Wednesday, May 24, 2017

Notorious M.O.M.- How GTAV Helps One Mom Cope

Description: From the game Grand Theft Auto V, a behind
the shoulder perspective of a man firing a machine gun at a gas
station, with multiple fireballs, explosions and plumes of smoke.
Last week, I linked to an article in the Guardian written by Keza McDonald that gave advice for new moms wanting to balance gaming with the responsibilities of being a new parent. This week in the Guardian Sarah Lee Donlan talks about how playing Grand Theft Auto V helps her cope by offering a little escapism:

My daughter’s constant night feeds are keeping me awake, but not awake enough to do anything useful. So I pass the time in my preferred way. I steal aircraft. I take a sleek black jet, fly it over a sleeping city and land it smoothly on a desert strip, narrowly avoiding a wild dog... 
Suddenly faced with a new and overwhelming responsibility that came with a seemingly endless list of dos and don’ts, GTA V allowed me to break the rules, mess about and act in a wildly dangerous manner. 
During the day I was an exhausted new mother making small talk at Brighton baby groups, but at night I escaped to San Andreas, where I lived a life of violent crime and irresponsibility.

One complaint about open world sandbox style games in general, and the GTA series in particular, is that lots of times it's just a lot more fun to mess around causing mayhem or exploring the game world instead of doing the quests that advance the main story. For Donlan, this is part of the game's appeal. After she recounts the effort she undertook to create a gigantic explosion by taking down a jumbo jet:

The amazing thing is, all of this adventure exists outside the plot. To me, GTA V is at its absolute best once the campaign is done. San Andreas is filled with detail, most of which is barely touched upon in the main story.
It has luscious scenery and diverse wildlife. I have been eaten by a shark, swum with orcas and even found a humpback whale singing gently off toward the upper limits of the ocean. I also have my favourite places to find peace: a sea cave on the bottom right of the map and the quiet mountain stream just north of the city. GTA doesn’t just give you permission to be irresponsible, it gives you permission to rest.

How about you, readers? Does this sound like the appeal for open world games for you, or is it something else? Comment below!

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