Grand Theft Auto is a popular video game series that allows players to engage in various illegal and immoral activities (murder, stealing, street racing, certain aspects of drug dealing, soliciting prostitutes, vandalism, assault etc.) in order to complete missions to advance in the game. Its title references the legal term used to classify the theft of an automobile. It has been subject to criticism and controversy as it encourages the player to perform various crimes ranging from speeding to serial murder which may contribute to an increase in aggressive behavior in the player. The games contain parodies of conservatism, along with liberalism, and the main characters are often critical of conservatives, along with liberals. Grand Theft Auto V, released in September 2013 for the PS3 and the Xbox 360, is the newest game in the franchise. Somewhat ironically, most (if not all) editions of the game are set in predominantly liberal cities, so the games (probably unintentionally) promote violence against liberals.
One of the games, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, originally contained a minigame featuring adult content involving the main character and any of his girlfriends, it is activated through the use of a modification file called Hot Coffee mod. Rockstar North denied ever creating the minigame. Recently, the fourth game has turned from its glamorization of Crime life to a more realistic and dark portrayal, with the story less about climbing a ladder of crimes to the top and more about the character simply trying to solve the problems his cousin has caused and then facing the problems that come from trying to leave the world of crime. The game series has a long history dating back to 1997. The first game, Grand Theft Auto, now known as Grand Theft Auto 1, was a 2D driving/shooting game that attracted criticism due to the ability to kill cops and civilians. Grand Theft Auto III, released in 2001 had graphic depictions of carnage. In all of the games, the player can shoot and kill civilians, police officers, and members of the U.S. Military at will. The storylines of all of the games revolve around fulfilling "missions" that range from everything from killing enemy gang members to stealing cars and even spraying over enemy gang tags in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Grand Theft Auto IV features random characters that appear to be teenage, and Grand Theft Auto V has a university campus, known as the "ULSA" campus, where players can essentially go on school shootings.
Grand Theft Auto IV
The release of Grand Theft Auto IV on April 29, 2008 ushered in the fourth generation of Grand Theft Auto games. It can be argued that each generation of Grand Theft Auto games take place in their own fictional universe in which references to other characters and other cities/settings are made. For example, in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, references are made to the GTA III rendition of Liberty City, one of the games missions even takes place in Liberty City in which the player has to take a jetplane and fly to a marker which "lands" the player in a watered down, unfinished, and incompletely rendered version of Liberty City in which he has to kill a mob boss, 5 years after moving out of the city. The GTA III rendition and the GTA IV rendition of Liberty City are both completely different and bear very little if any resemblance to each other.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, more than half a decade after it's initial release is still considered the most popular GTA game due to the fact that it takes place in not one, but three cities a handful of small towns in the countryside. The PC version introduces the ability to adjust visual quality and screen resolution settings according to the hardware capabilities of the PC's graphics adapter (graphics processing unit). Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas follows the story of Carl Johnson, a former gang member of the Grove Street Families that fled his home town of Los Santos in 1987 after his brother was killed. He comes home permanently to avenge the drive by shooting of his mother by the enemy gang, the Ballas.
Its predecessor, Grand Theft Auto: Vice City takes place in a fictional Miami like city in 1986. It was inspired by the Al Pacino film Scarface as well as the television series Miami Vice. It follows the story of a man named Tommy Vercetti, a mob affiliate, born in Liberty City, who returns after being released from prison.
In Game Currency
Ways of making money in the Grand Theft Auto series of games include, but are not limited to: killing people and taking their money, completing storyline and side missions, burglarizing houses (San Andreas), robbing local businesses at gun point (note: does not work well in gun stores) and taking over enemy gang territory (San Andreas). Money can also be earned by going on rampages in malls (Vice City Stories)
The game has been criticized by parent's watchdog groups and a now disgraced lawyer named Jack Thompson due to the fact that the game promotes performing acts of gang violence and enables the player to be a patron of gentlemen s clubs in Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, Grand Theft Auto IV, The Lost & Damned, The Ballad of Gay Tony, and Grand Theft Auto V. A functionality introduced in San Andreas and the entire GTA IV era allow the player to receive lap dances in exchange for the in game currency.
- 'Grand Theft Auto' Promo Campaign Kept Quiet, Associated Press, Fox News Channel, April 28, 2008. "As Bellic, players can hijack cars, earn cash for criminal activities, flee from police, drive drunk, kill innocent bystanders and patronize strip clubs."