As reported in advance here on GamePolitics, a Washington, D.C. community group staged a protest outside Take-Two's Manhattan offices yesterday. The Peaceoholics, led by activist Ronald Moten, carried signs that said among other things, "Prosecute Rockstar Games. They are felons," and "Stop Bully Now!" Bully, of course, is Rockstar's upcoming, highly controversial video game set in a private school for boys.
Moten told WABC TV News, "It (video game violence) desensitizes them and makes them think that these acts are alright - it's alright to whup a woman, it's alright to steal a car, it's alright to mess with a prostitute, it's alright to curse and to use drugs."
According to pre-march coverage by WUSA TV in Washington, the group, which is concerned about violence in games like Rockstar's Grand Theft Auto series and the controversial developer's upcoming Bully, prepared a list of demands for Take-Two Interactive, parent company of Rockstar. These included:
-Not to release Bully under any circumstances
-Volunteer to sell its violent and sexually explicit games in adult video stores only.
-Let parents return Grand Theft Auto for a full refund until they do a national awareness campaign to educate parents of content and possible effects.
-Create a fund for victims of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle and car-jackings, etc.
-Make a national apology for misleading and lying to children, parents, and legislators about their intentions and causing insurance premiums to sky rocket.
-Give a written response within five business days of receipt of these demands.
Miami attorney and self-described "anti-game crusader" Jack Thompson was on hand as well. A streaming video of the WABC TV coverage is available here.