Renowned YouTuber MrBossFTW (aka Ross) walks us through the biggest controversies of the Grand Theft Auto (GTA) series in his latest gameplay video on YouTube. We look at the top controversies that really shook the GTA community with its bizarre and outrageous characteristics.
Most controversial mission 'By the Book'
One of the biggest controversies comes from the latest instalment in the GTA series aka GTA 5 wherein you have a mission titled 'By the Book'. There is one particular extremely insane scene where Trevor is up to torture someone and you have the option to pull out a man's tooth using pliers or electrocute him or beat him up senselessly.
This scene has been dubbed as the most outrageously controversial in the entire series as torture is outlawed by numerous nations around the globe. Besides, it took its toll on players as most of them admittedly freaked out while playing this particular scene of the game.
GTA 5 Women showcased in poor taste
Women in GTA 5 have mostly been showcased in poor taste as strippers, prostitutes, long-suffering wives, humourless girlfriends and goofy new-age feminists. The game's satirical representation of misogyny seems to justify the act.
Responding to the backlash about critical views of women in the game, wider discussions and debates opened up about the role of women in GTA 5 across community forums and social media circles. Rockstar took some severe criticism for showcasing women in such bad light while some gaming reviewers cited such treatment towards women as "stereotypical."
Sam Houser of Rockstar Games believed that the development team sometimes overlooked the betrayal of women in GTA games, but the favouritism towards the male characters was allegedly befitting to the story.
In December 2014, GTA 5 was taken off the retail shelves of Target accusing Rockstar of indulging in a stereotypical controversy against women. There was also a petition filed accusing the game of glamorising violence against women.
9/11 effect on GTA 3
Moving on to the third controversy, there have been a bunch of cuts and modifications influenced by the 9/11 effect in GTA 3. The changes in the game seem to have cropped up around the same time when the 9/11 attack took place.
Consequently, it leads to the speculation that some noticeable changes were inflicted on the game, following the attack. Rockstar Games had then announced the GTA 3's delayed release by three weeks on September 19 (2011) while citing the attacks as an influencing factor in the game's delayed release.
One of the major changes made after the 9/11 attack includes the new colour scheme of the police cars, wherein the original scheme of blue with white stripes was changed to black and white combo design to fit the colour code of several police departments located across the US.
Another major cut in the game involves the revolutionary urchin named 'Darko' who has vowed to bring down the city's economy. The biggest change comes in the form of new artwork that is significantly different from the original and this later became Rockstar's signature style for the entire series. Rockstar later admitted that the game was only changed by 1 percent.
No prostitutes in Australia
GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City suffered a massive ban hammer shortly after their release in Australia, as these games were portrayed as extremely controversial with regards to the way women were treated in the game. Later on, a toned down or censored version of these games were released in the country.
Rockstar had failed to submit the original game to the office of Film and Legislator Classification and hence it led to the country-wide ban on the game. Finally, when the game was submitted for classification, it received the M or mature rating with age requirement categorised as 15+. The only change was the ability to pick up prostitutes from the streets was removed or disabled in both GTA 3 and GTA: Vice City.
Cuban-Haitian immigrants' controversy
In November 2003, Cuban and Haitian groups in Florida accused GTA: Vice City of inviting players to harm immigrants from the two nations. Rockstar Games responded by removing several lines of dialogue referring to these immigrants from the game and it seems to have largely satisfied the groups who raised the complaints.
The case was then handed over to the state courts after downgrading the initial decision to refer the dispute to a federal court. In 2004, a new version of the game was released after removing and changing those lines of dialogue.
Mothers against Drunk Driving
The organisation 'Mothers against Drunk Driving' sharply criticised an in-game option in GTA 4 that allows players to drive while intoxicated, and called for stricter rating on the game that would effectively ban its sale in the US.
Although drunk driving is punishable under the law, Rockstar Games responded to the accusation stating that the game developer had a "great deal of respect for Mothers against Drunk Driving's mission", but it believed "the mature audience for GTA 4 is more than sophisticated enough to understand the game's content."
When the game's protagonist Niko Bellic enters the car in an intoxicated state, he remarks that he shouldn't drive drunk and the player is encouraged to call the taxi instead. He believes it is extremely difficult to drive a car while drunk, besides facing the threat of police who will pursue the player if they are seen driving while intoxicated.
Glenn Beck is a conservative American Talk Radio host who used GTA 4 as an example to make wider claims about the use of video games in the US with the US military. He accuses the US military of using such violent video games to desensitise soldiers to killing.
This is not the first time that a GTA game has been blamed for committing violent crimes in real life. But, it is the first time a prominent news host has said Grand Theft Auto is being used as an instrument to help train soldiers to feel reckless when they are killing other people on the battlefield.
Check out a few other intriguing controversies of GTA series in Ross' stunning gameplay video that takes us back in time (below):