Ever hear of Grand Theft Auto, the multi-million dollar video-game franchise? Ever played any of the games? Don't bother answering that, because in two days you'll probably be home in front of your big TV running over pedestrians and causing random chaos. See I'm not one those lucky few who would get to experience what is quickly being billed as probably the greatest interactive achievement since Ocarina of Time, I'll probably be moping around the web collecting information about the game and playing it inside my head. As a citizen of this fine country I can only do so much, come to think of it I can actually relate to Niko Bellic, the central character of GTAIV, but this is not what this post is about.
Going around doing stuff you'd normally be thrown in jail for, this is what GTA has always meant to the average joe, for me its also about something much more; discovery, exploration and atmosphere. I remember logging into San Andreas for countless hours just driving around and absorbing all the sights and sounds of the places, sometimes I'd stumble onto a new neighborhood and sometimes I would be completely lost somewhere mid-mission and not even care that I just let my entire posse go up in flames.
I just read IGNs review of GTAIV and quite frankly I was completely blown away reading about the effort Rockstar North has put into to make the game as immersive as possible, how pedestrians would fumble in the rain trying to open their umbrellas and scouring for respite (I particularly liked the bit about the Sax player) and how the world would change its tone accordingly.
I don't go out much; my relationship with the city is limited to me walking around the roof of my building at nights. During those hours I just keep staring at the buildings and the dimly lit streets watching commuters, homeless people and rickshaw-pullers curse at each other over some loose change, and a little mood-music doesn't hurt either. I always promised myself that before I go kickin' the bucket I would allow myself to truly explore my habitat with some music playing behind (kind of like Elizabethtown only without Kirsten Dunst leaving all those annoying messages).
I can't believe I actually typed all this down and that too over the Internet...seriously I was just talking to myself about a potential blog post that would end up a disaster and I actually went ahead and did it. Oh well guess I can expect some comments about my perspective...right?