Thursday, May 20, 2004

If you thought killing Haitians caused a fuss ...

The first screenshots are out for Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, which will be released in October (we've already pre-ordered it at Amazon).

And here's what Rockstar is showing:

Hmm. Urban youths participating in a drive-by.

Another urban youth posing in front of his lowrider proudly holding his Mac-10.

Yet another urban youth, baggy pants down to expose his BVDs, hanging out in his troubled L.A. neighborhood.

So the game (set in L.A.) seems to feature African-American characters (and no doubt Latinos as well) as violent gang members. And it could be that the youth in the second photo above is the gun-toting ebony "hero" (the L.A. equivalent of Tommy Vercetti).

In Vice City, Tommy was out to kill Haitians and Cubans. In GTA3 it was mostly Italian mobsters on the other end of the guns. But come October, GTA will set its sights on America's favorite minorities, which are also being protrayed as the worst kind of stereotype (bling-bling wearing, gun-toting, low-rider-driving gang members).

The GTA franchise has become one of the most successful video games lines of all time, with more than 30 million units of GTA3 and Vice City sold to date. And - with PlayStation 2 prices coming down and gaming still gaining in popularity - San Andreas will likely outsell them both.

Get ready for the joint press conference with Joe Lieberman and Jesse Jackson.


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