BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Technology  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
EDITIONS
Friday, 8 November, 2002, 02:57 GMT
Grand Theft Auto sequel hits UK
Screenshot from Grand Theft Auto: Vice City (courtesy Rockstar Games)
The game "borders on art", said one US review
The fourth instalment of the hugely successful Grand Theft Auto video game is going on sale in the UK, amid fears the adult game could mistakenly be bought for children.

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City for the PlayStation 2 is the fourth instalment in the franchise that has sold more than 12 million copies to date.

Set in a fictional Miami City in the 1980s, the gamer plays a gangster called Tommy Vercetti, who roams the streets crossing the paths of all kinds of people.


Parents buying games for kids tend to have a relatively lax attitude towards the certification of video games

Video game writer Dave McCarthy
It already seems set to become the biggest- selling video game of 2002 in the US, following its sell-out release there earlier this month.

But some British parents are concerned the video game, which should not be sold to under-18s, may be accessed by children.

Dave McCarthy, who works for a specialist video games magazine, told the BBC the game was "clearly" not suitable for children.

"Players have to undertake various criminal activities, and acts of a morally dubious nature such as stealing cars, engaging the services of prostitutes, beating up people, hijacking police cars," he said.

'Moral framework'

"It's fairly clear that this sort of thing isn't really suitable for under-18s."

screenshot from Vice City
Vice City is modelled on Miami
However, he feared some parents could nonetheless succumb to pressure and buy the game for their offspring, despite the warnings.

"Parents buying games for kids tend to have a relatively lax attitude towards the certification of video games," he said.

"Certainly they don't seem to view video game age certificates with the same degree of respect they would cinema, for example."

However, he conceded the game placed any violence and law-breaking within a "basic moral framework".

"Players are penalised for conducting larcenous acts," he said.

'Bordering on art'

"If you steal a car, the police will come after you and try and bring you to book."

In the US, Vice City has had rave reviews, with Time magazine calling it a "national obsession" which "borders on art", and gaming magazines describing it as "peerless".

It has been particularly praised for its attention to detail in recreating the era of the 1980s.

The game features 80 different tracks from bands including Judas Priest, Blondie, Flock of Seagulls, Kool and the Gang, Hall and Oates, Grandmaster Flash, and Cutting Crew.

Voices are supplied by actors Miami Vice star Phillip Michael Thomas, Ray Liotta and Dennis Hopper, among others.

See also:

09 Nov 01 | Entertainment
09 Apr 02 | Science/Nature
17 Feb 98 | Americas
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Technology stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Technology stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes