The game franchise's latest release goes light on the sex this time around — and it should.
Let me preface this by saying that I have not played Grand Theft Auto V (nor any other version of the game for that matter) and I am by no means a video game aficionado (unless we're talking Yoshi's Story). However, a number of other people have and are, so they wrote about it on the internet. And I'm pretty good at research.
The recently released and highly anticipated GTA V is pretty limited when it comes to sexcapades. You can get it on with prostitutes, and, if you play your cards right, strippers, too. With the prostitutes, you can choose either the $50, $70 or $100 service, and with the strippers you don't even have a choice. Pretty basic stuff. On top of this, there is zero actual nudity in any of these situations, aside from lap dances given at the strip club. The most explicit aspect is the dirty talk coming from the women and the seriously vile grunts coming from the men. And for that I am thankful. I am glad that the sex is nowhere near as elaborate as the violence.
See, as a game franchise with a bit of a reputation for misogyny and female alienation (ie: the fact that they still refuse to make a female protagonist available and how killing hookers after using them is a beloved feature of the game), I, as a woman, would be pretty afraid of what might happen if they were to up the game's sexuality. Given the nature of the game and its history, as well as its target audience (males), it doesn't take much to guess the places elevated levels of sex could go. The sex in GTA is to please men. It's as simple as that. So, naturally, more sex would not create a more female friendly experience, but rather do the opposite, likely establishing situations and actions much more oppressive, demeaning and possibly violent than they already are (though I'm not sure if it gets more violent than killing a prostitute when you're done with her).
The above idea and assumption holds true for any of the GTA games, but especially the latest incarnation. As noted in Cosmopolitan's review, GTA has done away with the dating and girlfriends facet of the game which was previously a prime plot point in other versions. For once, the men need women for more than sex and an easy kill. With the relationship feature, the concept of increasing the game's sex doesn't seem too crazy or strange, perhaps it might even provide more options that appeal to females and cater to their often ignored sexuality.
However, girlfriends are no more in GTA V and the majority of female characters only function as sex objects for men. Increasing the sex when strippers and prostitutes are the only potential partners would be promoting all the wrong things. In a game known for its devaluing of women, I fear what could be thought up next if they decided to up the ante. Though GTA may be notorious for marginalizing the female population, I can breathe easier knowing that in the latest installment, the sex does not try to be on par with the grotesque displays of violence. They should keep it that way.
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