GTA goes marxist

gtaThere is an interesting review of GTA (that’s Grand Theft Auto for those of you who use computers for working) IV on Open Letters Monthly website. GTA has long been one of the most successful video game franchises and has made headlines with both its innovative way of mixing different game genres as well as its violence and adult themes – which has made it hugely popular among adults as well as adolescents and children. It is probably also as close as you can get to a true crossover phenomenon – in addition to what seems to be pretty solid scripting, GTA features names such as Michael Madsen, Burt Reynolds, Dennis Hopper, Samuel L. Jackson, Chris Penn, Kyle MacLachlan, Ray Liotta and many others in its cast of voice actors.

The article above, however, is first and foremost concerned the social commentary that the fourth installment of the game provides. It seems to play on similar kind of alienation and paranoia that was evident in latest Batman movie or Watchmen and features several interesting choices – such as casting its protagonist as an immigrant and therefore providing an outsider’s view of the game’s playground: USA. And in doing this, it doesn’t offer any easy and clear-cut choices between good and evil.

This all makes me actually want to try it out (I have a very limited experience with GTA from several years ago). The only thing I’m really worried about is that since many characters seem to be of Russian origin this would probably mean having to endure hours and hours of less-than-subtle dialogues in fake russian accents.


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