Arizona Daily Star Confronts PTC Over Lack of GTA IV Knowledge
Phil Villarreal of the Arizona Daily Star took the Parents Television Council up on an interview offer, and shot a few questions off to Dan Isett , PTC Director of Public Policy about Grand Theft Auto IV.We are all familiar with the level of hate the PTC has been spouting off regarding GTA IV of late, and some of it is just plain nonsense. Especially regarding getting “points” fro drunk driving. Thus, Villarreal, has shown just how ignorant of the game‘s contents the PTC is, and follows is a transcript pulled directly from the interview.
When it comes to “Grand Theft Auto IV,” however, Isett is clueless. Here’s a transcript of part of our conversation.
Have you played the game?
“I’ve actually played ‘Grand Theft Auto IV,’ and it’s right in keeping with previous versions. The series continues to lower the bar and this is the first game that has an alcohol content warning. You get points for driving drunk in this game.”
You know that’s not true, right? The game doesn’t have points.
“If nothing else, it’s a rewarded activity. Necessary for advancement.”
I don’t think so.
“But there’s an alcohol content warning and a scene of drunk driving, correct?”
Yes. Did you play that part?
“No, no. I didn’t get that far.”
Are you a gamer at all? Do you play any games these days?
“I enjoy video games.”
What do you play?
“I have a lot of fun. I play all sorts of games. I actually have a Wii.”
What were the circumstances that you played “GTA IV?”
“I rented it at a friend’s house. I think that what’s important is it’s a horrifically violent game and if you want to quibble about extra points being granted, fine. It rewards every antisocial behavior.”
Isett said among the worst of such antisocial behavior is murder, and he played the game for a couple hours and was led by the game to kill other characters. When pressed for the circumstances in which he did the killing, because my and most other gamers’ first couple hours with the game were murder-free (although you do kill in self defense in some early missions), he refused to give any details.
I pressed him about why his organization is going after M-rated games rather than R-rated movies, and he kept repeating “the focus on this today is on video games, not movies.”
The comparison between movies and games isn’t valid, he said.
“I reject the argument that an M-rated game is comparable to an R-rated movie. One, it doesn’t require 30 hours of continuous game play to make your way through an R-rated movie.” Isett said scientific research proves games are more immersive than movies and should be treated differently.
As awkward as Isett sounds in those quotes, I was just as nonsensical when I accused Isett’s organization of wrongly declaring “Grand Theft Auto IV” was AO-rated in the press release.