Rockstar's Houser: "Hollywood Hegemony" Won't Support Games

In the June issue of Playboy, Rockstar's Dan Houser gave a somewhat rare full-page interview on Grand Theft Auto 4 and violent video games. Why, Houser was asked, don't other entertainment industries offer more support for video games, since their controversial content is often targeted for criticism in the same fashion?

"It's about economics. We take market share and audience from other media - video game makers are challenging the Hollywood hegemony - so they're going to fight us. But I'm not going to fight them. I believe your Constitution protects us."

When interviewer Scott Alexander asked Houser about inequity in the way adult games are treated as compared with film and other media, Houser said:

"These are works of fiction. Playing a game that features violence is no different from choosing to see a violent movie. We're not trying to create a 'here's real life' sensation in a video game; it's "you're the star of a movie. We want to re-create the sensations you have watching movies. We're putting those in a video game."

When asked to isolate why Rockstar's games seem to provoke a swath of mainstream anger from certain circles, Houser said:

"We're trying to give gamers freedom. It boils down to critics not liking the fact that people can choose to do 'bad' things in a fantasy world - which to me is silly."

The full interview is print only, so to read the whole thing you'd have to look at a copy of June's Playboy. You know, for the article, of course.