Travel to NYC With Grand Theft Auto?

The upcoming version of Grand Theft Auto (GTA) — the popular video game known for it’s morally ambiguous stance on violence — will be set in New York City.

Not surprisingly, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg is a little upset — particularly because you can earn points in the game by killing police officers.

While the new GTA technically takes place in the fictional “Liberty City,” you’ll recognize plenty of famous landmarks and tourist destinations — including the Statue of Liberty, Coney Island’s Cyclone and the Brooklyn Bridge.

GTA supporters point out that countless violent movies are set in the city, including those that feature the gritty reality of murderers, prostitutes, organized crime — even corrupt police officers. They don’t see the difference between these films, and the game — which they call an art form.

I actually haven’t played GTA since the very first version came out years ago, and didn’t realize the game’s fantasy environments were based on real locations. Who knows — it might be a fun way to get a feel for the city without leaving your house.

That is, if you don’t mind stealing cars and shooting people in the process.