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Dream Pursuit: How Grand Theft Auto Defines The American Dream

Categories: American Dream

Grand Theft Auto is one of the most controversial video game series of all time. The Rockstar Games made the first entry in 1997.The whole series has been criticized for its depiction of torture, misogynistic views of women, gang violence, and much more. However, the game’s controversies seem to have helped fuel its record-breaking sales.

In September 2013, Grand Theft Auto V broke industry sales records and became the fastest selling entertainment product in history, earning US $800 million in its first day and US$1 billion in its first three days.

It´s one of the most expensive video games ever developed, with a budget of around $265 million. Since its release in 2013, it has sold 90 million units, amassing to $6 billion, making it the highest grossing media title to date. It has recently become the single most profitable commercial entertainment product of all time.

Grand Theft Auto V is an action-adventure game played from either a first-person or third-person view. Players complete missions to progress through the story.

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Outside of missions, players can freely roam the world. Composed of the San Andreas countryside area and the fictional city of Los Santos, the world of Grand Theft Auto V is much larger in area than earlier entries in the series. The world may be fully explored from the beginning of the game without restrictions, although story progress unlocks more gameplay content.

Players use melee attacks, firearms and explosives to fight enemies, and may run, jump, swim or use vehicles to navigate the world. In combat, auto-aim and a cover system can be used as assistance against enemies.

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Should players take damage, their health meter will gradually regenerate to its halfway point. Players respawn at hospitals when their health depletes.

If players commit crimes while playing, law enforcement agencies may respond as indicated by A ‘wanted’ meter in the head-up display(HUD.

On the meter, the displayed stars indicate the current wanted level. Law enforcement officers will search for players who leave the wanted vicinity. Players arrested or killed by officers during missions may restart from the last checkpoint. The meter enters a cooldown mode and eventually recedes when players are hidden from the officers’line of sight.

The GTA Series evolve through the time. Its graphics improve from 2D, 3D, to high definition 3D. Every 3D entry has a radio system which allows players to enjoy music of the time when the game was set. The music of different styles in different languages was the most touching part of GTA.

The narratives also improve along the time. More dialogues are added. The protagonists of each entry have different backgrounds. They live and struggle in different cities of America to achieve the same American dream.

More game play features are added. And the latest entry GTA V has an open world allowing the players to do anything, drawing the beautiful picture of the American lifestyle.

With the new technology of Sony’s console Play Station 2,the goal of the GTA III was to create an interactive crime film for the video game players. The GTA III was set in the Liberty City, which was based on New York City in 1998. It created a vivid world of capitalism, in which all kinds of gangs constantly fought against each other.

GTA Vice City was set in Vice City, based on Miami in 1986. It was inspired by the 80s movies like Miami Face and Scarface. At that time Miami was suffering the drug deals. The game went into the topic.

GTA San Andreas is not inspired by a city but 3 cities in 1992.

Los Santos in the game stands for Los Angeles. Los Angeles is the home of Hollywood. In Beverly Hills live the most wealthy people in the United States. In contrast to the people’s place of residence, Los Angeles also has a large number of black slums where black gang culture and hip-hop culture prevail. Black gangs like to distinguish their gangs in color, and the US West Coast’s two black gangs Blood and Crips likes to represent himself in red and blue respectively. The two gangs kill each other. In the game, the protagonist CJ’s Grove Street Families and the rival gang Ballas respectively slammed the two gangs.

San Fierro in the game represents San Francisco. San Francisco is the main residence of Asian immigrants, so the gang here is also dominated by Asian gangs. San Francisco is also the main residence of Mexican and other Latin descendants. There are also some Latin American gangs.

Main Asian gangs are Triads(the Chinese gang), and the Vietnamese gang (Da Nang Boys), as for the Latin gang, there are three in the game. Los Santos Vagos, Varrios Los Aztecas and San Fierro Rifa.

The third city is Las Venturas, inspired by Las Vegas. The Las Vegas casino is dominated by the Italian mafia and mainly from the mafia families of Liberty City, Leone family and Sindacco family.

GTA IV was set on Liberty City in 2006. The protagonist of GTA IV comes from the former Yugoslavia. After the civil war, his cousin moved to Liberty City to begin a new life. His cousin boasted to him the great American life. And he later came to America to seek his own American Dream, along with his revenge.

GTA V sets back in Los Santos of 2012. It has three protagonists. The Theme of the GTA V is the pursuit of the all-purpose dollar. After the Financial Crisis, the creators were interested in the topics of money. There are all kinds of missions with monetary reward. The three protagonists are a black young man from a poor family, a former bank robber living in the mansion in Beverly Hills dealing with his mid-age family issues, and his crazy friend who went with robbery with him and survived.

In the opening of the game, the cutscenes gradually appear in front of you: beaches at dusk, golf for upper class people, speedboats in the water, climbers hiking, beauty and caravans, villas and mansions, yoga, ‘dangerous’ colored people, gardeners, bank robbers with mask and guns, unemployed people, graffiti culture, oil industry, officers chasing criminals, helicopters and fugitives, Hollywood (In the game it is ‘Vinewood’) . The magical thing links these together is: American Dream.

‘When we have enough power to arm ourselves from the outside, can we get enough courage to face our own heart?’

Reference

  1. Kushner, D. (2012). Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto. John Wiley & Sons.
  2. Tobin, S. (2014). Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto. American Journal of Play, 6(3), 419.
  3. Meza-Maya, C. V., & Lobo-Ojeda, S. M. (2017). Formación en valores sociales en adolescentes que juegan grand theft auto V. Revista Latinoamericana De Ciencias Sociales, Niñez y Juventud, 15(2), 1051. doi:10.11600/1692715x.1521726012017
  4. Ruch, A. W. (2012). Grand theft auto IV: Liberty city and modernist literature. Games and Culture, 7(5), 331-348. doi:10.1177/1555412012454221
  5. Gabbiadini, A., Bushman, B., Riva, P., Andrighetto, L., & Volpato, C. (2017). Grand theft auto is a ‘sandbox’ game, but there are weapons, criminals, and prostitutes in the sandbox: Response to ferguson and donnellan (2017). Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 46(12), 2460-2466. doi:10.1007/s10964-017-0731-3
  6. Salter, M. B. (2011). The geographical imaginations of video games: Diplomacy, civilization, america’s army and grand theft auto IV. Geopolitics, 16(2), 359-388. doi:10.1080/14650045.2010.538875
  7. Chien, I. (2008). moving violations. Film Quarterly, 62(1), 80-81. doi:10.1525/fq.2008.62.1.80
  8. DeVane, B., & Squire, K. D. (2008). The meaning of race and violence in grand theft auto: San andreas. Games and Culture, 3(3-4), 264-285. doi:10.1177/1555412008317308
  9. Miller, K. (2008). Grove street grimm: Grand theft auto and digital folklore. Journal of American Folklore, 121(481), 255-285. doi:10.1353/jaf.0.0017

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Dream Pursuit: How Grand Theft Auto Defines The American Dream. (2021, Feb 19). Retrieved from http://studymoose.com/dream-pursuit-how-grand-theft-auto-defines-the-american-dream-essay

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