The Beautiful Art of GTA

For this weeks blog I chose to play the game I was most familiar with, being Grand Theft Auto ( V to be exact) by Rockstar Games ( Grand Theft Auto is an open-world action game, where players assume the role of a criminal character a complete missions or objectives. Its not so much as a role playing game, but you assume a new life within the virtual world. Its overall pretty fun, you buy your own house, your own clothes, cars, feed your character, and you can even kill other people in the virtual world! Total irrelevant but I was even playing mini golf within the game. The real questions is to see if everything within the game is really art.


To truly dissect and determine if Grand Theft Auto is truly art, we must first discuss what are is exactly.

Art, according to google, is the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power. We can examine the words of Howard Becker on how collective and social activity that lead to the division of labor that it takes to make art exist in traditional forms of art such as paintings, sculptures, and modern forms such as movies. The game itself it created by a team of people. It all started with one idea for a game (David Jones and Mike Dailly) and expanded into what it is today. The argument is, who would be the artist for the game? The creators, designers, editors, or publishers?

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I believe the game itself is art, with its graphics, characters, and multiple variations of colors. The entire game itself is a piece of art with how each of its mechanic’s work with more art within for the graphic designs. Each character, building, and plant took someone time and effort to create making it their contribution of art for the final masterpiece. Again the game itself is art, and the artist is the entire Rockstar team for each of their contributions to the final product. This ties in with Roland Barthes concept of” the death of the author.” This can further be explained with the quote,” The birth of the reader must be ransomed by the death of the author.” (Barthes 1967, p. 6) It is the concept of arts meaning not being held by the artist but it is really what the observer, or in this case, player, experience from it is what we truly call the art. This is indubitably I would consider Grand Theft Auto art.

blog-3-3Grand theft auto does not lie far for the game Pac-Man where you are given a level with boundaries and you have an objective with multiple obstacles to imped your way, whether its police or colorful ghosts. It is like from what we learned in lecture 4 about Structuralist game design where we design games based on a previous game just by changing some simple elements, like in the evolution of the 2-D Shooter. Pac-Man is included in the Museum of Modern Arts what’s to say Grand Theft Auto can’t be, with its similar but not so different concepts?

One thing that I had to include from my experience of playing this game is the concept we’ve learned previously in this class of The Hegemony of Play. This game is the reason why this concept exists and fits in it perfectly. Although the game is very fun and appealing, it depicts what this concept is about. A game to appeal the audience demand. The power of dominance for these type of games that seem to be the some of the most popular at the moment.


5 thoughts on “The Beautiful Art of GTA

  1. I honestly agree with what you added in the end about hegemony of play. GTA has been a series of classic games that we played growing up with better and better graphics, sounds, gameplay and etc with more and more new releases to the series. Each release has an upgrade which actually makes the audience and gamers more hooked on. There is a “power of dominance” as you mentioned considering GTA 5 has been named one of the most successful names out there.


  2. I’m having trouble wrapping my head around this statement: “Grand theft auto does not lie far for the game Pac-Man where you are given a level with boundaries and you have an objective with multiple obstacles to imped your way, whether its police or colorful ghosts.” To say that Grand Theft Auto is even similar to Pac-Man mechanically needs to be defended with more than just references to “obstacles.” If you’re talking about GTA an essentially another element of play in a ludic platform, that makes sense. But, dude, you can’t cite google. If you are taking this definition from a website searched through google, cite the website. Paraphrasing a definition without giving credit is plagiarism, plain and simple.


  3. You mentioned Barthe’s quote followed by stating art as an experience. How has this game presented an artistic perspective from you?


  4. With Grand Theft Auto V being long and awaited it was almost required for you to play it if you played the previous games in the series. I like how you began with defining what art is show the reader has a clear definition of how the game can be classified as art. I really enjoyed how you included the quote of the birth of a reader to show how the game can be considered art. Have you played the DLC of the game yet?


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