GTA V the Illusion of Freedom?

GTA V loading screen
Was she arrested for gardening too loudly?

It goes without saying that GTA V is extremely expansive and realistic. The details in the game are immense and often go unnoticed by many players. With so much detail and so much to do the freedom of GTA V may seem endless, until you really stop to think about what is and is not possible. If you decide to test the limits of freedom you may ask yourself if GTA V offers you freedom or simply the illusion of freedom.

What no price tag?

The first thing to think about is what the game is trying to do. Well consider the title first, Grand Theft Auto 5. Now think about the last time you watched somebody else play GTA V, what did they do? Did they go play disc golf? Jog around the park? Or did they steal a car (as the title insinuates) and drive around like laws didn’t exist.

Now this game has a lot of possibilities, many of which would not be possible without the intricate and extensive detail put into the game. If you pay close attention while playing GTA V you will hear unique dialogue when you talk to people after getting a haircut, notice that cars driving by are playing music that is muffled, and that the moon actually goes through cycles as the days pass by. Next time you play spend more time with the details, you’ll likely be surprised.

All of these details must lead to freedom right? Not exactly. Consider once again the title of the game but this time think about the theme it creates. Destruction. Many that play GTA V think the game offers freedom but that is because they are playing the game as the developers intended, they are customizing cars, robbing convenience stores, and answering calls on their smartphone. What they aren’t doing is building tree houses, selling lemonade by for 50 cents, and making music.

GTA V Tennis
Have you played tennis yet?

There is no doubt that the world of GTA V is an elaborate one, it’s a downright virtual reality! But in order to have freedom everything must be a possibility, just like in real life. How many different types of guns are available in this game? How many different types of flower pots are available in this game? Gamers love this game because it plays like a game, not like a freedom simulator. Destruction is the theme, destruction is what ropes in the masses, destruction is what players are aiming for.

A lot of the destruction in this game isn’t necessarily because players are a bloodthirsty monsters, they are a curious viewers, pushing the game and learning what it is about. “Oh, I stole a car in front of a cop and got a star rating. What happens when I get two stars?” “Those rocks look like a jump, I wonder how much air I can get.” “What happens if I visit the same prostitute over and over?” The actions and questions of the player may get more wild as time continues but that is because the content of the game is full of wild possibilities and when people figure that out they keep playing, and keep following the theme the developers have laid out instead of blazing new trails.

None of this is meant to bash GTA V, it is of course a beautiful and expansive game but it does come from a violent place. As the series has progressed more possibilities have become available and allowed for the developers to do more outside the means of violence. Really what it means is that the next Grand Theft Auto game will be even closer to becoming a virtual reality that slowly inches closer and closer to freedom, but for now, GTA V represents the illusion of freedom.

GTA V mountain view
So much detail


Written By: Garrett Jutte




Mail Online

6 Responses to "GTA V the Illusion of Freedom?"

  1. rob   February 23, 2014 at 2:17 pm

    The author of this article says ‘Gamers love (GTA5) because it plays like a game, not like a freedom simulator. Destruction is the theme, destruction is what players are aiming for..”.
    Garret’s very simplistic view is based on partial knowledge of what GTA-5 is .its an open virtual world in which the player can chose *what to do* and *how to act and behave*..just like in ‘real’ life. So GTA5 is a karma simulator we could say.

    I personally enjoy flying around in planes and copters in GTA5 and also enjoy sightseeing via motorboat rides etc. Yes there are missions, many of which have a destructive theme, but so does the ancient game of cowboys and indians we played as kids. There are plenty of side games in GTA5 as well including sports and golf etc which many people enjoy. So please don’t stereo-type GTA-5 or its players by looking at only one small part of the beautiful cake that is the GTA-5’s virtual world.

  2. Terre Spezzate   October 31, 2013 at 7:02 am

    The article is trivial and naive to the point of outright stupidity.
    “you may ask yourself if GTA V offers you freedom or simply the illusion of freedom”

    It is a well known fact that all games (computer role playing, table-top role playing, live action role-playing…) offer simply the illusion of freedom.
    Having ‘rules’ and a limited array of possibilities’ is like the very definition of ‘game’…

  3. Derek Merbank   October 25, 2013 at 9:36 am

    I was looking for an article about exactly this actually. Thanks. The reason is, i don’t have the patience to always follow the missions and most of my time is taken up exploring the map and trying to generate my own side missions. The game detail is amazing but i wish there was more thought gone into cause and effect. for example, it would be good if characters on the game remembered your face and treated you based on your past behavior toward them. So your characters reputation is an illusion and i believe would be next level for this game.

  4. billy nooooooo!   October 25, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Is the writer of this begging for a virtual life where he can buy flower pots and pick up dog sh#t. It’s not the matrix mate, it’s a video game. No more begging for freedom in your computer generated world, it makes you sound silly.

  5. Kyle   October 25, 2013 at 6:20 am

    This seems to be an article on the semantics of the word freedom as opposed to being about any game. Would somebody like to highlight the point of this article, as I can find none.

  6. Jangus Con   October 25, 2013 at 6:17 am

    “GTA V’s freedom isn’t REAL freedom ’cause you can’t play with Legos in the game.” Isn’t this equivocating a bit on the meaning of “freedom?” Most words are understood in context, so “GTA V gives the player freedom” won’t be misinterpreted to mean it the player can bake a virtual cake if desired, offering as much as reality. If it did, the game would risk becoming an unfocused mess… much like reality. Games are supposed to have boundaries and focus of some kind, necessitating limitations.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.