The makers of GTA V launched the online version of the popular video game otherwise known as Grand Theft Auto V. Millions of players were waiting in breathless anticipation to log on and play live with up to 16 people in real time. However, there’s been much talk of crashing servers and long waits to successfully log on to the game. The online launch happened earlier today and there have been a few overloaded servers. All players who currently own the game are eligible for the free online version. There are many secrets to GTA$, reputation and more flying around the internet, but some of them are just rumors. There are other secrets, too, especially when it comes to the game creators’ feelings about GTA V inspired real life crime. There are two sides to the GTA V online game to be explored: fictional game play and real life.
When it comes to the online version of GTA V, according to Rockstar, the creator of the game, people expecting to be able to earn “reputation” or anything else in the online version of GTA V by bypassing the proper channels will be sorely disappointed. According to the game maker:
To allay some concerns we’ve heard on this subject, we can assure you that the game is designed such that the option of purchasable GTA$ should not disrupt the playing field – and there are a few mechanics in place to help ensure that. All players still have to rank up with Reputation Points (RP) in order to get access to purchase high-end items. No one can begin GTA Online and simply spend a lot of money out of the gate to get a leg up. You will have to earn your stripes and play to unlock access to the aspirational clothes, guns and other items.
The game makers have also revealed that this online version is a prequel to the regular version. The story is set several months prior to the regular game story. In addition, players will be able to give their characters “custom genetics” and change the way the avatar looks. Rockstar issued a somewhat nervous-seeming warning on its page about possible crashed servers and bugs in the game. They’re asking players for feedback about any issues or problems encountered during game play. “We hope it will all run incredibly smoothly, but please bear with us if it doesn’t, and help us fix any and all problems!” they say.
Now on to issues in real life. So far, the game has earned over one billion dollars, shattering expectations and setting records in the gaming world. A billion dollars is a lot of money, but there’s no word from Rockstar as to whether any of that money will be used for philanthropic purposes such as being donated to stop violence against women, for example. The secrets about the real effects of online violence will be kept by the game makers, who don’t want any attention focused on the controversy surrounding the game. In fact, there’s no word from the game maker about the spate of recent GTA V inspired crimes, such as the case of the 8 year old boy who shot his grandmother a few weeks ago, the man who kidnapped a woman and stole a car last week or the teenager who stabbed and killed a cab driver. All of these crimes were committed by people who told authorities that they committed these atrocities because of Grand Theft Auto. Obviously, Rockstar doesn’t care, because they refuse to answer media inquiries about their game when it comes to the fact that GTA V has the potential to increase aggression among its players.
So, just as in real life, the secrets to GTA$, reputation and more in the online version of GTA V are best revealed the hard way; through following the proper path and doing your time just as everyone else. Money can’t buy everything. When it comes to real life, the secrets of a good reputation lie in knowing when gaming should be done in moderation and realizing the potential for addiction. Of course, it goes without saying that to maintain a good real-life reputation, you need to avoid carrying out any GTA V online inspired crimes, no matter how many other people have done so.
By: Rebecca Savastio (Op-ed)