Writer Lazlow Jones says gang members hired for 'authenticity'

GTA V voiced by real criminals

Rockstar Games has opted out of tradition voice actors in favor of “authenticity” by recording the conversations of actual gang members for use in Grand Theft Auto V.

In a radio interview with Chicago station WGNpicked up by Polygon, GTA V contributing writer and producer Lazlow Jones said he hired real criminals to voice ambient characters in the game.

"When we record all these ambient characters we go towards authenticity," he said.

"We recruited a guy who gets gang members, actual real gang members, like El Salvadoran gang dudes with amazing tattoos, one of which had literally gotten out of prison the day before.”

This commitment to authenticity is an interesting thing to announce on the radio when a host of senators are denouncing the game industry for its alleged connections to real-world violence, but it could well add to the tone fans expect from the franchise.

"We get these guys in to record the gang characters because we don’t want a goofy L.A actor who went to a fancy school trying to be a hard gang member,” said Jones.

“There’s nothing worse than that, so just go find the terrifying people and say ‘can you come in here please?’"

These “terrifying people” proved to be more than the gun-toting thugs Jones sought out, and would sometimes draw down on the script, correcting dialogue they felt wasn’t accurate.

“They look at the lines and say, ‘I wouldn’t say that,’ so we say, ‘OK, say what you would say?’” Jones related.

"There’s a lot of sessions where we would just throw the script on the floor. ‘This is is irrelevant, let’s just work on something real.’"

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