GTA V is an ambitious game, to say the least. It seems like every mission you complete in the main story, you unlock a new activity to do; skydiving, off-road racing, darts and tennis are all present and accounted for. But none of these activities surprised me as much as the ability to turn on the TV and go to the cinema, and actually watch things. And it’s all completely optional – I didn’t even realise you could visit a cinema until I was tens of hours deep into the game.
When I finally did get round to checking out the local cinema, and the film started, after only a minute or so I was expecting it to end. (As it happened this particular film wasn’t The Loneliest Robot in Great Britain, but a parody of an Italian arthouse flick… I don’t know the name and can’t find it on YouTube sadly.) Surely, I thought, this “film” will only last for a few minutes, kind of like a trailer. But no, it kept going, and going, and going.
OK, so the “movies” in GTA V aren’t 90 minutes long, they’re more like 10 minutes, but still! Of course being a Rockstar game, you’re in for a subversive, lewd parody of one thing or another, The Loneliest Robot in Great Britain being a case in point. In this case, I don’t actually know what the film is based on (British animated films like Wallace and Gromit maybe?), but regardless, I think it’s a cool, well-written, wonderfully animated short film, and compelling viewing in its own right. And just the fact that this short film – along with several others, most of which I haven’t seen – was made specifically as part of a videogame, was made in fact to be a diversion from the main game, something just to kill yours and your avatar’s time? Wow. Congratulations Grand Theft Auto V, you qualify for Weird Video Wednesday.
I have an unholy interest in romcoms. I don’t think they’re objectively good, but the fact that I am the target audience never ceases to fascinate me. You want to know what’s offensive? What Hollywood execs think women want! Marriage, Cath Kidston tea towels, candles, creepily organised flat, to be white, young and beautiful, to have a gay best friend and/or black best friend to offset your problems and affirm your superiority, and last but not least, a man who cannot communicate with you…
I’ve noticed that recent romcoms are using videogames to signify a woman’s desirability to men. This is undoubtedly due to the rise of hispter culture and the fetishization of geekdom by the powers that be. Videogames have become part of the incredibly complex mating ritual that is the modern romcom. The leading lady must either embrace their inner cool or compete with a cool girl – the girl that digs comics and is a bit weird and totally love nerdy guys (it’s true they do make the best boyfriends). Continue reading