GTA IV – Houser Speaks Out, CNN Rants

Dan Houser, Vice President of Rockstar Games and Co-writer of GTA IV, spoke with New York Entertainment at length about the game and gaming as we know it, and have known it.

When asked about the current landscape of the gaming industry now as compared to the time during last in the GTA series, Houser had this to say: “Yeah, f— all this stuff about casual gaming. I think people still want games that are groundbreaking. The Wii is doing something totally different, which is fantastic. We’re hopefully going to prove that there’s also a very big audience for people who want entertainment in another form, who think of games as being a narrative device that can challenge movies. We always said: We’re not going release a large number of games. They’re going to have the production values of movies. They’re gonna be about themes that interest us whatever the medium, instead of the weird, special video game–only themes that too many people make — orcs and elves, or monsters, or space. We felt you could make a good game and have it be about something we could actually relate to. Or aspire to.”

NYE later asked Houser about the sensitive violence issue GTA is notorious for, Houser responded: “If you don’t like any violent content in your entertainment, then I apologize because I do. And I’ve unfortunately been exposed to it my entire life. I agree that the world would be a greater place if all of the guns and all of the bombs disappeared, but that certainly is not in the agenda. If we equally got rid of a lot of books that talk about violence, okay. But if we don’t like these games because they’ve got content that we’re happy to see in movies and TV shows, then what you’re saying is you don’t like the medium because we don’t have a George Clooney type sticking his face in front of the camera. There is nothing in the game you would not see in a TV show, or a movie a hundred times over, so I don’t understand what the conversation is about. We set out to make games that felt like they could culturally exist alongside the movies we were watching and the books we were reading, and hopefully we’re getting close to those goals.”

And then about sex: ‘We wanted it to feel like a gangster film. And you can’t do that if you can’t use bad language, or have a hooker on the corner, or a strip club, or all the other things that are part of that world.”

GTA IV was set up to feel like a film, and it does.

From the other side of the spectrum, thanks go to GamesRadar, Glenn Beck (CNN) flew into a rant the other night on air. Here’s some from that soirée: “Whatever happened to Pong?!…Here’s what you need to know tonight; in Grand Theft Auto your son, husband or boyfriend can hire a prostitute, have sex with her and then beat her to death with a baseball bat…When a police officer comes after him, he can either light that police officer on fire or cut him in half with a chainsaw. This is entertainment?!…We are training our kids to be killers and we are training our sons to treat women like whores.”

To read the entire transcript from New York Entertainment‘s interview with Dan Houser, click here.

Originally Written By: Joey

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