I have a confession to make. I'm a feminist, and I fucking love Grand Theft Auto.
The story is interesting enough to be a movie in itself (or at least a direct-to-cable movie). The characters are well developed, well acted, and funny. The gameplay and controls are intuitive, and music is good. The map is insanely detailed, and you're always coming across something you didn't know was there. The "sandbox" setup gives you many, many possibilities to complete your missions, and if you don't feel like playing the storyline, you can go knock around the city and cause some random mayhem.
Speaking of random mayhem: someone told the Feministing ladies that you can kill the prostitutes in GTA, and all hell broke loose
. Ordinarily, I love Feministing, but Samhita is flat-out wrong here.
Their major points, judging from the original poster and the comments, seem to be: Oh my god! That's terrible! I am shocked, SHOCKED that this is on sale!
The game is called "Grand Theft Auto
". Don't tell me you were expecting Cooking Mama. Children shouldn't be allowed to play this!
That's why it's got that "M" sticker. If you see kids playing it, feel free to call their parents. Actually, feel free to call their parents ignorant twits, because that's what they are.But but but it's sexist!
Not disagreeing with you there. There's not a lot of positive portrayals of women in the the GTA series. And the strip club stuff is just flat-out demeaning. (Also pointless, unless you happen to like pixelated soft-core pr0n.)
The largest audience for games, and the main consumers of games have been young men, so most games, even the PG-rated ones, tend to skew male. Some companies have tried to make games specifically for girls, but honestly.. they suck. If you're a lady who likes action games, you're stuck playing as a male avatar, or just dealing with other manifestations of a sexist mindset.
But this is a problem with a lot of games. Women tend to be portrayed as ho's, double-crossing ho's, or princesses in need of rescue. Even playing a woman protagonist, most of the time she's very obviously designed to appeal to adolescent boys. I'm looking at you, Lara Croft. You too, Rayne. But video games aren't the only source of rampant sexism. There's movies, TV shows, politics, fashion... It's pretty short-sighted to single out GTA as public enemy #1 when there's enough sexist crap to go around.
[Fortunately, it's changing. It's a glacial change, but video game companies are gradually coming around to the fact that woman *gasp*
play video games. Guitar Hero, Super Smash Brothers and Dance Dance Revolution are all kickass party games that don't objectify women. Unfortunately, first-person action games haven't quite caught up yet.]BUT YOU CAN KILL PROSTITUTES OMGWTFARRRRGG!!!!
Taken as a standalone thing, that's pretty fucked up. But describing GTA as "the hooker-killing game" is like describing The Sims as "the game where where everyone pees their pants."
You can kill *everyone* in these games. Men, women, hippies, rollerbladers, cops, old people, construction workers, rival thugs, and yes, hookers. It's an equal-opportunity nihilism. Unlike real life, if you're caught killing a hooker, you get the exact same number of cops on your ass as if you had killed a white guy in a business suit. How's that for progressive values? :P
Unless something has radically changed in this new incarnation, going on a sex-worker killing spree has never been part of the story line. But, yes, given the open-ended "sandbox" format of the game, I could
depart from the story line for a while to go kill hookers if I felt like it.*
I could also depart from the story line to drive a limo backwards through an alley, mow over some innocent bystanders, run off a jump, flip over a four-way intersection and land upside-down in a crowded shopping mall.
And yet, you don’t see AAA freaking out that GTA will cause our innocent, corruptible, youth to try and flip their cars through the mall. The GTA universe is so divorced from reality that it's practically a cartoon. If you're trying to emulate GTA, please do the world a favor and quit blaming your significant problems on a video game when the rest of us sane people can differentiate between fantasy and reality.
But what really chaps my hide (eats my quarter?) is when people start off their objections by saying "I HAVE NEVER SEEN OR PLAYED THIS GAME, BUT I HAVE FORMED STRONG OPINIONS…" There are actually a surprising number of them on the site above, including the author of the original post.
I say balls to your strong opinions, sister. Reforming video games to be less sexist won't come from a gaggle of scolds freaking the hell out over something that they've admittedly never played. It didn't work for Tipper Gore, it didn't work for Jack Thompson, and it won't work for you. I'm sure Rockstar will appreciate you doing their marketing for them, though. Rockstar's whole schtick is based on cultivating a "macho" image-- hysterical shrieking about how "video games corrupt the childrens!" just feeds into that.
However, if they started getting complaints from the not-insignificant number of women who actually play
GTA saying "the prostitutes are lame and sexist" you're damn right there would be some changes made.I guess what I'm getting at, ladies who don’t-play videogames but have no problem condemning them, is Shut. Up. Don't pass judgment on a game until you've either played it or at talked to someone who does. I'd like to acknowledge your womynity by giving you a supportive space to share your feelings, but this kind of "think of the children!!!!" hysteria makes gamers look like nihilistic sociopaths, and adds to the stereotype that feminists are humourless gits. As someone who's both, I don't appreciate it.
And ladies-who-actually-play-games, if you're playing a game and the sexism bugs you that much, speak up and tell the game makers. Write some emails and tell them exactly why their game sucks. Better yet, tell them why you don't want to buy the sequel.
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go cause a little vehicular wo/manslaughter. :D
killing the ho's is actually a tedious way to get money. If you want to kill people for cash, look for a drug dealer standing around, cap him with a head shot and he'll drop a giant pile of dough, and sometimes a weapon. Score!
Tags: feminist rant, games