Is Boston being torn asunder by ‘GTA’ ads?

Boston’s subway system has come under fire from community activists and politicos, who are calling for the removal of ads for RockStar’s video game Grand Theft Auto: Vice City Stories. I ride the MBTA every day, and frankly, the urban-cartoon-ish artwork of assorted drug lords, street punks and molls isn’t all that memorable. Nor are the ads particularly graphic. But with violent assaults on the rise this year, nerves are understandably frayed. A city councilor and various clergy and advocates have written a letter of complaint to subway general manager Dan Grabauskas. Since the ads have been up for a few weeks, it’s a fair guess that the T has collected enough revenue from RockStar to begin taking them down. (Or maybe the system will dig in its heels; after all, it has stuck by that unsettling “Charlie Ticket” icon.) Eventually, we’ll return to ads for the latest iPods, Nike footwear, cinematic action thrillers and luxury condo developments. And that will make our little corner of the world a kinder, gentler place. Won’t it?

—Posted by David Gianatasio