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Ice-T identifies with CJ from GTA: San Andreas
Nelson George: Video games are more important than hip-hop

In Alix Lambert’s book CRIME: A Series of Extraordinary Interviews Exposing the World of Crime - Real and Imagined, rap star Ice-T and author/filmmaker Nelson George speak on a variety of topics surrounding criminal tendencies and mentality, as excerpted by The Guardian.

The two touch on various topics, with one being of particular relevance today with the recent release of the latest chapter in the Grand Theft Auto video game series. “I love them,” proclaimed Ice-T. “The best one is Grand Theft Auto, which is just fucking mayhem. I'm in the Scarface game, which teaches you how to sell drugs, and I was in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I played a cracked-out rap star who had his lyrics stolen and the person that stole them became a star. So I went on crack and by the end of the game I get my reputation and my mansion back. You start off as a kid in South Central LA, you build up your rep and then you get a gang. It's definitely some crazy shit.”

As Ice-T confesses his passion for video games, Nelson George takes it to the next level as he said, “Video games are more important than hip-hop. There's no doubt about it. The violence and nihilism that everyone thinks is in hip-hop is pumped up about 18 times in video games. That's really what's driving young male culture, that's really the new rock'n'roll.”

Ice-T spoke on the second Grand Theft Auto game on the PS2, “The Vice City games are the worst shit ever - in a good way. It's so intentionally wrong that you've got to get into it. You go, "Oh my God, if I'm out of money I just rob a liquor store. Inside this world, all the things that you think about, you can do.”

George continued, “The funny thing about this debate is so many hip-hop critics are fixated on rap and not talking enough about video games, which aren't a racially determinant form. Obviously those Grand Theft Auto guys were very canny because they tied in to Scarface, they tied in to hip-hop. I mean, Def Jam has a line of video games. Hip-hop became subsumed into the games.

As a filmmaker himself, George draws parallels between video games and movies. “With video games the relationship to the culture is different, they're much more like movies. They're a really interesting hybrid. The Grand Theft Auto dudes were all about figuring out how to tap into urban culture. Video games, like movies, take in so many disciplines.”

While both hip-hop and video games have been scapegoats for violence, Ice-T turns it around and sees video games such as Grand Theft Auto as outlets for aggressive feelings. “Does that make you want to do it in real life? No. To me it diffuses it. People say video games make kids violent. I don't think so. It can be an outlet for that aggression. It's a masculine thing. Human beings have some weird blood lust, it roots back to us being animals. It's ill, though.”



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RE: Welll....
By plinkplonk on 5/20/2008 11:20:31 AM , Rating: 2
I was a kid when GTA first came out, I'm not a crack dealer so it really doesn't matter what your young kids see as long as you tell them it is not what they should do...

If anything exposing kids to all these kinds of practices at an early age and teaching them not to do it would be better than trying to prevent them from ever seeing them at all.

Do you not agree that it is always those things you got really badly told of for as a very young kid that you never did again after your parents gave you a good slap?


RE: Welll....
By AlphaVirus on 5/20/2008 11:32:38 AM , Rating: 2
quote:
If anything exposing kids to all these kinds of practices at an early age and teaching them not to do it would be better than trying to prevent them from ever seeing them at all.

IE: Preacher's daughter.
Taught all their life to avoid sex and sexual content, don't do this, don't do that, etc. As soon as they get put in the wild, they break out and do not know how to handle it, most likely resulting in a freakish whore. I have known a handfull of them and this is usually the case.


RE: Welll....
By gramboh on 5/20/2008 3:02:51 PM , Rating: 2
Lucky bas@#%d :)


RE: Welll....
By OdinX on 5/20/2008 4:23:08 PM , Rating: 2
See here is the thing, I understand the teach em about it help them avoid those pitfalls rationale. However upper middle class kids in the suburbs don't necessarily need to be idolizing hard core crack dealing gangsters from the inner cities. That life style isn't necessarily by choice its of last resort (well maybe it is by choice). So learning children about the realities of gangbanging and slinging crack when they live in the burbs (and yes the burbs have their own issues) is so far removed from reality, that I might as well instruct them on klingon just in case they happen to commandeer a bird of prey one day.

I think its fair and appropriate for parental units to monitor and restrict viewership and gameplay. However going out of my way to introduce terrible elements of society simply so that I can instruct them on what to do seems a bit much.


RE: Welll....
By Suntan on 5/21/2008 1:48:38 PM , Rating: 2
quote:
If anything exposing kids to all these kinds of practices at an early age and teaching them not to do it would be better than trying to prevent them from ever seeing them at all.


Ah, so after little Jimmy has brushed his teeth and gotten into his footy pajamas, you sit him down next to you on the couch and proceed to watch Pulp Fiction with him. After it’s over, and little Jimmy is wide eyed and shaking in terror, you lean over and say calmly “It’s ok Jimmy, just don’t do any of that when you get older. Now run off to bed…”

It is not wrong for parents to want to shield their children from the harsh realities of life until they are old enough to handle it. Figuring out when you are being too protective and when you are not is what parenting is all about. Yeah people can armchair quarterback other kid’s parents, and use extreme examples in either direction (the parent that lets kids watch TV from the day they bring them home – to the parent that doesn’t let the kids out of the house until they are 21) but when it comes time for you to decide what is acceptable for your child, don’t be surprised if other people look at your choices and tell you that they are wrong.

-Suntan


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