Grand Theft Auto 5: A Female’s Perspective

Yesterday I decided to bite the bullet and see what all the fuss about Grand Theft Auto 5 was about.

Upon arriving at my boyfriend, Joe’s, house I announced that I wanted to give this so called “best game ever” a try. My request was met with a slightly uneasy look, before I was told that I would have to wait my turn as the game had only arrived a few hours earlier and apparently, it’s not a two player kind of thing.

Whilst I was waiting for my turn on the controls, I reflected on my previous gaming experiences. I liked the one where we had to shoot zombies, as I felt it helped to prepare me somewhat for the apocalypse. I like Fifa too, because you can choose what style of kit your team wears and it tricks my brain in to thinking I’ve done some exercise (we won’t mention the time I played Wii Fit and was told I had the fitness level of a 63 year-old). However, I could tell there was something about this game that wasn’t quite as light-hearted as all the others I’ve played.

First of all, I have to address the overuse of the N-word. At first I thought maybe there was some kind of fault with the disc, or with my ears. Surely they weren’t allowed to use such an offensive term at the end of every sentence? “Do you wanna go to the store, n***a?”, “N***a, get out my way!”. The characters have names, I know this because I saw them when I was instructed to “get my phone out and ask my homie to hang”, so why don’t they use them? This was the first of many things to truly baffle me.

Secondly, I was extremely unnerved to find that someone who I have known to be gentle and caring could lie in bed gorging on sweets, and casually beating people up with a look of manic intent on his face. When I lectured him on the fact that shooting a bus driver and then taking the bus hostage wasn’t funny because it’s exactly the sort of horrific event you hear about on the news, I was told that I simply didn’t understand the point of the game. I proceeded to ask what exactly the point of the game was and received a rather vague response about there being missions, and money… and strip clubs. Of course, I should have known better than to ask such a broad question whilst he was in the middle of a drug deal. Who wants to spend their spare time partaking in virtual drug deals?! My boyfriend apparently, and yours too. Us girls should really re-evaluate who we choose to hang out with.

When I was finally awarded the handset I asked the age-old question “So, what are the controls?”. My incompetence was met with a tedious eye roll and I was informed of the basics. My initial thoughts were, “why can’t Franklin (one of the three protagonists) run any faster than this?”. Despite me jamming down the ‘A’ button, he seemed incapable of moving at more than a snail’s pace even though he apparently had a lot of important things to attend to. I was then informed that social protocol dictates I should probably steal a car, or something. I stealthily (I had accidentally clicked down the left stick, putting me in ‘stealth mode’) approached an unattended car and managed to break in to it.  Upon being asked if I wanted to go to a strip club, the gun shop or the golf club, I decided that playing golf might be quite fun.

I hit the road at a steady pace, and pulled up to a red light so as to avoid being run over by a two ton lorry. My actions were greeted by a grimace from Joe and a telling off for abiding by basic traffic laws, something that worries me seeing as he’s in possession of a provisional drivers licence in the real world as well as the virtual one. Not wanting to anger him further, I sped up and crashed in to multiple trees before pulling up on the golf club’s putting green. Golf turned out to actually just be golf, which surprised me. It got boring pretty quickly… maybe if I had stuck with it longer someone would have attacked me with a bazooka, or something.

After much protesting, I agreed to pay a visit to the strip club. After entering, I threw a lot of money at the dancers in the hopes they might buy some warmer clothes. However, my actions had the opposite effect and they actually stripped off all their clothes and gave me a lap dance. I was given the options to ‘compliment’ and ‘touch’ them. After hearing the best compliment the game had to offer (“Yikes, you look fine gurrrl!”) I decided enough was enough, shot a bouncer, and demanded it be turned off.

All in all, my Grand Theft Auto experience was an interesting one. I stand by the fact that the use of language is disgusting and unnecessary, and there is nothing entertaining about virtually creating the kind of terror that you hear about on the ten o’clock news. However, I’ll admit that I did get a little bit caught up in the mob mentality when I shot that bouncer. And punched that guy. And stamped on that guys head… But it’s not something I’m proud of!

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