Grand Theft Auto is Art

For me Grand Theft Auto was known for driving around recklessly and running over people. In GTA you (the player) are a person whose objective is to complete missions. I needed a lot of help from my friends to play and understand this game, especially since I had to use a controller and I don’t have really good coordination with one. So the objective of the game to steal cars and deliver them (in one piece) to the dealer. In the game you complete missions to get money. The more the money the more stuff you can buy with within the game like your own cars, house, clothes and even weapons. While playing you must beware of their star level, the more the stars the higher the warrant for your arrest.


I found the graphics of the game fascinating because they were very intricate in displaying the weather, it could be raining, a regular sunny day, or night time. Along with the roads and buildings of the fictional city of Los Altos (where the game is set), based on Los Angeles, California. But it’s not wildly popular for its animations, no it’s well known for the various angles of violence the player gets to articulate. For example using weapons on random things, blowing things up, stealing, beating and killing people. It’s a virtual reality where you get to do whatever you want.

Becker’s concept of art worlds and collective activity explains the importance of all the materials that bring any piece of art together. “It produces instead, an understanding of the complexity of the cooperative networks through which art happens…Think of all the activities that must be carried out for any work of art to appear as it finally does. For a symphony orchestra to give a concert, for instance, instruments must have been invented, manufactured, and maintained….” (Becker 2).Going by Becker’s words GTA fits the category of art through collective activity although Rockstar receives the title of its “author”, there are many other people who also help bring it together like the musicians, graphic designers, geographers who surveyed cities to imitate it in the game, designers for the cars and many more.


GTA like any game requires strategizing, how the player chooses to complete the mission becomes an art of its own. This ties in with Barthes reading of “The Death of an Author” where he mentions

“..but there is one place this multiplicity is collected, united, and this place is not the author, as we have hitherto said it was but the reader….the unity of the text is not in its origin, it is in its destination…the birth of the reader must be ransomed by the death of the Author” (Barthes 6).

This is kind of like a “the beauty is in the eye of the beholder” theme, where the way a reader interprets a text or a picture gives life to what the “author” has produced. The way the player chooses to complete the missions, collect ammo, and spend money is a creation of what they are given from the game. The act of playing video games can be considered art as well because it helps express emotion, release anger/ stress for satisfaction, you can go crazy and do the unimaginable.


One thought on “Grand Theft Auto is Art

  1. This game is one that stems on player freedom and that is where most of the boasting for the GTA series comes from and I feel as though you captured that really well. This blog dove into all the right areas and was really well organized.


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