I can’t imagine finding more compelling evidence to back cultural critic Ed Halter’s observation in the movie 8-bit that video games are becoming more cinematic (and vise versa) than the new trailer for Grand Theft Auto IV. Taking cues from Godfrey Reggio’s Koyaanisqatsi, GTA uses a Philip Glass score and sped up frames to depict the life of New York City. As City of Sound suggests, the trailer hints at the possibility that the system will use a “city simulation” model as opposed to straight up game play, though my interest at this point lays less in what the game does than how it looks, (which for the record is incredible.)
I doubt it will shock anyone to learn that video game play does not take up tons of my spare time, but GTA in particular has been on my radar since 2002 when they released version III which required players pay prostitutes to regain health, and but allowed them to take their money back if they killed them afterwards. It goes without saying that the game earned reputation for questionable content, the likes of which I found very fascinating, though obviously heinous.
Speaking of which, probably my favorite quote on Grand Theft Auto IV and acceptable conduct comes from a spokesman for Mayor Michael Bloomberg who evidently was questioned on the subject late last week. “The mayor does not support any video game where you earn points for injuring or killing police officers.” Well, there’s a surprise. What other questions can the press possibly ask to waste this poor man’s time?