The Art in Theft

Art is term that has been defined in many various ways. However a few individuals have connected art into games. The game I played included aspects of Idea, Form, and Ideal all characteristics of art, at least according to G. W. F. Hegel.


The game I decided to play is Grand Theft Auto V, made by Rockstar Games. I chose this game specifically because it has one of the most beautiful graphics that I have ever seen. The game consists of a story mode and an online mode, however both modes live in the same map just different servers. In the story mode, you follow the lives of 3 different characters as they join together to do illegal things. In the online mode (the one I played most of), you have the ability to have your own character and personalize it. In the both modes you are free to explore anywhere in the massive map but in online you can play with your friends. Time exists in the game since there is a night and day no matter who is on a session, Rockstars servers are on 24/7. In both modes, you have missions in which you’d up doing illegal things to earn money that you can spend on outfits, houses, and cars. In the online mode you are able to do races and death-matches with your friends or random people online.  While playing the game, I was just fully blown away at how gorgeous the graphics looked (I had everything on Ultra on my PC) and I am amazed at how much work the graphic designers took into the little details.gta-5-map

Not only is it the most recent game in the Grand Theft Auto series, it is also the most graphically designed game. According to this article,  Rockstar North President, Leslie Benzies states that over 1,000 people worked on the details of Grand Theft Auto V. To me this shows some hard ass dedication for a game. Imagine the effort it took for Vincent van Gogh to paint Starry Night in each stroke. Now think that but magnified by 1000 people working together to design a whole virtual world.

Behind the Scenes of creating GTA V

How is it art? According to  G.W.F. Hegel in Philosophy of Fine Art, Ideal art is a mixture of Idea and Form which creates good art (p.80). For Hegel, idea consists of content of art and Form being a configuration of sensous material. With these definitions in mind, Grand Theft Auto V is ideal art. It includes Idea because of its essence of game and its dynamics. What makes Grand Theft Auto 5, a Grand Theft Auto is the specific way you can play. It is an open world game which lets you travel in an immense amount of space, it lets you do illegal things without any of the consequences and it lets you customize your character to personify your own identity without losing its own identity. This game also includes form in its playability with a couple senses. The senses it includes are, hearing, sight and touch. You hear the game’s music, and all the little details like non-player characters that speak to you when you bump into them. With GTA Online, you are able to interact with other players through voice and you can interact with them even if they are across the world. You see the graphics of the game and you might not actually touch the virtual world but you are able to correspond movements with your controller/keyboard and the world. Every movement you do with your hands and the controller/keyboard, is shown in this virtual reality. There is also VR headsets that lets you have a full virtual reality experience, as if you were inside the game.

The biggest proof for me that Grand Theft Auto is art is the graphical design/aesthetics of the game. William Raymond defines aesthetics as being now in common use to refer to questions of visual appearance and effect (p. 25). The visual appearance of GTA V is appalling and breathtaking, the graphics almost make it seem like a real life picture. Not just the graphics are improved but the designers were able to completely build the city of Los Angeles in the game almost exactly the same. The ability to be able to fully replicate one of the biggest cities in California is art all in itself. It is a matter of connecting a reality into another reality that makes it so beautiful. Not only do you create it but you enable it to be explored without actually being there. Overall, I enjoyed my experience with this game and still think that it is one of the most beautiful games I have ever played.

I give this game 8 stolen dollar bills out of 10.dol


G. W. E. Hegel. (1998 [1826]). “Philosophy of Fine Art.” In The Art of Art History: A CriticalAnthology, edited by D. Preziosi. Oxford: Oxford University Press: pp. 80-88.

Raymond Williams. (1985 [1976]). “Aesthetic,” “Art,” “Culture,” and “Dialectic.” In Keywords: A Vocabulary of Culture and Society, Revised Edition. New York: Oxford University Press.


7 thoughts on “The Art in Theft

  1. I’m surprised at how many people chose to play GTA5. Barely anyone decided to go old school and play the older versions which is fine, it just makes me kind of sad panda. The difference between the graphics of vice city and this version are huge even though that’s to be expected. I do agree that the aesthetics of this game is just mind blowing. The people working on this game must have put a bunch of sleepless nights on it.


    • I mean, how many times can you say that you played GTA V for a college class. Aw GTA V is the only one I have, I used to have San Andreas but for PS3 but that’s long gone after the fifth came out. Was there a particular reason why you chose a older version?


  2. Ohhh, vice city was the first one I played. I really loved it and played hours long with it. I would highly recommend GTAV, it def upped it’s game


  3. I definitely agreed with everything you said. Especially with how it can be considered an art form. I have the same outlook as you do and could not agree more. I personally feel San Andreas to be one of my all time favorites just because of the capabilities the game at that time for the ps2 was just awesome.


    • I am happy to know that someone agrees with me! Oh absolutely. San Andreas was the pinnacle of Grand Theft Auto, I love that you could get fat and exercise and lose weight. The whole concept of the game was so realistic and fun, I wish Gta5 was like that as well.


  4. You post was great. I really loved your comparison between Vincent Van Gogh’s Starry Night and GTA 5’s graphics. I think it’s important to understand how vast of a game and how many people it takes to create this game.
    As a side note, how do you come up with your rating systems? Is it just based on how much you like the game?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s