The first real detail from the highly anticipated Grand Theft Auto VI has leaked via a Bloomberg report. The leak states that the game will feature multiple protagonists, one of whom will be female. In a storyline inspired by the real-life story of Bonnie and Clyde, players will play as both the male character and his female, Latina partner. The online response has been that GTA VI has become woke.
The news that the next entry in everyone’s favourite innocent civilian murder simulator may feature a section where the player controls a female character was apparently too much for a significant amount people across the internet. This, unfortunately, includes Lavern Spicer; the Florida Republican Congressional candidate because we now apparently live in a parody universe.
GTA 6 is going to go woke.
They’ll also go broke.
— Lavern Spicer 🇺🇸 (@lavern_spicer) July 27, 2022
As referenced above, she is far from the first person to throw the ‘woke,’ terminology at the series which allows you to mow down police officers in the street. What is significant though, (and odd,) is that she is the first person of power to comment on this latest Twitter outcry.
It should also be noted that the word, ‘woke,’ is being used in the typical conservative context by Spicer. Apparently making a statement to say your team has progressed creatively to the point where they no longer feel comfortable including anti-trans humour in their game is woke. As is, – for the first time since the very first entry in the series, – allowing GTA players to play as (God forbid!) …a woman.
So far this year, I have discovered that woke is:
– Black person having a job
– Woman MAYBE playable in GTA 6
– Harley Quinn
– And now Impossible Meat.
This is a VERY encompassing word.
— Chris Moore (@MooreSaiyan) August 3, 2022
Thankfully, there are others in the gaming press who have pointed out how ridiculous the use of the word, ‘woke,’ is in this context. It is beginning to feel like the word is losing more meaning every time that it gets thrown around.
Despite the misuse of the word woke by a prominent US political figure, there is a real irony to this recent outcry which many seem to be missing. GTA has never been a pro-American title. For the past two decades, the series has taken a multitude of jabs at the fallacy of the American Dream.
Whilst it may be true that many folks have played GTA games without picking up on the pretty obvious subtext, that doesn’t negate the fact that the subtext is present. The entire message of the past 5 GTA titles has been; that the American Dream is only achievable for those willing to murder, steal and cheat their way to the top of the pile. It is a criticism of modern capitalism. Not exactly a message that has ever lined up with conservative values.
If you can’t see the clear parody of a country rotted by greed and ego, then you may be missing the point. GTA is satirical. It has always been made in response to the current state of the world. GTA VI has likely been in development since fairly early on in the previous presidency. Do you really not expect that farcical, nightmarish collective experience not to be highlighted in the next GTA game?
Along with the claims that the GTA VI will be a woke title, many are speculating it to be a financial bomb due to the old, ‘go woke, go broke,’ mentality. For those making that claim, you do realise that this is a GTA title we are discussing, right?
Along with Minecraft, Grand Theft Auto V is one of the most financially successful video games in history. It is estimated to have made Rockstar Games over $6 billion since it was first released in 2013. The game is almost 10 years old and it still appears on best-selling weekly games lists.
It would take something truly monumental for GTA VI to be anything other than a roaring success. Even if for some strange reason, the title was to sell half of the 165 million copies that its predecessor did, it would still be considered a financial triumph.
Although it is clear to most that GTA VI will not be a woke title, as we move closer to the game’s release, these sorts of Twitter spats will likely become more frequent. I suppose that just comes with the territory when developing a game centred around amoral characters running around a virtual divided states of embarrassment. I guess that it is just as well that sort of thing only happens in a video game…