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This Is Weird

April 29, 2008

So up at GamePolitics, the news regarding GTA4 is mostly… positive. People saying that GTA does not inspire kids to join gangs, that most people realize it’s a game, and overall it just seems like the controversy is a lot lower than for San Andreas (with one obvious exception but did we expect any less of him?). This is very surprising.

Let’s recap the last four years. Every day, somebody has blamed an act of violence on GTA3 or San Andreas (interestingly, never Vice City). It’s inevitable that somebody will blame GTA4, but people seem to be taking it much more lightly. Is it because of the numerous “Perfect” scores the game is getting? Possibly. It’s usually a bad idea to bad-mouth something accepted by the majority to be high quality. Usually. But I highly doubt that’s the reason, since that’s never stopped people before.

So what do I think is the real reason behind people not being as up-in-arms over GTA4 as they have been toward past GTA games? I believe it has something to do with the fact that this game plays out more like a regular crime film than any of the past games. It’s more along the lines of “Pulp Fiction,” “Snatch,” or “L4YER Cake.” These are all movies that people love, and I honestly can’t recall anyone claiming that these movies would turn people into monsters. So I think what has happened is, now that there is a new GTA, people have realized that they were wrong about GTA3/VC/SA, but they don’t want to admit it. They’ve realized that those games were just trying to be the “Pulp Fiction” of games but all they saw was what was on the side of buses (despite the fact that these ads were brilliant), in TV commercials, or what some so-called educated people said about the game without ever doing their research. However, for this game, Rockstar took the right approach: they developed the trailers in the same way Quentin Tarantino would develop them. And let’s face it: everyone loves crime movies.

Will it stay like this? No. Someone will eventually spoil the fun for us and blame GTA4 for making them kill prostitute. Until then, let’s enjoy being good guys just for a few days. By the end of next week we’ll be the enemy again. Nothing to worry about.

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