”So controversial, they are pulling these off the shelves.” That’s the sales pitch for an ”uncensored” copy of the PlayStation 2 game Grand Theft Auto III recently posted on eBay, where the videogame fetches upwards of $70. And while there’s no truth to the rumor that GTA3 ($49.99; Rockstar Games) is being pulled from stores, it’s easy to see how it started. This is, after all, the carjacking game in which players gather ammo and whack opposing gang members (and the occassional police officer) on behalf of the Triads, Diablos, or one of five other organized crime families vying for control of Liberty City. (And that’s the G-rated description.) GTA3 also happens to be the best-selling videogame of 2001, the target of a week’s worth of Aaron McGruder’s comic strip The Boondocks, and the favored pastime of Colin Hanks (Tom Hanks’ son and star of Orange County), who raved about it to Jon Stewart on his last visit to The Daily Show. While critics still assail the increasing amount of violence in videogames, GTA3 shows that gamers still have an appetite for destruction. And just in time for Rockstar Games’ latest, State of Emergency, which is set in an urban riot zone.
Posted February 15 2002 — 12:00 AM EST
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