Grand Theft Auto V is an unnecessarily violent facsimile of your boring life

I haven’t got to that torture bit yet, nor have I encountered a massive amount of misogyny in Grand Theft Auto V at this point. I won’t talk about that sort of thing anyway, because disgust/outrage often goes hand in hand with serious criticism of games at the minute, and I’ve proven time and time again that I’m not interested in - nor capable of - serious criticism at this stage in my life. That isn’t to say that I don’t appreciate examining a cultural product within its cultural context. As games become more aligned with mainstream entertainment they will clearly have to answer for their more childish, offensive, violent and sexist preoccupations. These topics need to be discussed, and the people who make games, especially the games aspiring to be - or simply finding themselves - as broadly enjoyed as more established forms of entertainment, need to accept their responsibility and act accordingly. At the same time, however, I think it is far too easy to single out these transgressions, write fifteen hundred words lambasting them, leave it at that and wait for the cheque and/or peer group congratulation ceremony. It’s completely valid, certainly, but it’s also numbingly obvious, and I think that there are already too many people repeating the same core concerns and ideas. They are important concerns, to be sure, but I’m a cynic and so find it terribly hard to believe that every one of these voices comes from an entirely altruistic place. Thus, I will leave this type of discourse to the individuals more suited to or happy to enter into it. They are already doing a good job of it as it is, me joining them isn’t going to speed up the changes that need to occur within the medium.

That out of the way, let us again explore my go-to topics of choice; the missus, video game mechanics and brewed under licence European lager.