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It's Grand Theft Auto Day!

4/29/08

and I don't care AT ALL. This is the game that has had the anti-video game-violence folk in a tizzy since the first one on the PC let you run your car into other cars. Honestly, I haven't liked one since that little top-down PC game let my little pixel-person carjack people and run around. My good friend Chris is super excited about it, and Audrey sorta liked the last one. I just don't think it's fun at all.

To put this in perspective, Hollywood was worried that the Iron Man movie will have poor box office numbers because so many people will be playing GTA4. Apparently people just won't be able to tear themselves away from the couch to go sit in a cinema and watch the extravaganza that will be Iron Man.

Here's what the Penny Arcade guys say about GTA4 and Gran Turismo (a hyper-realistic racing game). I agree with them on both counts.

"Grand Theft Auto - like Gran Turismo - is a game that we have a difficult time integrating into our consciousness. Gran Turismo got this way by being an uncompromising simulation of something we don't care about, a blisteringly high-resolution image of a ketchup packet or a strip of bark. Ketchup fans and bark enthusiasts are going nuts, they'll pay forty dollars for part of the image. I played the second one a million years ago, earned enough money to wash my virtual car, and then quit the series forever.

Grand Theft Auto has had another problem, or rather, we have had a problem that intersects with what the game offers: the raw, virtually limitless opportunity presented is paralyzing, a sheer face with no purchase. We're always impressed by each world's livingness, but historically the story structure - the obvious thread that we can grip and pull ourselves along - is hung about the neck with frustrating, repetitive gameplay. We end up burning out on free roaming in a couple days, taking random missions or sitting in a parking lot listening to the radio. I feel guilty, because there's probably no game more "important" globally than Grand Theft Auto. I certainly feel like I'm looking in on what I consider my own community. It never seemed to bother anyone else that the core of the game wasn't much fun, so mostly the whole thing just makes me feel like a crazy person."

So, to wrap up: Don't care about GTA. I am giddy in anticipation of Iron man. I don't want to write any more term papers. I certainly don't want to take this test in logics.

Post Comment
Chris M said...

A valid criticism of the GTA series. This installment does a pretty good job of keeping you busy, so you usually know what you are supposed to be doing. But if you don't like earlier GTA games, you won't like this either. And also: good blog, sir.