With the impending release of Take 2’s Grand Theft Auto IV on 29 April, one US lawyer is so outraged by the game’s violent content that he has written a letter of complaint to Mrs Zelnick, mother of the firm’s CEO, Strauss Zelnick.
Florida lawyer Jack Thompson referred to the Grand Theft Auto series as “murder simulator games” and referenced a 2005 lawsuit he filed, which alleged that the purchase of this game by an Alabama teen directly resulted in the youth shooting dead three police officers before fleeing in a patrol car.
“The pornography and violence that your son traffics in is the kind of stuff most mothers would be ashamed to see their son putting into the hands of other mothers’ children,” Thompson said in the letter.
Thompson refers to the interactivity in the Grand Theft Auto series, which includes the ability to knock down pedestrians, shoot police officers and pay prostitutes for sexual intercourse.
The GTA series began in 1998 but was uncontroversial until the release of Grand Theft Auto III, in which the main character has to complete tasks involving criminal acts such as drug-running and car-jacking.
The newest instalment was originally scheduled for release in October 2007. However, it will be available in shops from next Tuesday and for the first time will allow GTA players to interact in an online, multi-player environment.
Official trailers are available at the Rockstar Games website.
By Marie Boran