With the first video footage of Rockstar Games’ forthcoming Grand Theft Auto IV
now released the first specific complaints about the game have already been made, in this case by New York political leaders and police chiefs.
Although the trailer, released online last Thursday
, has been suggested by some to depict a contemporary version of New York City, detailed examination of the footage suggests it is in fact the fictional Liberty City, as used in previous Grand Theft Auto
Nonetheless, confusion has arisen due to the presence of famous landmarks such as the Statue of Liberty and the Chrysler Building, leading some observers to suggest – in the absence of clarification from Rockstar Games – that New York makes some kind of overt (was opposed to implied) appearance in the game.
According to Associated Press reports
, though, New York officials are already keen to distance themselves from the game, with unnamed political leaders stressing that the similarity with New York City, home to Rockstar Games’ main office, only extends as far as the visuals.
Mayoral spokesman Jason Post is quoted as saying, “The mayor does not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers”. The article also describes previous entries in the franchise as involving not only killing officers but prostitutes, and selling pornography to children.
"It's despicable to glamorize violence in games like these, regardless of how far-fetched the setting may be," Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly is quoted as saying.
The Associated Press offers statistics which show a 58 percent drop in auto thefts in New York City since Bloomberg came to power in 2002, with a murder rate for the city down 28 percent so far this year.