Thursday, May 01, 2008

The surprising narrative richness of Grand Theft Auto IV. - By Chris Baker - Slate Magazine

Er, if you say so...

As you'd probably expect from the reputation of the series, Grand Theft Auto IV includes—let's quickly consult the label—blood, intense violence, partial nudity, strong language, strong sexual content, and use of drugs and alcohol. Yes, concerned teenage boys of America, if your parents are irresponsible enough to let you get your hands on this, you can still kill and maim and plunder and screw until your heart is full. But there's a difference this time: The violence is no longer cartoonish. Shoot an innocent bystander, and you see his face contort in agony. He'll clutch at the wound and begin to stagger away, desperately seeking safety. After just scratching the surface of the game—I played for part of a day; it could take 60 hours to complete the whole thing—I felt unnerved. What makes Grand Theft Auto IV so compelling is that, unlike so many video games, it made me reflect on all of the disturbing things I had done.

The surprising narrative richness of Grand Theft Auto IV. - By Chris Baker - Slate Magazine

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