The New South Wales Police Minister has condemned the mod, which adds the Australian state's police officers into the game, allowing them to be shot, run over and killed, but the mod authors have come out in defence of their creation.
The GTA IV mod, which is actually several years old, depicts the NSW police in great detail, with accurate re-creations of the force's cars, uniforms and sounds - but their conduct and behaviour hasn't changed, which portrays the force as car crashing, shoot-on-site officers who take the law into their own hands. Understandably, NSW police aren't particularly pleased with the depiction, even if their reaction is hilariously delayed.
The Police Minister, Troy Grant, was quoted this week saying the scenes that depict officers commit these acts, as well as those showing the player killing NSW officers, was "perverse".
Troy GrantThat doesn’t happen. That gives the gamer a false impression about what the role of police is. There's a fear that this desensitises people to the real risk the police face and I find it offensive.[/quote]
This isn't the first time that NSW police and video games have clashed in the media - in 2001, Senior Constable Jim Affleck was killed in a hit and run incident, which was caused by a young man who claimed he was inspired to drive recklessly by Need for Speed.
A member of the team that created the mod, Gaz, has spoken out in defence of the mod, explaining how the Australian press have mis-represented the mod's aims.
[quote=Gaz]The community since I've been apart of it has been around since 2010 at its earliest and was started by like minded individuals who were enthusiastic towards emergency services. Some of them are actually current serving law enforcement personnel working Australian police services, as well as other career paid and volunteer staff from other emergency service branches as well as just enthusiasts.
Indeed, it's clear to see that the aim of the mod isn't to try and depict NSW police in a negative light - it's simply a project to re-create police and other emergency service vehicles in a game they enjoy - a mixing of enthusiasm which, in this case, has had an unforeseen backlash by the mainstream media.
Ultimately, they argue, it's down the player of the game weather bad things happen in the game or not. It's an understandable argument, however to me, it's not that black and white. While it's true that it's ultimately down to the player what is depicted in an open world sandbox game, adding realistic content to a game which encourages violence and adult themes is not always the greatest of ideas.
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