Wednesday, July 16, 2014
Rockstar hires real gangsters for Grand Theft Auto V

Rockstar hires real gangsters for Grand Theft Auto V

As real a world as it gets.

Yes, dear Games Thirst reader, you read that right. As we learn from Chicago Radio Station WGN and Polygon, Rockstar hired real life gang members to play a part in the upcoming Grand Theft Auto V.

Striving for a fictional criminal underworld that’s as authentic as humanly possible, Rockstar dropped some voice actors in favor of “actual, real gang members” wherever possible. Contributing writer and producer “Lazlow” Jones said that thousands of hours of audio that has been recorded inside people’s houses has been collected, recording them in their everyday, getting as much reality out of it as possible.

“When we record all these ambient characters we go towards authenticity. In the game there’s these rival gangs. There’s Black gangs, Latino gangs … we recruited a guy who gets gang members, actual real gang members, like El Salvadoran gang dudes with amazing tattoos, one of which had literally gotten out of prison the day before.

We get these guys in to record the gang characters because we don’t want a goofy L.A actor who went to a fancy school trying to be a hard gang member. There’s nothing worse than that, so just go find the terrifying people and say ‘can you come in here please?’”

Lazlow said the developer offered the voice actors the ability to put their own spin onto the script:

“They look at the lines and say, ‘I wouldn’t say that,’ so we say, ‘OK, say what you would say.’ Authenticity.

There’s a lot of sessions where we would just throw the script on the floor. ‘This is is irrelevant, let’s just work on something real.’”

Lazlow, who has voiced and produced the radio sequences of the series from Grand Theft Auto III onwards, worked with Southern entertainer Jesco White.

“I flew into Memphis and drove an hour and a half south, near the Alabama border, and we burned furniture and drank moonshine and every few hours we’d go record some more. I bought fireworks, liquor and slabs of things to barbecue. It was all expensed.”

Our take: Rockstar is crazy. Like, really crazy. But I don’t mind. I smell controversy rising from this, and the whole “the video games made me do it” argument will be slowly crawling to criminals’ lips, with new ground to stand onto. But, as a seasoned gamer, and not a court judge who doesn’t know how to hold a controller, I’ve one critical question: how are video games in the wrong, when movies, books, comics, TV series, and pretty much everything else you can think of, have been doing the same thing for centuries more than video games have, but only video games pay for it? In “The Godfather” movie trilogy, real life gangsters were hired, to portray the roles with authenticity; I’ll grab some popcorn and see how Grand Theft Auto is the devil again for doing the same thing, decades later.

(For the record, I love The Godfather, and am not criticizing it.)

About Christos Chatzisavvas

Senior Editor. Your go-to man for everything you need, from games to Games Thirst; I'm always here to help. Gaming lover, web developer going for HND and Bachelor, founder and developer at Underground Journey. When I'm not under the faint light of a PC monitor or TV playing games, I try to lead a life as exciting as I can. Follow me on Twitter @CrashOkami, or Facebook.