Not everyone is as happy as I am that our little hamlet, NYC, will make an appearance in GTA IV. Granted, Liberty City is likely to resemble New York only as much as Los Santos resembles Los Angeles-- that is, thematically and stylistically, but not geographically. A spokesman for Mayor Bloomberg said, "The mayor does not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers." Most officials these days seem to avoid any affiliation with GTA, including the display of ads-- as if even a silence that might be construed as permissive were as good as an outright endorsement of violent crime.
With recent local news items (particularly the indictment of four police officers for the killing of unfortunate road-warrior Sean Bell) sparking a rise in anti-police sentiment in the city, including some high-profile perhaps-not-coincidental officer deaths, it's easy to see why Bloomie is taking care to be crystal-clear. Still, I'm all for gaming in the news, but of course as a dyed-in-the-wool game fan, it disappoints me that the only time the uninitiated populace hears about video games-- or cares-- it's a situation like this.
Especially when they needn't worry, at least as far as the kiddies are concerned. Here's an interesting article on the results of an Australian study that shows that only children with existing behavioral problems are negatively impacted by violent games. ...Um, duh. It always just blows my mind that if a kid who spends 10 hours a day playing a video game splatterfest commits a crime, they blame the game-- and nobody asks what would make a kid so fascinated with violence that he'd want to play that game for 10 hours in the first place.
I doubt this study will be covered widely in the media, as the anti-video game stance always gets more popular come election time. Well, if the media refuses to attend to the issues in a balanced way, I'm going to storm the Associated Press, bust out some CQC on the guards, and hold the entire staff hostage with my Triforce until they understand my point of view. That'll teach 'em.
This is my second update this week about GTA IV reactions. When you think about it, I'd much rather be posting game food pictures. Send me some! We need game candy.