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17180: Simidor: Latest outrage against Haitians (fwd)

From: Daniel Simidor <karioka9@mail.arczip.com>

Kill all the Haitians!!

The instructions for the Japanese version of the popular playstation game “Grand Theft Auto: Vice City” read in part:

“You have three minutes to get round the course.
Get a car and pick up the Cubans from outside Robina's Cafe.
Go and Drop the Cubans off at the fight.
Little Haiti will be swarming with Haitians trying to even the score with the Cubans. Watch your back.
Return to Robina's Cafe with the Van and park it round the back.
Go meet Rico. He'll drive you to the meet location.
Get the drugs and cash back to Umberto.
Take Pape, head North into Little Haiti and steal a Voodoo car.
Go and meet up with Rico and the other Cubans.
Join the other Cubans at the Haitian Drugs Factory.
Stay in the car until safely parked inside the compound.
Park the car at the blip and get out.
Walk into each of the markers to plant a bomb at that location.
The bombs will be set with a 45 second timer.
After all three bombs are planted, get clear of the factory before it blows.
Get clear of the factory!!”

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (Version 1.6 for Playstation 2) was issued in November 18th, 2002 by Rockstar Games, a subsidiary of Take-Two Interactive Software, Inc. Headquartered in New York City, Take-Two Interactive is the leading North American distributor of interactive entertainment software, hardware and accessories.  It is the global developer, marketer, distributor, and publisher of interactive entertainment software games and accessories for the PC, PlayStation®, PlayStation®2, Xbox™, Nintendo GameCube and Nintendo Game Boy Advance.  Its profit surged 58% in the latest quarter, thanks to strong sales of video games such as the blockbuster Grand Theft Auto: Vice City.

“Grand Thelft Auto: Vice City” has received “Game Of The Year Awards” from  Rolling Stone magazine and Entertainment Weekly.  Time Magazine calls Grand Theft Auto III a national obsession.

What follows is a story from the WCBS-TV program “shame on You.

”Shame On You: Rockstar Video Games

Nov 6, 2003 11:38 pm US/Eastern (http://cbsnewyork.com)

Brutal, bloody images and racist messages. It's all packaged in a popular video game. One outraged Haitian American viewer, who didn't want to appear on camera, says the message is unacceptable.

CBS 2's Arnold Diaz takes a closer look, but a word of caution, what he found is not appropriate for children.

It's the best selling video game of all time, and may be the most graphically violent. The object of "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" is to kill, kill again, then kill some more.

"This game is very extreme. There's a lot of blood, you can shoot people's heads off," says John Difenderfer.

Difenderfer says he's addicted to the game, plays it for hours on end, and admits it can mess with your head, “I think you have to have a strong mind to be able to play this game and not want to go out and kill people."

While much of Vice City's violence is random and indiscriminate, Shame On You found as you get deeper into the game it takes an ugly, racist twist. Players are instructed to exterminate an entire ethnic group!

"My mission in the game is to kill the Haitians," says Difenderfer.

That's right, kill the Haitians! Just read to the game's dialogue:

"I hate these Haitians. We'll take them out, we'll take these Haitians down."

The Haitians are portrayed as evil drug dealers in "Vice City." the player's goal? Wipe them out, an order given both verbally and in writing:

"Stinking nest of Haitians. We gonna kill them all. Kill all the Haitians."

"This is a game that is not only racist, but it is dangerous," says Dr. Henry Frank.

Frank, Director of the Haitian Centers Council, was shocked and outraged when we showed him the game. He says this is a cultural attack on the one million Haitians living on our area. "To kill the Haitians like beasts, like nothing, you are attacking our self-esteem, our respect and everything that we have.

"He fears the worst may happen, "You don't know where you are going to get some crazy mind who will apply exactly what they have seen on the game.

"Why is Rockstar Games, the maker of "Grand Theft Auto: Vice City" using the killing of Haitians as entertainment?

The company is based right here in New York City. Its president, Sam Houser, is ranked as one of the entertainment industry's most powerful people. But he's hiding, refusing to speak with us at all, refusing to even acknowledge the community's concerns about the game.

"They don't care who they are offending," says Dr. David Walsh.

We spoke to Dr. David Walsh from the National Institute on Media and the Family via satellite from Minneapolis. He says while "Vice City" is rated M, inappropriate for kids under 17. Studies show the game is hugely popular among young teenage boys, and that's got him worried. "For them to be playing a game that dehumanizes and makes a whole group of people the object of derision and persecution, that's not the kind of message we want to be sending to our young people.

"Haitian leaders now say they won't stand for it. "When our self-esteem, our prestige is down, we'll fight for that. I'm going to mobilize my community, they have to do something," adds Frank.

So into the CBS 2 Hall Of Shame we induct Rockstar Games and its president, Sam Houser, for cashing in on racism and violence.

One thing is certain: The violence and racism haven't hurt the video's sales.

Estimates are that Rockstar Games has already made $260 million from "Vice City" in its first year of release.