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    Tuesday, April 10, 2007

    Battle of the Brands: Rockstar vs NYC

    If you live in New York City, you may have noticed this yellow sticker popping up everywhere in site. This sticker is the logo of Rockstar Games. They are the makers of the notorious Grand Theft Auto Series. Wired recently wrote a great story about the rise and fall of the company which got in quite a bit of trouble over the whole hot coffee incident where code was left in the game, which when hacked allowed players to virtually have sex. Not a generally a good idea, but if you read Wired's story you will have an idea of what goes on over there.

    One of the best things about GTA is its level of immersion within a virtual city environment. Miami was a virtual replication of of its self in the 80's during the cocaine wars, and LA/SF were mirror images during the 90 gangbanger days. Well GTA IV is set in NYC aka Liberty City. Looking at the trailer its full of Chrysler buildings, grand central, Tribeca building, the seaport docks, and even the statue of liberty. Instantly the NYC Politicos got upset at this.

    Now comes the fun part. Since the initial trailer launch, NYC has been plastered with GTA IV billboards and now the flood of Rockstar stickers. I have counted around 500 in a small block radius around my apt in the alphabet, but the city is plastered. Got me thinking that no matter what NYC can do to fight it, this city has already been branded a GTA city. Very clever to brand it before it happens. No politician can clean up all the graffit or stickersi. Unless the game gets banned, GTA is here to stay in the city. And NYC is Liberty City. If you live in NYC how many stickers have you seen? And i have a nice giant rockstar sticker myself, any suggestions where to stick that sucker?


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