Grand Theft Auto V And Women

Grand Theft Auto V and Women

If you're driving north, up the west coast of Grand Theft Auto V, as I did in the 40th hour I was playing the game, you might spot a crashed car smouldering in the long ditch between the northbound and southbound lanes. The car doesn't appear there every time. The man who was in the car appears to be dead. A woman lies nearby, presumably thrown from the vehicle. She's alive, but she's hurt. She is asking for help. She's one of GTA V's strongest female characters, though in this game, she only gets a handful of lines.

The woman's name is Taliana Martinez. You learn this as you slow down enough to help her out. She'll get in your car, after which you'll be able to drive her to a clinic to get medical attention. Along the way, she'll tell you her story.

Of the three GTA protagonists, I was playing as Franklin when I met Taliana. The conversation was between the two of them.

Taliana was the getaway driver for a crew of crooks who screwed up. One of them got caught. She blamed herself, to some extent, but she didn't blame herself for the crash. The guy who was in the car with her — her remaining partner — had pulled a knife on her. They crashed. He got what was coming to him.

Taliana is a low-level, rough-edged crook. In that way, she was like the Franklin I had started playing 40 hours earlier. In the 40 hours since, Franklin had met another of GTA V's playable protagonists, Michael, who became his mentor. In the scene with Taliana, the now-seasoned Franklin is, however briefly Michael to this new, young criminal's Franklin.

The Taliana scene seems to occur somewhat randomly. I'd driven past the part of the highway where she had crashed before. I'm not sure why it was there in my 40th hour. By that time, I only had one major heist left available to me in the game. So, when I dropped Taliana off to get medical attention and saw that this activated her as an available driver for any future heists, I decided I'd add her to my crew. A few minutes later, while planning the game's big final heist, I chose Taliana. That action amounted to virtually pinning her black and white photo to a planning board.

Grand Theft Auto V and Women

I noticed that Taliana's stats — her grades as a henchman — were high. But the portion of the take she was asking for from this big heist was low.

Michael was at the planning scene. As I lingered on Taliana's picture, he said something. "This girl, Taliana, she's supposed to be good, and she'll work for way less than she's worth, if you'll believe that."

Taliana: a talented woman who will work for less money. Social commentary, folks. Or maybe it was just a signal from the game's designers that choosing her was the most cost-efficient option for this decision in the game. You're trying to get the most skilled help for the least amount of money to maximise Michael, Franklin and Trevor's profits and progress in the game, after all. Taliana's not playable. Her progress doesn't count.

And that's pretty much it. Taliana is a good driver. She performs her part of the heist without any problems, at least in the version of the game's grand, final robbery that I played.

And, yes, that's what amounts to a respectable female character in Grand Theft Auto V. Of the dozens of characters with speaking roles in the game, of the many women featured as bit players in Rockstar's new epic, Taliana Martinez is the rare woman in the game who isn't the butt of a joke. She's the rare example of a female character you'd feel good about rooting for.


There has been a lot of talk recently about how Grand Theft Auto games treat women.

It's come up in several of the major reviews for GTA V. In an otherwise glowing review, GameSpot's critic labelled the new game as "profoundly misogynistic," charging that the game presents "exaggerations of misogynistic undercurrents in our own society, but not satirical ones. With nothing in the narrative to underscore how insane and wrong this is, all the game does is reinforce and celebrate sexism."

Similarly, The New York Times' GTA V reviewer criticised the game's "lack of interest in women as something other than lustful airheads."

GTA V's treatment of women came up before the reviews, in essays about the lack of playable female characters in the storyline campaign of this GTA and in the 10 or so GTAs before it.

It's come up in an interview with the game's lead writer, Dan Houser, who told The Guardian that GTA V's expanded cast of three playable characters lacks a woman because "the concept of being masculine was so key to this story."


Is GTA V having trouble with women? Yes. But I want to think that a GTA V with more Taliana Martinezes is possible.


I'm torn about all of this.

Torn because there's so much I like about Grand Theft Auto V that I'd like to like everything about it.

Torn because the role and depiction of playable protagonists is so different from those of the series' supporting cast that to wish for respectable female protagonists feels like something radically different than to simply wish for a more enlightened GTA worldview.

Torn because some of the old criticisms about being able to sleep with prostitutes and then kill them to get your money back felt off-base to me.

Torn because I'm an optimist and want to believe that there are more Taliana Martinezes in the game and think that a GTA V with more Taliana Martinezes is something possible.

Is GTA V having trouble with women? Yes. Despite it's incredible scope and scale, I'm not sure it ever manages to pass the Bechdel Test. But I'm loathe to say it's got everything wrong, because I see the green chutes of the Taliana Martinezes in there and I want to believe there's still a way to get to a GTA that gets this stuff better.


Many of the defenses I've seen of GTA V's treatment of women are that it's a game — and part of a series — that makes fun of everyone. It is true. It does. It makes fun of politicians, makes fun of bankers, makes fun of iPhone line-waiters, marijuana legalization activists, makes fun of all sorts of people.

Here's a scene early in the game where it makes fun of the worst versions of the people who might be playing the game (the voice you're hearing is Michael's son, the perpetually obnoxious, lazy pothead Jimmy):

Here's the jogger Mary Ann, one of the few female quest-givers in GTA V. She's both a spot-on send-up to people obsessed with running (I should know) and yet also one of many of GTA V's women who are presented to mock how men and women do or don't get along:

Profane and lurid as the game is, it's occasionally refreshingly progressive. You can see that in this scene from an optional mission available to Michael early in the game. But... watch it play out... watch it go from expressing a tolerance for homosexuality rarely seen in games (let alone expressed by their protagonists)... watch it get past the mockery of a TMZ-style paparazzo... and you'll see a very GTA-style sex scene, one that makes all parties involved look like idiots and casts the woman involved as a slut. Yes, this not-safe-for-work scene has it all:

Does GTA V actually give men and women equal skewering? Here's Michael and his wife Amanda, from another mission fairly early in the game:

Michael comes off better, I think, though he takes his lumps, too. But there's this difference in Grand Theft Auto between the Michaels — the playable characters — and the Jimmys/Amandas/paparazzi/starlets of a GTA world. Grand Theft Auto's supporting characters have always been fools and jerks and jokes. That's true for the male ones and the female ones. GTA V's supporting cast doesn't just lack respectable women; it lacks respectable men. Of the former, it certainly has more: the heist organiser Lester, the game's fictional movie producer and maybe Michael's friend Lamar aren't presented as satirical targets. On the female side of the ledger, I'd count Michael's ex-girlfriend, the aforementioned bit player Taliana and that's about it.

Grand Theft Auto games' main characters have been the ones we the players are meant to take more seriously. They're the ones who go through the game worlds rolling their eyes at the fools around them. This is the role Michael plays vis a vis his family. It's the role Franklin plays as he mocks his aunt's newfound sense of new-age empowerment. It's the role that Trevor bucks at by being an eccentric himself. But it is the role that perhaps was best available for a respectable female character in the game. And it's the role that Rockstar, in all of their Grand Theft Autos, has never cast for a woman (something I've repeatedly lamented for years). Imagine how different GTA's male and female supporting cast would feel if a female protagonist was witnessing and reacting to all these freaks and fools. I imagine it'd stretch the game's writers to explore some interesting new themes as well.

We don't, however, have a GTA V that stars a woman. Instead we have a GTA V that is wallpapered with jokes about sex addiction, skin care and strip clubs.

You be the judge about who the targets are here... women? Men? Women who think this way? The men who think this way about women who think this way?

Grand Theft Auto V and Women
Grand Theft Auto V and Women

We have a GTA that lets me get a lapdance from a topless woman, the surest sign of fan service to a presumably straight male gamer who won't be wondering where the male strippers are.

We have a GTA that lets me press a button to "make it rain"...

Grand Theft Auto V and Women

But let's also pause for a minute and talk about that, because Grand Theft Auto's handling of interactivity vis a vis women is worth some discussion.

Let's talk about that "make-it-rain" button. This, in a game that also lets me play darts in a bar, this in a game that lets me take selfies with my camera phone, this in a game that lets me pick up fares if I steal a taxi. Grand Theft Auto games are always making the littlest things in its world interactive. That's part of their charm. If it has a strip club, of course they'll add a make-it-ran button. And if there's a soda machine, it'll pop out a drink when you press its button. These games are full of interactivity, in as many ways as the designers can think of.

In an excellent essay for the New Yorker, Simon Parkin recently wondered how evil a game should allow you to be. A corollary to that is asking how interactive a game should be. If it has strip clubs, should you be able to order lap dances in them? If you can get lapdances, should you be able to touch the women? If the woman asks you to take her home, should you be able to do that? GTA V, like the GTAs before it, is perpetually answering "yes."


Who the targets are here... women? Men? Women who think this way? The men who think this way about women who think this way?


In the process of answering "yes" to all sorts of interactivity, Grand Theft Auto long ago let its male protagonists solicit prostitutes. In answering "yes" it long ago let you pick up money from people you killed. In being boyishly cheeky, it let you restore your character's health by sleeping with prostitutes. In being interactive at every turn, it let you give money to the prostitute for the service and let you claim the money from the prostitute after committing the main interaction available to the player vis a vis most of the characters in GTA's world: killing them. As an interlocking gameplay system operating in the milieu of a world where men behaving like pigs and you only being able to play as a man, the result is that you've long been able to kill prostitutes after you sleep with them. The sequence of actions is repulsive in the literal sense. As a gameplay system, it fits with the game's overarching design philosophy. (It's also rendered nearly irrelevant in GTA V thanks to the introduction of an automatically-regenerating health system.)

For critics of GTA, now is a good time to discuss whether GTA's designers should be saying no to some of the things they make interactive or should simply say yes to more. I'd vote for the latter. Perhaps Grand Theft Auto V itself will prove to be a laboratory for that as it expands next month into the ever-expanding Grand Theft Auto Online. I'm going to play that game as a woman, to see how its missions feel and to see if, in time, she gets to make it rain at a male strip club.


When I think about GTA V and its handling of women, I keep going back to Taliana Martinez. I've begun thinking about her as a visitor from some alternate-world GTA.

She's the kind of character who seems like she could have had a whole GTA all about her. Think about how she enters this game,

Picture the mission that introduced her that I described at the start of this piece. Picture the events she described that led her into that ditch. Imagine if those events were part of this other GTA V and that we played them as Taliana. Imagine that she is who you're playing as when she meets with Franklin. Franklin's just some sidequest guy.

Picture Taliana as the star. I can imagine her violent entry into GTA V as some sort of crashing through from this alternate GTA V. In that version of the game, the three playable protagonists include two men and a woman — her. They meet early on, and in their 40th hour of play time, they try to rob a bank or something.

The heist goes wrong, and we're forced to play as Taliana, flooring it in the getaway car, streaming up the west coast of a fictional California. Then the other surviving main character pulls a knife on her.

We swerve.

We crash into a ditch that lies between the northbound and southbound traffic. The knife guy dies.

And, in the surprise coda, we survive, picked up off the side of the road by a criminal named Franklin who gives us a chance — one last real chance — to help a crew pull off a final score. Whatever happens next could match the real ending of the GTA V we have (no, I'm not going to spoil that for you.)

I'd play that. I hope Rockstar would make that. I'd never think about a GTA the same way again.

To contact the author of this post, write to [email protected] or find him on Twitter @stephentotilo.


Comments

    So, are we going to be better than American Kotaku and not devolve into ridiculous arguments about how women should stop their bitching?

    Because that would be rad, guys. Just... fucking rad, I can't even tell you how much I would love that.

      It would be great if we could distant ourselves from that cesspool with a name change or something. Our community rocks :D

        Ok, we need a new name. Any suggestions?

      You guys offend me. It's as thought you're saying all of us americans are stupid shits. I'm not. :I And I'm not going to tell women to 'quit bitching.'
      If I'm gonna tell anyone to 'quit bitching', it's going to be every-one equally, or no-one at all.
      just sayin'

    I agree with Rockstar. The overinflated sense of masculinity, ego and downright absurd personalities are crucial to this game. So the story was written with 3 very stereotyped male personas.

    It would be interesting to have a female storyline in a future GTA. Something just as over the top. Kind of like Domino, Salt or Kill Bill. That would be awesome (also that won't feel like a female shoe horned into a generic story.)

    Cheers for a through analysis and not sensationalising (I know he's in the US, but still)

    Never played this series for this reason, and one quest NPC is not a sign of anything. Rewarding players for killing prostitutes is not freedom or satire, it's just pandering to assholes who get their jollies that way. They don't have an equivalent freedom or reward to NOT be an asshole. They know who their audience is, and I'm happy to not be it. Give me a Dishonoured or a Skyrim or a Deus Ex any day.

    If you're letting this ruin your enjoyment of a game, then you need to rethink your idea of fun. There are people who don't care who the main character is, let alone their gender. Do you have fun with the game? Yes? Then don't think about those things. Games are a medium of enjoyment, not gender issues.

      That seems pretty dumb. To begin with, what medium of any practice or genre isn't based around enjoyement? Furthermore, when it's a representative medium, of course the real world issues being represented within the medium are going be discussed. People are going to discuss gender in gaming and in all other facets of life, because it informs all of these things. What you are proposing is the discursive equivalent of putting our heads in the sand, you rube.

      To be fair, if videogames are art should they not be philosophically considered on their merits and their flaws? Also some people derive enjoyment by critiquing their videogame experiences, my guess is a professional videogame reviewer would be one such person.

      Videogames therefore are not just a medium of enjoyment to all people. There is nothing wrong with exploring beyond the superficial, people do it with books, movies, paintings, music and more, why not games too?

      Fair point about people not caring who the main character is, I mean, most of the time, the narrative of most games is based around a specific character that you have little effect on: ie, here's our story with our protagonist, you experience it through their eyes, so strap in and go for a ride. Not all the time, but more often than not. It's been like that since time immemorial and we're used to it. But with GTA, It's hard not to notice that it's been a bit of a sausage fest. Most of the female characters have had fleeting roles because they've been on the periphery of the protagonist's story. These characters stories and their environments are being presented as a social commentary in some ways, if not actively from R*, then by it's customers/reviewers, but R* aren't correcting this attitude if this is not their intention. So, there's going to be interpretive social commentary whether you like it or not, but hey, if YOU are enjoying the shit out of it, what's it matter? I mean, I'm loving the game too, but mostly, I'm getting my road rage fix. I don't particularly give a rats about their take on aspects of US culture or materialism for instance. I don't relate to it because I'm not a Seppo.

      That said though, if for nothing more than a change, I wouldn't mind seeing more fully developed female characters (ugh, bad choice of words), and I can't help but think the game would only benefit from the addition of women to the narrative. Modern day Bonnie and Clyde scenarios would be pretty cool not to mention a different attitude/perspective/profile than the clichéd, short tempered male character saying fuck every third word. It was getting long in the tooth for me even back in the GTA IV days, but that's just me and I'm not suggesting my tastes or reactions in games are in any way superior to anyone else. But, for me, it's not hard to notice. It's the deeply ingrained modder in me. I look at most games and think, "Hey, this is cool, but wouldn't be cool if..."

      Last edited 19/09/13 2:36 pm

        Art and entertainment are both reflections of the cultures in which they are made and consumed. If there are patterns in those cultures, those patterns will likely turn up in the art and entertainment as well.

        These patterns keep appearing. It doesn't have to be an issue for you and you aren't a bad person for not wanting to champion a cause that comes from those patterns. However, telling people that they shouldn't want to explore, debate, or even change those patterns when they recognise them is not your place.

          The problem with taking this position: You're working on the presupposition of what the culture represents and are simply transfixing those ideas onto a piece of 'art and entertainment' which confirms your expectations.
          Example: Joseph McCarthy's zombie starts stumbling round these parts, convinced that videogames are representative of a communist plot; Obviously true, what with Glorious Mission existing and Mario basically being prole-Italian-Stalin, the pattern is clear.
          ...damn. We've really got to challenge this insideous commie plot.

            He's totally allowed to think about, explore, discuss, and challenge.

            Everyone is totally allowed to challenge him or not engage or whatever. You didn't poke any holes.

              You seem to think i'm arguing that the game shouldn't be criticized. Ain't. I'm arguing precisely what i'm arguing. Videogames aren't sacrosanct and i don't particularly care if they are criticized, however your argument (GTA reflection on a society that needs a changin') is not either. If you approach any media with a preconceived notion as to what the society is reflecting in videogames, don't be surprised that the evidence you select corresponds with your perspective. Reds will always be under the bed if you're selective on which bed you look under and take a liberal approach to what a red is.

            If you're suggesting confirmation bias I doubt you've examined the evidence well enough.

              More to do with biased selection of evidence as to which items create 'patterns that reflect upon culture'. You could say it is similar to confirmation bias, but more to do with selection of material adopted than interpretation of that material.

          "Art and entertainment are both reflections of the cultures in which they are made and consumed."
          I agree completely.
          That said more and more people want to see it the other way, that art and entertainment drive our societies expectations and patterns, and I disagree with this, and find hypocritical when the same person agrees that computer game violence isn't an issue... but sexism in computer games makes society sexist.

          Art has always reflected the culture and social memes of it's creators, it is a reflection of (a part of) society.

          To be honest I sort of like the idea that the sort of women who hang out with criminals are idiots... smarter women whould know better. (but keep in mind I have'nt played a GTA game since GTA3)

      Yeahs ya just not think about anything

      Thinking about stuff and asking questions does not negate any fun we might have

      The author didn't even consider the idea that Taliana may have felt a sense of gratitude and obligation to the person who rescued her from a crashed car, and took her to medical attention. That would quite adequately explain the low cut.

        Except it goes out of it's way to note she is known for working for 'less than she's worth'. It wasn't a one-off favor, it is the baseline people expect for her. Unless she is so terrible a criminal that she owes everyone massive favors (Which her stats say is pretty unlikely!)

    I think Patricia is posting under Stephen's account......

      Not at all, it's obvious that whoever wrote this article plays video games!

    Rockstar's always had problems with women. RDR suffered from the same issues as GTA in that regard. Personally, the way GTA treats women is one of the reasons I have little interest in GTA 5. A majority of the women in those games get treated as nothing more than objects, and if it's supposed to be satire then they've failed horribly at it.

    A series like Saints Row does that sort of satire well, with strong and joke characters from both genders prevalent throughout the game and the ability to play a female character yourself, either in a serious manner or a joke manner. It's a series that knows how to strike a balance and never tip itself too far one way, and as such doesn't come of as feeling so blatantly sexist as GTA does, even though it's so much more over the top than GTA.

    I think having a playable female character, or even giving people the ability to create their own character for the single player side of the game, would go a great distance to helping solve GTA's problems with women. Sadly, I don't think that will ever be the case, because I really don't think the portrayal of women in these games is meant to be satire. Rockstar is a fratboy developer that makes fratboy games, and quotes like “the concept of being masculine was so key to this story.” are proof enough of that.

      RDR suffered from the same issues as GTA in that regard.
      RDR has a couple of really strong female characters and is set in an era when the main character and most of his antagonists would definitely have been male.

        Yeah I was pleasantly surprised with how not-terrible the female characters in RDR were.

        Frank Mayne
        Frank Martin
        Albert Cashier
        Richard Anderson
        Franklin Thompson
        Lt. Harry T. Buford

        These are just a few names that women took up - including their accompanying uniforms, both in the Union and Confederate armies - during the American Civil War. For some of them, their disguises failed when they were injured and needed medical treatment. Others would return home and not reveal to anyone what they did for decades. And still others we simply don't know about. There were many women who took up arms during the Civil War - obviously nowhere near as many as the men, since they were forbidden (hence the disguises), but they were there. So whenever I hear "definitely" about anything gender related, it always gives me pause.

        RDR had a couple of strong female characters, but the men and the examination/analysis of their gender were the stars of the show.

        I want to see a videogame that follows female characters with the same care and detail as the males. The only games I play these days must contain at least: complex, layered female characters and/or a customisation feature for the player character.

        (Also, it should be said, I know how to have fun. I just happen to also think it's a mark of poor writing to not develop female characters as much as males, and as such I think it's terribly distracting.)

        ps. Frank Mayne was actually Frances Day, Frank Martin was Frances Hook, Albert Cashier was Jennie Hodgers, Richard Anderson was Amy Clarke, Franklin Thompson was Sarah Emma Edmonds and Lt. Harry T. Buford was Loreta Janeta Velazquez.

        Also, there's Harriet Tubman - who wasn't disguised as the list of women above were, but she had a lot of amazing accomplishments to her name:

        Harriet Tubman (born Araminta Harriet Ross; 1820 – March 10, 1913) was an African-American abolitionist, humanitarian, and Union spy during the American Civil War. Born into slavery, Tubman escaped and subsequently made more than nineteen missions to rescue more than 300 slaves[1] using the network of antislavery activists and safe houses known as the Underground Railroad. She later helped John Brown recruit men for his raid on Harpers Ferry, and in the post-war era struggled for women's suffrage.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harriet_Tubman

      "fratboy developer that makes fratboy games, and quotes like “the concept of being masculine was so key to this story.” are proof enough of that."

      I think that's a little unfair.

      To me, GTA is like a gritty, urban gangster film. Mean Streets, Boys N The Hood, Goodfellas - the same type of vibe - determined by the main protagonists ruthless criminality. And mixed in with (fratboyish) humour.

      Personally I find that much more engaging, AND FUN, than some soppy love story as in Sleeping Dogs.

      I want to relish in being a bad ass. There's nothing to be ashamed of there.

      Until R* can figure out how they can and why they need to create bad ass female characters I see no issue.

        Love story? Did you even play Sleeping Dogs? It was about the identity struggle of an undercover cop who comes to like and sympathise with the triad gang he's embedded in. There isn't even a romance plot, except for three one-off dates and one followup mission.

          Yes I played and completed Sleeping Dogs - thanks PSN+.

          There was a love story in there.

          It was also a bromance.

          Whatever man.

          I'm stating that Sleeping Dogs was along traditional lines of a hero centric story where the protagonist is doing bad deeds for good reason.

          GTA is all about doing what the eff you want to do.

          The bad guys are bad through and through. There's no pretence. There's no sanitisation.

      I thought RDR had several strong, upstanding female characters. GTA IV also, had several I can think of

    And it’s the role that Rockstar, in all of their Grand Theft Autos, has never cast for a woman

    If I remember correctly, of the 8 playable characters in the original GTA, 4 were women. Sure that's not exactly casting a female protagonist, but it's something to be considered.

    Before Stephen got to his point, I immediately thought "maybe Taliana's low cut and high skill level is a social commentary BEING MADE BY ROCKSTAR?"

    This is the same mindset as the reviewer at The Escapist. He talks about how sadistic and awful the Los Santos society is and how sociopathic the protagonists are, but doesn't stop to consider maybe this is Dan Houser and Co. presenting a social commentary on the world as it is? Glorified violence, criminal scumbags represented as heroes, a society devolved to a consumer by-product.

    To me, Taliana looks like a commentary on the inadequacy of modern equal rights. Or maybe the character has no cash, no crew and pretty much shit out of luck; thus the low cut...

      maybe this is Dan Houser and Co. presenting a social commentary on the world as it is?
      Satire/commentary like that only really works if you give enough of a wink and a nudge to make clear that you are engaging in satire/commentary.

      If I stand around shouting sexist obscenities at women in the street, but I know that I would never really do that because I'm not really like that, it changes nothing for onlookers. I still appear to be a sexist jerk. It only works as a joke or commentary if the onlookers realise that I'm not really like that at all, and my behaviour must be seen through that lens.

      I think the problem Rockstar have is that as much as they might occasionally imply that they are brilliant observers of contemporary society, they also put a hell of a lot of things in their games which suggest that they think acting like a sexist, psychotic jerk is really, really fun.

        I'll agree there's probably a bit of pandering to the audience. But I also believe that the inappropriate scenes that are taken as humorous are all in the eye of the beholder (Dave Chappelle is a great example of this kind of thing.)

        Someone also mentioned the environment the game is surrounded in. Franklin's ex seems to be depicted as normal, but we don't hear from her for long because she's leaving that environment.

        "Satire/commentary like that only really works if you give enough of a wink and a nudge to make clear that you are engaging in satire/commentary."

        No it doesn't, perfect satire should be indistinguishable from the thing it's mocking.

          No it doesn't, perfect satire should be indistinguishable from the thing it's mocking.
          How do you go about distinguishing, say, actual race hate from hilarious satire of race hate, then?

          Without context to confirm that it is satirical, offensive/anti-social behaviour is just... offensive/anti-social behaviour.

            yes, satire does require hints it is satirical, most common is a form of ridiculousness to the situation. But some of the most clever satires are where the hints are subtle.

            I believe GTA:V conducts the appropriate level of ridiculousness to grant it it's satirical head-nod.

        "they also put a hell of a lot of things in their games which suggest that they think acting like a sexist, psychotic jerk is really, really fun."

        Yeah, but they're creating a fun game. They're not creating a documentary.

        Would you poo-pooh a comedian for making jokes that offend someone, or some group or other?

        If so, we'd be in real trouble.

        Tell me that GTA is not trying to be fun. Tell me that GTA is not trying to be funny.

        For a while, I wondered if I should get offended when I saw South Park killing children every week, For a while, I questioned if I should stop laughing at Ali G referring to Batty boys.

        But you know what, things are funny. Even if, and maybe because, they are wrong - they are taboo.

        Does watching 3 hours of Ali G make me a homophobe? No. It just makes me more relaxed.

          Yeah, but they're creating a fun game. They're not creating a documentary.

          Would you poo-pooh a comedian for making jokes that offend someone, or some group or other?

          If so, we'd be in real trouble.
          I'm not sure you understood what I was saying.

          If your question is, would I criticise a comedian for making jokes which rely on, say, sexism or racism directly for their "humour", then yes, I would criticise that. If a comedian made jokes in which he/she pretended to be sexist/racist in order to send up actual sexist or racist people, then no, I would not criticise that. My point was that in the latter scenario, though, there needs to be enough context to make clear that what is occurring is satire or parody, otherwise you are in the first category by default.

          Yes, Rockstar set out to make a fun game. My comment was about whether some of the more immature/stupid content can validly be passed off as social commentary. I think at times they don't quite give enough of a nudge to make it clear that it is. At other times, they do it well (e.g. the radio stations in GTA IV were excellent IMHO).

          I assume your "real trouble" remark is along the lines of "political correctness gone mad", which is crap. I'm not saying Rockstar shouldn't be permitted to say what they like, I'm just saying they can't get a blanket free pass for sexism by saying "it's satire!" unless it really is.

          Last edited 20/09/13 9:57 am

            The part that I'm not understanding is why we're taking a GAME that has so clearly been designed to be both fun and funny, so seriously.

            IT IS NOT A DOCUMENTARY.

              Because people enjoy analysing their games and relating them to their experiences? Why can't a fun and funny game be analysed seriously? The best comedy (apart from the grand cosmic joke that is the human race) is the stuff that makes you think as well as laugh and the fact that GTAV is good enough to make people think and seriously discuss various forms of social commentary should be another feather in Rockstar's cap.

              Also I hate to point out the logical fallacy, but isn't your criticism of people's analysis just another attempt at stifling opinions? If people should be free to make offensive or crude jokes then surely people should also be free to critique these too. Documentaries are not the only things in the world that should be criticised.

                "Why can't a fun and funny game be analysed seriously? "

                Are we both in the same conversation? I don't recall saying that.

                " but isn't your criticism of people's analysis just another attempt at stifling opinions?"

                No. To elaborate, I have no idea what you're talking about.

      maybe Taliana's low cut and high skill level is a social commentary BEING MADE BY ROCKSTAR?

      That was completely my interpretation of it.

      In real life women have a tendency to demand less pay because they feel that asking for more will lose them the opportunity. It's the same with the disabled. Probably the same with those from an overseas background.

      Seems like Taliana was in this position.

      Her cut is low because she's grateful you saved her life. It's really not any more complicated than that.

    It's essentially a game where you play as gangsters, what do you think the role of a women is in this world? Why don't we take the godfather and start cutting it down too......

      Actually the Godfather movies contain several strong female characters and specifically set out to explore and depict the clash between the patriarchal prejudices of the Corleones and their ilk and modern women like Michael's wife. So... yeah.

    Women and the treatment of women aside, after having watched all those videos I find the idea that people are getting this game for their children all the more mortifying.

      Yeah that's not cool at all, it definitely thrusts the whole strip club thing in your face.

      Jesus. I hadn't looked at it from that angle.
      Yeah, there should be a, "Dude. Don't buy this for your kid, here's why," montage on teh youtubes.

        Can we just have a video of the R18 logo on the front that goes for 10 minutes and be done with it?

    These sensationalist articles make me grind my theeth, you could pick problems with almost anything if you set your mind to it, and it works both ways. For example, why is it that The Wizard of Oz has a strong heroine (Dorothy), surrounded by weedy/indept males (Scarecrow, Lion, Oz, etc.) in fact anyone who's anyone in that film is a woman...

    Why can't people accept artistic integrity and leave it alone. Better yet, if you feel there is a market for a female version of GTA, then get off your arse and make it yourself - don't lobby other people to do your work for you.

      This is not sensationalist...no one is hurting your precious game butt asking questions stop being part if the problem

        Why does the question need to be asked? Is it unreasonable to let the content creator decide what goes into their creation?

          No it's not...but there's no harm in actually looking at these things..to say this article is sensationalist is ridiculous...was it saying the game would turn men into rapists? Was it saying its treatment of women negates anything else that was good about it? No..the author clearly liked the game

          But then you get these gamers frothing at the mouth..HOW DARE someone take a critical look at something they like HOW DARE THEY just look at Anita sarskeen...now there is absolutely nothing wrong with challenging her argument and her views..by all means that's good...but the general response was HOW DARE THIS C*** BITCH IMPLY SEXISM, I. M NOT SEXISIST YOU WHORE

          As I said criticising something does not mean condemning it...I like plenty if things that could be considered sexist...it's just some people don't want to even consider it...they just want it all to go away lest someone imply they are a bigot

          Which doesn't help anyone...and artistic integrity does not shield a creator from criticism...Thayer have the right to make what they want and I have the right to criticise it...that's the very definition of free speech

          Oh and by the way I am so fucking sick of people hand waving any criticism into "make you own games" how many tripple a games have you made recently?

            I agree with a lot of what you have written, however you have attacked me for doing exactly what you are supporting the article writer for doing; i.e. exercising free speech. I have not been rude or abrasive, and in my opinion I have put down a valid argument.

              I don't think the, "I am so fucking sick of," or "then you get these gamers frothing at the mouth," comments were directed at you, man. More using your query as a springboard to criticize a pretty common response that we see used against pieces like this.

              (Though the exchange above it was basically right on target. I don't like his first response to you.)

              Last edited 19/09/13 5:10 pm

                I'm fine with a bit of banter, but it would be nice to have some respect with it. Just because you disagree with someone, doesn't mean you need to hate them.

          If the creation of that content constantly propagates negative stereotypes, yes.

      Yep i agree with this viewpoint.

      I think it's fair enough to get offended if there's something offensive. But come on. This game is about killing 1,000s of people and we're going to get offended because the leading criminal protagonists aren't female?

      Perspective people.

      AND this isn't a game that we all have to play you know. It's not on the national curriculum.

      It's a game that some of us will choose to play some of the time.

      And we'll have fun with it.

      And then we'll go out killing lots of people.

      Right?

      But no, we have to criticise the ground breaking MALE artists for creating a game for their largely MALE audience featuring MALE characters from a MALE perspective.

      Hey Housers - will you please stop making games that you want to make for the audience you feel will make your game the biggest selling game in history and start making games that a handful of critics want you to make because they can't be satisfied with something that is only truly wonderful. They must have more.

        "But no, we have to criticise the ground breaking MALE artists for creating a game for their largely MALE audience featuring MALE characters from a MALE perspective."

        That right there is the problem.

          What is the problem?

          That the creators are male?

          That their audience is largely male?

          That the game features male characters (for both artistic and financial reasons)?

          That the game is played from the perspective of the male characters?

          What exactly is the problem right here?

    While yes, the treatment of women in this game is horrible. But would you have written the same content for this article if Taliana was a male?

    A highly-skilled, low-cost asset is a pretty standard reward for completing an almost unnoticeable side mission, you know.

      I think the point is that with all the hubbub about gender roles in the game, the issue was at the forefront of his mind when he encountered this character, and he used it as a springboard for a thought exercise. Whether the 'she'll work for less money, if you can believe it' was intentional social commentary or not, the academic exercise of considering Taliana - or any other female - as a GTA protagonist and what that might look like? Worth a thought-piece article.

    I think the majority of gamers are quick to dismiss any connection between simulated violence and crime in games and in real life, but with more subtle social issues it's a lot less obvious how much of being steeped in a toxic environment might effect a player. It's easy for a reasonable person to know right from wrong when it comes to robbing a bank or committing murder, but there's an argument to be made that the satire will go over many players heads and they'll just use the game to reinforce their already warped world views.

      I think that media affects us more than we'd care to admit...if everything you watch/play doesn't treat woman as fully rounded people why would you?

        I think that media affects us more than we'd care to admit

        That's putting it mildly. The line between propaganda and fiction is often separated by mere intent. The repetition of stereotypes both subtle and grand can completely inform the bias of an entire cultures.

        Last edited 19/09/13 5:48 pm

      Can't the same be said for any kind of satirical work of entertainment though? The problem here is that we have immature minds playing a game meant for adults. In this situation, it is almost inevitable that the satirical prose will be missed.

      I say immature minds because I am not just referring to minors. Unfortunately, the modern era can allow a person to reach their late 20's and still contain an immature mind.

      Exactly! The raps and the pornography are ruining society! People should spend more time thinking about jesu... social justice.
      Seriously though, I admire the cognitive dissidence.

    I think the author of this article is playing out his own protagonist fantasy by writing this article and trying to start a shitstorm of feministic vs chauvanistic argument.

    No better than the crap on Today Tonight or A Currant Affair. Pointless imflammatory article.

      Not really. This issue has been enlarging in the industry in America for the last few years. You might not notice it because, like me, you're a gamer on the other side of the world. Kotaku writes about gaming industry and culture, as well as the games themselves.

      The article seems well thourght out enough...it's just the issue is the topic is hot button

      Either you didn't read the article, or this is a really sore topic for you. Are you the type that finds yourself immediately dismissing claims of sexism or feminism in general?

        No. What annoys me is that people (particularly on this website) are too touchy about these subjects.
        I see this game as portraying society as it really is, rather that what society pretends itself to be.

        Last edited 19/09/13 8:07 pm

          True, I see it as that also. Rather than create an idealic fiction, the makers of GTA exaggerate the ugliness of reality.

          There are over sensitive people with this stuff, but don't throw the baby out with bath water, don't automatically lump this article in with the 'touchy' or ACA category. It was thoughtful and asked some good questions. And it's good to ask these questions.

    She’s the kind of character who seems like she could have had a whole GTA all about her. Think about how she enters this game... Picture the mission that introduced her that I described at the start of this piece. Picture the events she described that led her into that ditch. Imagine if those events were part of this other GTA V and that we played them as Taliana. Imagine that she is who you’re playing as when she meets with Franklin. Franklin’s just some sidequest guy.

    The rest of the article past this point made me blink a little and think... That's actually a really cool idea. GTA5-2? GTA5: Taliana Files.
    What other game has made its sequel star one of the cooler bit-part characters from a previous game? That's a really good hook.

    I want to see this done.

    Last edited 19/09/13 5:05 pm

      The way that GTA IV integrated the protags from TLAD & TBOGT into the museum mission could be a tell. She could be the protag of DLC. Stranger things have happened!

    Forget the treatment of women angle. I read this today at work and was driving along as Trevor and there she was on the side of the road. So glad I stopped - Having a good driver is always a plus.

    While I'd consider myself a feminist at heart, I'm having trouble finding the sexism in this game because everyone in this game is an exaggeration and a joke (I'm only about 5 hours in). It's like the Simpsons, they poke fun at Christianity, but they heap equal amounts of snark on Buddhism, Judaism etc. It's kinda like, it's only offensive if one group/religion/culture/society etc of people are being singled out and discriminated against.

    There's a really funny cartoon you can watch on TV (in-game) that is overtly offensive. It features an American cop who's partners are a women who literally admits her incompetence is cause by her estrogen and a hilariously racist depiction of a native American. They chase down a bunch of other racial stereotypes including a Russian communist who escapes on a bear. But perhaps the biggest stereotype is the main character, an all American male who's strong and smart and is constantly slapping his lady-partner's cheek. Does he represent the ignorance of western men. I think so.

    I think the whole thing is a send up of how rampant horrible attitudes like greed, corruption, violence and discrimination have infiltrated every level of western culture to the point that they are celebrated. It's delightful.

      " It's like the Simpsons, they poke fun at Christianity, but they heap equal amounts of snark on Buddhism, Judaism etc. It's kinda like, it's only offensive if one group/religion/culture/society etc of people are being singled out and discriminated against."

      I'm not sure if it's such a problem if one social group is singled out.

      We don't all have to like everyone and everything.

      It's only due to political correctness that unhomogenised views are deemed so shocking and offensive.

      For example, what does it matter if I don't like Christians? Am I obliged to like Christians? Must we all like Christians? Can't at least some of us not like Christians?

      I'm seriously considering becoming anti-Christian just so that someone is.

      I think that it's perhaps only offensive if one group/religion/culture/society etc of people are being singled out and discriminated against in a serious and ugly manner. If it's all good fun what does it matter.

        I agree. There's room for humour that singles out particular groups of people. There's plenty of comedians who have a strong anti-christian slant on their act, and good on em, some comedians'entire routine is about how difficult women are to be in a relationship with. Like you said, it starts to become problematic when "people are being singled out and discriminated against in a serious and ugly manner."

        I was just pointing out that It's hard to call GTA sexist when it's equally discriminatory to pretty much any living person regardless of sex/race/culture.

        Also I'm seriously considering becoming anti-Christian just so that someone is.

        You don't get out much do you?

          "I was just pointing out that It's hard to call GTA sexist when it's equally discriminatory to pretty much any living person regardless of sex/race/culture."

          Yep I get your point. And I don't disagree with it.

          My point is that being sexist isn't such a bad thing. Even if it is the only (or primary) form of discrimination - unless, that is, if it is done in a serious and ugly manner.

          If it's poking fun at women for being overly vain and consumerist, is that such a bad thing? No.

          If it's choosing not to portray women as blood thirsty criminals, is that such a bad thing? No.

            If it's poking fun at women for being overly vain and consumerist, is that such a bad thing? No.

            Some of my favourite humour right there =D

              Then you're not a feminist, but a human.

                Po-tay-to, po-tah-to. I think everyone should experience equality, that includes being successful, or being a punchline. But yeah, I'm not part of the small percentage of rabid feminists that seem to get the majority of coverage (the ones that cross the line and seem to demand superior treatment for women).

        'sall right mate, I hate all organised religions, and the people that follow them. Gotcha covered.

    Issues of equality and representation aside, if the game has that few decent female characters it disappoints me from a storytelling and world depth perspective.
    A lack of variety is always a bad thing and having the supporting cast an angry sausage fest just makes things that much more shallow and one-dimensional.

    And its like; this is possibly the biggest and most expensive game ever, in an iconic series that is often at the pinnacle of achievement in the medium and instrumental in moving it forward, and yet they can't even manage to have a well rounded supporting cast.
    A dozen mini games, yes. But hardly a respectable chick in sight.
    Forget the sexist angle, that's just lazy.

    Last edited 19/09/13 6:54 pm

      Or, it could be viewed as a sports-movie about an underdog team (be it a female or male team) and a ragtag coach that pulls itself together against all odds to overcome struggles within and win the day. You wouldn't see a lot of people of the opposite sex, perhaps a partner/spouse or two, and it wouldn't be shallow, it would just be focusing on a specific scope of characters.

      Would I like to see more female characters and a female lead in GTA? Absolutely. But at the same time, GTA isn't supposed to be a representation of reality, rather the fictional work of an artist's vision. Just like some artists prefer to paint certain gender almost exclusively, perhaps some developers prefer to dream up and write male leads. Or ... they could be incredibly narrow minded, I'm just giving them the benefit of the doubt I suppose. I just don't think a fiction should have to be diverse to be great.

        True enough, and I don't think the game should have had a female protagonist at all - that's not the story Rockstar wanted to tell and they were right not to compromise for PC reasons.
        And sure, many fewer female crims like that irl, so makes sense to have few in GTA.
        But I dunno, just seems like it would have fleshed things out a bit more to have one cool chick to break up the otherwise male (supporting) line up.
        Hell they could have made much of her story about dealing with the other NPC's misogyny as a way to highlight the satirical nature of it, since it seems to come across as simply sexist to many people as things stand.

        Last edited 19/09/13 7:32 pm

          They could have done this, they could have done that.

          I've not played the game, but by all accounts they've done plenty.

          Perhaps we could even look favourably upon R* for not shoe-horning in a female character to appease those that seek to be offended. Those that clearly have an agenda.

          Unless R* are actively attempting to circumvent the production of other games that do feature strong female characters can we please let them get on with creating their own (extremely popular) thing.

            Oh to be sure. I mean, I bought it and enjoy it after all, as did every man and his dog. And I don't think even the most vehement among us think they could do better, or even that R* did bad.
            But armchair critiques are what comment threads like this are for. For us to sit back, don our digital Monocle of Hindsight and thusly nit-pick and muse together on the finer points before jumping back in and blowing stuff up while giggling like a schoolgirl.

              Yeah, this is the fun bit, especially when it doesn't get heated. *Reaches into smoking jacket and puts a monocle on top of the monocle I'm already wearing*

            Perhaps we could even look favourably upon R* for not shoe-horning in a female character

            Ugh, is there anything worse than the female mascot? It's like "look out guys, don't let that uterus fool you, she can kick ass just as well as the real heroes can, that's right, she's one feisty dame"

            I hate forced diversity. I used to work for a company that had an equal opportunity policy that had quotas to hit that included people of various nationalities. It was unfortunate because my thoughts were that when I am working with enough explosive materials to turn a suburb into a crater, I wanted the best human for the job. But it ended up being 'oh look, it's the Asian mascot, and the black mascot.' It's like watching Big Brother, every year it's a dozen or so hot people with an ethnic mascot and a gay mascot.

              When I try to think of other female game characters, the one that pops into my head is the character from Syndicate - played by the semi famous actress Rosario Dawson.

              I quite liked Syndicate - it was a half decent FPS,. It worked. Didn't compete with CoD etc, but in and of itself it was good - in terms of gameplay.

              Story wise it was complete tripe.

              I might be digressing but I mention this because Rosario's game character strikes me as utterly typical.

              Tight pants, great butt, ample bosoms. A tough, feisty lady who's very much in control.

              It's contrived and pointless BS. And would only be played by a known female actress - and one that is clearly reliant on her good looks.

              Now, let's switch to Bulletstorm.

              The guys in that game are steroid laden, drunk. crass "jocks". They are one dimensional.

              But to me they're less offensive as they're not pretending to be anything more than they are.

              It's look at me, I'm a bad ass, I can handle these guns and kill 1,000s of enemies. No deeper than that.

              The female characters, however, can't be so benign. They must attempt to portray some depth, some character, but at the same time they must do so with tits and ass.

              WHEN R* portray a female character with depth, they will do it right.

              But they've done that already haven't they - they had the female drug dealer in GTA IV. They didn't rely on sexual imagery for her.

                Bonnie McFarlane, Red Dead Redemption. She was strong, capable and independent. She saves your life and you save hers. She even teaches you how to heard cattle and hunt animals, all without being a lithe fem-fatale or a emasculated tomboy. Rockstar could write a female lead, for sure.

                  I hear Agent has one, some sort of fem super spy, James Bond style. Should be awesome!

            "Perhaps we could even look favourably upon R* for not shoe-horning in a female character to appease those that seek to be offended. Those that clearly have an agenda."

            ...yeah...can we not please?

            The idea that a female head lining GTA would be "shoe horning" and an "agenda" is exactly why this is a god damn problem. Can you really not see that?

              No, I can't.

              What is the justification of having a female head lining character in GTA?

    "green chutes"

    Green shoots.

    "Many of the defenses I’ve seen of GTA V‘s treatment of women are that it’s a game — and part of a series — that makes fun of everyone. It is true."

    Not only is it a game that makes fun of everyone, but it is a game. It does not take itself too seriously, Why should anyone else.

    How many movies are there starring female bank robbers?

    Not many I should imagine. And there's a reason for that.

    The criminal world is dominated by men.

    Does that mean that we shouldn't have female criminals in games? No, but it does suggest that there isn't a need for one. Certainly not an urgency for one.

    All a fuss about nothing if you ask me.

    As you say, you'll be able to create your own character in the online world so it's not as if they're going out of the way to purposefully deny female representation.

      How many movies are there starring female bank robbers? Not many I should imagine. And there's a reason for that. The criminal world is dominated by men.

      The more interesting question is: did you assume the criminal world is dominated by men because there aren't many movies starring female criminals?

      Do we have a case of media influencing reality, then reality influencing media in a cyclical fashion?How are women supposed to become successful criminals if media fails to portray strong female criminal role models?

      Seriously though, even if men dominate the criminal world, they don't dominate the human population and GTA isn't solely about criminals.

      PS. I believe the reason there are only male protagonists in GTA games because the creators feel confident working with male characters. Often artists continuously portray similar themes or work with similar palettes, not because they're discriminating, but rather they enjoy it and they're good at it. I don't think it's bad is a writer writes 50 books all starring a person of the same gender.

      Last edited 19/09/13 7:17 pm

        "The more interesting question is: did you assume the criminal world is dominated by men because there aren't many movies starring female criminals?"

        I will openly admit that i've not referred to any statistical information - and yes my understanding of criminality has been massively influenced by movies and tv. As well as newspapers and personal experience.

        I'm aware that prison populations are overwhelmingly male. That tells me something about criminality.

        But yes, I see your point, and agree that there is a valid argument for positive discrimination within games in order to enable women to have their opportunity to develop more substantial criminal careers.

        Yes I agree too that artists will make art that they themselves enjoy. The Housers are male, and by the look of it they enjoy violence and sillyness - and guess what, so do their audience.

          Yeah, I'm pretty sure you're right either way, by all accounts there's about a 10:1 ratio of male to female prisoners. Although perhaps women are just WAY better at not getting caught ; ) so it makes sense that a game about crims would statistically have more men than women. But I always like to think about the chicken/egg thing of life imitating art and vice versa.

          Just for fun though, instead of defining dominated by pure numbers, what if we took it to mean influential or powerful. Apparently, some of the matriarchs in the Yakuza and often the south American drug cartels, though fewer in numbers, wield tremendous power and cruelty. That'd be something I'd like to see in a game, especially if the female characters were far more reprehensible than the murderers and thieves at their command. That'd be a refreshing challenge of gender stereotypes. But more importantly, I like to see good artists create what they want, and thankfully (with quotes like "being masculine was so key to this story") the Housers seem to be intent on doing just that.

            I've seen a documentary on Griselda Blanco, the female scarface, and apparently she's as bad as the rest of them.

            For sure there are female criminals, at all levels,

            For sure, there's room for R*, or any other developer (or film or tv maker) to make games with more interesting female lead characters.

            But let's not pretend that it's R*s' responsibility to make up the deficits of an industry, or of society. It's not, and we know that - so let's not allow those with the sexist agenda to pretend that it is.

            GTA V has 3 characters.

            One was lifted from Max Payne. The other from San Andreas. And the third has been described as one of the best characters in modern entertainment.

            How can we fault R* for their choice of characters? We can't. There is NO argument here.

              But let's not pretend that it's R*s' responsibility to make up the deficits of an industry, or of society. It's not, and we know that - so let's not allow those with the sexist agenda to pretend that it is.

              Well said. That is so well said right there.

              And I'd like to point out that the deficits of the industry seem to be balancing more and more. Once, a digital chick was either a victim/prize or if they were a hero that had to double as eye candy. But as the years go on and on we see more diversity in how women are portrayed. I don't want ridiculous male/female power fantasies to go away, but it's nice to see an equilibrium being achieved. We're not there yet, but we're definitely headed there.

                Of course we're heading that way.

                The gaming industry is maturing.

                The gaming market is maturing and diversifying.

                Game developers are attracting the best talent within entertainment.

                The best actors. The best writers.

                This gen it was Rosario and Eliza Dushku, with a dash of Brian Cox and Ray Winstone. Now it's becoming Ellen Page and Willem Dafoe. If we ignore the whole Green Goblin embarrassment then we can see that the quality of talent is improving. No offence, Ray.

                There is so much money within games that it's a shame that the publishers seem so intent on throwing it all away.

                Will there be an equal number of strong male and female characters within games?

                Yes.

                If, and when, the market demand it.

                The reason that this topic is a discussion is because some people WANT to be RECOGNISED for instigating a debate so that they can receive intrinsic reward once the industry reaches the destination on which it is already set.

                They want the feeling that they've made a difference, and yet all they've done is put the market leaders into a potentially compromising position.

                They should start contributing or eff the hell out of the industry.

                Last edited 19/09/13 11:57 pm

    I'd just like to point out to the idiots complaining about this criticism that it was this kind of criticism which took film from being Depression Era cheap dime entertainment into the massive worldwide industry it is today.

    Without this kind of criticism, we'd have no film, no television, and no video games.

    Because this kind of criticism made film makers think. It made them think about what they were putting into their film, made them consider different audiences and stories and ways of shooting.

    This criticism is VITALLY important to video games, important to developing them from being nerd past times and distractions and being focused on bottom line profits, to become a vital and important cultural art works.

    $800 million sales on the first day bets you they don't give a shit and know exactly what they are doing. Good on them, great game.

    So I did my first heist mission and the hacker was a chick who got 15% of the cut, the largest percentage. I think she may have made more than Michael did. Total badass.

    In the case of Taliana I can only suspect that you're rewarded with more of a cut yourself (thus logically since the pie is only 100% large, less for her) as a reward for doing her mission.

    The treatment and portrayal of women in this game is appalling, but then again so far every male character has been the same. Selfish scumbag asshole criminals.

    If we wanted to have a balanced argument, then we can start by also asking why every male character is such a dick. Are there no nice guys out there? Are they all selfish pricks with no remorse? Are Michael, Trevor and Franklin really a representation and generalisation of all the guys out there?

    Of course they're not.

    Last edited 19/09/13 11:15 pm

      Yeah.

      The game is GT mother fo-ing A homeboy.

      Jimmy Bond don't live in this crib.

      If you want to play with law abiding sweet hearts go pick up Just Dance or whatever game manages to fit within your intolerant framework.

      In the meantime, let gamers have some fun be'en gangsta n shit.

    I compare GTA with RDR to assess whether thus premise is true. RDR is a focussed and serious storyline aiming for real characters in a harsh environment and era. Real characters were what you got. People had flaws and although you cared about them, sometimes did horrible things. There were strong female characters, also complex.

    GTA seems to be intentionally the opposite, very stylized and snarky, all in a fun way, but you dont expect the thoughtful contemplation that John Marsden would often get into to be present in this series. I decide to enjoy it for what it is, a stylized and fantastic take on a bunch of heist movies bunched together.

    I'm female and don't feel overly concerned, except that Rockstar missed the opportunity to reference any of Melissa McCarthys characters from either Identity Thief or the Heat, or Bridesmaids, into a lead or second lead. That lady's a genius and my first thought putting the game in was she would have been insane as a character/ voice actor in this.

      As someone who actually enjoys playing as a female character (Tomb Raider, Remember Me, and many games that let you pick your gender) I wouldn't mind a future DLC that introduces a new character that's female.

      I decide to enjoy it for what it is, a stylized and fantastic take on a bunch of heist movies bunched together.

      This is pretty much it for me too. GTA has always been more to me than what the characters themselves do as part of the story. The exploration element of the game is second to none (save besides perhaps Skyrim) and I really don't care in that sense what the personality/gender/sexual inclinations of the character I'm playing are.

      I just want to go around and explore stuff!

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