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GoldenJoel

Racism in GTA IV?

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GoldenJoel

http://multiplayerblog.mtv.com/2008/04/08/...rain/#more-3225

 

The article doesn't really say anything about GTA IV, but it says San Andreas was an example of Blatant Racism, thing is, its from a black Game Developer, so I think the legitimacy to say so is there. Do you think that? And do you think GTA IV will have that kind of 'blatant racism'?

 

My opinion: Now, I know some might not agree on this. But the early 90's is when that hip-hop slang was generally in use. I live in Atlanta too, and I know and have been told by other blacks, that at least they use the 'n-word' on a regular basis. Being that GTA is a crime story, and the anti-hero is a less-then-favorable character from the streets, sure it was cartoony, but the backdrop was there...

 

Multiplayer: You mentioned “San Andreas.” My next question was “What do you think of the way African-Americans have been portrayed in games?”

 

 

Gray: Oh man… So “GTA III,” — a Mafioso stereotype with a huge amount of cinema fiction to support that. It’s sort of a cultural joke. We all know that Italians aren’t like that but we know Mafioso gangsters are. Do we remove race from it? No, they’re just gangsters. “Vice City” is just ’80s “Miami Vice.” So even with the Cubanos and Latinos we know all Cubanos aren’t like that. “San Andreas” gets scary because it’s basically what people think black people are. Like obviously not everyone is Tupac, not everyone is like N.W.A. gun-toting. But the greater society still said — I guess maybe there’s not enough time between the height of gangster rap and that game. Because it basically affirms society’s present belief that all urban black guys are just like this. I don’t think the global expectation that all Italian people are mafiosos has existed since the ’30s. But it did at that time. And if [”Grand Theft Auto III”] came out at that time, it’d be a hundred percent “Yup! It’s just a game about the Italian guys.” So that’s just the risk, the scary thing for “San Andreas” in that it’s too soon and it’s too close and it’s going to be consumed by people with no proper filter, right? There are already a bunch of suburban kids trying to emulate this fantasy that came from rap music. It’s a fantasy — Dr. Dre came from a middle class home. These guys were making money, they were making product. The real guys, the real OGs, probably not so glamorous. [laughs] A little scarier actually.

 

But the fantasy world, it just reaffirms their thinking and now they’re playing it, and there’s no way to parse the parody aspects, the subtle commentary. I’m not saying Rockstar is a bunch of racist evil dudes, but other games are like: here are a bunch of stereotypes, both cultural and racial and we’re going to embrace them, lampoon them, parody them, overemphasize them. “Grand Theft Auto” represents the world that should not be. [laughs] Like it’s the worst of us, right? But I don’t think when it comes to “San Andreas,” that people are going to be able to parse that because it was so close to their perception of the real world instead of knowing it was pure playland. So that’s where that game kind of scares me a little bit because this is doing more harm than good.

 

From a gameplay standpoint: “Great, like why did I have to start off on that freakin’ bicycle?” [laughs] I hated that part. So far [”San Andreas”] is the only “Grand Theft Auto” that I didn’t beat because if I have to hear one more “ni**er” drop out of someone’s mouth knowing it was penned by a bunch of white cats — I’m like I’m done here. I can’t play this; I’m feeling filthy. So that’s my thing with “San Andreas.” I’m not saying it’s a bad game; I’m saying without the proper tools to understand what’s really going on there, it’s just risky at what people’s takeaway will be.

Edited by GoldenJoel

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Garstick

People like that should grow up and get over it.

 

The racism is SA was done in such away as to ridicule it. Like the country cops calling CJ "boy" and such.

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GoldenJoel
People like that should grow up and get over it.

 

The racism is SA was done in such away as to ridicule it. Like the country cops calling CJ "boy" and such.

Samuel Jackson and his cops did it too.

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K^2
People like that should grow up and get over it.

What's worse, is that he's perfectly fine with the representation of Italians and Cubans. I'm sure someone with these origins could build the same exact argument against GTAIII and GTA:VC.

 

I'm Eastern European, and I'm going to laugh at every single stereotype R* manages to squeeze into IV, not complain about it. We all know it is just a game.

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GTA3Freak-2001

He is mainly saying that its too soon to be allowed to portray black people as the gangsta stereotype, to that I'd say what about all the influx of rap and hip-hop music video clips in the 90's as well as the movies and TV shows? Was it too soon then? Again video games are being singled out and blamed for socities problems.

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GoldenJoel
People like that should grow up and get over it.

What's worse, is that he's perfectly fine with the representation of Italians and Cubans. I'm sure someone with these origins could build the same exact argument against GTAIII and GTA:VC.

 

I'm Eastern European, and I'm going to laugh at every single stereotype R* manages to squeeze into IV, not complain about it. We all know it is just a game.

K^2 You from Lameshout btw? Its Grim767...

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GoldenJoel

Here's an Except like from what I was thinking. I can't find this guys name, but MTV interviewed him too/The first one:

 

 

I liked the portrayal in “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” Rockstar does a really, really good job of quickly and efficiently creating a character in ways that are more interesting. It’s sort of simple. The one [scene] that seems to stand out in that game is the whole big brother arguing with his little sister over the fact that she’s dating a Latino character in “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.” I mean, that was really well-written for that little total of 90 seconds that it portrayed. … So I think there are ways to do that. Even in their game they had a character that you would say was stereotypical. He was an ex-gangster who comes back and falls into his own gang. Rockstar managed to take their stereotypes and take the stereo out and turn them into types, and sort of tweak them and sort of capture the whole arc of that character, capture the era or some sort of that era; capture the conspiracy theories and paranoia and some of which is rooted in fact about how drugs were introduced to L.A. and things like that. I think it’s a really interesting portrayal.

 

Games are capable of more than people are doing with them. I think that’s what they have to look to and say, “How much longer are we going to rely on the bald space marine? Or how much longer are we going to rely on the Elven female warrior whose armor barely covers her breasts? Is that all we can do with this medium or is there more that can be done?” I think some people just don’t push themselves hard enough.

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jesushumper

I just wouldn't be GTA unless it had some racist content.

 

 

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GoldenJoel

More from Brian Jackson:

 

 

Multiplayer: What do you think of the way African-Americans have been presented in games, for exmaple “Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas” or the Def Jam games?

 

Jackson: It’s interesting that you bring up the Def Jam series. When I was at EA, they were looking for another game they could make using their “Knockout Kings” boxing engine. They call it “Fight Night” now, but originally it was called “Knockout Kings.” I came up with this idea that you could have a game called “Hip-Hop Kings.” You could picture KRS-One versus MC Shan, Kool Moe Dee versus LL Cool J — stuff like that. It would have been a straight boxing game, it wouldn’t have been a fighting game the way it was currently. That was something that I brought up back in 1998. EA, I don’t think, was ready to do a game like that.

“I came up with a game called ‘Hip-Hop Kings‘ …back in 1998. EA, I don’t think, was ready to do a game like that.”

 

After I left EA and I was at Microsoft, I was flipping through a magazine and I saw and advertisement for the original Def Jam game. I called a friend of mine that’s now working at Nike and said, “Didn’t we have this idea back in ‘98? Now they’re doing it!” He even said, “Man, I know we pitched it, but EA just wasn’t ready for it then.” Now it makes sense for them to do it because they’re in with Def Jam on the music side. So the game makes sense for them to do it now.

 

I have no problems with fighting games and games like “Grand Theft Auto.” It’s just like any other video game: if you take it in moderation and understand the concept of what they’re trying to do, you can assess that as an adult. A video game is a video game. Playing “Grand Theft Auto” is not going to make me go out and shoot somebody.

 

The difference is when people try to associate it with the younger generation. The younger generation, if all they constantly see is minorities being portrayed in that role, that’s all they’re going to know. That’s why I have a problem with it. If there are games that show minorities in a positive light and if there are games that are in not such a positive light, as long as there’s a balance, I’m okay with that. And as long as the parents of these kids are taking the time and saying, “You’re a 10 year-old, there’s no reason why you should be playing a game that’s ‘T-13′, there’s no reason you should be playing a game that’s ‘mature.’” That falls back on the parents.

 

I don’t fault Take-Two for making “Grand Theft Auto.” I don’t fault them at all. The American society today is all about sex, drugs and money. That’s the whole premise of “Grand Theft Auto.” I don’t fault them as a company for doing it; I would rather the parents police their kids if they play it.

 

Multiplayer: You’re talking about the series in general, but CJ in “San Andreas” — do you think that says something to people about African-Americans?

 

Jackson: That’s just an extreme example. There wasn’t really a big stir about it when Star Wars did it — when Star Wars did Jar-Jar Binks and you could pretty much tell his voice was supposed to be an African-American-sounding character. And he was very illiterate, he made dumb decisions, he was the goof or clown, and no one really made a big deal about it.

 

Multiplayer: I think because appearance-wise they could just brush it off with, “He’s an alien.” But CJ from “Grand Theft Auto” was clearly…

 

Jackson: Yeah, I understand that. But once again I also go back to if it’s a 10 year-old playing the game, he shouldn’t be playing the game. If it’s a 15 year-old playing the game he should know better. His parents should have explained to him that it’s just a video game.

 

Multiplayer: Just for my clarification and understanding — you’re saying you’re okay with the way CJ was represented in “Grand Theft Auto,” but it’s up to the parents, or a person’s upbringing, to understand that real-life violence is wrong and not all African-Americans are running around doing what CJ’s doing?

 

Jackson: Well, I wouldn’t say I’m okay with it! What I have a problem with is African-Americans being portrayed in a negative light in any form of media. If it’s the news — when Katrina hit down here in Louisiana it was “African-Americans were looting, white-Americans were just trying to survive.” It’s things like that. If they’re given a fair shake, then I’m with seeing the way they’re portrayed because that’s what actually happened.

 

In video games, there isn’t a balance of “this is what this African -American does and this is what this African-American does.” It seems that there are always the African-Americans that are portrayed — especially CJ in “Grand Theft Auto” — this is what he does, this is how he is and this is a reflection of all African-Americans. When it’s portrayed as this is a reflection of all African-Americans then that’s where I have my biggest problem.

“When [’GTA’ is] portrayed as… a reflection of all African-Americans then that’s where I have my biggest problem.”

 

In certain areas like north Philadelphia or south central L.A., there are things that actually happen like that in real life. If I’m going to be blind to that, then I too am wrong in being blind to that side of it. But, if that’s the only way they’re being portrayed — and they are portrayed that this is the way all African-Americans are — then that’s what I have a problem with.

 

If it’s a younger person playing the game that doesn’t have any knowledge of how African-Americans are in general, and that’s the only image they are always being portrayed as — if they’re watching music videos and all they’re seeing is African-American women shaking their booties, then they’re going to have that picture of that’s all an African-American woman is. When it’s presented in that way, and they’re fed the only image that they know of how that particular individual, gender or race is, then I have a problem with that. But “Grand Theft Auto” being played by a 30 year-old that’s been around per se, and can tell the difference that this is just a character in a video game that symbolizes where this person is and where this person is living, then it’s a little different.

 

Multiplayer: So you’re saying it depends on who’s playing it and how they interpret it.

 

Jackson: Exactly. I have nothing against the game itself. I’m not an advocate of the game, and I don’t have any malcontent towards the company that actually made the game. The problem I have is that if the actual game itself is being target towards the younger generation. Which clearly it wasn’t because the ESRB stepped in. As long as the parents are policing the games that their kids are playing, then I really don’t have a problem with that particular game.

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Speedball

In Vice City I didn't cry when they made fun of the french in a mission where a french guy full of stereotype stole a thing and drove away with a pcj600... it was funny!

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Knight_Yellow

I dont remember crying when Vice city had Love fist take the pure pish out of scottish people.

 

This guy just needs to quit having a victim complex and he might not strain hs vagina.

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RedSpecial
I dont remember crying when Vice city had Love fist take the pure pish out of scottish people.

 

This guy just needs to quit having a victim complex and he might not strain hs vagina.

Exactly the whole western world is becoming a bloody nanny state. angry.gif

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Krumbz

The guy makes some great points but this is the entertainment industry after all and games are, (or should be), looked at no different then movies or other types of media.

 

He makes some points but he's not being open minded about the "TYPE OR SCENARIO" of that PARTICULAR GTA. It was ABOUT Gangs in LA. The developers chose to make the lead character a gangbanger... as opposed to an Mafia type of guy. That's THEIR story and right to do so. It's also their right to create an environment for that character to react in... which was an outlandish look at the reality of lower class Black people.

 

He's right to think that there should be more Black leads, (as well as other races and nationalities), but what he seems to forget is... VIDEOGAME LEADS COME WITH STEREOTYPES.

 

Marcus Fenix is White. But he's a beefy extra strong White guy. Same could be said for COUNTLESS LEAD CHARACTERS. Doesn't matter if the lead is White or Black... he's most likely going to fit a videogame character lead... which is stereotypically strong, smart, tough etc.

 

He does make a point with the Black guy in Gears of War... but depending on where the Black guy was brought up... Black people speak with different accents. If you take a White guy from down South... he's going to have his own slur or twist to the way he speaks... and it will sound much differently from a White guy born and raised in Brooklyn.

 

This is how it is. Not just games. Life.

 

The whole thing here is... this guy works for the company that puts out Tomb Raider.

 

If SHE'S NOT A STEREOTYPICAL LEAD "FEMALE" CHARACTER... I don't know what is. (Not sayin that that's bad... Lara can digitally get it... anytime!) YOU KNOW WHAT I'M SPRAYIN'.... ???

 

smile.gif

Edited by Krumbz

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TheIncredibleMrGQ

wtf? DJ POOH was the head writer of SA, the same dude that wrote f*ckin Friday mercie_blink.gif is this dude f*ckin retarded or somethin?

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Krumbz

 

 

JAR JAR BINX WAS BLACK!!! I DID NOT KNOW THIS... HEH HEH....

 

Samuel Jackson was Black... in Star Wars... I DID, however, know that.

 

I just found the whole Jar Jar thing hilarious... I NEVER thought that Jar Jar was being portrayed as a demeaning image to Black guys.

 

Honestly that's absurd... unless someone links me to something substantial... I call BS!

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steakncheese

I don't understand why people would go nuts even if there was racism in a GTA game. It's about stealing, murdering and other crime, yet people cry foul because of racism?

 

Racism is a part of life, as is murder and theft.

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Se7en56
I don't understand why people would go nuts even if there was racism in a GTA game. It's about stealing, murdering and other crime, yet people cry foul because of racism?

 

Racism is a part of life, as is murder and theft.

100% AGREED

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K^2
K^2 You from Lameshout btw? Its Grim767...

One and the same. There are couple of other LS members around here somewhere.

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AbbaZabba

I'm black and I didn't find anything in SA offensive. Anything that may have been considered rasist, was obviously done for the purpose of satyr.

 

As for Star Wars. I didn't like how the new sequals seemed to have human accent for different aliens. Ever notice how the Trade Federation aliens sounded chinese?

 

Meh. "Everyone's a little bit rasist" - Avenue Q

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czar2k4ever
People like that should grow up and get over it.

What's worse, is that he's perfectly fine with the representation of Italians and Cubans. I'm sure someone with these origins could build the same exact argument against GTAIII and GTA:VC.

 

I'm Eastern European, and I'm going to laugh at every single stereotype R* manages to squeeze into IV, not complain about it. We all know it is just a game.

Amen!

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TheIncredibleMrGQ

The point is, we in the black ommunity LOVE user posted image.

 

All of the GTAs since the very first have featured a guy with a gun shooting innocent ppl, just because one of them happens to be black doesn't make it racist...and it wasn't written by white ppl, as this dude said, as *I* said: GTA: user posted image was written by Dj Pooh...a BLACK man monocle.gif

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mark3boyz

Racism is stupid but also at times funny. Lets face it when Kramer called that guy in the audience a ni**er it was the funniest thing a cast member of Seinfeld has done since the end of the show... LOL let the flamage begin

 

ANYWAYS ethnicities really need to take a look at white people and their lack of anytype of offence to racial slurs. They just dont take them seriously and could care less. The sooner other races get past stupid words, meerly the arrangment of letters, the better for them and their "people"

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shadoolaw

Well, what do you expect? GTA is made by a bunch of Scots who live in Scotland. All they know about American culture is from various stereotypes, which is why every character in every GTA is a walking, albeit well-written and highly entertaining, stereotype.

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GoldenJoel

Read the other two excepts. One believes that SA is a great representation of LA at those times, and then the other doesn't think its that important.

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RedSpecial

Is it not writen by the american team though ?

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MultiForce

Like I care if someone thinks I'm playing a racist game. I know what it is anyway.

 

Soon the guys @ A.A. (Alcoholics Anonymous) is going to complain about all the drunk drivers in GTA too.

 

 

Just wait until they release a game that makes fun of some God, then you can start worrying about suicide bombers and sh*t.

 

 

f*ck the rest of the world... I'll create my own world.

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makiaveli777
People like that should grow up and get over it.

What's worse, is that he's perfectly fine with the representation of Italians and Cubans. I'm sure someone with these origins could build the same exact argument against GTAIII and GTA:VC.

 

I'm Eastern European, and I'm going to laugh at every single stereotype R* manages to squeeze into IV, not complain about it. We all know it is just a game.

treu ITS JUST A GAME biggrin.gif

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Abel.
People like that should grow up and get over it.

 

The racism is SA was done in such away as to ridicule it. Like the country cops calling CJ "boy" and such.

Yeah, it also had a multicultural cast, racist? no.

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ryuclan
Racism is stupid but also at times funny. Lets face it when Kramer called that guy in the audience a ni**er it was the funniest thing a cast member of Seinfeld has done since the end of the show... LOL let the flamage begin

 

ANYWAYS ethnicities really need to take a look at white people and their lack of anytype of offence to racial slurs. They just dont take them seriously and could care less. The sooner other races get past stupid words, meerly the arrangment of letters, the better for them and their "people"

White people take offense to derogatory words that aren't geared toward them. They are usually the ones who tell people to stop using the words. It's funny though how they tell people to stop saying nigga yet at least 80% of the black community don't give a f*ck. If Barack Obama said nigga in one of his speeches or just called someone his nigga he would get at least 90% of the black vote lol. Yet I think he would get like 2% of th white vote lol.

 

Anyway AbbaZabba, and TheIncredibleMrGQ are correct. Black people didn't care about the stereotypes in SA. When I saw what it looked like that was the biggest shock in the world to me. Just the fact that it was a black dude was good enough to me. The fact that they portrayed LA so well in those times was an added bonus.

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Hitler5e6

People ignore the real "racism" in this game. You know what it is? It's between Eastern Europeans. Russians constantly mock Balkans like Niko for being "peasants" or a slavic "underclass." Americans have thsi dumb idea that racism is only black and white. It isn't at all. 

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