[Date Prev][Date Next][Thread Prev][Thread Next][Date Index][Thread Index]
17343: Senou: Serious Concern: Shame On You: Rockstar Video Games (fwd)
From: Senou <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Shame On You: Rockstar Video Games
„h A CBS 2 Special Report
Nov 6, 2003 11:38 pm US/Eastern
NEW YORK (CBS) 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
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 says he's addicted to the game, plays it
for hours on end, and admits it can mess with your
head, ˇ§I think you have to have a strong mind to be
able to play this game and not want to go out and kill
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
That's right, kill the Haitians! Just read to the
"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
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.
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
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
(MMIII, Viacom Internet Services Inc. , All Rights
24 years ago scientists, the mass media and CDC blamed
us for the AIDS virus . Stereotyping us as the
originators of this deadly virus without any
foundation is a crime against humanity. That label had
destroyed our tourist industry and it will take
another 50 years to revive it.
There is a season for everything, one must be careful
in taking a fight. Clearly the producer of that game
is insensitive to various ethnic groups and to
Haitians in particular. This game generates millions
and the customers are a bunch of youths.
Questions: Who are the customers?
Today, we see the necessity of linking ourselves
together. In linking together and not creating
something new, we will show that we can work together
while respecting each otherˇ¦s territory. This is
Establishing a link in which people feel very secure
is a win-win approach for all of us. One needs to use
diplomacy, and should have good understanding skills
to maintain a bridge that can keep the link afloat.
Now, it is a good opportunity for Haitian Nationals,
Haitian Organizations and Friends of Haiti to join
hands together and give a measure response. But we
need to put structure first.
But Remember that it is much more easier to take on
the Federal government than a private individual or a
We have to rely heavily on the support of our American
friends: Black and White; therefore, we have to be
extremely careful on the tone and the language that we
We have to use a language of persuasion, we did that
successfully in ˇ§how Stella Got her groove Backˇ¨ we
had explained to the African-American community that
it is not a problem between Haitians and
African-Americans, we make sure they are in our side
before taken the next step.
Again who are the customers? We need a good public
relation team that shall be composed of Caucasian,
African-Americans, Haitian-Nationals, Asians,
Hispanics, African, respectable people in the Mass
Media, professors, Educators, High school
Administrators, Parents, Religious leaders, civic
leaders, and activist.
Again, we will need our friends.
Today, we need to put aside personal interest and
defend Haitian Nationals from this vicious attack.
13 years ago, we took a stand against FDA and the name
of Haiti was removed from that list. 4 years ago, we
forced the producer of ˇ§How Stella got her groove
backˇ¨ to remove that quote from the video.
We need to work together to develop some strategies
that can force the producer to withdraw this game from
Haitian Nationals, Haitian organizations and Friends
of Haiti and all good-hearted people in this beautiful
country and everywhere else in the world shall work
Joseph Alfred, Educator
Haitian Community Relations, Inc
P.O. BOX 334
Smyrna, GA 30081
Do you Yahoo!?
Protect your identity with Yahoo! Mail AddressGuard