I posted this last September, but this is clearly an appropriate post since the newest game, Grand Theft Auto V, is out this week and set to sell a billion dollars worth of copies by next month. So if you didn't see it the first time, here it is again:
Jacked by David Kushner
Grand Theft Auto is an video game series that is entirely inappropriate for teens. That said, c'mon. Of course they have played it. And of course they are waiting with baited breath for GTA V, due out sometime next year. The series is infamous for its violent and sexual content, what with the brazen murder of innocent pedestrians, police officers and just general wreaking of havoc. On the other hand, it's also a beautifully crafted series, each generation featuring groundbreaking graphics, freedom to travel the city and just cruise around absorbing the atmosphere.
Jacked: The Outlaw Story of Grand Theft Auto by David Kushner traces the history of the game from its humble beginning as a city simulator to the record shattering sales of the 4th edition that in its first 24 hours of sale made more money than any form of entertainment ever before in the same amount of time. Grand Theft Auto was and continues to be a major cornerstone of gaming, but before it made it big, it was just a fringe game by a small start-up.
Parallel to the main story, Jacked also discusses the efforts by moral crusader Jack Thompson to get the game banned in the name of protecting child from the violent contained contained in the series. This obviously never happened, but it serves to create a pretty scary villain for the story of the game. (Scary, of course, if you like games and want to keep playing them).
The pace is a bit slow for my taste, and doesn't actually get into that much detail about the process, but this is more than I'd ever heard before about the behind-the-scenes of the series, so this is a good, reasonable-length approach to the subject, one that should be able to hold the attention of gamers who enjoy it.
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