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Take-Two VP takes on critics

Warriors not for 'idiot savants'.

Take-Two's creative vice president, Dan Houser, has spoken out on the criticism the company has received for producing games with violent content.

"Certainly it's frustrating when people don't wish to understand what you do and don't wish to learn," Houser told the New York Times.

"Anyone who plays any of our games and wishes to criticise it, having played it, experienced it and thought about it, they are of course welcome to do that.

"But when large numbers of people criticise something and haven't even done it, it's very frustrating. There's a large amount of the population that lives in relative ignorance and only hears scary stories about what we do."

Houser refused to discuss the GTA games specifically, however, or the Hot Coffee scandal - in fact, he told the NY Times he would only grant them an interview at all on condition that new release The Warriors was the only subject under discussion. So what's his take on it?

"This is the fighting game for people who didn't like previous fighting games. I find those hard-core fighting games unplayable. You don't want to be limited only to 15-year-old idiot savants with incredibly good hand-eye co-ordination," Houser said.

"People get turned off of games because repeated failures aren't appealing to them - because that's what the rest of their life is like. People aren't playing a game because they want to fail, and we need to understand that."'

Houser went on to discuss Take-Two's creative inspirations - gangster movies, car chases, westerns and of course The Warriors. They're not interested in sci-fi or fantasy, however: "As a grown man, I find playing with an elf a little bit demeaning," Houser said.

"It wouldn't be fun for me to work on that stuff. And if we can't have fun doing it, then the sheer amount of work that goes into making one of these games and the hideous hours that we have to work would be like being in prison."

Houser said that he believed playing a game is a "Fundamentally more engaging experience" than reading a book or watching a film, since you're "Consuming the media or interacting with the art, whatever the right phrase for that is."

As a result, he argued, games will take over as the mainstream form of entertainment - just as Hollywood took over from literature in the early part of the twentieth century.

"Within ten years or five years... Games will be an accepted part of culture. It's just purely a function of time," Houser concluded.