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Texas news report blames graffiti problem on "Getting Up"

Kyle Orland

It's a well known fact that graffiti was on the decline nationwide as recently as two years ago. Spray paint sales were down, wall cleaners were going out of business, and the country's youth were refocusing their energies on local art classes and scrimshaw. Then the unthinkable happened. On Feb. 14, 2006, Atari released Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure, a game that went on to become a best-seller and created a new tagging boom.

This twisted view of reality seems to be behind this KRIS-TV report, which largely blames Corpus Christi's increasing graffiti problem on Getting Up and games like it. According to CCPD Detective Ramiro Torres, school children use these games to "develop a base of membership to form these tagging groups." The report also implies that "students play this type of game and get ideas." Because, really, no one had the idea to tag a building before these video games were around. The whole concept of putting paint on a wall is entirely a creation of the gaming industry.

Look, we're all for fighting graffiti and preventing costly vandalism. But blaming a recent boom on a two-year-old game that was drubbed by critics and sluggish in the sales department is a bit much. Especially when everyone knows it was really Jet Grind Radio that started the graffiti boom.

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