back to article GTA IV website prompts outrage

Grand Theft Auto IV is once again at the centre of controversy. But this time people aren’t complaining that the game’s too violent, because they’re more concerned about the discovery of a so-called paedophile website. In the game, an internet café allows the player to access a child pageant website called …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    The game is too sick and violent for society?

    Or maybe our society is too sick and violent for games.

    Ever noticed it's when music, movies or games show us the nasty things that happen in real life that the most outrage is generated?

    It's art's job to hold a mirror up to reality - it takes a pretty deep state of dissasociation and denial to blame an ugly image on the mirror that reflects it.

  2. Mark
    Gates Horns

    This wasn't in the XBox 360 version

    So it just proves that the 360 version is completely inferior to the PS3 version.

    This gives me good feelings.

    PS3 forever!!!

  3. Daniel Bennett
    Thumb Up


    I find it hilarious!

  4. Steven

    Ah yes, those evil games...

    Yes, good that the game encourages you to click on the link...

    wait, you mean that if you click on the link, the game sends every police officer available after you, heavily armed and shooting on sight?

    I'm sure there are some morals twisted here, but I'm not actually sure on which side for once...

    Click on link in game: Get punished (in the manner that the game uses to penalise a player for their actions)

    Click on link in real life: Get away with it for a long time, until you end up on the front page of the Daily Mail...


  5. James Summerson

    Stabbing Details

    Hadn't we established that the stabbing had nothing to do with GTA and / or queuing for the game?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Sorry?! Oh give me strength!

    "Jason Deschoolmeester, 23, of South Wales, said the website 'could lead people to indulge in things like that. It is totally sick. I won’t play it [GTA IV] again'."

    So you bought an 18 rated game full of death, violence, drugs , prostitution, etc, then all of a sudden you get on your high horse about something disturbing found in the game?!

    I don't find GTA series particularly interesting personally, but why all the mock outrage when Rockstar have already proved they're no stangers to pushing people's buttons! Get a life.

  7. Chris Officer

    Mark - 3609 version

    That's funny, I could've sworn I saw the site on my 360 copy the other day. Good way to start an instant coffee shop shootout with the police when bored.

    As for the Sun readers, surely it would have been sick if they'd really made the site instead of the auto-police trick? Like everything illegal in GTA you can do it if you want but the game punishes you by sending the cops after you. But "game teaches life lessons by punishing illegal behaviour" doesn't make good headlines I suppose.

  8. Martin

    Stabbing motivated by game?

    I remember that the opening of the Ikea at Edmonton (North London) was accompanied by a stabbing- does this mean that Swedish chipboard furniture induces violence, or is it just driving to Edmonton (seriously, who wants to carry furniture on the bus) that does it?

  9. yet another Matt
    Dead Vulture

    Bit over the top

    I saw this article from a forum a few days ago.

    I don't understand this article from 'The Sun' (you know it, that well respected newspaper). The page is found by the search engine which returns mostly random results and contains absolutly no indecent material. It contains a 'place holder' page from the police and you get the second highest wanted level you can get in the game.

    So as far as I can make out, the guy in the seems to be upset that the spoof website's address contains the same name as his daughter.

    He seems to be fine with violently shooting people in the head and simulated prostitution, but when it comes to a website making a humours comment on the police state like society we live in, it's time to get on your high horse.

  10. Steven Raith

    This made me laugh...

    ..."Zoe Hilton, the NSPPC's policy coordinator for child protection, said it’s “disturbing that it is meant to be funny and that it is glamorising something that is really shocking and upsetting”."

    What, like robbery, arson, murder, rape, prostitution, gang fueds? Oh, no, wait, they made a reflection of tabloid paranoia about paedos and police/authoritary surveillance, THE WORLD WILL NOW BE FILLED WITH PEADOS!!

    Seriously, it sounds like a spoof of a honey-trap website *at worst*. How on earth is that supposed to, to quote Jason Deschoolmeester, "lead people to indulge in things like that"?

    JD is likely one of the people who compained about the Brass Eye Peadophile special, along with all the rest of the retards who read the red tops and take them seriously...

    Steven "Can't believe how stupid people can really be" Raith

  11. Mark Broadhurst


    You go to the web site and it says it has been shut down and clicking on the link. makes the police come after you.

    How is that in any way bad.

  12. Steven Raith

    *spits coffee*

    I've just read the suns 'report' in the Sun.

    I'm not even going to dignify it with a proper response. Read it, then sink your head into your hands facing the fact that if the Sun is representative of the people, as they would like to believe, then we now have conclusive proof that society is regressing rapidly.

    Steven "Utterly *speechless* at the level of idiocy in the world" Raith.

  13. Anonymous Coward


    Some one in my area got stabbed (fortunatley not to death) for their burger........


  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @Stabing Details

    Yeah, but that doesnt sell advertising space does it?

    Adblock+/NoScript FTW!!!

  15. Dave Edmondston
    Paris Hilton

    Zoe Hilton?

    "Zoe Hilton, the NSPPC's policy coordinator for child protection"

    Any relation...?

  16. Mark
    Gates Horns


    It's in both versions. And yes, the 360 version IS inferior, you are correct about that...

    The PS3 version of GTA IV looks better, plays better, has less popup, and loads quicker (The last 2 are thanks to the mandatory install, which they can do, becuase all PS3's have a HDD).



  17. Raccoon

    Is in the 360 version

    Actually it is in the 360 version, as well as the radio adverts for the same site... but aside from that, there's no images, no suggestive text or anything like that, it's just part of the games whole take on the media and everything else.

    American style Little Miss type pageants are dodgy enough in real life, and I wouldn't be surprised if something similar exists in real life, but at least in the game you immediately get picked up by the police.

  18. Neil

    All your base...

    In this game if you go to a website for a beauty pagent, you become a wanted criminal. You are punished for doing something bad.

    Just this weekend I watched a film called "Broken Flowers" on BBC1 with Bill Murray. In this film he visits a woman who is 13/14yrs old, walks around naked, is named "Lolita" and offers a popsicle to Murray. This scene was in the film to raise the open question "would you?", and offers no conclusive answer or moral argument not to.

    If the former scene was in the film, and the latter was in the game, the media would still jump on GTA because computers are widely misunderstood, and anything that isn't understood can be promoted as evil to the masses. Just like a good old witch hunt.

  19. Anonymous Coward

    too far

    One step too far for me. I'm liberal when it comes to violence and sex in games; and there's a lot of fud indeed on this topic. It was the same with violence on TV and now they're focussing on movies, but paedophelia is just a step too far for me.

    Blasting virtual people in thousands of pieces with agonizing screams of pain... if it's your thing, no problem; but don't touch children.

    Just an opinion from someone who hasn't seen or played GTAIV though, but anyway.

    Ok, bring on the flames on how much a sissy I am.

  20. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    @ Mark

    Cheers Mark, I thought the 360 version was better. I notice you can't even make out the people in the shop on the PS3 version and a lot of detail is lost. The only thing the PS3 version seems to do better is the text on the sign at the top but everything else is a lot less clear and far more blurred. Presumably this is down to the lower resolution, the PS3 just can't bang out enough pixels like the 360 can.

    Of course the additional content on the 360 that the PS3 will never have just tops it off I guess, it's win-win for 360 owners.

  21. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    The answer is simple...

    Have a clearly displayed EULA on the front of the game:

    By playing this game you agree not to be a total cry-baby. Players who are subsequently found to be total cry-babys must return their copy with no refund and appologise to Rock Star for buying a game which they are too thick to play.

    How can anyone buy this game and then get upset about what they find in it? If you don't like it then don't play it.

    The people who are interviewed are no doubt being paid hansomly by the red tops for their pain and suffering and the media is in the business of blowing this sort of thing out of proportion when there is no real news and it's not an eviction day in Big Brother.

  22. amanfromMars Silver badge

    Prescient Conditioning ..... Patently Pending/Spin Waiting

    Why doesn't One Invent a Game All can Thrill to for ITs Leading ShOXXXXY Genes?

    A Labour of Love is never Hard Work for IT works 4U2. Which is Real Cool/Red Hot ......... for Enigmatic Turing.

  23. W

    @ @Mark

    Aside from both looking like Megadrive screenshots, neither is "better". They're both just "different". In the same way different TVs or cameras process and render data differently to try and make the images more palatable than often harsh looking the raw data.

    Judging from those pics, the PS3 looks to be continuing the "dark + blurry = not quite as jagged, and therefore better" train of thought that made so many PS2 games look like rather poor. To my eyes anways.

    Obligatory flame retardent disclaimer: Don't own any current gen machines. Most recent console owned is a GameCube.

  24. Abe


    I like the fact that you have spoken about the Mandatory install the the makers of GTA4 complained about and are on record saying they spent alot of time with sony trying to get a fix to this problem and yet sony wont be able to fix said problem for sometime.

    But thats right you use that Bug as thumbs up.

    For the record I own an atari 2600

  25. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Mark you truly are brilliant

    Thanks for that Mark.

    With my PS3, all games are superior. All copies of Call of Duty 4 on the PS3 come in special gold cases too.

    I'm so glad i bought a PS3, it makes me feel superior. Finally!

  26. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Wow those pictures are amazing Mark!

    Those pictures are also marvelous! Thank god that we can finally show how much better our amazing console is.

    Life is good. Thank god that popup books look great on the PS3 too!

    Mark we're winners!!!

  27. Steven

    Dark & Blurry

    I have to admit, I found GTA IV to be terribly dark and blurry on the PS3 when I first played it.

    Then I bought an HD telly and it looks so much better. The previously blurry images are now sharp and crisp.

    One HDMI connection = all the difference. Same with all the games so far.

  28. David Gibson

    Missing the point

    I think people have missed the point with this.

    I thought it was a comment against all those screwed up child beauty pageants that they have in the states.

    Surely they're more detrimental to a child's mental state that a website that doesn't exist.

  29. Dan


    ...can turn any debate into an Xbox vs PS w@nk-off...

    Am I the only one who noticed that Mr Outraged has a slightly disturbing name? "Jason Deschoolmeester", or is that Jason, de school meester?! (say in a mexican accent if it still isn't working for you...)

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Mandatory install a bug. WTF? Give me the drugs you are on I want to be as thick as a brick too.

    Mandatory install means better game performance, shorter game load times, after sales bug fixes and enhancements. If its a bug then bring it on, bug me out bitches!!! Better then being stuck with a fuct game that cant be updated after its been bought.

    God damn there were a lot of babies dropped on their heads in your part of the world.

  31. Mike Groombridge

    GTA 4

    I could see people getting upset if there were images on the "website" but since you get your arse kicked big style for viewing it surly the message is these things are bad and you will be punlished.

    for the record i don't own it but have played it (and yes been to that website while my drunk friends spelled it out to me not telling me what it was or what would happen). i made it out the door into a car as far as the petrol station before i hit a pump and was blown up :( i was useing the all weapons cheat though

  32. Adam Foxton
    Black Helicopters

    @"too far" AC

    Please tell me you're joking.

    There's not actually any paedophilic content on the website. Even Rockstar wouldn't be able to get away with that. And when you click it in-game, the game "punishes" you for it by bringing on the police- "teaching" you to not look at stuff like that (if you needed any encouragement).

    They're taking the piss out of those American "beauty paegents" where parents doll up their kids- to the point of plastic surgery and even boob jobs in extreme cases- just to win some stupid competition. Now THOSE are morally reprehensible, but it's part of the fabric of American life now so on-one cares.

    Though I guess I agree with you- having kiddie pr0n in a computer game would be a step too far. Even violence against kids is probably too far- though they'd probably get away with it if it was quick, painless and off-screen.

    Copter cos there's one overhead shooting at me! In-game as well!

  33. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Ha! Those comparison pics from Mark!!

    Who cares? That is the most pathetic thing you have ever posted!!!

    What if you take off your glasses? Oh no i can't see those people sitting at that cafe!!

    Sad muppet!!!

  34. W

    @ Dark & Blurry

    Fair enough, but "One HDMI connection = all the difference" presupposes an HD output.

    And there we have it. Another case of HD sources require HD output. Sounds simple, but it's another case of putting the cart before the horse. All this Blu-Ray and HD malarkey is sold as a revolutionary solution to a terrible problem that, in reality, didn't/doesn't truly exist. Only one step away from punting a hardware reliant OS in order to push hardware sales (hello Microsoft).

    Far too much of the HD push is a circular argument and I'm not falling for it.

    As for The Sun and those who dismiss it as dumb and irrelevant. It's just as bad as The Mail, but instead of straight up snobbery, it's based on inverse snobbery and the wallowing in ignorance that comes with it. Both are a cancer on our collective intelligence, and a sad sad reflection of British values.

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Even more disturbing than this

    is that if you go onto the REAL Internets, there are websites where you can see pictures of ACTUAL child beauty pageants. Maybe I've not being paying attention, but I haven't seen any calls for these to be shut down for fear that they fuel paedophiles' appetites.

    At the heart of this ongoing hysteria is the simple failure of a chunk of the population to dissociate the word "game" from entertainments solely aimed at children. This despite the big 18 on the spine of the box. It's fortunate that those in charge of putting that 18 there actually know what they're doing.

  36. alphaxion


    FFS.. it's called satire, you know that irksom thing known as freedom of expression.

    How the hell can it be seen as "glamorising" paedos... can you show me any point where that happens?

    No, it's a satire on how we as a society devolve into a witch hunting mob whenever the subject rears its ugly head.

  37. Luca
    Paris Hilton


    Jason Deschoolmeester, 23, of South Wales, said the website “could lead people to indulge in things like that. It is totally sick. I won’t play it [GTA IV] again”, and went back to playing My Little Pony Island.

  38. Pondlife


    So hold on a minute, mowing down countless innocent civilians in a stolen Hummer whilst gunning down any survivers is fine...but clicking on a link that then brings the entire city's police/swat teams down on your ass is somehow morally wrong?

    Will somebody please think of the children?!

  39. Anony mouse

    I won't be playing GTA4 again either

    Mainly cos it's cocking rubbish..

  40. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    RE: Jason Deschoolmeester, 23 of South Wales

    Am I the only one who thinks it is weird that Jason clicked a link [in a game] of his own free will and then got upset because he didn't see pictures of kiddies? And the in-game police came and administered summary justice?

    OK, his defence for trying to access this, oh so innocent sounding site, is that it had the same name as his Daughter. Did he expect to see pictures of his own child? Did he think GTA-IV uses new patented mind-readogram technology and knew who he is and who his family are?

  41. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    lol that's pretty funny.

    This Jason is probably narked becouse he actually wanted some CP but was let down.

    As to the sun, it's a shinning example of all that is wrong in society.

    I bet these people all despise Hard Candy becouse it's all about a predatory peadophile, or is it? Quite a good film actually, reminded me of the Japan/Korean new wave horror scene.

  42. Mark
    Gates Horns

    I apologise

    for upsetting the 360 owners, by showing everyone how shit the 360 version looks, and exposing the EuroGamer review as a pile of horses**t.

    I can understand why you are all now upset. Why no go and play Halo3, that will cheer you up, until your console RROD's (or if you are unlucky,catches fire) again, and has to be sent for repair...

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Too Violent??

    Too violent for society....????

    Or just that some people are too stupid for society.

  44. Anonymous Coward

    I don't get it??

    I don't get it??

    Kiddie porn is illegal. This is not kiddie porn. End of story.

  45. amanfromMars Silver badge

    True Nitty Gritty

    "Or just that some people are too stupid for society.".. Anonymous Coward • Monday 23rd June 2008 12:28 GMT

    Some societies too stupid for people is always the case.

  46. Keith_C

    Erm... it just me, or is Mark posting replies to his own posts congratulating himself on how right and clever he is?

    Think you need a lie down old chap.

  47. alistair millington
    Dead Vulture


    People find the idea of a game that makes it acceptable to car jack, break laws in speeding, countless driving laws, theft, murder, manslaughter, ABH, GBH and a multitude of other anti social acts in society, all are fine and normal and should be considered as such.

    ...but going onto a make believe website that isn't a website and whose name isn't a dodgy website IS considered wrong.

    Some people need a life... need to get out more or rather need to have two large electrodes placed in sensitive areas and then connected to the national grid until crispy so they can't reproduce.

  48. John
    Thumb Up

    games and shocking content

    WTF? So I guess clubbing baby seals in Warcraft should have gotten that game banned to? Whatever. It's a game. If some sicko is disappointed that a game DIDN'T give him some kiddie porn when he clicked a spoof link in a fake in-game browser in a game that isn't about surfing the internet... then f*ck em. :)



  49. TMS9900


    Jason Deschoolmeester, 23, of South Wales, said the website “could lead people to indulge in things like that. It is totally sick. I won’t play it [GTA IV] again”.

    ...So it's fine to run drugs, murder people, and gang rape 'ho's' in the back of a car before shooting the 'biatch' in the head for extra points, but a paedo honey-trap is sick?

    What did you expect, you moronic twat?

  50. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This has got to be......

    A Joke surely ?. The surname of the alleged complainant is

    "De schoolmeester" , is that not German for School Master/teacher.

    I reckon it is someone like the Sun making a story themselves.

  51. Liam

    pah ffs

    @ too far - you sum it up mate - you havent played the game and to be honest havent even read anything anyone has written OR the article.

    the fact it says that there is a link to a dodgy sounding site. you click the link and there is a police warning - clicking again prompts a massive police response and you will, no doubt, be killed in a few seconds (5* is now rock on this game compared to otehr versions)

    you see... its saying this is what happens when you do something THIS bad! if the generally savvy people here cannot grasp simple things then how the hell are daily heil readers going to?

    @ "Cheers Mark, I thought the 360 version was better. I notice you can't even make out the people in the shop on the PS3 version and a lot of detail is lost. The only thing the PS3 version seems to do better is the text on the sign at the top but everything else is a lot less clear and far more blurred. Presumably this is down to the lower resolution, the PS3 just can't bang out enough pixels like the 360 can." - wtf? the 2nd image looks wayyy better than the first! cant you see this? the lack of colour depth (360 looks like a GIF ffs lol) and complete lack of anti-aliasing?!?! im sure the ps3 could whack out at 1080p if they used no AA and 16bit colour depths... BUT this isnt a console debait is it! why do xboxers always crash ps3 threads?

    now, the fact is that this is a tiny pic blown up. the fact is that both games look pretty good on both consoles, but compared to my other ps3 games the graphics are, imho, sadly lacking.

    @ "I like the fact that you have spoken about the Mandatory install the the makers of GTA4 complained about and are on record saying they spent alot of time with sony trying to get a fix to this problem and yet sony wont be able to fix said problem for sometime." - wtf? then they are retards at rockstar... every other game for the ps3 i have seems to do an install somehow so why the hell cant rockstar get ot working properly...

    @ David Gibson - mate - seems we all missed this too. i totally agree. i find the USA's fascination with dressing little girls like cheap hookers sickening. also the kids and parents all seem unbearably annoying. i do feel sorry for the kids, having parents like they do!

    @ "And there we have it. Another case of HD sources require HD output. Sounds simple, but it's another case of putting the cart before the horse. All this Blu-Ray and HD malarkey is sold as a revolutionary solution to a terrible problem that, in reality, didn't/doesn't truly exist. Only one step away from punting a hardware reliant OS in order to push hardware sales (hello Microsoft)." - you seem to have lost what a HDMI cable can do mate. if like me the poster went from an Sd to a HD TV the differnce CAN be massive. the game is made in HD and downscaled to SD for none-HD people. this means distortion of the image. also SD cannot handle the massive array of colours that HDMI 1.3 spec can bring. so therefore you have better image quality and much better colour depth. i will agree though that SD on a ps3 isnt that good. simple things like you cannot output RGB via scart to an SD TV for movies! and the fact the refresh rates seem locked at 30fps in SD rather than 60fps + in HD. i do agree with Sun and Hail comments tho :)

    @ "...So it's fine to run drugs, murder people, and gang rape 'ho's' " - wtf? i dont see any gang-raping hos in this game.. to my knowledge you pay for them to get onboard...

  52. Mark
    Gates Horns

    Actually I'm not sorry

    For being a complete w*nker.

    Its just the way I am really, it's mainly due to the fact that I sit at home dry humping my PS3 for most of the evening while scouring the internet for shreds of evidence that make my sony love machine a worthwhile purchase thus making my life seem significant in some manner.

    Hopefully one day i'll get a life. Don't hold your breath though.

    I wish i could play Halo 3, there's actually nothing on the PS3 i enjoy playing. I have started to force myself into playing games like Metal Gear, Uncharted and Ratchett and Clank which I would never have considered before. Its just that there isn't anything else half decent to play.

  53. Anonymous Coward


    A few hundred years ago children were treated like mini-adults as soon as they could walk and talk, now they are treated like gods till they are 30 years old.

    Is it just me or does the world seem to have gone from extreme to another? Yes children are vulnerable and should be protected, etc., however I want to vomit everytime someone hides behind the children to push an agenda.

    If we want to raise children in a protective bubble, why don't we hand all of our children over to the state to be raised in child communes where they will be protected from evil and will be raised as perfect citizens only doing and thinking state approved things. After all Big Brother knows best.

    *end rant*

  54. Anonymous Coward


    So if GTA IV is that bad... then we should ban any game that involves killing someone else or committing an act of violence termed "bad"

    Oh damn... there goes the entirety of the known gaming world.... and TV..and Movies.

    Conclusion: For anyone to be throwing a like complaining about a single grain of sand...on a beach thats miles long.

    You want a solution to your problem?

    The frakking parents who allow there kids to play such things without parental guidance.... try that on for size.

    For anyone to throw a fit over this... is just waisting there time.

    I can think of worse games out there that are many times more graphic.

    I ignore these stupid articles because I know that the problem is not the bloody game...but the idiot at the controls.

    : O P

  55. Daniel

    After reading all the flaming...

    May I be the first to say...

    It's fake, man you're all so lame, I slept with your mom...

    Oh wait... You mean this isn't

    Its a stupid story and although i usually enjoy reading the sun (not much thinking involved) this is a step too far and they are clearly just jumping on the bandwagon!

  56. bluesxman


    "Will somebody please think of the children?!"

    I think it's the possibility of people /thinking/ of the children that started this whole silly hoo-hah!

  57. Oliver Collett

    it's like it's 2001 all over again

    The media completely missing the point, getting worked up and then looking ridiculous?

    Brass eye?

    Let's go stamp on some crabs.

  58. Mike

    Little miss DeSchoolmeester

    Have just read the article. And the comments. Agree with all about the whole "can't see any CP, SWAT team jump on from great height" etc and this is a desperate attempt to look for a problem that isn't there.

    One other point. The website contains the word "lacy", presumably a reference to the clothing style a la "lace-like or made of lace". Mr Welsh-Dutchman has named his daughter "Lacey" (with an "e").

    So he is miffed that the website contains 80% of the letters in his daughter's name. Is he serious??? Lets review his worry here:

    The fictional website that doesn't exist and shows no images and summons the whole of Liberty City's police force has a string of letters in the middle of the website that sound similar to but are not the same as the first name of his child and several thousands of other children in the world?

    Does he wear a tin foil hat and avoid the cracks in pavements? What a fueckweit (am sure Jason will understand this as he doesn't notice the letter "e" in words, apparently)

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