Tuesday, October 04, 2005

From the Streets, YO!

Let’s face it - the best art, regardless of its medium, is from the heart. In other words, the things that people know best are what they can best translate into their art. “Grand Theft Auto” is so “good” because gritty violent crime is the lifestyle that most game developers understand the best. It’s been hard life for us game developers. We grew up on the wrong side of the PCI bus. It was kill or be killed. Back in my hood, we used to knife the kids that were programming in BASIC on their Apple ][’s instead of assembly. We used to computer jack at gunpoint all the good stuff from the people who work at Fry’s. I was shot a guy in the face just to get a 3 1/4” floppy drive. I still have to wear a bulletproof vest because I defected from the Apple gang to Microsoft back in 98, and the Apples have craved my blood ever since.

“Grand Theft Auto” is the groundbreaking game that made game developers realize that it was okay for them to expose the gritty life that we developers live to popular culture. It is invigorating to realize that people want to hear the story of your average game developer. The “Grand Theft Auto” series has sold like a bajillion games. There are plenty of more violent urban games coming: “Godfather”, “Scarface”, “50 Cent Bulletproof”, “True Crime”, “Saint’s Row”, “APB”, and “Crackdown”. These other developers aren’t just jumping on the GTA bandwagon because GTA was such a smash hit - it’s because they finally feel it’s okay to tell OUR story - life in the ghetto of the internet.


Anonymous Jubal_Harshaw said...

Ever seen someone shot at point-blank range by a ZX spectrum light gun? It ain't a pretty sight, son.

I remember fondly the days of gang warfare between tha amiga and atari crews. Hardly a day would go by without seeing the lifeless corpse of an Atari or Amiga owner in a gutter - beaten to death with their own deck.

Times were harder for the PC posse, though - they were targets for everybody. At least the Atari crew had a ceasefire with the Macintosh crew. Who has the last laugh now, though, bitches? Yeeha!

I, too, cut my teeth on the fierce battlegrounds of the Apple ][ hood. We pissed on Integer Basic. "Welcome to Applesoft" were the words most likely to get you killed back then.

Ah, happy days.

6:23 AM  
Blogger The BIG G said...

jubal_harshaw: It's great to reminisce with someone who knows about the vicious gang warfare that has plagued computer programmers since the dawn of time. Remember the HyperCard gang? They were particularly vicious, but they died out pretty quickly, thank goodness.

2:41 PM  
Anonymous Jubal_Harshaw said...

the_big_g: Hell, yes. The Hyper Card gang were insane. Unstable, even. I think they died out at the hands of the claris mob. Caught dealing apps in claris territory and then refused to cut a deal... suckers.

Still, I used to love the thrill of getting up in the morning to the sound of someone shooting up my home for some rather well-considered remarks about the state of the C64 demo scene. Or, wandering out into the street only to be assaulted by a 'Speccy Twat' (our name for the sinclair boys) who would then, undoubtedly, try and strangle me with a tape of 'Horace Goes Skiing.'

(The magnetic tape in that game was slightly stronger than usual, guaranteeing its use as a deadly weapon.)

And there was never anything more satisfying than beating a Qbasic f*cker over the head with a large hammer. Slowly and repeatedly.

2:20 PM  

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