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By this point in time, I believe it’s safe to assume we’ve all been well acquainted with the Grand Theft Auto series in one way, shape or form. Whether you’ve only heard about it online, played it at a friends house or even own all of the games dating back to 1997 when it first launched on the original PlayStation. Whatever the case may be, I’m sure we can all agree on one thing: Grand Theft Auto is a booming success and is one of the most iconic franchises in video game history.
But, what exactly has made Grand Theft Auto so popular? And why do you like it so much? Are you attracted to the complex storylines? Does playing beyond the confines of the linear-style gameplay that you’re used to induce your brain with the sense of “freedom”? Is it the senseless killing that’s caught your attention? Or, is it The Message?
Now you’re probably asking yourself, “What’s The Message?” The answer is simple: The American Dream.
(Which understandably also translates into anything in life you’ve ever wanted to achieve with the odds stacked against you, because everybody is not in pursuit of the American Dream.)
The Bigger Picture:
In every Grand Theft Auto game since Grand Theft Auto III – I cannot speak on Grand Theft Auto or Grand Theft Auto II because my experience with them is either non-existent or is very limited – you play as a male protagonist going through insane obstacles from the get-go. In Grand Theft Auto III, you start the game as an escaped convict with nowhere to turn but a life of crime. In Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, you start the game in debt to a mob boss who’s constantly threatening your life if you don’t find his damn money. In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, you start the game burying your mother who’s been shot and killed seemingly by a rival gang and because of this, it isn’t long before you’re brought back into the gang life, ducking corrupt police officers and wasting drug dealers. In Grand Theft Auto IV, you play as a foreign Russian who wants nothing more but freedom, however this vision is constantly challenged by mob bosses, loan sharks, your cousin’s cowardice and everything that goes with that.
There is a reason Rockstar Games places you in these dire situations. It’s a demonstration of how far some are willing to go to achieve the inner-satisfaction we all crave deep down inside. You play through hundreds of missions pinned against enemies that want nothing more than to see you dead but for some reason you always overcome the danger. There is a reason why no matter how many times you “die,” your character manages to escape death at the last second and is treated at a local hospital. There is a reason why when police officers “bust” you and take you to jail, that they accept your bribes and you aren’t serving a life-sentence.
Underlying the murder, mischief, sex, prostitution, corruption and hatred, is a message you’ve heard a million times: You can do anything you want to do as long as you work hard at achieving it.
I don’t want to drag this on any longer than it needs to be. You get the point.
That’s The Message.Tweet this!