GTA V: Do with it what you will

In this second play through, I focused on how immersive GTA is to help break down just what makes this game so appealing to people of so many ages. The three narratives the game designers created are extremely deep and allow the player to feel emotionally connected to the character(s). One unique aspect of GTA V is the game designers made it extremely easy to mod, allowing players to add hundreds of different objects, abilities, etc. in order to keep gameplay fresh. I was able to add my own mods to the game, making my character invincible and able to call a helicopter at a moment’s notice. Doing this made the game way more interesting, allowing a non-experienced player, like myself, to explore even more of GTA’s space. In my opinion, these mods are as important to the game as the initial game itself, especially because of their ability to extend the game’s life for experienced players.

An image from the game highlighting its controversial portrayal of stereotypes

The many critics of GTA V point to the game’s emphasis of violence, sexual depiction of women, and obvious racial prejudices as reasons it should not be played. After going through the second round of playing, it is easy to understand the detractors; however, I think the reason GTA V is so popular and important culturally is the fact that it highlights everything that is wrong in today’s world. Possibly the most unusual part of a video game this violent is what happens when the player chooses to do nothing. The mise-en-scene goes from one reminiscent of an action-packed thriller to one depicting the average hustle and bustle of a major city. I believe the game designers were attempting to make a point: The crime, racism, and sexism that is so often portrayed in the media, is completely avoidable. Just as it is in GTA V’s digitally remade environment, wrongdoing is always a choice.

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