Mark Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure
What parents need to know
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this game presents graffiti as street art, not street crime. The heroes are the graffiti crews who paint on public and private property while violently resisting police authority and the intrusion of rival artists. The language is strong, and the violence is consistent with the dark, back-alley settings: Players beat enemies with fists, wood planks, spiked bats, televisions, etc. The game promotes hip-hop fashion designer Mark Ecko, and features iPods.
What's it about?
In the controversial MARK ECKO'S GETTING UP: CONTENTS UNDER PRESSURE, players control Trane, a young resident of New Radius city looking to make a name for himself as a graffiti artist. He's discovered trying to "get up" and "go over" -- tag his name and paint graffiti over rivals' work with spray paint, stencils, stickers, and posters -- in an abandoned pool where graffiti legends ply their trade. After suffering a brutal beat-down at the hands of another crew, Trane embarks on a mission of revenge and establishes himself by crossing out the work of his adversaries. But as the oppressive regime of Mayor Sung cracks down on the youth culture and dissent, Trane joins forces with his enemies to disrupt the cruelty and corruption radiating from city hall.
The game mixes Prince of Persia-style climbing and stealth, crude combat sequences, and mission-based graffiti challenges.
Is it any good?
The game benefits from obvious care from its developers. Top-notch voice acting talent includes notable stars such as rapper Talib Kweli, Brittany Murphy, Andy Dick, and renowned graffiti artists, and rap impresario Sean "Diddy" Combs lends his voice and handles the music direction. The beautiful environments feature notable graffiti artwork from known artists and the storyline is thoughtfully developed.
Getting Up is a genuinely fun game when placed in the right hands, but there certainly are plenty of reasons for parents to be concerned about the content. Mature players may appreciate the well-drawn world, and it may inspire them to consider complex issues ranging from freedom of expression to the commercialism of hip-hop culture. But this game is not for teens and tweens.
Explore, discuss, enjoy
Families can talk about why a multimillionaire hip-hop fashion designer and other successful members of the hip-hop community committed their talents to a game about graffiti. Are they exploiting criminal behavior to sell their products (an argument often leveled at hip-hop culture)? Or are they showcasing -- through the use of real graffiti artists' voices and works -- a legitimate and marginalized mode of expression?