Alcohol

MADD as Hell at GTA IV

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Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD) pans the just-released latest iteration of the massively popular vid game Grand Theft Auto: 

Noting that drunk driving claims nearly 13,500 lives each year, MADD said that it is "extremely disappointed" that the game lets users get virtually drunk and then get behind the wheel of an equally virtual automobile.

"Drunk driving is not a game and it is not a joke," MADD said. "Drunk driving is a choice, a violent crime, and it is also 100 percent preventable."

MADD is asking the Entertainment Software Rating Board to bump Grand Theft Auto IV's rating up to AO for Adults Only from M for Mature. The ESRB's content descriptors for the game currently include "use of drugs and alcohol." The parental group also said that it is asking the game's "manufacturer" (presumably Take-Two Interactive) to consider stopping distribution out of a sense of social responsibility, or out of respect for those who've been hurt or killed by drunk drivers.

More here.

MADD has to get in line to pan GTAIV, which is pulling weak reviews such as this one: "GTA IV on Sony PS3: Resolution, Online Issues Hamper Experience."

reason's November 2007 cover story, "Prohibition Returns!," discussed MADD's mission creep from an anti-drunk driving org to an anti-alcohol group. Read all about it here.

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  1. Doesn’t M for Mature 17+ mean it is essentially adults only already. More reason to hate MADD, but rockstar thanks you for the media attention.

  2. Man, Jeezus, it’s JUST A GAME. People who play it, even kids, don’t see it as a blueprint for life. They see it as a game. If I play croquet I don’t suddenly become obsessed with the idea of bumping people who are physically in my way…

    Did anyone else hear on the news the other day that an astounding amount of people in a recent survey admitted to driving drunk last year? I believe it given how low the legal limits have been set and other factors. I agree with MADD that drunk driving is probably a bad idea, but they should agree with me that the best solution is to have less people killed by drunk driving rather than to be as draconian as possible on drunk drivers. Perhaps the latter leads to the former, but they should be open to the possibility it is not the best way to achieve the former. I doubt that it is…

  3. So, is virtually drunk anything like being virtually pregnant?

    Sounds like a bunch of bitter people, but I doubt that they are clutching their guns.

    Is this the Mayday post or is something a lot more juicy coming up?

    OT: Floridians were protesting in front of the DC DNC offices yesterday. Seems they had another voting problem there a few months ago. Some misunderstanding about eading a calendar, not unlike the problem a couple of years ago with a mass misreading of the ballots.

  4. HC,

    It means that it is virtually adults only. Seems the v-word is a biggie with these ladies. Does not matter what follows virtually, it just matters that it it virtual.

  5. Doesn’t M for Mature 17+ mean it is essentially adults only already.

    Essentially, yes, but MADD is basically trying to censor the game. An “M” rating is for adults, but the “AO” rating usually means the game involves pr0n (think “Leisure Suit Larry”).

    With an AO rating, most retailers like Gamestop and WalMart won’t carry the game. They pulled this same crap with the whole “hot coffee mod” flack in GTA III.

    Rockstar is awesome, not only because they release the GTA series, but also because they unflinchingly support the game, MADD be damned.

    I wish more organizations had cojones like that…

  6. “Drunk driving is not a game and it is not a joke,” MADD said. “Drunk driving is a choice, a violent crime, and it is also 100 percent preventable.”

    So is robbing and killing someone, but the game allows that, too! And MADD is suspiciously silent… Could it be that they actually believe that driving after a few drinks is worse walking to someone and blowing their brains all over the sidewalk?

  7. oh noes….video game drunk driving will lead to more real world drunk driving, just like all those hooker-murder cop killing sprees when San Andreas came out!!

    How about MADD starts their own puritan island somewhere and leaves the rest of us the fuck alone.

  8. How about MADD starts their own puritan island somewhere and leaves the rest of us the fuck alone.

    I’ll pitch in to pay for it.

    Who’s with me?

  9. “Drunk driving is not a game…

    The way *you* play it. It’s all about the high score, my friends.

    …and it is not a joke…

    “Fish used to be used as breathalyser devices.”

    “Really?”

    “Sure. The cop would hand you a trout, and if you were willing to stick the fucker in your mouth, you were clearly stone drunk.”

    Ba-ding. Seriously, after George Carlin demonstrated conclusively that *rape* can be a joke, I don’t understand why people even go here anymore.

    …MADD said…

    The great giant head, who looks vaguely like your best friend’s bitchy mom, speaks.

    “Drunk driving is a choice…

    Unless you really have to get that equally inebriated chick home to a comfortable horizontal surface. Then it’s an imperative.

    a violent crime

    ur doin it wrong!

    and it is also 100 percent preventable.”

    Of course it is. Shoot all the transgressors. Wish every problem were so easy. Oh, it turns out they all are, if one simply abandons one’s principles.

    What I want to see next is MADD hire Jack Thompson as their “video game guru”. That would place a beautiful capstone on the whole thing.

  10. Maybe MADD and PETA could get together and become MAPEMWD (Mothers Against People Eating Meat While Drunk.) They could protest football tailgating and get a swift boot in the ass.

  11. @David: Yes, they do believe that having a drink and driving a car is worse than murder. They wet the bed constantly over the thought of someone having sip of whiskey or a bottle of beer. They are prohibitionists.

  12. Drunk driving is … a violent crime…

    I’d like to see one of the MADD representatives tell that to a rape support group.

    I would fully support ratcheting up penalties for being drunk when committing a crime, but being drunk as the crime itself?

    Under that same logic, we should lock up every foreigner, or at least the many who are unfamiliar with U.S. driving laws, for being dangerous on the road.

    (I hope that didn’t sound racist. My insurance company told me my rates are higher here in Fla because of the proportion of foreign drivers. I mean, if you don’t speak English and never took driver’s ed, you’d have a tough time deciphering “All traffic must yield to vehicles in roundabout.” Just sayin’)

  13. So MADD said it’s 13,500 a year.They were saying almost 40,000 a few years ago.The LA times showed the number is closer to 8000.Witch means most deaths [ and vast amount of accidents [ are caused by sober drivers.I guess it’s ok to lie for money but not sell a game for a profit.

  14. Too bad for MADD that the game is totally awesome (I haven’t played by my co-worker just bought it yesterday) and is selling like gangbusters.

    Fuck you, prohibitionists!

  15. Michael Pack,

    A lot of MADD number-fudging comes from treating all accidents where anyone had been drinking at all as a DUI-related accident. Not legally drunk drivers, drunk passengers in either car, or even a drunk pedestrian hit by a entirely sober driver.

    The sort of illogical and assholery that resulted in my friend getting a ticket for not wearing his seatbelt when he took it off to get his registration out of the glove box before the officer made it to the car.

  16. David is right. MADD endorses murder, theft, and prostitution! I’d say that drunk driving is the least of the crimes in this game. I accidentally ran over pedestrians playing earlier iterations, without any built-in “drunk driving” option.

  17. I bought the game on launch day. One of the first things i did was go drunk driving, and pick up a hooker.

    Compared to real drunk driving, it’s much harder in the game. I flew off an on ramp and blew up my car & hooker. Lost all my money and my gun. Who wants to emulate that?

    BTW, that link is to a pcworld post that links to an amateur forum: I’ve had no slowdowns or problems, nor heard them from a reportable source.

  18. And all this, in spite of the fact that this game, which “glorifies violence” and all that, actually makes a point of telling you that it might be a better idea to hail a cab if you’re drunk.

    And the driving while drunk sucks anyways. You can’t even control the car well enought to deliberately run people down.

  19. MADD has to get in line to pan GTAIV, which is pulling weak reviews such as this one: “GTA IV on Sony PS3: Resolution, Online Issues Hamper Experience.”

    It’s getting panned? The game got perfect 10’s on ign and gamespot.

  20. I accidentally ran over pedestrians playing earlier iterations, without any built-in “drunk driving” option.

    Hell, I did it purposely.

  21. I remember an experiment I did years ago – real drinking and playing various racing games. Strangely enough, the first game I found myself unable to play was Destruction Derby – after only five beers…

  22. Drinking and playing GTA is a time-honored tradition. Nice of them to add in-game intoxication, but I don’t need it.

  23. Episiarch,

    Say, what if you drank and played in drunk mode? Would that be meta-drunkenness or even true crapulence?

    Or would it cancel everything out, resulting in a Dr. Johnny Fever-like enhancement of reflexes? Truly, this needs to be studied.

  24. I say we give MADD The Business:

    Half past 5 I’m in the pub
    Six O’clock it’s home for grub
    Eight O’clock I’m back to the bar
    Sod the walk I’ll take the car

    [Chorus:]
    Knock it back
    Have another one
    Drinking and driving is so much fun

    In the motor off you go
    Not too fast and not too slow
    Keep your head and keep your cool
    Must avoid that rightful pull
    As you meander down the road
    Don’t forget your highway code
    See the spot and take your pick
    Out of the car to be sick!…

  25. Taktix?,

    How about MADD starts their own puritan island somewhere and leaves the rest of us the fuck alone.

    I’ll pitch in to pay for it.

    Who’s with me?

    Naaahhhh, I am saving up for my own island, the Free Armed Republic of Bootieville.

    Betcha I get more tourist traffic, fewer pirates.

    Who’s with me!

  26. Yeah its pretty much getting the opposite of panned (other than by joyless prudes). Check it on metacritic.com; it has a score of 99! That’s the highest rating I’ve seen on there for a game since Ocarina of Time (which was released like 10 yrs ago).

  27. Pro- “I accidentally ran over pedestrians playing earlier iterations, without any built-in “drunk driving” option.”

    Accidentally? What’s wrong with you?

    Thats, like, the most fun way to get the tank.

    Nick-

    Seriously, weak reviews? Every review has called it the best game of the decade, generation, or of the ever, and you find one article and refer to it as multiple reviews?

  28. Get in line to PAN the game? Is there a joke that I missed?

    GTA IV is the closest to universally acclaimed that you can get – IGN gave it a 10/10 for God’s sake. I bought it and have played quite a bit – it really is awesome. Also, my TV tells me that the PS3 version is running at 720p.

    I did drive drunk within 5 minutes of getting the game, and promptly blew myself and a hot dog vendor up. Oops.

  29. Say, what if you drank and played in drunk mode? Would that be meta-drunkenness or even true crapulence?

    Meta-crapulence.

  30. I have to agree with the some of the above comments. The game is amazing.

    But seriously, if these douches want to be all pissy about it, the game mechanics for when you’re drunk make it no fun to walk, drive, or do most actions. I’d prefer to get behind the wheel while sober, drive through the court of an appartment building while gunning down citizens with my mac-10, before jumping out -shotgun blazing – and throwing a few baseball bat beatings to those unlucky enough to survive the original drive-by.

    Is that better MADD? I can do it all stone sober!!

    Yes, getting drunk (and stoned) does make for a more enjoyable GTA experience.

  31. Meta-crapulence? Wow, how far we have come. Soon, we will perceive the Platonic form of crapulence.

    Brandon,

    Some missions require speed rather than maximized mayhem.

  32. I haven’t played GTA4, but there are drunk driving missions in at least two of the previous GTA games.

  33. “And the driving while drunk sucks anyways. You can’t even control the car well enought to deliberately run people down.”

    This should win the thread Oscar.

  34. Great game. Just started, no drunk driving yet, but it is truly a pinnacle of video game story-telling. You just can’t help but like your goonish character Nikko. The scene where he asks his first date to go to the “fun fair” with him is priceless.

  35. universally acclaimed

    Ratings usually go down after more reviews pour in, but I was still surprised to see “99” on Metacritic. That’s crazy. I’m on the fence with this game. I’m indifferent to shooters but I like a good story and I love the idea of a sim-NYC. Of course it’ll probably be a month before I can find it in a store anyway.

  36. I hope they don’t find out what can go on in the World of Warcraft.

    You can also get drunk in Azeroth and drive (your mount).

    Also, if your class has Area of Effect spells, you can potentially kill a lot more people that a car can.

  37. First Feministing accuses GTA4 of being rape simulation and now MADD is up in arms about being able to drink in-game.

    I may just have to go buy an X-Box and a high-def tv.

  38. Warm coffee?

  39. I did drive drunk within 5 minutes of getting the game, and promptly blew myself and

    Wow, this must be a really good game…

  40. As of now metacritic has the PS3 version scoring 100 with 20 reviews in. Pretty much all the big magazines have already weighed in: IGN, Gamespy, Gamespot, G4.

    http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/ps3/grandtheftauto4

    The 360 version is at a “mere” 99 with 32 reviews in.

    http://www.metacritic.com/games/platforms/xbox360/grandtheftauto4

    Get in line to pan it? WTF?

  41. Drunk driving is a violent crime? What?

    Duh, of course it is. Just like sex.

  42. Ethan,don’t you know 1 beer makes a person a weapon behind the wheel. In truth,speeding,distracted driving and sleepy driving cause most accidents.If what MAAD says is true our highways would be a carnage zone during the NFL season with all those fans leaving the stadiums.

  43. Taktix:

    I saw that as soon as I posted and knew that it wouldn’t go unnoticed.

    Anyway, the game is a whole lot of fun, and it’s literally 180 degrees from the truth to say that it’s being panned.

  44. First Feministing accuses GTA4 of being rape simulation and now MADD is up in arms about being able to drink in-game.

    Someone really needs to show the Femisiting girlz this.

  45. So is robbing and killing someone, but the game allows that, too!

    I played GTA: San Andreas . It is fun sneaking up behind people and slitting their throats to take the cash.

  46. First Feministing accuses GTA4 of being rape simulation and now MADD is up in arms about being able to drink in-game.

    Is it wrong that every time I see “Feministing” in print I think “Fisting”?

    Probably. But I don’t care.

  47. It’s funny. I felt less guilty about the mayhem in The Godfather game than in GTA. I think it’s lawful evil vs. chaotic evil.

  48. Of course it’ll probably be a month before I can find it in a store anyway.

    My local outlet was very well-stocked a couple of days ago. My guess is its still easily available.

  49. Oh, everyone’s well stocked, they don’t want to miss out on their cash camel.

    Get it now before it’s removed from the shelves due to protesting and replaced with a less visceral one…

  50. Weak reviews? Are you kidding? Did you do any research at all?

  51. Meh. I’ll stick to GTA2. When they switched from top-down to 3D graphics, they lost me.

    Elvis has LEFT the building!

  52. Where was GTA 2 supposed to take place? I want to know where there is an organized crime syndicate of rednecks fighting with Yakuza.

    And didn’t one of the gangs have a smiley face car or something? WTF was that, the hippy gang?

  53. WTF, in the GTA games you can take someones car, then run them over with the car they just owned and take their money.

    And MADD gets upset about THIS?

    I picked up GTA IV yesterday but haven’t gotten a chance to put it in the 360 yet. I hear the new driving physics take some getting used to, though.

  54. First Feministing accuses GTA4 of being rape simulation and now MADD is up in arms about being able to drink in-game.

    And Joe Lieberman will probably hold Senate hearings about it.

    This is why I love gaming, it pisses off uptight authoritarians more than any other media with the possible exception of pornography.

  55. This is why I love gaming, it pisses off uptight authoritarians more than any other media with the possible exception of pornography.

    Then they need to see Grand Theft Anal.

  56. Cesar,

    And wait until the two genres truly converge. I was quite genuinely surprised to find a sex scene in Mass Effect, albeit of the 10:00 p.m. network TV variety. Frankly, given the billions at stake, I’m surprised a major developer hasn’t gone whole hog with a true porn/first person shooter game. Under a separately branded division, of course.

  57. Frankly, given the billions at stake, I’m surprised a major developer hasn’t gone whole hog with a true porn/first person shooter game. Under a separately branded division, of course.

    Wasn’t there a hack for that in GTA-SA?

  58. Guy,

    Yes, and I think that was a little testing of the waters. It’s not the marketplace they’re scared of, it’s the political and [il]legal response. There’s no question that most porn is totally protected by the First Amendment, so the only thing that could really be done is to further beef up restrictions on sales of adult games to minors.

  59. Pro, they already have in Japan for a LONG long time but pornographic video games never really caught on in the west. Of course thats because we aren’t nearly as strange as the Japanese.

    I think

  60. The fact that Japan has those kinds of games leads to another point.

    In the United States, you can have tons of violence in a video game and still have record sales. You can even have a ridiculous amount of violence network TV. But sex? God no! So much as an an exposed nipple and theres a Congressional hearing.

    In Europe, sex is 100% allowed on television (even nudity in some countries) and other media and no one cares. But include violence (this is especially true in Germany) and your video game/tv show/movie is completely banned.

    And in Japan? They allow both.

  61. There’s no question that most porn is totally protected by the First Amendment

    Above is theory, my personal protection of porrn is reality.

  62. What about Saxon violence?

  63. PL,

    They have a string section? I never knew!

  64. Guy,

    That’s Sex ‘N Violins, the successor group to Peaches & Herb.

  65. “The parental group also said that it is asking the game’s “manufacturer” (presumably Take-Two Interactive) to consider stopping distribution out of a sense of social responsibility, or out of respect for those who’ve been hurt or killed by drunk drivers.”

    It is quite obvious that MADD has completely lost all touch with reality. The most popular and highly rated game to come out in a long time – sure to bring in tens of millions of dollars in profits – is going to be voluntarily pulled because a group of prohibitionists are afraid that some of the game is over the top (drunk driving) in a game where you commit mass murder ,armed violence, theft, sex with hookers, etc…etc… I take it the mom’s aren’t too keen on how corporations work these days. Here’s a hint: just like the ol days – for profit. They wont stop distribution for shit – the more MADD makes a stink, the better for the game. Good job MADD, way to help cause the exact opposite of what you are trying to do. If they weren’t so damn sober, they would have an excuse. Darwin award nominee?

  66. Drunk Driving is bad, but MADD is insane. The Drinking Age never should have never been raised to 21 because Things that require an 18+ age are actually more dangerous than drinking such as going to war,owning guns which kill,and cigarettes which cause cancer, alcohol doesn’t cause cancer. MADD is an anti Alcohol organization and they want to ban it permanently like the prohibition,but alcohol is actually healthy and even those who are drunk have a large amount of self control and won’t drive drunk.18 + IS REASONABLE and with GTA its a fricking game its fake and you’re stupid and crazy to think that it would promote drunk driving.You’re so full of crap its coming out your ears,alcohol should be for all adults and not just those of an old age.So go fuck yourselves.

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