Daniel Radcliffe stars as Grand Theft Auto creator Sam Houser in BBC Two’s eagerly awaited one-off drama, The Gamechangers. The 90 minute film charts the early days of the creation of the best selling video game franchise on the planet, and the social issues it created when it was released.
Bill Paxton co-stars as anti-GTA lawyer Jack Thompson who opposed the morality of the content of the game at every turn. While we’re unlikely to get a full picture of all the events that took place, Gamechangers promises to be an interesting watch. Who knew that Daniel Radcliffe could grow such a beard that Hagrid would have been proud of, you’re all grown up now Harry.
On a side note, it’s worth pointing out that Rockstar Games are involved with ongoing legal action against the BBC as a result of this film. Directed by Owen Harris (Back Mirror) and written by James Wood (Rev) The Gamegamers is on BBC Two September 15.
In the late 1990s middle class British brothers Sam and Dan Houser and two friends, all video game enthusiasts, devise a violent new game Grand Theft Auto, set in a fictionalized America and appearing to reward a car thief for murdering anybody who gets in the way of his crimes. In Britain the Police Federation brands it as sick and contemptible whilst politician Hillary Clinton accuses it of “stealing the innocence of our children.” Most vocal of its critics is crusading Florida lawyer Jack Thompson who, in the wake of an Alabama teen-ager going on a killing spree and blaming the game, attempts to get it banned, bringing a court action against the Housers and their company Rockstar Games, now based in San Diego. However Thompson’s public denunciation of the game is instrumental in determining the outcome of the court case.