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Jacked : The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto

By (author) David Kushner

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Inside the making of a videogame that defined a generation: "Grand Theft Auto""Grand Theft Auto" is one of the biggest and most controversial videogame franchises of all time. Since its first release in 1997, "GTA" has pioneered the use of everything from 3D graphics to the voices of top Hollywood actors and repeatedly transformed the world of gaming. Despite its incredible innovations in the $75 billion game industry, it has also been a lightning rod of debate, spawning accusations of ethnic and sexual discrimination, glamorizing violence, and inciting real-life crimes. "Jacked" tells the turbulent and mostly unknown story of "GTA"'s wildly ambitious creators, Rockstar Games, the invention and evolution of the franchise, and the cultural and political backlash it has provoked.Explains how British prep school brothers Sam and Dan Houser took their dream of fame, fortune, and the glamor of American pop culture and transformed it into a worldwide videogame blockbusterWritten by David Kushner, author of "Masters of Doom" and a top journalist on gaming, and drawn from over ten years of interviews and research, including firsthand knowledge of "Grand Theft Auto"'s creators and detractorsOffers inside details on key episodes in the development of the series, including the financial turmoil of Rockstar games, the infamous ""Hot Coffee"" sex mini-game incident, and more Whether you love "Grand Theft Auto" or hate it, or just want to understand the defining entertainment product of a generation, you'll want to read "Jacked" and get the real story behind this boundary-pushing game.

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  • Hardback | 304 pages
  • 160.02 x 236.22 x 30.48mm | 408.23g
  • 18 Apr 2012
  • Turner Publishing Company
  • John Wiley & Sons Ltd
  • Chichester
  • English
  • 0470936371
  • 9780470936375
  • 413,336

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Author Information

DAVID KUSHNER is the author of Masters of Doom, voted the best videogame book of all time by Game Informer magazine, as well as Jonny Magic and the Card Shark Kids, and Levittown. A contributing editor at Rolling Stone, Kushner has written for publications including "Vanity Fair," "Wired," "New York Times Magazine," "New York," "GQ," and "Details." He served as the digital culture commentator for National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition Sunday." He has been included in "The Best American Crime Reporting" and is an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University.

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Back cover copy

Praise for "Masters of Doom""A fascinating portrait of visionary coders transforming a previously marginal hobby into a kind of twenty-first-century art form--and enraging an entire generation of parents along the way. Kushner tells the story with intelligence and a great sense of pacing. "Masters of Doom" is as riveting as the games themselves." --Steven Johnson, author of "Everything Bad Is Good for You" and "Where Good Ideas Come From"""Masters of Doom" is an excellent archetypal tale of hard work and genius being corrupted by fame too young and fortune too fast. I rooted for these guys, was inspired by them, and then was disturbed by them--and was fascinated from beginning to end." --Po Bronson, coauthor of "NurtureShock""Kushner's mesmerizing tale of the Two Johns moves at a rapid clip . . . describing the twists and turns of fate that led them to team up in creating the most powerful video games of their generation . . . An exciting combination of biography and technology." --"USA Today""Meticulously researched . . . as a ticktock of the creative process and as insight into a powerful medium too often dismissed as kids' stuff, "Masters of Doom" blasts its way to a high score." --"Entertainment Weekly""Kushner's portrait of Carmack is lustrous and gripping . . . An impressive and adroit social history." --"The New York Times Book Review""Terrifically told . . . The storytelling is so fluid, so addictive, that your twitching thumbs keep working the pages." --"The Washington Post Book World"

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Flap copy

How does a group of young underdogs with big dreams but little experience transform a culture and industry? In the case of the $75 billion video game business, it helps if the outfit is run by a brash iconoclast with the vision of an outlaw and the work ethic of a Puritan--and grew up madly in love with gangster movies, video games, and rap music. It also helps if the company makes the most revolutionary, controversial, and successful video game franchise ever--Grand Theft Auto.In Jacked, acclaimed author and journalist David Kushner takes you on an unauthorized joyride through the high-risk, high-profit, and fast-moving world of the biggest players in the game industry--and the haters out to get them. He reveals the untold story behind the people who created the product that defined one generation and infuriated another.Drawing on more than a decade of his own reporting, game playing, and interviewing, Kushner goes deep inside the making of Grand Theft Auto (GTA), long veiled in secrecy, rumor, and myth. He also examines the cultural and political backlash that sent sales soaring, even as it threatened the game's continued existence. This is a pop culture story for the ages. It begins in the back alleys of Dundee, Scotland, where the geeky geniuses at DMA Design invented GTA. Fledgling marketer and rebellious gamer Sam Houser saw GTA's enormous potential and pushed DMA to make it bolder, wilder, and funnier, and let players freely explore the game's gritty cities, wreaking havoc whenever they pleased. With its groundbreaking innovations and cinematic flair, GTA quickly became the centerpiece of Houser's new company, Rockstar Games, and the hottest title on the planet. But one of America's most notorious culture warriors, Jack Thompson, had his own mission--to ensure that GTA was banned from store shelves for corrupting youth and to bring Rockstar to their knees--even as the gamers of the world rallied against him.With its incredible artistry, arch satire, and massive press coverage, GTA earned critical and commercial acclaim around the world, breaking the Guinness record for most successful entertainment product launch of all time. But deep within its urban wasteland lurked a nasty little secret--the now-famous sex mini-game, "Hot Coffee." It would mean big trouble for Rockstar Games and bring Houser and his rival, Thompson, to the brink. Whichever side you're on, Jacked gives you a new understanding of this breakout industry, and the game that defined it.

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