BBFC Says It Investigated Crystal Meth Recipe in GTA IV

The British Board of Film Classification, which last week lost the battle for control of U.K. video game ratings to industry-favored rival PEGI, once investigated whether Grand Theft Auto IV contained a genuine recipe for manufacturing crystal meth.

The Times reports that the discovery prompted "crisis talks" with developer Rockstar. In testimony last year before the Culture, Media and Sport Committee of the House of Commons, BBFC head David Cooke discussed his organization’s review of GTA IV:

We did examine [GTA IV] extremely thoroughly and we are the only regulator I know of who looked, for instance, at the particular issue where… there was a concern about whether you were being given instructional information about how to make the drug crystal meth.


We actually took independent advice on the point and eventually were able to satisfy ourselves that some of the crucial ingredients and techniques were missing so it was not a genuine cause for concern.

UPDATE: College News (leave it to those crazy college kids) explains where the so-called crystal meth recipe can be found in GTA IV:

The suspected recipe for crystal meth can be discovered in the video game as a posting on the fictional Web site Craplist –a parody of the popular real life Web site Craigslist.

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


  1. 0
    MrKlorox says:

    This is certainly the truth.

    In a few cutscenes, there’s some mysterious white lines on a mirrir that are snorted up once or twice. There are a few missions where you deliver or eascape with a bag (which you are led to believe is full of either coke or heroin — not meth). There’s a few junkie characters, one of which is strung out on meth. And there are some generic references to characters or groups using drugs. That’s all GTA4 has in terms of drug content. Hell, GTA SA seemed to be more drug focused than GTA4.

    Chinatown Wars on the other hand practically revolves around the trade of various specific drugs throughout the entire game.

  2. 0
    JustChris says:

    I don’t know how many drug references there are in GTA IV (haven’t played it). All I know is there are probably more in Chinatown Wars, because drug selling is one of your main character’s standard activities throughout the game, not just as a few side missions.


  3. 0
    Aliasalpha says:

    investigated whether Grand Theft Auto IV contained a genuine recipe for manufacturing crystal meth

    Was there a FAKE recipe for crystal meth? The only references to it I saw in TLAD was one  character being a meth junkie and references to one character being the gang’s meth chemist


  4. 0
    MrKlorox says:

    That’s an awesome law. I’m all for any law that prohibits the distribution of truth.

    What would happen if there was a recipe, but it was false?

  5. 0
    chadachada321 says:

    Just alter your comment with "violence" or "killing" instead of "drugs" and you get the current violence issues. Whether or not it’s against British law is irrelevent, that British law that you’re talking about is immoral, illogical, and redundant. Not to mention a waste of resources.

    -If an apple a day keeps the doctor away….what happens when a doctor eats an apple?-

  6. 0
    State says:

    Not the point if you can find the information on the Internet or not, it is against British law to give instructional and promotional drugs information in movies, games and DVDs and as such the BBFC have to check whether the material could be used to help perform an illegal act.

    This is not whether people at the BBFC are being prudent (and of course this story posted on this site further propagates these bizarre rumours that the BBFC hate games), they are bound to do so by law. FYI as PEGI now become the sole games classifier this is something that they will be required to look at, if they don’t the VSC definitely will.

    But anyway the BBFC looked at the issue and decided that there was no genuine cause for concern. They didn’t ban anything, they didn’t censor anything, they did what all mature ratings agencies should do, that a reasonable and methodical look at the content and make a balanced decision based on the evidence.

  7. 0
    Buckeye531 says:

    Yeah, because no one would ever think to look to other sources for making crystal meth…besides google, wikipedia, youtube, and the local library. All of those would be far better resources for making meth than any video game.

  8. 0
    Kincyr says:

    oh yea, that one was great too (although that one was from ’97). I was thinking of the 2002 episode where Connie’s cousin tricked Bobby into making a meth lab by pretending to help him with building a candy machine for his group science project.

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  9. 0
    State says:

    Again not the point, whether you agree or disagree with the law is irrelevant, even your point that "it is law is irrelevant" is redundant, what you expect the BBFC to pick and choose what laws they follow? If you have a problem with the law go to your MP not the BBFC (do you think the film classification agency makes the law?). Altering the comment to "killing" instead of "drugs" does not mean I get a similar argument as the depiction (or fictional) killing and (most) violence is not illegal under UK law, but the promotion and instructional depiction of drug use is.

    Don’t even attempt to make this into a debate about the legalisation of drugs, this is simply an organisation abiding by the current UK laws, not someone’s own sense of morality, not what they think should be the law, not at media that falls outside of their jurisdiction, the BBFC is following the current British law. They looked at the law and compared GTA4 with it and found nothing broke the law. No bans, no bans, no anything.

  10. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Because the BBFC only cover games and films. "investigating other sources that are far more detailed and easier to access than a game" would be a job for the police, not a media ratings organisation.


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  11. 0
    Buckeye531 says:

    I agree to an extent. My complaint is why investigate a game for this instead of investigating other sources that are far more detailed and easier to access than a game.

    You are right though. At least the BBFC took the tme to investigate and research.

  12. 0
    Beacon80 says:

    Come on guys, we should be supporting this.  Any attempt to actually eschew blatantly false accusations should be supported.  Just think of all the false claims out there (fully detailed nudity in the Sims, full out sex scenes and sodomy in Mass Effect, rape in… any retail game), we should be happy that BBFC actually took the time to see if it was true or not, than just assuming the worse.

  13. 0
    Snipzor says:

    Wait a second, thanks to this, they now know how to make Crystal Meth. Great, thanks GTA for sparking people’s interest to go factcheck things.


  14. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    Why not? Nothing came of it, but at least they checked rather than making a blind judgement. It just seems a really random thing to pick-up on. Does amuse me to wonder if they were as thorough when considering the realism of Manhunt 2 violence though!


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  15. 0
    Andrew Eisen says:

    "…i’m sure if i spent enough time looking on the internet, i’d probably find an actual How To guide, so it’s not like they potentially stopped a source of new meth makers."

    Indeed.  Took me less than 5 seconds.


    Andrew Eisen

  16. 0
    Cerabret100 says:

    I don’t think even Rockstar is that stupid/careless, besides, i’m sure if i spent enough time looking on the internet, i’d probably find an actual How To guide, so it’s not like they potentially stopped a source of new meth makers.

  17. 0
    DarkSaber says:

    And your point is…..? (Not you Zip, lol, the BBFC)


    I LIKE the fence. I get 2 groups to laugh at then.

  18. 0
    ZippyDSMlee says:



    I am a criminal because I purchase media,I am a criminal because I use media, I am a criminal because I chose to own media..We shall remain criminals until Corporate stay’s outside our bedrooms..

Leave a Reply