My point of view on the controversy, least everything get drown in hypocrisy.
I use a forum comment directed at me to explain myself.
Are you actually complaining about people’s suggestions that maybe GTA could have made one of its 3 main characters a woman? And/or included some interesting female NPC characters? I mean these aren’t crazy demands.
I’m of the opinion that “it could”. The problem is when “could” is turned into “should”. Or “has to”.
I don’t go to telling a writer the story he “should” or “has to” write. But I can choose the stories that interest me. In art, there is no “should” and there are no rules one imposes on someone else because of some self-assigned moral superiority. There’s only the subjective point of view of the author and the specific story he decides to tell. Equality is needed, as a political stance, in the real world, not in a personal work of art or a fictional story. Moral laws forced on fiction are what brought to Orwell’s 1984 world, some people establishing what’s good for everyone else. Deciding in your place what is appropriate and what is not. No one should have that power on culture.
Misogyny is a problem in the real world and we should strive to change it. But changing the world by trying to manipulate and control culture is once again Orwell’s world, regardless of the worthy goal. It’s an intolerable way to achieve a good thing, and it means losing that legitimacy. It’s a cultural crime to fix another. So, the problem in Orwell’s world wasn’t because the bad guys had the power, but the simple fact that this power was in someone’s hands. No one should have that power, no one can claim that throne.
So it’s not that I’m against the idea of including women, or women protagonists into GTA. But that’s not MY choice. Nor I’m entitled to tell Rockstar (or anyone else working on his own thing) what is appropriate or not appropriate to show in a game.
That’s the main point for me: with movies we accept all kinds of themes and perspectives, while with games it’s automatic that certain themes shouldn’t be touched and are no-go zone (the torture thing). Why? Because we naturally assume games are only for kids.
It is instead absolutely legitimate to make a general observation and to complain about the game genre at large, and ask for a better representation of both genders. What is not legitimate is to bring that demand down on a specific game. Nor is legitimate to make a political pressure as it happens right now in some journalistic articles filled with shallow snark and claiming moral superiority. That’s just a way to exploit people’s feelings and rouse hostility, wrongly redirecting a legitimate demand.
I don’t go tell Thomas Pynchon which characters he should put in the next book, or that if he wants to tell “x” story then he also HAS TO include “y” story. I’m not entitled to do that, I do not want to do that.
I should mention that in my life I’ve played a few minutes of San Andreas and a few minutes of GTA4 (and maybe a couple of hours of the old 2D GTA). So I’m not writing this to defend “my territory”.