1. The world's best reading app

    Great articles, no ads. Get started for free.

    The GuardianTom Bissell3/21/1025 min
    12 reads4 comments
    The Guardian
    12 reads
    You must read the article before you can post or reply.
    • KapteinB
      7 months ago

      I've played most GTA games, but never finished any of them. I've always reached a mission where I really struggled with the difficulty, and after half a dozen tries or so I took a break from the game and never returned. Yeah, I'm a quitter. It's not a good quality, but it saves me a lot of frustration. Maybe it's a better quality than having an addictive personality though?

      GTA4 is one of the few in the franchise that I never played. For some reason it didn't really appeal much to me. Maybe it was the more realistic approach to game design compared to the more cartoonish games for the previous console generation. It just didn't look quite as fun to me. Also, when I eventually bought it (on sale) and tried to play it, it required Games For Windows Live to run, which was notoriously buggy and unstable. I couldn't get it running, and as usual, I gave up after a few tries.

      What many without direct experience of the games do know is that they allow you to kill police officers. This is true. GTA games also allow you to kill everyone else. It is sometimes assumed that you somehow get points for killing police officers. Of course you do not get "points" for anything in GTA IV. You get money for completing missions, a number of which are, yes, monstrously violent. While the passersby and pedestrians you slay out of mission will occasionally drop money, it would be hard to argue that the game rewards you for indiscriminate slaughter.

      If I recall correctly, the first two GTA games actually had a score system, gave you points for kills, and significantly more points for killing police officers. The first game had a sort of mini-game where you would get a score multiplier and a shout-out if you were able to run over an entire line of Hare Krishnas. So it may be a misconception now, but it's based on an old truth.

    • DellwoodBarker7 months ago

      I had no idea going into this read just how propulsive and engrossing it would be: 10. Takes the reader for quite a Black Mirror-esque ride regarding addiction.

      Side note: Started watching The Squid Game with a motley crew last night (omg…talk about addictive!) and we brewed Folgers. I have never done coke personally, but I. Cannot. Drink. Folgers. It gives me heart racing like no other coffee. I can’t help wondering if it is a parallel experience.

    • jpclem017 months ago

      Well written. Please don’t interpret my comments as an attack, but when I read this essay, it’s hard not imagining the author as middle class and white. Indulging in this way is just not an option for many. (Of course, yes, I’m middle class and white…clearly, I should just shut the F up too).

    • Ruchita_Ganurkar7 months ago

      There are times when I think GTA IV is the most colossal creative achievement of the last 25 years, times when I think of it as an unsurpassable example of what games can do, and times when I think of it as misguided and a failure. No matter what I think about GTA IV, or however I am currently regarding it, my throat gets a little drier, my head a little heavier, and I know I am also thinking about cocaine.

      Writing and reading allow one consciousness to find and take shelter in another. When the minds of the reader and writer perfectly and inimitably connect, objects, events and emotions become doubly vivid – more real, somehow, than real things.