Australia’s New South Wales police minister Troy Grant has condemned the fact that due to an “underground” GTA mod, NSW officers can now be shot, run over and killed within the game.
Now, mods are quite frequent in GTA, regardless of installment. They range from character designs to car designs and pretty much anything else you can think of.
This NSW mod includes not just police officers, but also federal cops and firefighters, all driving the state’s vehicles. There’s even a helicopter that stays faithful to its real-world counterpart.
What’s strange, though, is the fact that this is actually a very old mod for Grand Theft Auto 4, used originally by online communities looking to role-play as emergency services personnel.
The footage shown by Channel Seven included some old GTA 4 footage uploaded by Aussie YouTuber radcliffegames, but also footage of mods for GTA 5 where the core gameplay is based on a mod called LSPD First Response – so instead of playing with the baddies (Franklin, Michael, Trevor), you play to enforce the law, not break it.
According to Kotaku Australia, a member of the Emergency Australia mod community stated that this mod was created by over 30 GTA fans from all over the world and that it’s meant to be harmless.
“Over the years individual police officers have actually helped with the mod getting to where it is by showing support and providing reference pictures and encouraging the creation of the mod because they supported the harmless effects that it has, and as well as that it inspired kids to think of a career in the emergency services field,” said Gaz, one of the members of the community who preferred to be named only by his online moniker.
While Rockstar Games, the ones behind GTA, have yet to offer an official response, a NSW police spokesperson said that the mod could “constitute offenses under state and federal laws.”