Game Design Games Marketing/Business

Questions about GTA IV

Corvus has Some GTA IV Questions.

The controversial game has been blasted by the media, the government, and parents, while simultaneously being praised by video game reviewers and fans. While the game is generally about being a criminal in a sandbox environment, plenty of critics have argued that the “point of the game” is to earn points for killing cops and prostitutes. Anyone who has any passing familiarity with video games today knows that games don’t feature scores as ubiquitously as they once did, so such complaints tend to be dismissed as out of touch even if the concerns behind the complaints are valid. Namely, should this game BE so entertaining to such a large number of people?

Many people seem to think that Rockstar’s creation is the epitome of games as art. Corvus has some good questions about the supposed artistic expression of this game, focusing specifically on the infamous prostitutes.

Feel free to answer them, or argue, or just think about them for a while and make up your own mind what the answers to them mean about the franchise.

I would suggest you head over to his blog to see the questions for yourself. There is already a bit of conversation going, and many of the comments are insightful … or inciteful!

So tell me how GTA IV is social commentary, precisely. Tell me how the developers aren’t encouraging you to treat the women within the world like objects. Tell me how providing only the most base and vile of options in an interactive medium is art. Tell me how depicting an entire professional population as empty receptacles of man’s anger and hatred even comes close to the artistic expression of the Godfather movies. Tell me how my objection is to the portrayal of sex and not the atmosphere of violence in which it take place.

[tags] video games, gta iv, grand theft auto [/tags]

One reply on “Questions about GTA IV”

Ah, I can’t honestly call prostitution a “most vile option”, really. That’s definitely overstating it. It’s certainly a less vile job than being a politician or lawyer. It’s less vile than being a news anchor.

But the big problem is that if you could treat the whores in various other ways like he describes, THAT would be the game. “Grand Prostitution Auto” or something.

All of the humans in the game are tokens. They are all pointless, battered stereotypes. It’s just as easy to point out that the series denigrates immigrants, latinos, blacks, whatever.

I don’t like the game at all, but picking out the whores as a special sore point is an exercise best reserved for sensationalist media. All of it is bad.

I guess I should post this on Corvus’ blog, but he’s got like two dozen posts already, and I don’t like jumping into things midstream…

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