Skip to main content

Haitians seek to ban Vice City outright

Lawsuit filed.

Dark blue icons of video game controllers on a light blue background
Image credit: Eurogamer

Haitian civil rights groups have filed suit with the state circuit court in Palm Beach County, Florida to have Grand Theft Auto: Vice City banned from sale and more than $15,000 damages awarded, notwithstanding a move last month by publisher Rockstar Games to settle the complaint by removing an offensive line of dialogue from the game.

Rockstar agreed to remove the "kill the Haitians" instruction from a key cut sequence that makes up the game's narrative in future versions of the game, despite widespread concern from gaming fans that this sort of self-censorship could limit the risks developers are prepared to take with future videogame projects.

Vice City and publisher Rockstar have been the subject of a media witch hunt in the US these past few months, where the "kill the Haitians" line has given rise to all sorts of unpleasant polemical, including most recently some rather pitiful attempts to liken videogames to child molestation.

With the case due before a district court in the States soon, it will now be left up to a judge to establish whether Rockstar had the right to include such a line of dialogue in a videogame. Rockstar's defence will likely depend on the vital issue of context and the relatively harsh treatment of videogames compared to other forms of media.

Read this next