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Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure

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Marc Eckō's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure is a video game released on February 14, 2006. It was developed by The Collective, Inc. and published by Atari under license by Marc Ecko. There were two editions of the game, one being a limited edition and the other being the normal release.

The game focuses on an amateur graffiti artist known as Trane who uses graffiti and tagging as a way to protest against the corrupt Dystopic city of New Radius, in a future world where freedom of expression is suppressed by a tyrannical, Orwellian city government. The "Contents Under Pressure" title refers to the warning found on most aerosol spray paint cans.

The gameplay is set up like a non-linear fighting game; the story progresses in a linear fashion, without the player needing to complete side missions, as in Grand Theft Auto III, but a certain amount of freedom and open-endedness is available to the player as they complete "Tag Wars" in the first part of the game.

The musical score for the game was produced by underground hip hop artist RJD2.


Ecko has described the challenges of developing the game in interviews.[2] These range from a missed Black Friday release date ("The code just wasn’t ready."), to communicating his vision to the developers ("The gaming community has a natural tendency to take anything cool and make it cartoonish. That was a big learning curve.") and the banning of the game in several markets ("I think it’s demonization of graffiti, demonization of technology, the generational disconnect. I think videogames are just a misunderstood medium."). There is planning for a Getting Up 2 TBA later this year in 2010.


The Game is split into two halves. In the first half your main goal is to make a name for yourself using graffiti, known as "getting up". Early on in the game you are beat up by rival graffiti crew known as the Vandals of New Radius, or VaNR. Throughout the course of the story you meet different graffiti legends, get revenge on the VaNR, start your own crew called Still Free Crew, and show the public that you are not a "toy" (an inexperienced graffiti writer). You also fight with the Civil Conduct Keepers, a government controlled police force, and soon discover they have been fueling the war between you and the VaNR. In the second part of the game you ally with the VaNR to publicly humiliate and expose the CCK. To your shock, you find out that the CCK's plan to "eradicate" graffiti artists is simply to kill them. You also find out that Mayor Sung killed your father some years ago as part of some conspiracy plan to get into office. After the CCK destroy your hideout and kill your mentor, "Decoy", you go all out to expose Mayor Sung and the CCK for what they did. After a series of "artistic attacks" that include painting the side of a bridge, putting up hundreds of posters, defacing government propaganda billboards, and dropping thousands of anti-sung pamphlets from a government blimp on New Years, Sung resigns from office and all his anti-graffiti campaigns are dropped.


Still Free Crew (SFC) This is the protagonist's "crew" in the game. It was created after Trane saved Kry-1 from some VaNR crew members. Kry-1 actually had to talk Trane into making a crew and even came up with the name. The name, Still Free Crew, comes from the words "Still Free" on Trane's hooded jumper. The crew members are Trane, Kry-1, and later White Mike. Their base is located at the abandoned art school.

Trane, aka Coltrane Crowley, is the main character of Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure and is voiced by prominent Hip hop artist Talib Kweli. He begins the game as a self-centered amateur in the New Radius graffiti community, but as he progresses through the game he becomes swept up in the struggle against the corrupt Mayor Sung and his personal police force, the CCK. Even as a legend he continues to write illegally.
A fast talking kid who seems to know a lot about what is around him. Trane saves him from some VaNR punks early in the game. Kry-1 is always getting into trouble with VaNR for some reason or another, and has had embarrassing run ins with Spleen in the past. He seems to be considered a "Toy" as almost all of his pieces seen in the game have been gone over by other artist, notably Dip.
White Mike
A massive albino that isn't afraid to fight, White Mike can be a great ally, or an even greater enemy, depending on if he likes you or not. Though Trane fights him early in the game and steals his paint, "Renegade" White Mike later joins the protagonist due to a mutual friendship with Kry-1.

Vandals of New Radius (VaNR) The antagonist "crew" of the game. The members include Gabe, Dip, and Spleen. There are also many other nameless members that the player constantly encounters throughout the game. They worship the New Radius Stunners basketball team, particularly one player, #33:Van "Vandal" Dallister. Their base is in the abandoned section of the meat factory.

The leader of the crew. He's scared of heights, so he usually has his henchmen tag his own graffiti at heaven spots (places that are life threatening, such as highway signs). Still, he will face his fears if the opportunity to write is too great to pass up. Early on, Gabe "vamps" Trane, beating him and stealing all of his gear besides his blackbook and his marker. Following this, Trane designs some comedic tags to mock Gabe. Later on, the two are grudgingly forced to combine their efforts to combat a greater evil, though their rivalry persists. He is later on presumably killed after a fight with Trane, being left to fall off the side of an elevated subway station under construction/repair, after revealing that after having a gun held to him by the cck he has told the CCK where Decoy lived.
Gabe's Bodyguard, ends up killed or caught by the CCK. He carries around a machete and owns two pit bulls:Dulce and Bomba.
Gabe's main ally. He always wears expensive clothes and becomes upset when they're damaged. He uses his belt as a combination whip/brass knuckles when fighting. He may have a particular grudge against Kry-1 as most of his pieces seen in game go over Kry-1.
Gabe's girlfriend. While she may not technicality be a member of the VaNR, she does often join them when they go tagging. She witnesses Gabe and co. beating up Trane, to her dismay, and ends up having feelings for him. She later helps Trane escape the abandoned meat factory after he defeats Spleen in a fight.
WWA (Wrong Way Assassins)
It is a crew that can be found somewhere near the highway. The members are Stake and Cuda, and also some nameless characters. Trane meets them after tagging the highway with Gabe. He also meets Cuda later, when tagging the CCK HQ.

Government Officials

Mayor Sung
The mayor that sends the message that art is a crime, and tries to make the town look better. Even though he is Trane's enemy, he wants to know more about him and ultimately get him shut down. Sung is the leader of the CCK, the anti-graffiti death squad. Sung also killed Trane's dad on 9/06 some years back. This becomes the focus of the 2nd half of the game. (voiced by George Hamilton (actor))
Police Chief Hunt
Sung's right hand man, Police Chief Hunt's only goal in life is to "eradicate the rats that plague New Radius", referring to the graffiti artists. He leads the assault on the SFC base and later is ironically killed by the fire he started. Trane tries to save him, but is later framed for his death after video of Trane jumping towards Chief Hunt to rescue him is edited to make it look like he pushed him. (Voiced by Adam West)
CCK (Civil Conduct Keepers)
The CCK are a government controlled police force that attacks any criminal suspect with lethal force, so long as no news cameras are present. They carry body armor, gas masks, and batons. Higher ranking CCK wear silver armor instead of the standard orange and some carry rifles.
Vandal Squad
Often disguised as hobos, the Vandal Squad seems to be a section of the CCK whose only purpose is the eradication of the graffiti artists. Unlike standard CCK, the Vandal Squad do not wear gas masks and have different styled armor, though it is also orange. They also carry electric batons.

Graffiti Legends

Best described as a "Bronx bomber and destroyer", Cope2 has been present since 1983.
Now a professional artist, Futura has been around since the 1970s.
Known for his stickers of André the Giant, Shepard Fairey(Obey) is a graphic designer from Charleston, South Carolina.
Born in the Bronx, he was featured in the documentary Style Wars and his tag is known worldwide.
T Kid.
Another great graffiti legend, T-Kid teaches Trane how to create aerosol murals.
After his brother "Sane" died in the 80s, Smith keeps his name alive. He has been sued by the city of New York for painting the Brooklyn Bridge. Smith is also one of the biggest subway bombers around.
One of New Radius's most wanted artists, he is wanted for his extensive knowledge of Miguel Sungs crimes of 9/06. His pieces are of the military art style which probably hints at his service in the army as a Sergeant. His stencils also resemble Banksy's stencils and may have been inspired by him. He is first met at the pool yard after Gabe beats Trane with his crew. His death was the result of Gabe's idiocy. "Decoy" is a fictional character and not a real life graffiti legend.

Controversy in Australia

Template:Wikinews The Australian ABC News channel has reported that Getting Up was refused classification in Australia after its initial "MA15+" rating was overturned after appeals by Queensland's Local Government Association, effectively banning its release in the country. The Federal Classification Review Board, responsible for reviewing the game and concluding to refused classification of the game (under a majority 3 to 2 decision), cited that the game promotes, and provides instruction for illegal graffiti and real-life graffiti artists.[1] Marc Ecko stated that he was extremely disappointed with this legal move.

The full review board report, including case-by-case analysis of contentious material, may be found here: [3].


Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure received average to positive reviews, scoring 69 out of 100 ("Mixed or average reviews") in Metacritic's average. It received positive press from a few outlets, scoring 87% in GamesMaster magazine, and 8.7 out of 10 on GameSpot. Common criticisms were related to the game's presentation, controls, and camera, although many outlets were impressed by the potential of the concept, and hopes for a more refined sequel. Edge magazine gave that title a 4/10 score and thought it ironic that the game was unpolished, given that it is "based on a culture of reputation, craftsmanship and leaving a mark". Official US PlayStation Magazine was disappointed that the game was "so damn serious" in comparison to Jet Set Radio, a title with a similar premise.

In early 2007, MTV Films signed a contract to make a film for the video game, No info on filming has been released at this moment. In Early 2009, Info got out about a 2010-2012 Release

Penny Arcade criticized the game, calling it "God's punishment for an evil world."[2]

In an interview in Metro New York,[3] Marc Ecko was outspoken in his response to these critics, describing gamers as "the guys who got wedgies in high school" and "divas" with a "predisposition to have a bug up their ass for anything urban", who dismissed the game as riding on the coat-tails of Grand Theft Auto solely for having a black character on the cover. The reviewers, he says, are "slaves to the code" and not "slaves to the branding, products, or experience" as he would prefer, and they unfairly compare the game to better-received titles, such as Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time. He admits that the game was "not as precise as I would have liked to see", blaming the game's failures on system limitations "that people just can’t understand", and that the title was "as polished as you can make it on a no-hard-drive console like the PS2".


  • GameSpot's Best Licensed Music Award 2006
  • Spike TVs 2006 VGA's Gamer's Choice-Breakthrough Performance award for Rosario Dawson
  • Spike TVs 2005 VGA's Best Wireless Game award.


The following are some of the confirmed songs for the game's soundtrack

In August 2006 Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure won the MTV Video Music Award for best Video Game Soundtrack.

Official Mixtape

Prior to the release of the official soundtrack, and the videogame itself, Marc Ecko, Talib Kweli, and DJ Exclusive put together an official Mixtape to help promote the up-coming video game.

See also


  1. Marc Ecko’s Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure refused classification upon review, Australian Government Classification Review Board, 2006-02-15
  2. Lies and More Lies, Penny-Arcade, 2006-02-17
  3. Marc Ecko: From fashion to videogames by Robert Summa, 2006-02-27.
  4. [1]

External links

fr:Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure pt:Marc Ecko's Getting Up: Contents Under Pressure

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