The Crushing Banality of Everyday Life

I should probably be reading a book or spending time with my kid.

Month: October, 2013


I was playing Far Cry 3 when I reached a cut scene where you have sex with one of the female characters. She appears topless, her breasts painted but uncovered.maxresdefault

At first I was like, holy cow! I was really shocked. It is literally the first time I have seen a topless woman in a video game. And then I thought, “why am I shocked by a topless woman, but not by the hundreds of pirates I have stabbed through the throat, shot in the head, or set on fire throughout the course of the game?” It’s bizarre to me that nudity is a no-no in video games but graphic violence is ok. 100% of people playing a video game have seen a woman topless, or will see a woman topless in their lifetime. Hopefully very few people playing video games will see someone stabbed in the throat, dismembered, shot in the head, or otherwise brutalized. Boobs are used to feed human babies. They have an actual functional purpose. But no, if our kids see sexy images in a game, it might irreparably harm them. But violence? No biggie.



I bought GTA V the day it came out. It’s the first time I have ever bought a game on the day it came out since Sonic Tuesday in 1992. I traded in Saint’s Row the Third for my copy, but still ended up paying over fifty bucks for it. I got home, loaded it up, and excitedly started to play it. And after a few hours, I left it aside and went back to Far Cry 3. 


The problem with GTA V is the same problem with all of the GTA games: the gaming mechanics aren’t always that much fun. In the early missions you do a whole lot of drive here and pick up this. Which means you are essentially commuting in L.A. traffic in a video game. That’s not my idea of a great time. Then there are the cop chases. I have never enjoyed running from the cops in GTA games. It is just not a fun thing to do. Whenever I can, I use a cheat to reduce my wanted level to zero. I don’t get the appeal of having to try to drive away while cars that vastly overpower yours ram into you.

The game also relentlessly pushes buttons. There are so many N bombs that it makes me, who listens to tons of explicit rap music, uncomfortable. It’s like South Park in that it is a big offensive satire of everything, and tries to have its cake and eat it to. It’s ok to be super sexist if you are making fun of sexism, right? It’s ok to be racist if you are making fun of racism. And it’s ok to have a torture scene where the player has to torture someone, right? Cuz that’s edgy, yah? 

Whatever. The game looks pretty and it is fun driving around the fake L.A., but playing it has reminded me why I have owned every GTA game since GTA 3, but finished none of them.