Using GTA 5 as a venue of publicity isn't exactly new - it being used by an official law enforcement agency as a means of online publicity is novel. You know your local police force is pretty fly when they're replicating a high-speed chase inside Rockstar's hit open-world crime game.
The Polícia Segurança Pública, which is the national law enforcement agency of Portugal recently shared a video on their official Facebook page wherein a player in GTA 5 engages in some good old police work.
Oh, and this isn't just some agency's misguided attempt at capitalizing on something that's popular without actually knowing anything about it. This isn't a poorly edited video thrown together by the only officer in the station who once briefly held a controller in their hands.
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What we're looking at here is an expertly put together video from a modded version of GTA 5 running not only a Portuguese Police Cruiser skin mod, but LSPDFR, which happens to be the biggest and most detailed mod developed for the game.
LSPDFR is something of a total conversion mod which turns the massive, vibrant world of GTA 5 into a police simulator. Players take on the role of a law enforcement officer, tasked with patrolling the city and responding to various emergencies.
The video, courtesy of Workgrafix-Brand Agency, seeks to depict a high-speed car chase within GTA 5 as realistically as the game allows. They call in air support, pay attention to innocent traffic, call in a tow-truck for the stolen vehicle and call in an ambulance for the injured fugitive after he has been apprehended.
Of course, since the PSP aren't eldritch wizards, they can't summon police barriers out of thin air - but give the video some credit. LSPDFR is pretty much as close video games have ever gotten to realistic police simulation, so you'll excuse it for allowing players to spawn barriers in this manner.
Definite props to the PSP for rolling with this little publicity stunt. It's nice to see big serious government institutions suspending the no-fun law in terms of publicity in order to reach a different target group. If you're scratching your head as to why a police department even needs publicity, you'd be surprised - just check with your local PD and you'll be amazed how much help average civilians could provide.
This also greatly helps the public image of the GTA franchise. With the series being among the most controversial in all of gaming, positive points such as this go a long way.
Even the comments under the video - if Google translate was accurate, at least - praise this post for proving that games like GTA 5 can indeed be used to positive effect and shouldn't take the brunt of public outcry.
Then again, seeing as Rockstar thrives on the angry vibes of stuffy conservatives, it's not like they're particularly hurting for the franchise to gain an overall positive image among the non-gaming crowd.
Has any governmental institution in your area/country used GTA 5, or any other game, for similar purposes?