Wednesday, August 16, 2006

If you know Grand Theft Auto III...

...then you'll find this commercial pretty funny (HT: Blogometer). Yes, it's a Coke commercial, and a lot of their stuff annoys the crap out of me. But this is an excellent parody.

And just for the record, I think GTA III and its sequels are masterpieces (at least those I've played). Completely immoral masterpieces, certainly. But the notion that entertainment should provide some moral lesson is ridiculous. Just as flight simulators free us from the laws of gravity, if only in our imagination, GTA III gives us a universe in which we are unshackled by the laws of morality. The first time you run someone over in GTA III, and realize that there are no consequences, the exhiliration is unspeakable. (OK, if the police are watching, there can be consequences, but the cops are easily bribed into looking the other way.)

I think the best literary analogue to GTA III is the scene at the end of Nabokov's Lolita, where Humbert decides to drive down the wrong side of the road. Yes, it's wrong and unsafe and self-destructive, but there's part of you that wishes you could do that too. Well, thanks to the folks at Rockstar Games, you can. And you don't even have to hurt anybody real.

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