axe to grind

GTAV is definitely bringing out the worst hypocrisy out of journalism. Here’s an example:

For a game defined by its attitude to freedom and openness, it gives you very little liberty to escape its structure. You can go for a drive, or play tennis or do yoga, but you’re delaying the inevitable.

Well respected Leigh Alexander, who writes for her public the stuff that her public demands. It’s well written, but the arguments are terribly weak. That quote isn’t a superficial extrapolation, but the actual point around which the whole thing pivots. And it’s deeply hypocritical.

Too much axe to grind.

I guess she should go play some Final Fantasy instead. Really, why isn’t she writing this article about Final Fantasy? I guess because that’s not where the axe to grind is.

Or even Skyrim.

Or even every game out there since the beginning of times up to now.

Pac-man. Why I can’t break out of the labyrinth, or go convincing the ghosts that we all can live happily?

Or maybe next she’s going to complain that she watched a movie and couldn’t get a character do what she wanted when she yelled at the screen?

The tragedy of Grand Theft Auto V is that they didn’t call her to write it. She seems to resent this a lot.

it gives you very little liberty to escape its structure

Game Design 101: structure is the game. A game without a structure is not a game.

Methinks the HRose doth protest too much. She can’t critique X because she’s not also critiquing Y, Z & the rest of the alphabet?

As for her specific criticisms, at least her point about emergent gameplay having evolved not at all and the storytelling having become increasingly directed over the last few generations of the series, I don’t really see how you can disagree with.

… I’m burnt out on games like GTA & Skyrim exactly because the Half Life portions other games do better and the sandbox stuff they do exactly like, if not worse, than they did 10 years ago.

Yes but that’s the excuse. That’s why the article is so hypocritical. That’s a valid complaint that applies to the whole game genre.

But it’s not a case she’s writing this about GTA, after having mocked GTA before, and grafting that article onto the whole controversy about misogyny. That’s her angle. Right now GTA is the evil dude that everyone is pointing at. And she’s complaining that GTA tells a story she doesn’t like, while it prevents her to have the story she wants.

In the comments someone wrote:
“the problem is a lack of female creators making alternatives.”

And that’s right. That’s why people like Christine Love should be treasured (the same people who are super fast loving and retweeting everything Leigh Alexander writes just because it sides with their faction). She actually makes alternatives, instead of complaining about what GTA is not. And no one goes complaining to Christine Love there’s no dude in her games.

Leigh’s argument is completely non-specific to GTA, but she exploits it to drive her point. This is hypocritical. She’s simply seeing what she wanted to see before opening the box. If the real point is to prove sandboxes aren’t as good as they could be, then this article is a very poor one because it’s so rabid and specific about a single game.

I’m not saying it’s easy, or that there aren’t legitimate complaints about the state of the industry, but you can’t redirect this specifically to a single game that does its own thing. GTA could have done all those things. They are all missed opportunities. But it’s not up to us to make those choices or catch those opportunities.

In this discussion GTA just represents jealousy (we want our own GTA) or expediency (everyone talks about it, so let’s raise a stink).

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