April 23rd, 2008

Having lived in New York City this past summer, it’s strange to watch the Grand Theft Auto IV trailers, with their images of faux-New York. When the street-ravaging, prostitute-abusing violence took place in someone else’s city, it seemed so breezy and carefree–i.e. unreal. With images of Times Square and the Brooklyn Bridge floating around, however, it’s impossible for me to deny the real-ness of the fictional crimes taking place in my semi-real city. “Hey, my subway used to go by there every day. I saw someone actually beat the crap out of someone else on that very corner!”

For me, the locale also gives the game a much grittier feel than past GTA titles. Maybe it’s because I’ve walked down such similar streets and thought about crime in such a different way (the please-don’t-steal-my-purse way, to be exact) that I can’t say the game holds all that much appeal for me. After spraying the streets of NYC with blood in True Crime, all I really want from GTA IV is the ability to walk down an electronic version of my old street in Prospect Heights packing heat. Now who’s the badass who can walk home from the subway by herself at night? Huh? Huh?!

Tags: Blog

5 Responses to “For This Ex-New Yorker, Grand Theft Auto IV Hits Close to Home”

  1. Scott Jon Siegel Says:

    On a totally related note, here’s an article detailing the history of New York City in video games.

    While the realistic depictions of NYC are cool, I find the arguments for older abstract games more interesting. According to the author, Pac-Man is meant to represent the Financial District (decidedly unlikely, given the game’s Japanese origins).

  2. Dan Says:

    I remember reading about NYC in Spiderman 2, which was also a game that let you free-roam. They had an interesting time trying to license the likenesses of all of the buildings, some of which are apparently intellectual property.

    Also, completely unrelated to this post, my first thought when reading http://www.feministe.us/blog/archives/2008/04/10/submit-to-mighty-jill-off/ was “why wasn’t this on Heroine Sheik yet?”.

  3. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    You’re link is broken, Scott. To fix it, as it sounds pretty cool.

    And thanks so much for the link, Dan! The game’s creator is a minternet friendly, and I’m excited to play the game and report back :).

  4. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Ah, Scott, perhaps you meant this.

    It’s a really handy write-up, though I do wish there was more analysis. Ooh, I could do that analysis :). Expect a post soon…

  5. Bonnie Ruberg Says:

    Ah, Bonnie correction: I was thinking of a different lovely internet lady with the word Anthropic in her name. Sorry!

    (also, three comments from myself in a row. should be some sort of self-promotion record…)

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