In advance of Electronic Art’s release of The Godfather II tomorrow, a promotional package for the game arrived this afternoon. Many others in the gaming press surely received the media kit as well.
As these things go, it’s very nicely done: a small wooden cigar box containing a cheap stogie, a pack of matches, a pair of dice and a length of wire (for garroting stool pigeons, no doubt). A few matches are missing from the pack, which bears the scent of burnt sulfur and has a dame’s phone number scrawled on the inside cover.
There’s also an authentic-looking immigration document with my actual picture attached. Three pages of folded, typewritten notes offer advice from "M. Corleone." The Godfather flavor is unmistakable.
In fact, the kit is so cleverly detailed that I almost hate to point out that one other included item – a set of brass knuckles – is illegal in Pennsylvania, where GP is based:
18 Pa.C.S. § 908: Prohibited offensive weapons
(a) Offense defined.–A person commits a misdemeanor of the first degree if, except as authorized by law, he… possesses any offensive weapon.
"Offensive weapons." Any bomb, grenade, machine gun, sawed-off shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, firearm specially made or specially adapted for concealment or silent discharge, any blackjack, sandbag, metal knuckles… or other implement for the infliction of serious bodily injury which serves no common lawful purpose.
GP: The good news is that I think I’ll be able to beat the rap if I can persuade the judge to consider the brass knuckles a curio, since the law does provide an out:
(1) It is a defense under this section for the defendant to prove by a preponderance of evidence that he possessed or dealt with the weapon solely as a curio or in a dramatic performance…
Just to be clear, promo materials like this are sent in the course of my work covering games for the Philadelphia Inquirer, not in relation to GamePolitics. EA, clearly, is hoping I will write about The Godfather II for the newspaper.
UPDATE: Stephen Totilo of MTV has also written about unexpectedly receiving the brass knuckles today.
UPDATE 2: We have requested comment from EA on the decision to include brass knuckles in the press kits for the game.