IGN: The Video Game Industry Remembers GTA III

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IGN continues their series of articles related to Grand Theft Auto III for the 10 year anniversary. This one, titled "The Video Game Industry Remembers Grand Theft Auto III", looks at how GTA III influenced other top people in the game industry and their opinions on the industry as a whole. Some excerpts below...


"One of Grand Theft Auto III's irrefutable achievements is the devotion it inspired from a huge audience, and the respect it holds from the game industry's creative community. The game excited and enticed more than 14 million players, while laying forth a design model that has since become boilerplate for other game designers.

Valve's Eric Wolpaw, while still in his other life as a reviewer, described the game as a product of 'the ageless fascination with using firecrackers to blow up model cars, staging horrific toy-train wrecks, and lighting plastic army men on fire. It sets you down in the middle of a detailed clockwork world, presents you with a physics model and a wide variety of interesting objects to interact with, and then gives you the freedom to smash them into each other and enjoy the resulting mayhem.'


For many, the controversies prompted by GTA III became a clarion call to get serious about defending the creative rights of game designers. 'In many respects, this series represents the crossroads of video gaming: can people look at gaming as seriously as other forms of entertainment?' [Bethesda's Todd] Howard said. 'If the Sopranos can be hailed as the best TV show ever, how can this game be viewed any differently?'

For [AIAS' Martin] Rae, GTA III's venturing into violent and sometimes uncomfortable thematic territory should be a sign of encouragement to other developers: 'As an industry, we should be bold in taking risks and continue to push the boundaries of interactive entertainment to reach new heights of innovation.'


It's clear Grand Theft Auto III cast a long shadow over the industry. It helped show that games have as much right to depict violent and sexual acts as novels and films do. More importantly, it proved there is a huge audience ready to embrace these experiences as provocations, entertainments, and satire. In the interim games have explored a wide swath of uncomfortable territory, from the on-going war in Afghanistan to simulations of sex."

Read the full article here.

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