Nothing brings gamers together like the chance to rob a bank, play as a violent sociopath with staggering anger management issues or take your Rottweiler for a walk. GTA V has all that, and more. I’m digging the game, I truly am. But of course, the game has critics. Because something this big just has to have an ulterior motive. Or at least some excuse to slap a tinfoil hat on for.
So here’s where folks are getting vocal. They’re saying that GTA V has no female characters making a grand entrance. That women are presented as either objects of lust, negative role models or something to poke fun at.
And yes, that is true. 100% correct true. My issue here though, is that they’re not the only people/gender/group getting ribbed. That’s the beauty of GTA. Everyone gets made fun of. Sure, Franklin’s aunt may be a money-grubbing relative who shouts gender-empowerment quotes as she barely makes it past the driveway. I could see that as being offensive.
And then I see long-time GTA character Lazlow Jones being rendered as an absolute failure in life who is stuck hosting a flash in the pan reality show so that he can maintain some level of relevance while he proceeds to mime having sex with Michael’s daughter. The fictional Lazlow that is. His real life counterpart must have rhino-thick skin to put up with the onscreen abuse he suffers in GTA V.
The males in GTA V are just as thoroughly bad, vapid and genuinely terrible as the female characters. But that’s the point. Los Santos is pretty much where dreams come to die, where people chase fame no matter the cost.
For every hooker out on the streets, there’s an absolute turd of a human being waiting in a dumpster ready to snap some pictures of a celebrity, or an adrenaline junkie who helps balance the ridiculously over the top aggression of an exercise group. Everyone is insulted. And maybe that’s not so bad after all.
Is some of this content tasteless? Absolutely, yes it is. But again, that’s the point. Here’s an even wilder theory though: Maybe there is no conspiracy. Maybe Rockstar just wanted to make a great game. I doubt that the crew involved sat around a table and had weekly meetings about how to screw over a gender.
It’s just a game. And maybe by not having any female leads, that makes a decent statement. Sure, it could be a missed opportunity, but we all knew well ahead of time that GTA V would have no playable female characters, until the online section arrives that is. If Rockstar wanted to make a game with only male leads then fine.
Because maybe there was no real good reason to have a female lead. It wouldn’t have changed the rest of the game. Trevor would still be running around high as a kite and Michael’s ungrateful children would still be prime examples of why couples should practice safe sex. I mean, just look at Trevor. I’ve brought him up several times, but just look at him. Honestly, I’m the one that should be insulted. But when I get off my high horse, I love the guy.
Maybe I’m ranting too much about this. After all, all I want to do is just sit down and enjoy a couple of hours of raising hell in Los Santos as one of several homicidal stereotypes. And even with those criticisms, none of them dilute the absolutely phenomenal experience that GTA V brings to the table.