On grand theft auto

Speaking of parody vs satire… Any thoughts on GTA 5 and if it’s satirical or not?

Grand Theft Auto V is both parody and satire. On a narrative level, it’s an amalgamated parody of an entire genre of crime fiction, but on a thematic level, it’s a searing satire of contemporary American culture.

Likewise, the city of Los Santos is meant to be a parody of Los Angeles when taken as a whole, but at a granular level, the memetic elements of the Los Santos universe (the various objects, characters, landmarks, and institutions) interact and behave in ways that are satirical.

Normally I’m not one for video games, but I was sort of fascinated by GTA 5 as a culturally significant document. The ability to explore an open world version of Los Angeles was more fun than I ever thought it could be, and I was surprised to find how well-written and complex the game’s narrative and environment actually was.

That being said, please know that I am fully aware the game is brutally violent and eye-rollingly misogynistic. Duh. I’m not apologizing for the game’s obvious shortcomings, but I will give it credit where credit is due.


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