From gameinformer.com: The thing that old people don’t understand is – you know if you’ve never heard Bob Dylan, and someone listened to him for 15 minutes, you’re not going to get it. You are just not going to understand. You have to put in hours and hours to start to understand the form, and the same thing is true for gaming. You’re not going to just look at a first-person shooter where you are killing zombies and understand the nuances.
I’ve finally done some online gaming a couple of times, playing GTA IV with a couple of people. I also have The Orange Box. I bought it mostly for Portal, but I’m amenable to the idea of Team Fortress 2. At some point I need to find out whether my USB headset works with the PS3.
Last week, Sony finally released a PlayStation 3 bundle that actually shipped with the rumble controller included, rather than expecting people to spend an extra $60 to get one. The bundle also comes with Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots, the new iteration of one of my favorite games. This new MGS4 bundle promptly sold out everywhere online. So on Saturday, while rothko was helping to run a local election, I figured I’d try a few stores to see if anyone had one in stock.
In part 1, I talked about the history of video games. In part 2, I talked about how GTA 3 differed from earlier games. Now I’ve finally reached the payoff: discussion of criticisms of GTA. Getting off on a technicality Let me first return to the media controversy of GTA, and start off by talking about prostitutes and murder. You’ve probably heard the horror soundbite: GTA encourages players to have sex with prostitutes and then kill them.
In part 1, I talked about the development of video games to date. I explained how we ended up with games with complex multi-path plots, and games with worlds modeled in true 3D. However, game developers started to hit problems when they began trying to build 3D games with complex plots… The complexity problem The issue of managing game complexity had been discovered by text adventure programmers back in the 80s.
You’ve probably noticed that a new Grand Theft Auto game is out, GTA IV. As usual, the release of a new GTA has resulted in a new round of articles criticizing (or outright excoriating) the game. I’m a big fan of GTA. I’ve played every 3D GTA game from start to finish. As such, I feel I can provide an informed perspective on the game series. I see a number of annoying misconceptions and deceptions repeated time and time again, the most infamous of which is the claim that the game rewards you for killing prostitutes.
Let’s have a quick fact check here: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas is rated M by the ESRB, meaning it is rated as unsuitable for anyone under the age of 17. The rating label notes “Strong Sexual Content”. The game features a mission where you rescue a prostitute who is being raped and murdered by two johns. It allows you to have sex with bikini-wearing prostitutes in your car, accompanied by bouncing suspension, steamed-up windows and explicit sound effects.
I have Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. In my hands, right now. You may worship me. Working across the street from the mall has its advantages…
After many days, I feel the first twinges of boredom at Grand Theft Auto 3. Maybe I’ll do something creative tomorrow.