfaced to drive, but I decided to drive anyway. And while driving the cops spotted me and came after me.

    Yeah that’s just a terrible message.

  61. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “Drunk driving is a choice, a violent crime “

    Violent crime my left foot, the only reason it’s a crime is because you put yourself at a high risk of endangering other people. Although if I get drunk and drive my car into a tree how is that a violent crime?

  62. 0
    ConstantNeophyte ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Waffles

    I’ve been meaning to find a prostitute, do some business, and then beat her up and get my cash back ever since the news reports started, but I’ve been to busy going to the cabaret thingy.

    The cowboy must die.

  63. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I KNEW this was going to happen I fucking knew it.

    Although I haven’t gotten to the portion of the game where you HAVE to drive drunk (if it exists), but either way if you are drunk in GTA IV it makes it harder to drive so wouldn’t that support the notion that driving drunk is a bad idea?

    Oh and retailers do not need to pull the game out of respect for drunk driving victims that’s just stupid. (Next you’re going to tell me that Blockbuster should no longer stock Jaws out of respect for shark attack victims).

  64. 0
    StealthKnight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I think such a feature in a game is great. When ever I hear drugs are bad, I think of the stage “Touch fuzzy get dizzy’, in the game “Yoshi’s island”. I also think of “Deux ex” with the zinc drug and alcohol, Boiling point’s alcohol, and “S.T.A.L.K.E.R” and the AMK mod. I died from downing 8 bottles of vodka, just to get rid of it from my inventory. Those games convinced me that drinking and doing drugs is not a good Idea and not very healthy.

  65. 0
    Waffles ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Man, I really should be saving money, but all of this obnoxious, bandwagon publicity is making me want to get a copy of the game now.

  66. 0
    Tubatic ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m hoping that there are enough level headed responses to this press release for them to realize that, as they have demonstrated, they don’t have an accurate understanding of how drunk driving is handled in the game.

    As people have said, there is the explicitly stated choice when the user first goes drinking for Nico to hail a cab. And further, the police in game are very diligent in spotting potentially drunk drivers.

  67. 0
    Graze says:

    If thats the case, then every “R” rated movie featuring drunk driving should be rated “NC-17”. It’s just a bloody game people need to relax.

  68. 0
    las, attorney says:

    Cyberskull: I haven’t gotten that far yet but according to other people you are not forced to drink drive.

    Also, remember the mission in Vice City where you drove under the influence of Boomshine? That mission was hard as hell.

  69. 0
    thefncrow ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is not surprising in the least. For all of you pointing out how stupid it is for MADD to be upset about the portrayal of drunk driving in the game, you’re right, it is, and they understand that. The key to this story is that MADD has long since ceased to be merely a anti-drunk driving lobby, and has become a neo-prohibitionist lobby. In fact, the group’s original founder, Candy Lightner, has since criticized the group, saying that they’ve transformed into an anti-alcohol lobby rather than keeping their focus on drunk drivers.

    So of course MADD is upset at GTAIV. They’re upset because of the light in which drinking alcohol is presented. The drunk driving matter is an angle that they can try to use in the press, but I have no doubt that MADD’s real beef isn’t with the possibility for drunk driving, but the non-negative light in which the consumption of alcohol is presented.

  70. 0
    Firebird says:


    I think this all just a publicity for MADD to get attention, and not to incite any particular rage among gamers. (Despite my attitude on my previous entry)

    Afterall, its not like they get a lot of media attention anyway.

    Sure, they have a commercial or two, but not often enough to make the public aware of DUI consequences. So what better way to get attention than to piss people off, while understanding their plight.

    This might not apply to most in MADD, but still the amount of assaults on GTAIV are to big to be coincedenses.

    Then again, I’m a conspiracy theorist…

    !We never landed on the moon, Elvis and Tupac are ALIVE, and Jack Thompson has sold his soul to Satan!! (OK, that last ones’ true)

  71. 0
    Loudspeaker ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is a retarded statement MADD made…

    If they REALLY are about helping their cause and keeping people from drinking and driving then they should reitterate that driving drunk is a bad idea just as GTA IV shows. Instead of this venomous rant they do, they could have put together a VERY good, positive message to people about drunk driving.

    HELL! Why don’t they just get R* to add some MADD banners in game?

    Oh wait… No… Nevermind…

    THAT would be effective. Better not.

    Continue with plan A: Putting out meaningless bulletins.

  72. 0
    ConstantNeophyte ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Guys, after doing some shots of Vodka (first drink in 9 months!) and then trying to drive somewhere I can honestly say drink driving doesn’t pay.

    I lost my nice red banshee :(

    And then the police shot me…

    Kids, if you drink and drive; the Police will shoot you in the face.

  73. 0
    Rodrigo Ybáñez García ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I tried to post this on their blog but I don´t have my password at hand (I suck on remembering things like that):

    “I don´t want to say it, but, you are wasting your time complaining for a videogame. One single videogame is not gonna be the cause of more car accidents or any tragedy you want to blame it.

    And even if you can stop Grand Theft Auto of being sold, that doesn´t gonna avoid more car accidents.

    Even when you are asking for respect of the victims, your claims are still wrong because is like to ask TV or movies or books to not use “tragedy-induced alcohol” or whatever writers can coming up to tell a story.

    Why that fear for videogames?

    Play a videogame don´t turn people in murderers like the media want to make you to believe, because is simply not logical.

    You really want to believe your own children are dangerous if they play games? You don´t trust in your own sons and daughters?

    You don´t trust in yourselfs as parents?

    You are only spreading fear in something that is not worth it, not even the time or the mention.”

  74. 0
    Falcon says:

    I totally saw this coming. It was only a matter of time before someone started bitching about the drunk driving stuff.

    Honestly, you’d think that some people who play this game would think “Damn, I can’t stop running into crap while I’m drunk in-game. I’d hate to imagine what would happen if I drank and drove in real life? I guess this gives me more incentive not to do so.”

  75. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I fully support what MADD are doing, don’t get me wrong, the problem in the UK is far worse than in the US as far as sentencing is concerned and it is something I am actively involved with trying to change, but personally, I’m more concerned with the idea that killing a child with your car in real life can sometimes result in less than 3 months in jail for a drink-driver. That is a real, actual and existing concern.

    I’m not the least bit concerned about the Drink-Driving in GTA, it’s a punishment, it’s harder to drive when you are drunk, and I’d rather young people found that out from a computer game than real life.

  76. 0
    las, attorney says:

    The fact is, if GTA IV let you drink and then drive off without any consequences, MADD wouldn’t have batted an eyelid. It’s the fact that Rockstar are raising awareness to the negative effects of drink-driving in the game by making the game harder to play and more dangerous to your character’s well-being that has drawn MADD’s ire. Instead of praising it for being a feature that highlights the dangers of drink-driving, this is how those menopausal hags with sandy vaginas see it:

    “GTA IV has a minigame where the child playing the game scores points for running over people while under the influence of alcohol.”

    Please. Spare me. MADD are a bunch of terrible people.

    Vinzent: Sorry, but MADD has a horrible agenda. Yes, being anti-drink-driving is a worthy cause, but their methods are atrocious, plus they just flat out tell lies to promote their unfounded agendas such as keeping the drinking age at the ridiculously high 21, all under the guise of preventing drink-driving. They are disgusting and ought to be disbanded.

  77. 0
    vellocet says:

    I wouldn’t jump down MADDs throats as much as people seem to be doing. MADD actually does some very good work in stopping people from driving drunk.

    This is just another example of how the majority of people just attack games the second they hear that something might be offensive.

    I’ve been thinking that this is actually GOOD for the industry. I mean, all this controversy has started most people to stop thinking of games as only for children. Even some mainstream news outlets are beginning to see the errors in blaming games for every (JT’s value is dropping faster than the american dollar).

    And of course, I had a discussion with my mother about this. She doesn’t play games and is appalled that the media thinks she’s stupid and will believe the drivel they pin on videogames. But it took her time to figure it out, the more the media spouts it, the more people are likely to scrutinize what they’re saying.

  78. 0
    jonc2006 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    although i dont have the game yet, from what i have read about the gameplay it appears that driving drunk in that game is not something that is forced onto the player, its a choice, just like in real life. and just like in real life, it has its consequences and the player is well aware of this one way or another.

  79. 0
    DeusPayne ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yes, drunk driving is not a game. BUT GTAIV IS! Drunk driving isn’t a movie either, or a book, it’s an activity that can only be blamed on the person who is driving drunk.

  80. 0
    GoodRobotUs says:

    It’s just kind of a pity that Rockstar never even needed to pay for the Bus ads, the negative press riot of today is going to add another zero to their already enormous income from this game.

  81. 0
    Clever ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “include a game module where players have to drive drunk.”

    I’m not that far in the game yet but is there ever a point where you are actually FORCED to drive drunk. The option to hop into cabs is always present which is something I think MADD would be stoked about. This is about as close to real life as you can get – so I’m assuming they would want to slap an AO sticker on reality itself.

    Get drunk and drive in game – cops come after you. Take taxi home – it costs you money but you get there safely.

    Absolutely verbatim in both GTA and reality…

  82. 0
    Tank ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I find it funny that they mention the fact that Drunk Driving is a choice, and it’s 100% preventable…but that also applies to the game, you aren’t required to drive home drunk. You can hail a cab, walk, or even not get drunk at all!

    The misinformation with all these outraged politicians, lawyers, and parent groups is astounding.
    It would be like me posting here on GP that Tom Cruise authorized the invasion of Canada and enjoyed stomping on puppies. Then the very next day everyone would think it were fact cause “they heard it somewhere on teh internets”.

  83. 0
    bustin says:

    ive seen many movies that featured driving while under the infulence (pulp fiction comes to mind) and i don’t recall madd demanding they be made nc-17 because of it. like comic books and rock n roll before it, video games are the new whipping boy for all of societies problems for the ignorant, stupid and unimformed

  84. 0
    Black Manta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I knew we would expect every other special interest group to complain the second the game was released, but it doesn’t make it any less annoying. Somebody call the Waaaahmbulance for MADD. 😛

    @ Zerodash
    If it’s anything like the previous games, then of course driving drunk in GTA IV is going to result in negative consequences. From what I understand, your vision is blurred and you can’t control your car properly. That to me doesn’t sound like fun. So in that respect, yes it could be a viewed as a deterrent. I think MADD should stop getting their panties in a wad about this at look at it from that perspective. It could be a more effective tool about teaching the dangers of DWI than any of their PR campaigns.

  85. 0
    Firebird says:

    Next time;
    Whenever I drive a stolen ‘expensive-as-fuck’ vehicle with a hooker in my car, two cops and a helicopter on my tail, running over pedestrians, and doing drive-bys’ with a semi-automatic all at once-

    to never drink while I am driving, otherwise it might impair my chances of getting away…

    thanks MADD!!! *Bangs head on desk*

    – Incendently, I meant in GTA, not real life.

  86. 0
    Vinzent says:

    As I recall, the effects of drunk driving are very debillitating in GTA 4. Your lack of control results in likely civillian deaths and pursuit by the police. I can’t think of a better training model for children. Face it MADD, this tool will educate kids a lot better than your bumper stickers will.

  87. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk.”

    “Have too?” I’m sorry, you HAVE too drive drunk in the game? Um… NO?!

  88. 0
    KayleL ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I hate misinformed people. AO is worse then NC-17 because you could only release it on PC, and you have to order directly from the factory. I am glad that they didn’t say that you get points for drunk driving. If they did, then they are really pushing the stereotypes.

  89. 0
    Condemned 2 fan ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    These people need to shut up because US citizens have the right to play whatever. If the consoles start allowing AO rated games on the system then I do not care as long as I can buy the game.

  90. 0
    Repudiator ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I knew it, I totally knew it.

    Want drunk driving references to be AO in video games? Well movies should be NC-17 then, dammit.

    Are you people moronic? I bet they believe you’re rewarded for this action too…

    …with points.

    Y’know, just like how you’re “rewarded” with cops when you commit crimes.

  91. 0
    GRIZZAM 512 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Seriously, if I was them, I’d be focusing on real drunk driving instead of dicking around with a videogame. I’m pretty sure pixels don’t care if a pixel crashes into their pixel.

  92. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Zerodash, I got 3 police squad cars on me IMMEDIATELY when I entered my car while intoxicated in the game. They shot me dead after I refused their orders to get on the ground.

    Yep. The game encourages drunk driving. Because surely getting killed by cops is encouraging the behavior they were shooting you for.

  93. 0
    Chaplain99 says:

    What I have to say has been said before, and probably been said better.

    Video games come under fire because they’re the most interactive type of media in existence. In movies and books, the outcome is static, whereas in video games you choose your own path. This is why the older generation is afraid of these games; they’re not static, they make the player THINK. I’ll finish this thought later, my laptop’s battery is running low.

  94. 0
    Austin Lewis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    When you stop lying about your statistics, we will take your opinions more seriously. Until then, you need to learn a little about honesty, not targetting videogames because they’re popular, and doing the work you claim to be doing, instead of inspiring children to take up drinking at a younger age (kids are spiteful, deal with it.).

    Sincerely, Austin Lewis

    PS. When the person in the back of a van is drunk, it doesn’t mean alcohol caused the incident. Just a tip for your journey for truth, instead of self-inflated stats.

  95. 0
    Dante ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk.”


  96. 0
    kurisu7885 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’ll just say it.

    Either start complaining about beer commercials and ads, which actually do glorify drinking,and I have seen them aired during cartoons, or shut the fuck up, now.

  97. 0
    Christian Astrup ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Yes, because giving people the option to drive drunk in a virtual car will make it more likely for them to do it in real life… oh wait.

    Really, do all these people realize that they are giving this game more hype than any amount of commercials would ever buy?

  98. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    And so it begins- the drunk aspect of GTA4 was bound to create a new breed of moral panic.

    I haven’t reached the point of the game yet, but I hear drunk driving is highly ineffective. Would that not make it a deterrent? Also, making the game AO would only restrict it an extra year to 18. The age to even drink is 21 (in the states), so what’s the point?

  99. 0

    […] wrote an interesting post today onHere’s a quick excerptMothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) has issued a statement critical of the opportunites for virtual drunk driving in GTA IV: Each year nearly 13,500 people die in drunk driving crashes and another half a million are injured in alcohol-related traffic crashes. This is why MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk. […]

  100. 0
    Jojo Stix ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Yuka Takeuchi Fan

    Good to hear. From what you describe, it encourages people NOT to drive drunk.

    I think what we need to do is to sit down all these people who think GTA IV will bring about the end of society and have them watch or even play the game.

  101. 0
    ConstantNeophyte ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Tubatic

    I’m hoping that there are enough level headed responses to this press release

    Ahahahahahahahaha… oh…. you were serious weren’t you…

  102. 0
    DavCube ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Vinzent

    Thank you for clarifying, sir, seeing as i don’t have the game, i wasn’t sure of that.

    This is just the same as the whole ‘teaching kids there aren’t any consequences’ crap when it’s built right there into the game engine to BE a consequence.

    In the game, shooting cops = getting shot by cops.
    In real life, shooting cops = getting shot by cops.

    In the game, driving drunk = you’re basically screwed.
    In real life, driving drunk = you’re basically screwed.

    Rinse, lather, repeat. Common sense, dumbasses. Common freaking sense.

  103. 0
    Robert Gauss ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    In the movie, “The 40 Year Old Virgin,” drunk driving was indeed a joke scene. That movie was “R” and the “M” rating is appropriate. But keep in mind what happens in that movie and the GTA IV. You crash the car. Simulated bad action has bad simulated consequences.

    Please focus your energies and monies on REAL issues to save REAL people.

  104. 0
    guywith a brain says:

    this is stupid, i got this game when it came out and played every aspect of it. why would any one be more concerned with drinking and driving on a game then with and the sex, drugs and killing. if any one has a problem with any thing on tv or a videos game, the thing has a device called an off switch. instead of bitching about what other people view appropriate or not, then turn the damn thing off. we all know alcohol and driving dont mix, but there will ALWAYS be someone who does it. yes its wrong but neither you or me or the guy next to us can the fact someones gonna do. but to complain about a game is stupid. get over your selves and feed your bullshit to the homeless.8a3ew

  105. 0
    Kythca says:

    "MADD is extremely disappointed by the decision of the manufacturers of the game Grand Theft Auto IV to include a game module where players have to drive drunk."

    Players do not "have to drive drunk." Personally i find the imagery of the character stumbling around and falling face fist into pavement hillarious. And furthermore, gamers have a choice. For example, i always take a cab home after i drink (in the game — in real life i don’t drink).

    While i agree that drunk driving is no joke, this is just a game. In real life i would never shoot down another person, i would never date more than one person at a time, and i don’t even drink in real life at all.

    But this is a game, made for entertainment. And it is just that. Entertaining.

Leave a Reply