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BellaOnline Press Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

WOMEN COMMAND GRAND THEFT AUTO VICE CITY WALKTHROUGH

July 10, 2003 - This year’s most popular game, Grand Theft Auto Vice City, has taken the computer gaming world by storm, allowing millions to live out their fantasy of a 1980s Miami Vice world with Sopranos-like intrigue. Critics have belittled this game as a simple promotion of mindless violence that could only appeal to prepubescent teenage boys. But it’s not just teenage boys interested in this exciting game. Type in "Vice City Walkthrough" in any top search engine such as Google.com or Yahoo.com, and you'll find that the top Vice City site is run by ... women!

Lisa Shea, BellaOnline.com's gaming host, has been writing about computer games on the internet for over 10 years. Her first love was strategy and action games, and as newer consoles and systems came out she expanded her gaming coverage. Lisa wrote all 150-plus pages of the BellaOnline Vice City walkthrough herself, including many hours of photographing cars and documenting alternate paths to success. Lisa, herself an avid fan of the Grand Theft Auto series, explains why Vice City is not just for young boys.

"We're a generation that grew up with The Godfather and Goodfellas," explains Lisa, a 34 year old mother with a teenage son. "Sure, we know that these are stereotypes - that not all Italians are mobsters. But we also know that very few people in the medieval age were princes and princesses. That doesn't stop us from enjoying a bit of escapist fantasy every once in a while."

Lisa points out that, contrary to popular stereotypes of game players, not all visitors to her site are young males out to watch bullets fly. "Quite a large number of the emails I get about the Grand Theft Auto series are from seniors, from housewives, from college-aged girls, from every walk of life. The game's concept is brilliant and appeals to all levels of players. You have a fully realized town in which to walk around, stroll the beach, drive your fancy sports car or ride your motorcycle through. You can have fun delivering pizzas or rescuing people in ambulances if you want. Many people I know play the game without harming bystanders at all - they have a 'code of honor'. Even many real life mobsters had this same sort of code, to protect the innocent people. In many ways, what you get out of this game is exactly what you bring into it as a human being."

Contrary to the nay-sayers who proclaim the game is solely about violence, Vice City does in fact teach about real life consequences. Cause trouble by blowing up cars, and the cops start chasing you, bringing in reinforcements. Harm a member of a local neighborhood, and that neighborhood is likely to turn against you, harassing you any time you get near it.

Lisa adds, "Yes, there is violence, but in that world, violence was a means to an end, and not an end in and of itself. Just like a swordfight was the necessary ending to any Three Musketeers story, a gun battle to 'kill the enemy' was a part of the Mob way of life."

And it's BellaOnline’s Lisa Shea, one of the many women Vice City enthusiasts, who is helping to bring this modern-day story to gamers around the world.

Visit the BellaOnline Grand Theft Auto Walkthrough at:

http://www.bellaonline.com/gaming/strategy_lib_gtavcwalk.html

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