Thursday, April 16, 2009

Grand Theft Auto: Detroit (ft. Judge Mathis)?!?

Ya'll know I'm a gamer, but not necessarily a hardcore gamer. I'll be honest, if they didn't make basketball games, I prolly wouldn't even own a PS3, let alone know what one is. Still, I understand the "release" and escape from reality factor. After you've gotten your butt kicked by the world all day, coming home and beating the living crap outta TI & Ludacris can be a nice, albeit misplaced "stick it to the man" gesture.

On a somewhat related note: I also love judge shows. But judge shows and video games ain't exactly peanut butter and chocolate. Someone please explain this to Judge Greg Mathis.
Popular court TV judge Greg Mathis has partnered with filmmaker Matty Rich to create the unique video game Mathis “Detroit” Street Judge. Set to be available for the X-Box 360, Playstation 3, and PC, the third-person shooter will tell the fictional story of Detroit felon La-Ron Washington, who is trying to re-enter society with two strikes over his head.

His last chance to go straight is immediately compromised when he is framed for the murder of a high-ranking Detroit crime boss. If Washington fails to clear his name, he will receive a game ending third strike and life sentence from Judge Mathis.

An avid gamer himself, Mathis reportedly brainstormed the project after countless hours of playing Grand Theft Auto, Madden, and NBA 2K9 with his sons. Unlike similar games, Mathis’ title gives players the option of changing the character’s lifestyle by performing community service, and shunning illegal activities. As a former gang member himself, Judge Mathis hopes the game will drive home to young players the consequences of street life.

"I see this game as a way for young players to be part of the glamorous thug life that is so popular in Hip-Hop culture without them actually indulging in the life,” Judge Mathis explained to "Video games allow you to obtain the fulfillment of their fascination with that lifestyle without being in it. We're not going to stop the violent genre of video games like Grand Theft Auto, so instead you try to engage it in a way that allows them to obtain the fulfillment they're looking for but also give them the choice of having a mainstream, successful life."

While blockbuster games like GTA add elements of satire and pop culture references, Mathis is aiming to drive home the heavy emotional burden real life gangsters carry due to their professions.

"The main difference between our game and Grand Theft Auto is that players will have to deal with the justice system and consequences for their actions," Judge Mathis stated. "When you go to prison, you gain credibility when you come back on the streets. On the other hand, when you go to prison you can also be raped. So take your chances.”

Collaborator and director Matty Rich (Straight Out of Brooklyn, The Inkwell) recently founded the gaming company Matty Rich Games, and previously worked on the game 187 Ride or Die.

Mathis “Detroit” Street Judge will be the first game through his new company, and Rich has secured a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Interactive to publish the title.

As press time, Mathis “Detroit” Street Judge does not have a release date.
I know a Grand Hu$tle when I see one, and this is one. Few games are simultaneously developed for both consoles and the PC at the same time. What developer would undertake such a costly experiment during a recession is beyond me. So, here's betting this press release is nothing more than to float the idea and gauge public opinion. Just my guess of course.

Assuming this is true, what is Judge Mathis thinking? A first person shooter game with a guy facing his 3rd strike is nothing "positive", by any stretch of the imagination. And mixing in the whole "community service" thing to level out the bloodshed is equally comical. I can just see "La-Ron" picking up roadside trash, and tutoring at the local Boys & Girls club right now? Not!

Negro Please.

What would be really fun is a game that mimicks the real-life Detroit even more. How about a thuggish mayor who (allegedly) orders a hit on a stripper? Burned-out houses selling to gentrifiers for $500. A star NBA player who is banned from casinos? Councilmembers addressing each other as "Shrek". Rampant unemployment. An 0-16 football team. Sounds like a lot more fun than "LaRon" to me. Even I might cop that one.

Cashing in on your fame is one thing. Cashing in one your fame and deluding yourself about the conflicting messages there within is another altogether. Smarten up, Greg!

See, that's why I like Judge Toler more anyway.

Question: Is this the dumbest video game concept you ever heard of, or is it just me?

Judge Mathis Creates New Shooter Video Game [AllHipHop]

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