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News for March, 2010

Monday, March 22, 2010

A Writer's Experience With Addiction: Cocaine & GTA IV

Posted by Tsuroki at 15:25. Category: General

The Grand Theft Auto series is no stranger to being thrown under the bus. For as long as I can remember it's been blamed for everything from youth violence to, well, violence in general. But now we have this new article from The Observer, which associates an addiction to Grand Theft Auto with an addiction to cocaine. It's certainly something new for GTA.

"Tom Bissell was an acclaimed, prize-winning young writer. Then he started playing the video game Grand Theft Auto. For three years he has been cocaine addicted, sleep deprived and barely able to write a word. Any regrets? Absolutely none."

Despite what you may assume at first glance, though, there's no finger-pointing here. Bissell doesn't accuse Rockstar of feeding his addiction with malice or ill intent. The article is simply a narrative of his experience with indulgence. Indeed, one of the best quotes (in my opinion) is the following:

"Video games and cocaine feed on my impulsiveness, reinforce my love of solitude and make me feel good and bad in equal measure. The crucial difference is that I believe in what video games want to give me, while the bequest of cocaine is one I loathe. I do know that video games have enriched my life. Of that I have no doubt. They have also done damage to my life. Of that I have no doubt. I let this happen, of course; I even helped the process along. As for cocaine, it has been a long time since I last did it, but not as long as I would like."

The article is very well written. It dives into the world of GTA with such lavish prose that it's little wonder why Bissell has been awarded for his work. He sums up his experiences as a gamer, plus the general appeal of recent GTA titles in a beautiful way. And he also describes -- quite eloquently -- his downward spiral into a gaming addiction fueled by cocaine abuse.

I'm sure that some individuals will use this story as fodder to throw Grand Theft Auto under the bus yet again, suggesting that there's an explicit link between the series and drugs. Unfortunately these people exist and there's nothing that we can do about their misguided dillusions. On the flipside, some may suggest that the article labels GTA IV as an innocent outlet for a misguided writer who is, as they say, "tripping balls". I also think that interpretation is off the mark.

In my opinion, the article is absolutely neutral. But that's just my opinion. Give the article a read and come to your own conclusions.

Source: The Observer (guardian.co.uk)

Update: Surprisingly, it looks like the folks at Rockstar NYC picked up on this story shortly after I published it here yesterday. Glad to see word travels fast! Bissell definitely deserves the coverage. Link: Once Upon a Time in Liberty City


Thursday, March 18, 2010

Episodes from Liberty City delayed for PC and PS3

Posted by adamcs at 21:13. Category: General
Angry mob

The PC and PS3 versions of Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City have been delayed for two weeks due to a last minute game submission request from Sony to edit some of the in-game radio, television, and internet content.

Even though this is a PS3 issue, Rockstar has delayed both versions of the game so that "everyone can experience multiplayer simultaneously, take part in online events together, be on level ground on leaderboards, etc."

The new release date is April 13th in North America and April 16th in Europe.

Link: Rockstar News Wire - EFLC delayed for PC and PS3.


Friday, March 05, 2010

Rumour: GTA V announcement before E3?

Posted by Tsuroki at 17:22. Category: General

It may only be March, but the annual E3 rumours are already starting to circulate. Of particular interest this year? Fresh gossip-mongering about Grand Theft Auto V, thanks to industry analyst Mike Hickey of Janco Partners.

"...there is building suspension for a pre-E3 GTA V announcement, although we expect nothing from Rockstar at this year’s official E3 event." - Mike Hickey
CVG and Industry Gamers have both picked up on the rumour, and if Mr. Hickey's prediction proves to be accurate, then it would prove to be quite the spring fling for Rockstar Games. With Episodes from Liberty City coming out on March 30th for PC and PS3 and Red Dead Redemption following up in early May (originally late April) for the 360 and PS3, a major announcement for Grand Theft Auto V would certainly complete a Rockstar Games trifecta.

But while a trifecta would be great, it's also highly unlikely. I doubt that Rockstar would want to distract gamers from the aforementioned titles - so please, take this GTAV announcement chatter with a grain of salt.

Nevertheless, if you're interested in discussing the potential of a pre-E3 announcement (or any other GTAV-related gossip), check out our Grand Theft Auto V forum.


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