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This Australian News Report About a GTA 5 Mod is Both Hilarious and Alarming

A recent report from Channel 7 News in Sydney claims that “underground computer geeks” and have created a “black market” version of GTA V, incorporating the New South Wales Police. It’s equal parts cringe, hilarious and despair all rolled into one.

The “black market” “terrible hack” in question is what most of us know to be a mod. The mod is called LSPDFR and is available here. It allows players to switch roles and play as police units instead of the criminal, “allowing you to conduct traffic stops, engage in high speed pursuits and enforce the law as you see fit.” Also the uniforms and vehicles of the Los Santos Police Department have been swapped out for that of the Australian New South Wales Police, creating uproar among the Jack Thompson wannabes and sympathisers of the world. The NSW police are planning to take action.

NSW Version of GTA.

State Police Minister condemns online video game that allows NSW police officers to be shot, run over & killed.Video Credit: http://bit.ly/2lnfQaI Download the 7 News app: http://yhoo.it/2a8SxYVReporter: Mike Duffy#OZGTA #7News

Posted by 7 News Sydney on Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Ignoring all the hyperbolic rhetoric, distinct lack of facts, misleading information and scaremongering, then what you’re left with is an awful piece of reporting that places the blame solely on the designers. It describes the players as “socially isolated”, playing for “10-15 hours per day”. Never mentioned are the parents that are apparently allowing their children to play an 18+ rated game in solitude for unhealthy periods of time.

At one point the presenter proclaims, “I actually didn’t realise that Grand Theft Auto was still on the market” and that for me sums it up. Grand Theft Auto is arguably the most valuable entertainment property on the planet. GTA5 alone has sold a staggering 75 million copies making it the 4th best selling game of all time. They literally don’t know what they’re talking about.

The mod and skins had been around for over a year at the time Channel 7 news spotted them. Somebody needs to give them a lesson on the “Streisand effect”. Thanks to them, probably thousands of people will go and download the mod, only increasing its popularity thanks to their shoddy reporting.

The developers of the mod had the following to say:

“Over the past couple of days, we’ve noticed a flurry of activity on LSPDFR, seemingly sparked by some media coverage in Australia. The initial story, run by Channel 7 News was that our modification for GTA V, LSPD First Response, was being used by “underground geeks” to simulate the killing of Australian police officers. This is simply a gross misrepresentation of what we, as software developers, and our users, as passionate members of a diverse and overwhelmingly pro-law enforcement community, stand for. In reality, LSPDFR is a mode which allows you to play as a police officer within the game – players can make arrests, pull over speeding vehicles and respond to emergency situations. Indeed, if there’s any story here, it’s the story of how LSPDFR has actually empowered law enforcement, by playing host to tens of thousands of young people, from across the world, who would rather play as the good guys than the bad guys.”

Please, Channel 7: if you’re going to report a story like this, make sure you have all the facts, presented by people that can speak authoritatively on the subject at hand. Also, try not to patronise 75 million people in the process.