If and when you fire up Mafia III, you’ll be greeted by a message before the game begins from developer Hangar 13. This Novato, California, based studio takes a moment to address the racism they’ve elected to portray.

It reads as if Hangar 13 knew they were treading into risky territory with Mafia III, electing to portray a volatile era in American civil history in an area of the country known for its deep-seeded cultural divide. The developers made that choice consciously, and they’ve taken time to make sure that players understand what they’re getting into.

It also says a lot about the gaming medium in general. Can you imagine if Forrest Gump opened with a screen like this one? Or Driving Miss Daisy? How about if To Kill A Mocking Bird‘s Harper Lee expressed the same sentiment in her book’s forward?

It’s great that Hangar 13 opened with this, but it says a lot to me about the maturity of the gaming medium. I don’t mean that in the sense that gaming is filled with immature fans; instead, I’m suggesting that the youth of the art is on display with a message like this one.

Either way, kudos to Hangar 13. Back into Mafia III I go.