Now, don’t get me wrong here, I enjoy playing Grand Theft Auto. I’ve played quite a few titles and have fun each time. It is an inherently enjoyable game that gives the player an ability to roam an enormous land of various environments with a sense of such complete freedom that dozens of games just wish they could compare to. Millions have been put into each game, and I can easily see and understand that it has paid off. Rockstar has produced a fantastic franchise that these days, is one of the big dogs of gaming, and I wish it nothing but good will in future. But, as a consumer, there are several reasons why I’m really not that tickled by the game.
I’ll play it, sure, but I don’t love it. I wouldn’t buy a game, I’d just play someone else’s. Why? Well, be prepared for one of those annoying feminist rants, but its because GTA is brutally sexist. It is. No one can deny it, just go play ten minutes and I’m sure you’ll find a prime example in no time. Women are almost exclusively relegated to strip clubs, violent sex scenes and the oldest profession in the world. I’m not implying that we should replace every single one of the GTA gals with Amish folk, but this is just ridiculous.
It doesn’t give a good impression when one of the first missions is to pick up a prostitute (one of the few women in the entire game) who’s half naked and all over you the entire time. What was next on my busy schedule? Off to the strip club to cure my wallet’s terrible one dollar bill infestation. Could they not have tried a little harder to put other kinds of women in the game? We do exist. Its normal for a game to choose a certain kind of audience, a male audience in this instance, but did they have to kick women out of their market zone so strongly? I want to play the game, but the sexual stereotypes of my gender hurled in my face at every corner make it hard to enjoy.
When I play GTA, I feel like the makers behind the game gave no thought to the female gamers out there. They thought about the male audience, or at the very least their dicks. Meanwhile, gamers hoping for a little more thoughtfulness are neglected. The developers don’t even make a token attempt to hide the misogyny that their games are full of.
I don’t mind nudity, and I don’t mind sexual women. With a game as over the top as GTA, I’d be shocked if they were totally absent. But when that’s all women can contribute to the story, I start to wonder if I can microwave the disc without starting a fire. By this point, I’ve turned to Tomb Raider, to the Last of Us, and to Bioshock Infinite, all games that do not disregard their female protagonists as mere sex symbols. It’s a shame, as I do enjoy nearly every other aspect of GTA, but this is such an issue for me, that I can’t help but hold feelings of distaste towards the franchise for their blatant abuse of my gender. I feel like Rockstar doesn’t want me to be a part of their franchise, so why should I be?
Annoying feminist rant over. Sorry about that. But what do you think? Is GTA sexist?
Editor’s Note: I’m keeping an eye on the comments. Keep them civil. Any sexism/harassment will not be tolerated. This is your only warning.
Someone call the wahmbulence. Please explain to me why every game has to be marketed to the widest audience possible? GTA is pretty much a manifestation of every adolescent male and post adolescent males deepest fantasy. If it was a movie it would be an action movie not a rom com. This game is the response to every nagging uptight girlfriend (or mom for those youngsters out there) in existence.
No one’s trying to have GTA appeal to the widest possible audience. She’s not asking Rockstar to throw away the explosions and car chases. She’s just asking that they don’t alienate an audience that likes that stuff, but doesn’t like being told that based on their gender that they are nothing but sex objects and uptight party-poopers.
Games are for everyone, not just men. Think about what the sexism in GTA says about how Rockstar sees us, their target demographic. They think we’re a bunch of immature, sexually regressed, brats and the only women in our lives are either telling us to clean our rooms or have dollar bills in their waistband. Doesn’t that feel insulting to you?