The best GTAV review is by Leigh Alexander

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#101 Posted by CornBREDX (4754 posts) -

The blog was not quite as funny as how seriously some people are taking this.

#102 Posted by Milkman (16482 posts) -

@brodehouse: I...what...no. That's not what I'm saying.

What she's saying is that IF someone thinks the game is misogynist or is offended by then it's pretty silly that they would still give the game a near perfect score. I know if I played a game that for whatever reason deeply offended me as much as GTA V seems to have offended some people, I wouldn't then turn around and say "oh well! 9.5."

This isn't about sexism. You're just making it about that.

#103 Posted by Brodehouse (9519 posts) -

@milkman said:

This isn't about sexism. You're just making it about that.

You know me. I see sexism everywhere.

#104 Posted by mtcantor (947 posts) -

Cute, but it's not as clever as it thinks it is.

#105 Posted by wjb (1621 posts) -

I was going to post in this thread again, but shit, man, I have no clue what is going on in here anymore.

I heard it as a light-hearted joke about the spectacle of video game reviews involving AAA titles. It sounds like she's teasing everyone, even herself, probably. Some people found it funny; some people found it dumb.

The only thing I took away from it was she's glad she is not reviewing the game herself. Maybe she has sympathy for her colleagues, because fuck...

#106 Posted by planetfunksquad (399 posts) -
@mtcantor said:

Cute, but it's not as clever as it thinks it is.

I don't know if you're refering to Leigh as "it" or you're implying that the article is sentient, and thus able to think that it is clever.

Or maybe I'm pedantic. Nah, couldn't be that.

#107 Posted by mrangryface (774 posts) -

I think what's amazing is that GTA games continue to be a product of their time despite being released current day.

#109 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4577 posts) -

@milkman said:

@joshwent said:

This kind of dumb social commentary posing as watered down satire

Hmm...it's almost like that reminds me of something...almost...

This snarky, pseudo-cool, "I'm better than GTA V and you should be too" attitude is fucking lame. It's presented as if it's witty and profound, but it's one of the easier angles to pander to our posturing, groupthink-filled, everyones-a-Maverick, Twitter-addled 21st century minds. I could sit down and write something similarly "biting" about almost any piece of entertainment ever produced.

The irony here is fucking killing me.

#110 Edited by DrSwank (442 posts) -

The most offensive part about that is that she is using a review scale by the tenths like..who fucking does that?

1/100th's. 10th's would be 9 out of 10, for example. 9.7 / 10 is equal to 97 out of 100.

#111 Posted by planetfunksquad (399 posts) -

@drewmaw: I'm gonna start reviewing based on 10000ths. I give GTA 5 a 9.4727/10. I docked 0.0007 off the score for misogyny.

#112 Edited by KentonClay (239 posts) -

@markwahlberg said:

The irony here is fucking killing me.

On Twitter she was making fun of the game and it's fanbase, so people started screeching at her about how it's satirical and how she needs to shut up.

It's almost like "You shouldn't take it seriously" only applies when the offended party is someone else.

#113 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1502 posts) -

@grantheaslip said:

This snarky, pseudo-cool, "I'm better than GTA V and you should be too" attitude is fucking lame. It's presented as if it's witty and profound, but it's one of the easier angles to pander to our posturing, groupthink-filled, everyones-a-Maverick, Twitter-addled 21st century minds. I could sit down and write something similarly "biting" about almost any piece of entertainment ever produced.

The irony here is fucking killing me.

In what sense? I assume you're getting at me criticizing the idea of someone else criticizing something? If so, that's not my issue -- it's the sense of dismissive, posturing superiority. I think I was in a bad mood and went a little far when I wrote that, but my dislike of that style and tone still stands.

#114 Posted by Psychohead (139 posts) -

Her "review" was cute. I shan't lie, I smirked a bemused smirk.

This thread, though? Woof. Comedy gold.

#115 Edited by Turambar (6640 posts) -

@gunslingernz said:

Also, telling the story from the perspective of multiple characters, each with their own unique background and experiences through which the events are refracted, IS a narrative innovation.

Considering the first game I played with such a story telling method was Final Fantasy VI, it is by no means innovative, though I'm sure GTAV has refined and expanded on it some.

#116 Posted by Veektarius (4540 posts) -

@milkman said:

@joshwent said:

This kind of dumb social commentary posing as watered down satire

Hmm...it's almost like that reminds me of something...almost...

Are you thinking of Grand Theft Auto?

#117 Posted by martyarf (250 posts) -

@markwahlberg said:

@grantheaslip said:

This snarky, pseudo-cool, "I'm better than GTA V and you should be too" attitude is fucking lame. It's presented as if it's witty and profound, but it's one of the easier angles to pander to our posturing, groupthink-filled, everyones-a-Maverick, Twitter-addled 21st century minds. I could sit down and write something similarly "biting" about almost any piece of entertainment ever produced.

The irony here is fucking killing me.

In what sense? I assume you're getting at me criticizing the idea of someone else criticizing something? If so, that's not my issue -- it's the sense of dismissive, posturing superiority. I think I was in a bad mood and went a little far when I wrote that, but my dislike of that style and tone still stands.

Woooshhhhhh

#118 Posted by DonutFever (3548 posts) -

I would've thought she'd give it 775,000,000.

#119 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1502 posts) -

@martyarf said:

@grantheaslip said:

@markwahlberg said:

@grantheaslip said:

This snarky, pseudo-cool, "I'm better than GTA V and you should be too" attitude is fucking lame. It's presented as if it's witty and profound, but it's one of the easier angles to pander to our posturing, groupthink-filled, everyones-a-Maverick, Twitter-addled 21st century minds. I could sit down and write something similarly "biting" about almost any piece of entertainment ever produced.

The irony here is fucking killing me.

In what sense? I assume you're getting at me criticizing the idea of someone else criticizing something? If so, that's not my issue -- it's the sense of dismissive, posturing superiority. I think I was in a bad mood and went a little far when I wrote that, but my dislike of that style and tone still stands.

Woooshhhhhh

So is it that her piece was satire and I'm missing the joke? I'm totally up for criticism here, but please let me know what it is. Not trying to bait you into a dumb internet fight -- I really do want to know.

#120 Edited by CaLe (3897 posts) -

I hope her hair falls out.

#121 Posted by kgdowley (6 posts) -

it's interesting how polarizing reviews for this game are. is it just that this game is so big you aren't going to get mediocre reviews?

#122 Edited by planetfunksquad (399 posts) -

@grantheaslip: He's saying that you basically described GTA in that comment of yours. You said you hate that people think that they're above GTA, yet GTA displays that same above-it-all, ironic disconnect. It's almost as though thats exactly what Leigh was going for.

#123 Edited by GrantHeaslip (1502 posts) -
@planetfunksquad said:

@grantheaslip: He's saying that you basically described GTA in that comment of yours. You said you hate that people think that they're above GTA, yet GTA displays that same above-it-all, ironic disconnect. It's almost as though thats exactly what Leigh was going for.

Okay, I see that. I just don't see (even now that I know to look for it) her writing style as some kind of clever meta-commentary on GTA's attitude. I'm not positive that's what @markwahlberg or @martyarf were getting at either.

Just to contextualize, since I've already tagged them: I think what gets to me here is that I think Alexander really does think that GTA V is problematic and/or offensive (and that criticism of it has been too lenient), but instead of actually coming out and saying that, she's wrapped up her criticism in satire and flippancy. I think anything worth criticizing is worth putting together a halfway rigorous argument against. I think there's too much of this kind of half-assed drive-by criticism in games writing, and this struck a nerve that's been stoked for a while.

(And yes, even I think I've put way too much thought into this relatively minor offense.)

#124 Edited by TheManWithNoPlan (5133 posts) -

I understand she must be frustrated about the state of gaming, but this type of conversation on the internet will never really go anywhere because of stuff like this. In the end, she'll probably get a lot of hate, only reinforcing her bitterness toward the subject.

#125 Posted by CustomOtto (440 posts) -

I would've thought she'd give it 775,000,000.

i'm sorry i don't get this reference because it's over 3 years old

#126 Posted by MarkWahlberg (4577 posts) -

@planetfunksquad said:

@grantheaslip: He's saying that you basically described GTA in that comment of yours. You said you hate that people think that they're above GTA, yet GTA displays that same above-it-all, ironic disconnect. It's almost as though thats exactly what Leigh was going for.

Okay, I see that. I just don't see (even now that I know to look for it) her writing style as some kind of clever meta-commentary on GTA's attitude. I'm not positive that's what @markwahlberg or @martyarf were getting at either.

Just to contextualize, since I've already tagged them: I think what gets to me here is that I think Alexander really does think that GTA V is problematic and/or offensive (and that criticism of it has been too lenient), but instead of actually coming out and saying that, she's wrapped up her criticism in satire and flippancy. I think anything worth criticizing is worth putting together a halfway rigorous argument against. I think there's too much of this kind of half-assed drive-by criticism in games writing, and this struck a nerve that's been stoked for a while.

(And yes, even I think I've put way too much thought into this relatively minor offense.)

Planetfunksquad was basically right - although I should point out Leigh's review seems to be more about the hype around GTA than the game itself (she admits to not having played it yet in the text version).

I'm not sure how much you've played of these games, but there's sort of a running theme of them being "satirical" about popular culture in a way that, in my opinion, is exactly how you described Leigh's review. I would imagine Leigh feels there's too much that's said about GTA already (because everyone gets super serious about how it is Culturally Important) so it's enough to write a brief bit giving them a taste of their own medicine on her personal blog to get it out of her system.

That being said, you're totally right to get annoyed by people spending all their time being smug snarky assholes on the internet instead of having real discussions. It's just that in this case, R* was doing that already.

#127 Posted by mlarrabee (2872 posts) -

Considering that most career criminals are male, I think Rockstar's inclusion of only male player characters is not only not sexist, but also accurate.

That aside, the review's a pretty amusing satire.

Also, anytime someone uses "misogyny" or any of its derivatives incorrectly, a child somewhere loses their opportunity to learn to read. You aren't just displaying your own misunderstanding of the word, you're stamping out literacy. You're the one leaving a child behind.

#128 Edited by GnomeonFire (694 posts) -

She sure sounds like a fun person to be around.

#129 Edited by PandaBear (1295 posts) -

Why are 50% of the responses deleted on here? Reminds me of that awful Pitchfork review that spawned that "Shit, cat" meme http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Shit%20Cat

It's easy to act high and mighty, like she's the voice of reason as a bunch of "dude bros" at "mainstream" websites hand out 9.8s for a game she considers not that revolutionary. Her world view is so so small. It's limited to a dozen outlets writing reviews for a game that is review-proof. She works for fucking Kotaku! That place a stronghold of shit games journalism!

ALSO, game design should NEVER be a democracy or you end up with Aliens Colonial Marines. Rockstar had a story to tell about four dudes, that's just how it is. Why not pick on any number of Hollywood blockbusters released this year that only had male leads? It's a fair question to ask of course, I mean I've wondered why there's no female leads in GTA, but to act like it's a big sexist conspiracy and all gamers are horny teens looking to bring her down because she "dares to tells it like it is" is pretty egotistical. You write about games, not the conflict in Syria.

Cue some games journo with some misplaced sense of chivalry lamenting that "some sections of the gaming community" only pick on Leigh because she's a woman. Some do! Some others do it because she's annoying. Male or female.

$775million!!!!

#130 Posted by PSNgamesun (394 posts) -

To be honest I think like several of you here that she was making a parody of the gaming press. Still even if she was making fun of the game she still has every right to since well this game doesn't portray females in a good way. Seriously I wish several mainstream franchises should put a female lead and just get it over with I mean videogames is probably the biggest market in the entertainment medium yet it seems videogame companies don't know how to represent women.

#131 Edited by GnomeonFire (694 posts) -

I don't understand some people. If you don't like what GTA is doing, then don't fucking buy it, it's not that hard.

She sounds like a bitter person projecting personal problems onto a videogame. As if she thinks the game itself is causing people to paint women (herself in this case) in a bad or sexist light. Sorry lady, but if people are giving you a hard time, it's probably because you're an unpleasant person.

Edit: The fact that she brought up death threats kind of makes me sick. Does she not understand that anybody who sends actual death threats is probably suffering from some kind of mental disorder? You wouldn't walk into a fucking psych ward and start taunting people for a fight would you?

#132 Posted by Milkman (16482 posts) -

Edit: The fact that she brought up death threats kind of makes me sick. Does she not understand that anybody who sends actual death threats is probably suffering from some kind of mental disorder? You wouldn't walk into a fucking psych ward and start taunting people for a fight would you?

Oh yeah, clearly the people sending death threats to video game reviewers are the real victims here. Thanks for finally sticking up for this long disenfranchised minority.

Though I guess you're right. The internet does seem like a fucking psych ward sometimes.

#133 Posted by GnomeonFire (694 posts) -

@milkman said:

@gnomeonfire said:

Edit: The fact that she brought up death threats kind of makes me sick. Does she not understand that anybody who sends actual death threats is probably suffering from some kind of mental disorder? You wouldn't walk into a fucking psych ward and start taunting people for a fight would you?

Oh yeah, clearly the people sending death threats to video game reviewers are the real victims here. Thanks for finally sticking up for this long disenfranchised minority.

Though I guess you're right. The internet does seem like a fucking psych ward sometimes.

There is no victim. Just empty posturing at the expense of people with a problem who shouldn't be given attention.

#134 Edited by Claude (16254 posts) -

I went to the midnight launch of GTA V at Gamestop in my city. Over 200 people were there, I saw maybe three women.

#135 Posted by GrantHeaslip (1502 posts) -

@markwahlberg said:

@grantheaslip said:
@planetfunksquad said:

@grantheaslip: He's saying that you basically described GTA in that comment of yours. You said you hate that people think that they're above GTA, yet GTA displays that same above-it-all, ironic disconnect. It's almost as though thats exactly what Leigh was going for.

Okay, I see that. I just don't see (even now that I know to look for it) her writing style as some kind of clever meta-commentary on GTA's attitude. I'm not positive that's what @markwahlberg or @martyarf were getting at either.

Just to contextualize, since I've already tagged them: I think what gets to me here is that I think Alexander really does think that GTA V is problematic and/or offensive (and that criticism of it has been too lenient), but instead of actually coming out and saying that, she's wrapped up her criticism in satire and flippancy. I think anything worth criticizing is worth putting together a halfway rigorous argument against. I think there's too much of this kind of half-assed drive-by criticism in games writing, and this struck a nerve that's been stoked for a while.

(And yes, even I think I've put way too much thought into this relatively minor offense.)

Planetfunksquad was basically right - although I should point out Leigh's review seems to be more about the hype around GTA than the game itself (she admits to not having played it yet in the text version).

I'm not sure how much you've played of these games, but there's sort of a running theme of them being "satirical" about popular culture in a way that, in my opinion, is exactly how you described Leigh's review. I would imagine Leigh feels there's too much that's said about GTA already (because everyone gets super serious about how it is Culturally Important) so it's enough to write a brief bit giving them a taste of their own medicine on her personal blog to get it out of her system.

That being said, you're totally right to get annoyed by people spending all their time being smug snarky assholes on the internet instead of having real discussions. It's just that in this case, R* was doing that already.

I've only played IV, and I got more of Mad Magazine vibe from it. A sort of scattershot, irreverent, "nothing's sacred", grossly caricatured vibe. I guess I don't know what Rockstar's intentions were, but it didn't strike me as taking itself all that seriously or positioning itself as being above what it portrayed. Not to say I didn't find it eye-rolling at points -- just not in a way that pissed me off. Actually, I don't think I've read a Mad Magazine for the better part of 15 years at this point, so I guess I'm not positive what it is either.

Yes, both it and Alexander's piece were technically satire, but of such a different sort that I think pointing at them as two sides of the same coin (and saying I can't criticize one without criticizing the other) is somewhat reductive. In the same way, trying to draw an equivalency between a blockbuster video game with aspects of heavy-handed satire to some flippant drive-by snark about it (and, if I'm correctly parsing whats meant to be satire and what's not, accusation of misogyny?) doesn't make a ton on sense in my eyes.

Thanks for getting back to me! I do get where you're coming from -- I think we're basically disagreeing on subjective interpretation and degree of pent-up frustration with enthusiast games criticism.

#136 Posted by dudeglove (7684 posts) -

@claude said:

I went to the midnight launch of GTA V at Gamestop in my city. Over 200 people were there, I saw maybe three women.

Did you white knight the shit out of them?

#137 Edited by DoctorWelch (2774 posts) -

I dislike Leigh Alexander, but you're right. That is the best review of GTA V. It's also the worst in every way that it's great...I think we need to be careful...this thing may be a black hole...AHHHHHH!!!!

What she's getting at is exactly how I feel about GTA V and I do think the thing is a fairly funny way to put it together, but at the same time it's also immature in exactly the way I hate. This culture doesn't seem to contain mature and well reasoned arguments segmented by with fits of comedy. Instead, it always has to the bashing of two snarky, entitled, unintelligent heads that try to be as funny as possible while also being "cool."

#138 Posted by Slag (3912 posts) -

The song's got a nice hook, I give it a 9.7 out of 10.

#139 Posted by Claude (16254 posts) -

@claude said:

I went to the midnight launch of GTA V at Gamestop in my city. Over 200 people were there, I saw maybe three women.

Did you white knight the shit out of them?

Nope, also there was one baby. And the baby's daddy was the loudest one there.

#140 Posted by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

Why can't artists just tell the stories they want to tell the way they want to tell them? Didn't artistic expression used to be a thing? GTA clearly has a target audience and asking why it isn't aimed at another audience as well is akin to me asking why there isn't more political commentary in each episode of Caillou (i'm sure cartoon weary parents would find that refreshing). Ultimately my point is everything shouldn't have to be aimed at everyone, and that should not be a problem.

Something tells me the target audience wouldn't appreciate the episode wherein Caillou's racist skinhead philosophies are explored, revealing a dark and troubled character.

#141 Edited by omghisam (282 posts) -

@donkeycow: No one is taking away your video gaming. They're criticizing the things about something THEY don't like. With their words. If I said I didn't like Phillip Glass music that doesn't prevent Phillip Glass from composing. He has an audience and he composes for that audience. I'm still allowed to express my opinion.

#142 Posted by PerfidiousSinn (724 posts) -

This is brilliant and I feel sad for anyone who isn't paying enough attention to understand it.

#143 Posted by subyman (587 posts) -

What I find strange is that some people are upset that there aren't any strong, prominent women in the game and, because of that, they declare the game misogynistic. They fail to realize all the men in the game are terrible, idiotic babies (well written idiotic babies haha.) Maybe they wanted terrible, idiotic women in the game as well? I can see where women do not play a huge role in the game, but to say the developers "hate women" (which is the definition of misogyny) is way off the mark and rings hollow to anyone that has played GTA games over the years.

#144 Posted by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

@omghisam: They're doing more then simply criticizing, they are calling the creators of a product misogynistic, that is quite the accusation. Now, i have not played GTA V yet, and it very well could be filled with hate fueled anti-woman tirades that are completely unrelated to the story in a meaningful way, but the impression I get from this article is she is declaring the creators as misogynistic for the simple fact the main characters are all male. That is quite the stretch if you ask me, and is completely uncalled for.

#145 Posted by zoozilla (977 posts) -

@subyman: I think the difference is that the male characters are written so as to be likable, while the female characters are meant to be annoying and shrill - they're just obstacles for the male characters to overcome. As far as I know, there are no female characters that are placed on the same level as any of the three male characters - minor or not. The main characters are interesting, multi-dimensional, and charismatic. Of course, it's hard to reveal the same depth of characterization in a minor character, but R* writes interesting side-characters all the time. Why couldn't one of them have been a woman this time?

I think some people are a little disappointed because of all the game developers out there, R* games have a huge impact on the rest of the industry, and they also have (or at least they give the impression that they have) a great deal of artistic freedom. This means that of all developers out there, R* are the ones who could have included a female protagonist or major female character, focus groups/marketing be damned. Of course, strippers, prostitutes, and shrill, annoying wives/mothers/etc are part of the milieu of the stories R* tells. But it's a little disappointing that they stay completely in that wheelhouse, while even Saints Row has some pretty cool female characters.

Or at least, that's how I see it.

#146 Edited by shivermetimbers (754 posts) -

@omghisam: They're doing more then simply criticizing, they are calling the creators of a product misogynistic, that is quite the accusation. Now, i have not played GTA V yet, and it very well could be filled with hate fueled anti-woman tirades that are completely unrelated to the story in a meaningful way, but the impression I get from this article is she is declaring the creators as misogynistic for the simple fact the main characters are all male. That is quite the stretch if you ask me, and is completely uncalled for.

She's calling the GAME misogynistic, not the people who made it. There's a difference.

#147 Edited by shivermetimbers (754 posts) -

@zoozilla said:

@subyman: I think the difference is that the male characters are written so as to be likable, while the female characters are meant to be annoying and shrill - they're just obstacles for the male characters to overcome. As far as I know, there are no female characters that are placed on the same level as any of the three male characters - minor or not. The main characters are interesting, multi-dimensional, and charismatic. Of course, it's hard to reveal the same depth of characterization in a minor character, but R* writes interesting side-characters all the time. Why couldn't one of them have been a woman this time?

I think some people are a little disappointed because of all the game developers out there, R* games have a huge impact on the rest of the industry, and they also have (or at least they give the impression that they have) a great deal of artistic freedom. This means that of all developers out there, R* are the ones who could have included a female protagonist or major female character, focus groups/marketing be damned. Of course, strippers, prostitutes, and shrill, annoying wives/mothers/etc are part of the milieu of the stories R* tells. But it's a little disappointing that they stay completely in that wheelhouse, while even Saints Row has some pretty cool female characters.

Or at least, that's how I see it.

Give this man a gold star. My thoughts exactly.

#148 Edited by benspyda (2015 posts) -
@slag said:

The song's got a nice hook, I give it a 9.7 out of 10.

The chorus is pretty great.

#149 Posted by Darji (5294 posts) -

@donkeycow said:

@omghisam: They're doing more then simply criticizing, they are calling the creators of a product misogynistic, that is quite the accusation. Now, i have not played GTA V yet, and it very well could be filled with hate fueled anti-woman tirades that are completely unrelated to the story in a meaningful way, but the impression I get from this article is she is declaring the creators as misogynistic for the simple fact the main characters are all male. That is quite the stretch if you ask me, and is completely uncalled for.

She's calling the GAME misogynistic, not the people who made it. There's a difference.

Yes she is calling the game misogynistic which is basically the same. It would be different if she would call the characters misogynistic. GTAV is like Houser that about male masculinity there is no place in THIS sotry for a strong female character. Beside the 3 main ones every other character in gTAV is sterotypical, chliche, dumb and satirical. A strong female character would have not made any sense in this game.

Same goes for the world. You see a lot of clashes against women in these TV and radio shows or the random events because that is what these 3 main characters think and whats in their mind. Franklin is the most decent one and he really gets interesting random encounters. Like the guy who was thrown out of the house because the women thinks he is cheating on him which he actually did but he refuses to believe that she actually knows about it. Or the guy who was chained on a tree in his underwear and which trevor has to bring to his wedding. The whole thing makes so much sense in regard of these characters, Not because the game is sexist and misogynistic but because the characters are.

You have this a lot in classic literature as well. Stuff that happens or described in this world is how these characters see the world not how the world really is.

#150 Edited by Marokai (2787 posts) -

@donkeycow said:

Why can't artists just tell the stories they want to tell the way they want to tell them? Didn't artistic expression used to be a thing?

I remember back during The Great Mass Effect 3 Ending Crisis of 2012, everyone and their dog in the enthusiast press was crying about "artistic integrity" and "not infringing on an artist's vision" when people were demanding they change the ending. Now it seems every other day a ton of figures in the press are practically attempting to dictate how developers create and develop characters and worlds to suit their personal sociopolitical worldview. I don't understand how we've gotten to the point (well, I do understand, but I'm using that phrasing as a rhetorical device) where we can't just accept a game and the content therein on its own merits.

Admittedly, this is a more general rant and not necessarily directed at Leigh Alexander on this particular issue.

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