Outrage Begins over Drug-Dealing in GTA Chinatown Wars

Given this week’s revelations that GTA Chinatown Wars for the Nintendo DS will feature a drug dealing mini-game, it was only a matter of time before criticism began.

Today’s edition of British tabloid The Sun covers the story under the headline Fury Over Drug Deal Vid Game and includes a comment by Darren Gold of support group Drugsline:

Anything using drug-dealing as entertainment is sending out the wrong message. Glamorisation doesn’t help our work trying to educate kids of the dangers of substance misuse.

Rockstar, of course, seems to revel in such controversy.

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  1. hellfire7885 says:

    As I was trying to say….

    This isn’t new.

    In Vice City you did drug deals using an ice cream factory and truck as a front.

  2. barra_sadei says:

    I’ll admit that I’ve never watched the show, by the rest of my family always watches The Wire… Isn’t that kinda based around the illegal trade of various types of drugs? Because, if so, the show is a form of entertainment…

    And I thought that the mini-game was being taken out of it?


    Edit Addition: Wait a minute, they’re commenting on how it sends kids the wrong message, but it’s rated M! When will the media start doing research!

  3. JustChris says:

    Anything using drug-dealing as entertainment is sending out the wrong message. Glamorisation doesn’t help our work trying to educate kids of the dangers of substance misuse.

    Holy cow! Something used as entertainment does show the accuracy of a situation as educational materials do? Video games do not have to fulfill any "education" quota whatsoever. I guess that’s why they call video games "entertainment" and not "education". 

  4. Tarosan says:

    Yay at Nintendo for asking T2 to make a M rated DS game and YAY for the Moron to finally been given the pink slip!

    When Life gives you lemons, you find a new god.

  5. DarkTetsuya says:

    I stopped reading at ‘tabloid.’

    Also what’s that loud sobbing sound coming from Florida? …. Took em long enough!

    — "Jack and listen are two words that don’t go together…just like Jack and sanity, Jack and truth, Jack and proof, Jack and win…" — sortableturnip | http://www.orangeloungeradio.com/

  6. zontax says:

    rockstars reply:

    ‘Nintendo wanted us to make GTA, and we wanted to make a game on their platform. They didn’t want us to make a GTA for kids, and we weren’t interested in making a game we wouldn’t normally make.’ 

    yay for rockstar


  7. Father Time says:

    Does anyone else think it’s way too early for this sort of controversy? I mean we’re not sure how it’s going to protray the drug trade in this game.

    Although it sure seems like they try to protray it as a very unstable industry that you should only get into if you’re desperate because of the risks involved.

  8. Bennett Beeny says:

    "The Stun" is hardly a news source.  Expecting "The Stun" to act responsibly towards video game issues is like expecting Faux News to do the same.

  9. LuNaTiC says:

    Fail… again.  Another person who thinks all video games are ment for kids.  This guy is totally ignorant to the M rating and the fact that it is aimed toward adult gamers with a DS. 


    We are all going to die someday. The trick is not to rush it.

  10. mogbert says:

    While you may be right, I’m going to sit this one out. I feel like we are being used this time. While I respect their right to use such in a game if they want, I just think after the 6th or 7th time, it’s just a gimmick for them. Somewhere there is a powerpoint presentation and on page 7 is the words "Media Controvercy Hook: Drug Dealing Minigame."

    Of course back in the late 90’s (I think) there was Orion’s Wing Commander: Privateer. I made a lot of money drug dealing, granted that ticked off the local militia and police force, but after shooting them out of space, some of them ejected and were floating about, ready to be tractor beamed in and sold as slaves. After that, it was easy to run guns back to my starting point for my very own Golden Triangle.

    All this taught me was the value of money, and now my wife and I live comfortably on a low income salary, relatively debt free, with only a mortgage. Funny how I didn’t turn to crime, huh?

  11. Leet Gamer Jargon says:

    *deep sigh* It was just a matter of time. A whole bunch of people are gonna bitch that it’ll give kids the know-how to sell drugs for real, we gamers will try our best to fight this assumption by saying that this game is obviously not for kids and parents should regulate their kids play time (which, IMHO, they should), and I’m sure at least one nation (maybe Germany or Thailand) will ban the game outright…

    Dammit, if we’re ever gonna change things for the better, we have to become more politically active. We can’t just sit on our duffs and wait for those in power to dictate what we can and cannot do! Hey! If anyone’s listening out there, please contact your State Representatives, senators, politicians, whoever, and tell them about the ridiculousness of the opposing views and about the kind of money that would be wasted if regulation laws were enacted. If there was ever a good time to make an impact, now is that time! Gamers around the world, we must unite!

    Game on, brothers and sisters.

  12. Solipsis says:

    Silly rabbit! Games are for kids!

    ……….all the widdle kiddies have to be protected from the big bad video game companies……

  13. Pinworm says:

     Glamorisation doesn’t help our work trying to educate kids of the dangers of substance misuse.

    How silly I am. I didn’t even realize GTA was a kids education series. I always thought it was an M-Rated game that was about an entertaining story and gameplay. I never knew it was actually a game used to teach children!

    My mistake. Shame on rockstar.

  14. PHOENIXZERO says:

    There was plenty of outrage over it, it brought a lot of attention to the game and I’m sure led to the eventual change from real, to fake/toy weapons that were used. Then of course a while later the fad died.

  15. Kojiro says:

    It’s a symbiotic relationship.  The media knows they are being used.  But in exchange, they sell papers and get more hits.

  16. Benjamin_Snow says:

    I dobut it.  There are a lot of morons in the media. 



    "We may be human, but we’re still animals" -Steve Vai (World’s greatest guitarist!)

  17. HarmlessBunny says:

    Once again Rockstar drives more hype by causing controversy. I wonder if the media, realize that they are being used.

  18. Geoff says:

    Really?  I figured most European countries would have some law that protects freedom of speeh/press.  Though to be fair I can’t say I’m well versed in the laws of other countries.

    I think we’re in a recession when it comes to common sense and responsiblity these days.


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

  19. SimonBob says:

    Arguably, it’s different because you participate in the drug trade and get rewarded for it in GTA, whereas on TV those nasty dealers always get their comeuppance.  If the game flashed "YOU ARE A TERRIBLE PERSON" and slapped you upside the head every time you pawned out a dimebag, the comparison would be more valid.  I would go with someone the audience is expected to cheer for if I was picking an example — maybe Cheech & Chong? ;D

    The Mammon Industry

  20. Benjamin_Snow says:

    CSI, Law and Order, Cold Case, Criminal Mind, Numbers:  All popular and award winning series that show drug useages  and drug dealing and nobody gives a damn!  They get praised and yet when a video game shows drug dealing, everyone and their mama goes in a shit storm!

    "We may be human, but we’re still animals" -Steve Vai (World’s greatest guitarist!)

  21. sortableturnip says:

    Really, it’s anything to sell newspapers.  If they could get away with showing female full frontal nudity, I bet they would.

  22. SimonBob says:

    Was the story about the evils of narcotics before or after the daily exploitation of female mammary glands on page 3?  Not that I’m calling them hypocrites at the Sun for liking boobs and hating drugs; I just think it’s odd that they condone airbrushing the former but rag on the virtualization of the latter.

    The Mammon Industry

  23. Hitodama says:

    I’ve never heard of this calulator game till recently…

    Media will always find something to get their panties in a bunch.

  24. SticKboy says:

    I don’t think we do have an equivalent of the 1st Amendment in the UK. Time was we were able to rely on common sense, the irony being that common sense now seems to be a rare commodity.


  25. Geoff says:

    Meh, more scapegoat BS.  The game is not intended for small children, there are far bigger social and cultural issues that lead to drug use, other forms of media use drug imagery all the time, blah blah blah.  We’ve all made these points before.

    At this point I’m pretty much ready to just reply with "1st amendment.  Suck it."  Yeah it’s not mature but I’m honestly getting tired of wasting my breath with these people.  (This, of course, only applies to us Yanks.  I’m sure you Brits have something similar.)


    Tea and cake or death! Tea and cake or death! Little Red Cook-book! Little Red Cook-book!

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