Since I was a little boy I’ve been playing games. Over the years I’ve plugged a thousand million zombies, nazis and gangsters. Spent a good chunk of my life driving, shooting and racing. I’ve lived a pretty diverse virtual life – I’ve won a skate contest in tokyo, lead an army of celt warriors, burnt down a cannabis field using a flame thrower and delivered newspapers to the grim reaper. All that without leaving my room.
As you know, I’m VERY into games. Its amongst my life goals to design graphics for a videogame company. Hopefully one as prestigious and respected as Rockstar games.
It was the christmas of 2002. At the tender age of 11 I had my first encounter of freedom within a computer game. Before Vice city, games shoehorned you to the conclusion providing you jumped and shot when they told you. Vice city changed this- after the first mission the game let you out on recess- telling you top go do what you want for a while. Given the choice to go explore the map I soon found myself trying to unsuccessfully hold up a hardware store, before being chased down miami strip in a stolen sports car, then to car blowing up into a black charred out chassis, running from the cops with one magazine left in my handgun, they sent a helicopter which was my last sight as a spooked sunday morning driver ran m£e over as I tried to hijack a 50s custom. It was game over but my mind was blown.
Rockstar games give you a beautiful narrative in a richly detailed environment. But for me the real fun has been found in the controlled anarchy between the cutscenes and missions. I have fond memories of doing drivebys through digital 90s gangland Los Angeles, chasing down outlaws on a black horse to gatecrashing a drug deal between russian mafya and yardies , stealing the drugs and leaving nothing but dead bodies and empty bullet casings in my wake. Its these themes and freedoms that make them the worlds premier game developer.
Whilst they pay homage to pop culture from film noir to historial decades. They also make there own iconic scenes. Who can forget james earl cash stalking an abandoned zoo hiding in the shadows from a gang of ex army mercs? Or max payne shooting his way through rios favelas with a sawn off in each hand? Or hunting bears in the north east american forests. I will never forget these amazing moments. I hope they continue to influence me and change the way I see things.
Roll on spring 2013, and the realise of GTA5- I tell ye I’m going to crash a fighter jet straight through that damn blimp.