Grand Theft Auto Culture Changes

Also on Bloomberg (may require registration or subscription) is a profile of Rockstar Games, discussing the studio's progress at cleaning up its "frat boy" culture. These internal changes are also impacting both the future and the past of the Grand Theft Auto series. Word is: "Between the company’s new mandate and the 2019 departure of Dan Houser, who led creative direction on many previous Rockstar games, all signs suggest Grand Theft Auto VI will feel very different than its predecessor." The article quotes anonymous past and present employees saying the culture shift is real, but also discussing how the team is still working out how to operate under the new system. Here's more:
In the summer of 2020, after a police officer killed George Floyd, Rockstar Games quietly shelved a mode of play it had planned to release for its Grand Theft Auto Online game.

Called Cops ‘n’ Crooks, the mode was a twist on the children’s game where players organize into teams of good guys and bad guys, but seemed especially tone-deaf during the global reckoning over police violence. Senior executives at the company, concerned about how the narrative might be interpreted during a time of heightened skepticism and mistrust of American police, put it aside. They still haven’t made plans to bring it back, according to people familiar with development.

This was one of several politically sensitive actions Rockstar, a division of Take-Two Interactive Software Inc., has taken in recent years. The company removed transphobic jokes from the most recent console release of Grand Theft Auto V and significantly narrowed its gender pay gap. Rockstar’s next game, Grand Theft Auto VI, will include a playable female protagonist for the first time, according to people familiar with the game. The woman, who is Latina, will be one of a pair of leading characters in a story influenced by the bank robbers Bonnie and Clyde, the people said. Developers are also being cautious not to “punch down” by making jokes about marginalized groups, the people said, in contrast to previous games.

Moves like these once seemed unthinkable for a company whose best-selling franchise is a satirical depiction of America that involves playing gangsters who kill civilians and where women are mostly depicted as sex objects. Grand Theft Auto V was a nihilistic parody that threw insults at everything, from right-wing radio hosts to liberal politicians. Inside the company, the tone wasn’t much different. Rockstar employees described a workplace culture full of drinking, brawling and excursions to strip clubs. The company was an early symbol of an industry-wide problem of long hours at the office, known as crunch, in which staff were expected to be at their desks many nights and weekends in order to keep a game on schedule.
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39.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 12:39
39.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 12:39
Jul 28, 2022, 12:39
 
BigVlad wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 10:50:
Quinn wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 03:30:
GTA of all titles is known for shitting on everything and every one. GTA is the "no lives matter" Cthulhu meme of gaming. If that game starts to fear hurting anyone's feelings, it's lost its dumb, hilarious heart. GTA never was "aware" or "sympathetic" for anyone's feeling and if it will now, that is a sign of wokeness creeping in.

See, you almost did it! You said what you wanted to say in a coherent way (though I don't agree with the sentiment entirely) without using that silly term, and then at the very end, you throw it in. Why not just say that, instead of tossing in a useless, ambiguous term which adds nothing and actually muddles your argument and casts doubt on your character, because you're using a term that is predominantly used by racists and sexists. For the record, I'm not insinuating that you're either of those things. Maybe you genuinely don't use the term in a way that most people use it. If that's the case, then I'm just puzzled why you would continue to promote that term by using it unironically

Look mate, it means "a state of being aware, especially of social problems such as racism and inequality". That's all good. However, not everything that is good needs to be inserted into everything. It is ridiculous if it's inserted in GTA unless using extreme satire or parody. It's also annoying when it's inserted in other entertainment without any subtlety or proper context, like an out of the blue offhand remark someone makes about some dude being succesful because he's white, right? Har har har.

So when I use the word the way I do, I don't think I use it incorrectly. Fuck Fox and whatever other news outlets.
38.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 11:55
38.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 11:55
Jul 28, 2022, 11:55
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 08:08:
"I have black friends, like Franklin!"

"No, you're the one that fits neatly into a ideology, you woke libtards!"


Anytime a game studio says"we're going to have a black character," there are a solid 4 posters here you can guarantee will be outraged, then offended when you imply they're outraged over race. But if the word "black" shows up, so do they. For 3 of them, it's the only topics they post in.

You are making such a fucking fool of yourself by now, man. You are now that guy in this forum that just misquotes people, put words in their mouths, and is just deliberately misinterpreting their comments to a point it's just too obvious what you are doing. Apart from Redeye I honestly can't imagine anyone falling for your shit anymore.
37.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 11:16
37.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 11:16
Jul 28, 2022, 11:16
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 08:08:
"I have black friends, like Franklin!"

"No, you're the one that fits neatly into a ideology, you woke * removed *!"


Anytime a game studio says"we're going to have a black character," there are a solid 4 posters here you can guarantee will be outraged, then offended when you imply they're outraged over race. But if the word "black" shows up, so do they. For 3 of them, it's the only topics they post in.
Lucky to have so few of the grievance-obsessed posters.

This comment was edited on Jul 28, 2022, 13:00.
"I expect death to be nothingness and by removing from me all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism." Isaac Asimov
Avatar 58135
36.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 10:50
36.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 10:50
Jul 28, 2022, 10:50
 
Quinn wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 03:30:
GTA of all titles is known for shitting on everything and every one. GTA is the "no lives matter" Cthulhu meme of gaming. If that game starts to fear hurting anyone's feelings, it's lost its dumb, hilarious heart. GTA never was "aware" or "sympathetic" for anyone's feeling and if it will now, that is a sign of wokeness creeping in.

See, you almost did it! You said what you wanted to say in a coherent way (though I don't agree with the sentiment entirely) without using that silly term, and then at the very end, you throw it in. Why not just say that, instead of tossing in a useless, ambiguous term which adds nothing and actually muddles your argument and casts doubt on your character, because you're using a term that is predominantly used by racists and sexists. For the record, I'm not insinuating that you're either of those things. Maybe you genuinely don't use the term in a way that most people use it. If that's the case, then I'm just puzzled why you would continue to promote that term by using it unironically
Avatar 58173
35.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 09:09
NKD
35.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 09:09
Jul 28, 2022, 09:09
NKD
 
Quinn wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 03:45:
Then be so kind as to make up a new word for what people like SMITE and myself mean without us having to refer back to this thread.

There are all kinds of words you can use that don't require new ones to be invented. How about "I hope they won't go the route of unnecessary self-censorship or dry humourless writing" or "A hallmark of GTA games has been its juvenile irreverent sense of humour, will that be ruined if they avoid making certain types of jokes or references?"
Do you have a single fact to back that up?
Avatar 43041
34.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 08:56
34.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 08:56
Jul 28, 2022, 08:56
 
SMITE wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 00:44:
Do you want to know what wokeness is and why even people who aren't far right Trump supporters don't like it? (Of course you don't, but let's just pretend that you do).

Here you go.

https://www.arcdigital.media/p/defining-wokeness

When there is a factual error in the very first paragraph it. it doesn't fill one with a lot of confidence. The phrase started over a hundred years ago. That is, "pollical correctness". Of course that would involve research.

Quinn wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 03:45:
Then be so kind as to make up a new word for what people like SMITE and myself mean without us having to refer back to this thread. This walking on eggshells semantics game is really only necessary if you expect the worst of everyone. I refer to my last comment. How hard is it to understand that when talking about this GTA development, with "woke" we don't mean we hate to see female/gay/black protagonists? How hard is it to consider mayyybe we're not racist/homophobes/misogynists? Chew on that so maybe next time, we could have a genuine conversation.

Maybe don't use one word with a myriad of different meanings to different people and express what you truly mean. The problem is, you can't, because you don't know what you mean otherwise you would of said it. You still haven't.
Avatar 14675
33.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 08:08
33.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 08:08
Jul 28, 2022, 08:08
 
"I have black friends, like Franklin!"

"No, you're the one that fits neatly into a ideology, you woke libtards!"


Anytime a game studio says"we're going to have a black character," there are a solid 4 posters here you can guarantee will be outraged, then offended when you imply they're outraged over race. But if the word "black" shows up, so do they. For 3 of them, it's the only topics they post in.
32.
 
Re: Grand Theft Auto Culture Changes
Jul 28, 2022, 03:59
32.
Re: Grand Theft Auto Culture Changes Jul 28, 2022, 03:59
Jul 28, 2022, 03:59
 
There's no way that GTA comes out without trying hard at being edgy.

Y'all were worried about Saints Row going realistic or something too... these articles are based on nothing and just serve to spin up people that love to read about "go woke go broke" and other stupid culture war bullshit.
Avatar 17249
31.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 03:45
31.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 03:45
Jul 28, 2022, 03:45
 
Hardline Mike wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 03:30:
Quinn wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 02:22:
And SMITE is so right, right now. It's ridiculous how an opponent of today's practice of "wokeness" is automatically a racist/homophobe/misogynist in you people's eyes.

Why are you surprised? When Fox News uses the word "woke" every 10 seconds as a pejorative, and a third of the country seems to think "wokeness" is a bigger problem than literally anything else on the planet, people aren't really going to default to giving you the benefit of the doubt that you aren't just parroting Fox News hysteria.

Then be so kind as to make up a new word for what people like SMITE and myself mean without us having to refer back to this thread. This walking on eggshells semantics game is really only necessary if you expect the worst of everyone. I refer to my last comment. How hard is it to understand that when talking about this GTA development, with "woke" we don't mean we hate to see female/gay/black protagonists? How hard is it to consider mayyybe we're not racist/homophobes/misogynists? Chew on that so maybe next time, we could have a genuine conversation.
30.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 03:30
NKD
30.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 03:30
Jul 28, 2022, 03:30
NKD
 
Quinn wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 02:22:
And SMITE is so right, right now. It's ridiculous how an opponent of today's practice of "wokeness" is automatically a racist/homophobe/misogynist in you people's eyes.

Why are you surprised? When Fox News uses the word "woke" every 10 seconds as a pejorative, and a third of the country seems to think "wokeness" is a bigger problem than literally anything else on the planet, people aren't really going to default to giving you the benefit of the doubt that you aren't just parroting Fox News hysteria.
Do you have a single fact to back that up?
Avatar 43041
29.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 03:30
29.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 03:30
Jul 28, 2022, 03:30
 
BigVlad wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 02:26:
SMITE wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 00:44:
Do you want to know what wokeness is and why even people who aren't far right Trump supporters don't like it? (Of course you don't, but let's just pretend that you do).

Here you go.

https://www.arcdigital.media/p/defining-wokeness

I read about half of that article before giving up because there was a lot of nonsense in there and none of it had anything to do with how the word is used colloquially, particularly by the far right. I don't really care about the etymology of the word or how it's used in academics. As used by the far right, the word pretty much exclusively means "minority and/or women bad". There is no nuance there. Some liberals or centrists might use it in a more nuanced and less racist/sexist way but that's a terrible idea as it just promotes the use of the idiotic term.

As an example of how poisoned and stupid this word is, just look at the discourse on the new Thor movie, even before its release. I watch a lot of movies so I come across this stuff on YouTube. Why do they call it "woke"? Because a woman plays a prominent role. That's it. Do you really think that Terminator 1/2, Alien, and Aliens would not be called "woke" by the right if released today? If you're definition of "woke" is not "minority and/or women bad" then you probably should not be using that word, since that's overwhelmingly how it is being used nowadays.

I honestly wonder how hard it would be for you guys to presume SMITE doesn't mean that when he uses the term, when talking about how GTA will stop being GTA because feelings get hurt? (allow the simplification for arguments' sake)

GTA of all titles is known for shitting on everything and every one. GTA is the "no lives matter" Cthulhu meme of gaming. If that game starts to fear hurting anyone's feelings, it's lost its dumb, hilarious heart. GTA never was "aware" or "sympathetic" for anyone's feeling and if it will now, that is a sign of wokeness creeping in. NOT because it has gay, black or female protagonists. It's really quite similar to comedians getting cancelled (another trigger word the Beamers can't wait to pounce) because of their dark humour, but instead of making the joke, R* decides to just refrain entirely because they've become just as woke as the people that do the cancelling. At least, that what it sounds like for now.

Disclaimer: that the same GTA culture was alive IRL in the studio is terrible, and I'm glad that's changing. That shouldn't bleed into the game, imo.
28.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 02:26
28.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 02:26
Jul 28, 2022, 02:26
 
SMITE wrote on Jul 28, 2022, 00:44:
Do you want to know what wokeness is and why even people who aren't far right Trump supporters don't like it? (Of course you don't, but let's just pretend that you do).

Here you go.

https://www.arcdigital.media/p/defining-wokeness

I read about half of that article before giving up because there was a lot of nonsense in there and none of it had anything to do with how the word is used colloquially, particularly by the far right. I don't really care about the etymology of the word or how it's used in academics. As used by the far right, the word pretty much exclusively means "minority and/or women bad". There is no nuance there. Some liberals or centrists might use it in a more nuanced and less racist/sexist way but that's a terrible idea as it just promotes the use of the idiotic term.

As an example of how poisoned and stupid this word is, just look at the discourse on the new Thor movie, even before its release. I watch a lot of movies so I come across this stuff on YouTube. Why do they call it "woke"? Because a woman plays a prominent role. That's it. Do you really think that Terminator 1/2, Alien, and Aliens would not be called "woke" by the right if released today? If you're definition of "woke" is not "minority and/or women bad" then you probably should not be using that word, since that's overwhelmingly how it is being used nowadays.
Avatar 58173
27.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 02:22
27.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 02:22
Jul 28, 2022, 02:22
 
MrDevinoch wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 21:19:
Quinn wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 17:02:
ForgedReality wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 14:31:
Thunderwalker wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 12:44:
Without the bro culture, it’s just another shooter with vehicles.

Sad is the day that GTA goes woke.

F
*massive eye roll*

You conservatives are so pathetic. "Woke" used to mean intelligent and aware of what's going on.

And shoving it in everyone's faces.

☝️You forgot that last part, which is the crux of it.

There really aren't that many people -- relatively speaking -- in our society that are against what woke stands for. It's the shoving down our throat part -- the preaching; lecture almost -- that some people can't stand. Myself included.

I love how "standing up for yourselves so you don't get trampled on" becomes "shoving down our throat" from a pair of eyes too blind to see past their own nose. The preaching is to point out how ingrained racism, sexism and homophobia are to people who claim "it's not a big deal." If you're bothered by that, maybe it's not the "preaching" that you're bothered by.

"Standing up for yourselves", you say? Well, it's hardly ever the people from said "marginalized groups" that create woke products. And just to call it "punching down" is also just an insult. I can't imagine how pissed I'd feel if I was black or gay for example, people joked about it, and the "white cis male" next to me tried to comfort me while saying "Awww come on dudes, stop punching down". Well fuck you, buddy! 🤣

And SMITE is so right, right now. It's ridiculous how an opponent of today's practice of "wokeness" is automatically a racist/homophobe/misogynist in you people's eyes. "If you say what you think your comment would be removed"... I can't be arsed to check who said this, but just chew on that ridiculous comment for a bit. That mind-reading phenomenon is such a common thing with the left. And while there's a LOT of stereotypical, dumb shit going with people on the right, the mind-readers are typically only found among the left wing zealots.
26.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 28, 2022, 00:44
26.
Re: Lame. Jul 28, 2022, 00:44
Jul 28, 2022, 00:44
 
BigVlad wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 21:07:
If you said what you really thought, you're post would probably get removed.

But I AM saying what I really think.

As always, the self-awareness with you guys is just totally non-existent, and the hypocrisy level is off the charts.

You accuse me of using "dog whistles." But you are the one using a dog whistle. You are implying that I am a racist, without actually using the word. What the hell is that, if not a dog whistle?

BigVlad wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 21:07:
If films like Terminator 1/2, Alien, and Aliens were released today, they'd be derided as "woke" for having badass women in lead roles.

I like badass women. Always have, always will. I have no problem at all with women taking the lead. I am, in fact, a feminist in the original meaning of the word. Same thing with liking black actors in films or black characters in video games. Franklin was and so far remains my favorite GTA character. I'm not a sexist or a racist or a homophobe etc.

But that has literally nothing to do with wokeness or the simplistic notion of "punching down" or the dehumanizing habit of dividing everyone into either oppressor or oppressed and never the two shall meet. That is a deeply stupid, binary way of looking at the world and there are plenty of people who you would put into the "oppressed" camp who feel the exact same way I do. But they, of course, are all dog-whistling (self-hating) racists too.

The truth is, you have no idea what I think. You just think that all my political views have to follow the same rigid ideological divide yours do.

But that's how you and Beamer and ForgedReality and jdreyer and Redeye9 all think. Not me.

And for all of you pretending that using "woke" as a pejorative is just a dog whistle for "not liking women and black people," Cathy Young has taken the time to provide a comprehensive definition that is a lot more accurate than your self-serving strawman.

Do you want to know what wokeness is and why even people who aren't far right Trump supporters don't like it? (Of course you don't, but let's just pretend that you do).

Here you go.

https://www.arcdigital.media/p/defining-wokeness

This comment was edited on Jul 28, 2022, 01:32.
25.
 
Re: Grand Theft Auto Culture Changes
Jul 27, 2022, 23:30
25.
Re: Grand Theft Auto Culture Changes Jul 27, 2022, 23:30
Jul 27, 2022, 23:30
 
The lack of irony in calling "snowflake" a dated and weak term, while also calling things "woke" really confirms the caliber of thought you'd expect.
24.
 
Re: Grand Theft Auto Culture Changes
Jul 27, 2022, 21:27
NKD
24.
Re: Grand Theft Auto Culture Changes Jul 27, 2022, 21:27
Jul 27, 2022, 21:27
NKD
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 12:11:
"Freckle Bitches" instead of Wendy's

I still call Wendy's Freckle Bitch's.
Do you have a single fact to back that up?
Avatar 43041
23.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 27, 2022, 21:22
23.
Re: Lame. Jul 27, 2022, 21:22
Jul 27, 2022, 21:22
 
BigVlad wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 21:07:
Well instead of using a silly and meaningless term like "woke" to describe your opposition to something, you could try to state clearly what your issue is exactly. But we all know why the right uses code words and dog whistles. If you said what you really thought, you're post would probably get removed. Funny how that term was never used until recently, despite what the right would call "wokeness" having been a thing for decades. If films like Terminator 1/2, Alien, and Aliens were released today, they'd be derided as "woke" for having badass women in lead roles.
I can hear the cries of Mary Sue.
"I expect death to be nothingness and by removing from me all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism." Isaac Asimov
Avatar 58135
22.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 27, 2022, 21:19
22.
Re: Lame. Jul 27, 2022, 21:19
Jul 27, 2022, 21:19
 
Quinn wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 17:02:
ForgedReality wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 14:31:
Thunderwalker wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 12:44:
Without the bro culture, it’s just another shooter with vehicles.

Sad is the day that GTA goes woke.

F
*massive eye roll*

You conservatives are so pathetic. "Woke" used to mean intelligent and aware of what's going on.

And shoving it in everyone's faces.

☝️You forgot that last part, which is the crux of it.

There really aren't that many people -- relatively speaking -- in our society that are against what woke stands for. It's the shoving down our throat part -- the preaching; lecture almost -- that some people can't stand. Myself included.

I love how "standing up for yourselves so you don't get trampled on" becomes "shoving down our throat" from a pair of eyes too blind to see past their own nose. The preaching is to point out how ingrained racism, sexism and homophobia are to people who claim "it's not a big deal." If you're bothered by that, maybe it's not the "preaching" that you're bothered by.
21.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 27, 2022, 21:13
21.
Re: Lame. Jul 27, 2022, 21:13
Jul 27, 2022, 21:13
 
Beamer wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 20:22:
"Change? Trying to appeal to an audience beyond just me? I'm beyond offended and outraged!"

Standard snowflakes.
Standard and predictable.
Reminds me of the snowflake that melted down when someone posted “anyone capable of pregnancy“.
You'd have thought the world was coming to an end.
"I expect death to be nothingness and by removing from me all possible fears of death, I am thankful to atheism." Isaac Asimov
Avatar 58135
20.
 
Re: Lame.
Jul 27, 2022, 21:07
20.
Re: Lame. Jul 27, 2022, 21:07
Jul 27, 2022, 21:07
 
SMITE wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 18:53:
ForgedReality wrote on Jul 27, 2022, 14:31:
Using the term "woke" just makes you look ridiculous, proving you've been programmed with talking points from right wing media, and that's all you know or ever want to know.

As opposed to being programmed with talking points from left wing media, which either never happens or is totally fine, depending on your level of cognitive dissonance.

This whole idea that your side of the political divide is always right and well-informed and the other side wrong and ignorant, is not the mark of intellectual and moral superiority you think it is, and that goes for both the left and the right.

Well instead of using a silly and meaningless term like "woke" to describe your opposition to something, you could try to state clearly what your issue is exactly. But we all know why the right uses code words and dog whistles. If you said what you really thought, you're post would probably get removed. Funny how that term was never used until recently, despite what the right would call "wokeness" having been a thing for decades. If films like Terminator 1/2, Alien, and Aliens were released today, they'd be derided as "woke" for having badass women in lead roles.
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