Popular court TV judge Greg Mathis has partnered with filmmaker Matty Rich to create the unique video game Mathis Detroit Street Judge.
Set to be available for the X-Box 360, Playstation 3, and PC, the third-person shooter will tell the fictional story of Detroit felon La-Ron Washington, who is trying to re-enter society with two strikes over his head.
His last chance to go straight is immediately compromised when he is framed for the murder of a high-ranking Detroit crime boss.
If Washington fails to clear his name, he will receive a game ending third strike and life sentence from Judge Mathis.
An avid gamer himself, Mathis reportedly brainstormed the project after countless hours of playing Grand Theft Auto, Madden, and NBA 2K9 with his sons.
Unlike similar games, Mathis title gives players the option of changing the characters lifestyle by performing community service, and shunning illegal activities.
As a former gang member himself, Judge Mathis hopes the game will drive home to young players the consequences of street life.
“I see this game as a way for young players to be part of the glamorous thug life that is so popular in Hip-Hop culture without them actually indulging in the life, Judge Mathis explained to Yahoo.com. “Video games allow you to obtain the fulfillment of their fascination with that lifestyle without being in it. We’re not going to stop the violent genre of video games like Grand Theft Auto, so instead you try to engage it in a way that allows them to obtain the fulfillment they’re looking for but also give them the choice of having a mainstream, successful life.”
While blockbuster games like GTA add elements of satire and pop culture references, Mathis is aiming to drive home the heavy emotional burden real life gangsters carry due to their professions.
“The main difference between our game and Grand Theft Auto is that players will have to deal with the justice system and consequences for their actions,” Judge Mathis stated. “When you go to prison, you gain credibility when you come back on the streets. On the other hand, when you go to prison you can also be raped. So take your chances.
Collaborator and director Matty Rich (Straight Out of Brooklyn, The Inkwell) recently founded the gaming company Matty Rich Games, and previously worked on the game 187 Ride or Die.
Mathis Detroit Street Judge will be the first game through his new company, and Rich has secured a first-look deal with Warner Bros. Interactive to publish the title.
As press time, Mathis Detroit Street Judge does not have a release date.