I am a huge fan of the Grand Theft Auto series I have been since I played the very first game in the series back in the 90’s. As well as the actual game what I remember more than anything else is the huge controversies that each game is the series has had. In some cases these are absolutely ridiculous, and I feel that they are made by people who have far to much time on there hand. On the other side of things there are those controversies that actually do make you think. Vice City is by far my favourite in the series, and for this article I want to talk about one of the big controversies that surrounded this game.
Trouble With Cuba and Haiti
This is the one I remember most. I worked in a vide game store at this time, and we were told that there was a chance the game could get pulled off the shelves. Of course this only made people want the game even more. What actually happened here was that there was Cuban and Haitian groups who had convinced themselves that this game was going to cause harm to immigrants. The way these guys went on you would have though that the game was giving bonus points for committing crimes against real people.
Now these guys were not just saying that people would go out and look to assault immigrants who were in Florida. These people went as far to say that Grand Theft Auto Vice City game would was inviting people to cause genocide. Genocide were they serious? Sadly they were, and many people actually listened to what they had to say.
This whole thing really did get a load of attention. To be honest when I look back now I am not sure why these guys got so much mainstream attention as there claims were really ridiculous. Unfortunately these groups made so much noise that some people did listen. I think just to get this issue out of the way that Rockstar and the publisher Take Two agreed to remove some of the lines of dialogue that were deemed offensive. Its such a shame that these extreme groups can do this kind of thing. As a result a new version of Vice City was released in 2004 with the “offensive” dialogue removed.
In all this in my opinion was crazy. At the end of the day these people may have gotten a few lines removed from the game, that in truth did nothing to alter the fun of the game. What these people really did was just give the game a ton of free publicity. I know from working in a game store that whenever there is any kind of talk about a game that is controversial that people are going to want to buy it.