[HOT] : GTA VI: Will Rockstar Convert to Political Correctness? Part one.
GTA, the controversial Rockstar machine, tends to get a lot of talk. To the point of considering a change of direction?
Controversy sells, it’s no secret. From advertisers and show business stars to politicians and celebrity magazines, there are people and institutions who have mastered the art of converting an unflattering reputation into hard cash. The world of video games is no exception, far from it; just take a look at Grand Theft Auto (GTA), the goose that lays the golden eggs of Rockstar, to be convinced.
Famous for his humor that’s more caustic than a vat of acid, Rockstar never went by half measures. The studio doesn’t just set foot in it; GTA is the art of jumping in with both feet and splashing as many people as possible. All-out crime, murders galore and morality in the gutter, it is the recipe that entertained players and shocked the public since the very first opus. Fundamentally allergic to political correctness, the franchise is also distinguished by its recurrent and uninhibited use of many racial, religious, cultural and identity stereotypes, which is not to the taste of all observers.
Because if it is the raw violence and the omnipresence of drugs that were at the center of all the debates around the first episodes, the public’s attention has gradually turned away to focus more on very current issues; we can thus mention the racism or representation of the LGBTQ + community. And knowing Rockstar who has always taken pleasure in pressing on sensitive points, it’s absolutely no wonder that GTA V has aroused so many reactions.
GTA, a showcase for intolerance?
One of the themes that has given rise to the most debate in recent years is certainly the condition of women. Everything has changed since the revelation of scandals like that of Harvey Weinstein, from which the MeToo movement started. With the arrival in the public sphere of concepts such as rape culture, these questions and issues have also burst into the industry, video games being no exception.
Many titles have been re-examined in the light of these events, including GTA. And for certain groups of observers, the latter has become the typical example of a positioning that no longer has its place in entertainment. It starts with the fact that the vast majority of the protagonists of the series are men. At the same time, women often inherit more ancillary roles, even if it means serving as to show off to unflattering personalities. After all, we have to admit that it’s been some time since we had the right to a female character as outstanding as Catalina, present in episodes 3 and San Andreas. Shortly after the release of GTA V, Edge magazine considered, for example, that “all women in the game exist only to be mocked or ogled”.
An opinion shared by Carolyn Petit, whose criticism of the game helped ignite the powder. Despite the excellent she gave to the game (9/10), the then editor of GameSpot still considered the game to be “deeply misogynistic”. In her sights: the female cast, which she says is limited to “strippers, prostitutes, grieving widows, humorless girlfriends and clumsy neo-feminists”. Not really flattering.
A position not devoid of foundation and which indeed deserves to be debated at a relaxed pace; except that this text in particular quickly became the subject of a passionate spat. For a while, a real open war raged on the Internet. On the one hand, a first group is aligned behind Petit’s opinion and proclaims loud and clear that these are inadmissible misogynistic drifts. On the other side of the spectrum, his staunchest critics have embarked on a veritable campaign of persecution, with over 22,000 comments (!) On his article, a petition for his dismissal and even threats.
On the thorny subject of GTA, everyone seems to have their opinion. It is not a question here of arguing in favor of one or the other camp. What is interesting to note, on the other hand, is that certain topical questions which are igniting the public debate at the present time are taking more and more place in virtual universes, such as video games. This is particularly the case of the fights and questions of the LGBTQ + community.
For some time now, Rockstar has been regularly accused of homophobic and transphobic drifts. We remember for example the outraged comments in reaction to one of the main characters of GTA V, who sometimes greets transgender prostitutes with a “Hello, sir. I mean, ma’am. Well, whatever ”; a response particularly badly received by some observers. More recently, it was the new GTA Trilogy Remastered that stood out for similar facts. The same observers are outraged that Rockstar has chosen to keep a controversial mission, which consists of murdering a gay man to protect his partner’s reputation. We can also cite this article by Kotaku, which suggests that the transgender community is represented in the game in such a way as to “actively fuel the hate stereotypes of certain players,” as if everything were “calculated to be ridiculous and repugnant to the players who bring back the game. their pre-existing transphobia in the game ”.
GTA has also been attacked in another area that has gained significant media exposure over the years: racism. At the release of GTA V, everyone could see the little cavalier behavior of the police. But some went further, and believed to detect real abuse in virtual law enforcement. Just type “Racism in GTA” on platforms like YouTube to find dozens of videos which all show examples of situations. interpreted as racist by part of the public.