Jason Pook's Games Design Blog

Leave a comment

CATS- Critical Perspectives Task- GTA and Feminism.


GTA Then and Now still women’s role remains unchanged.

For my Critical Perspectives essay I am going to choose GTA V created by Rockstar very recently in 2013 and the issues surrounding how women are portrayed in the game.

GTA is a game that has caused much conflict with its challenging morals and different take on reality of the world where you can freely do pretty much everything you shouldn’t do in the real world. It is a game that involves you playing as your given characters to partake in violence, drug deals, heists, races, murder, assassinations, stock market manipulation and much more which is incredible illegal in real life as it is on the game but in a game you don’t have real life consequences, this particular game is the 11th instalment in the series although it is labelled GTA V (five) which makes it one of the most successful games franchises ever especially with the success of GTA V hitting 1billion in sales in just a week, people like to feel they can live a life of crime with no consequences and that’s this game despite much debate on its morals. But aside from the main protagonists which are incidentally 3 men, the role of women in this game is one that sparks much debate in the way of feminism. Women in this game are never portrayed as the protagonist and you never at any stage control a female character to play the game in the story mode. Females in the game are mainly seen as prostitutes, issues, and inferior.

Things weren’t looking good right off the bat. As errand boy gangster Franklin you quickly meet Tonya, a crack head who offers you sexual services to cover for her boyfriend by towing cars (services which you don’t accept). There’s also Franklin’s aunt who goes on powerwalks with other middle-aged women where they run and chant “I am woman, hear me roar!” The implication seems to be for the player to think “Hah, look how silly women are when they think they’re empowered!” its all purely sexist in its portrayal.

The ladies in the life of Michael, the retired bank robber, aren’t much better. There’s his wife, an ex-stripper who does literally nothing but scream at him every time she’s onscreen, and cheats on him frequently off-screen (tennis teacher and yoga teacher both resulting in Michael’s angry rampages). And there’s his daughter, obsessed with nothing but making it big on the reality show “Shame or Fame.” and was also caught in one mission by you Michael her father on what’s said to be a boat which shoots pornographic scenes which you pull her off to the anger of some gang members. Objectification of women is absolutely all over the portrayal of women in this game and its wrong.

Most of all shocking is when you first become the third of the playable characters which is Trevor and he is having sexual activities with a girl who has a boyfriend and when the boyfriend says he’s had enough of Trevor’s ways being aggressive he gets killed by several stamps to the head.

As time goes on you continue meeting psychotic women, like Mary-Ann, the fitness-addicted side-quest giver who you race as all three characters while she laments being 39 and childless she is self obsessed in her appearance and always speaks in a patronising tone of voice about how your character is a man and how men think. And of course there’s the funhouse full of strippers you can ogle as any of the three male leads, and if you’re charming enough, you can actually take them home, get their phones numbers and call them round for a free dance at anytime. online you can even charm them through you headset further getting you to speak in that way to women degrading them to try and pick them up for a dance. This could have effects on the real life as men who may have got too enthralled in the game may treat women and speak to them as the game has encouraged him to do causing much problems and harassment orders.

The only woman you would say is “normal” in the story would be the wife of Martin Madrazo who I met when I kidnapped her as the character Trevor and he eventually grows extremely fond of her threatening her husband the most powerful man in Los Santos to treat her good with a whimper as he walks away (showing a feminine side to him). Possibly the random women you retrieve purses for or vehicles when they have been stolen as they are extremely thankful and one even gave me 100,000 shares in her company and a free suit for my character.

Overwhelmingly the game has a terribly negative portrayal of women. But also the game has a terribly negative portrayal of men too. Really, the characters of Grand Theft Auto are all pretty awful people, no matter their gender. GTA 5 is no exception.


The introduction to be a playable female character in the online version of GTA V could be a sign that times are changing and maybe in the next instalment of GTA there very well could be a female protagonist as the question for this one was 3men surely there could have been one woman.

 “GTA V has little room for women except to portray them as strippers, prostitutes, long-suffering wives, humourless girlfriends and goofy, new-age feminists we’re meant to laugh at.”- Carolyn Petit- GameSpot Reviewer.

In conclusion the overall view on women in GTA V is that of a demeaning nature as they try to portray the men as the superior sex in multiple different dialogues as previously indicated. Women are constantly objectified with sexual connotations and actions like the strip club and how easy it is to be talking to them in a degrading way due to the games encouragement. But its not all bad even thought the majority of women are portrayed in a sexist way the emergence of the playable female character in the online multiplayer could suggest changing times. This concludes my critical perspectives essay.



CATS- Analysis Essay- Grand Theft Auto V

Grand Theft Auto V is the latest in The Grand Theft Auto series which has spanned over 16years featuring 15games on multiple platforms the most recent being Grand Theft Auto V, it is a game which you can do everything you shouldn’t do in real life such as heavy violence, murder, gang war, drugs, robberies and much more violent related content, it is set in San Andreas Los Santos a city filled with much crime and corruption you have an option of 3 characters to explore this game all which interweave with each other in gang related crime on small and large scales.


This game is visually pleasing with almost £170million to build the game making it the most expensive game to make ever this was expected, the particularly beautiful feature to experience this is the cinematic camera setting when you are in a vehicle which used multiple angles of camera shots in sort of a montage of your driving or piloting. The artists of the game have clearly tried to keep the game similar style to the previous 16years of Grand Theft Auto with new features and a larger scale of gameplay, with the intention of keeping people buying the latest instalments of the series. This game could be in some peoples opinion a GTA: San Andreas 2 with massively improved graphical and gameplay capabilities.

#gta v

For all GTA V’s successes the game still seems to be intent on shocking its audience, a certain mission in the game has come across much criticism, where you torture someone in a interrogation by electrocuting them, simulate drowning, break bones and assault the man. Despite of this the game has sold 15million units with 3million sold in the UK smashing 7 world records on sales and revenue.

This game has re-ignited the debate of: Are video games related to violence?  is the parents fault for buying their children these game when the game is rated 18 with one of my fellow students being 4 when he first played Grand Theft Auto. This instance of violence is not doing the game any favours a man was stabbed for collecting his pre order and had it stolen. This topic of nature versus nurture is one that will continue for many years in social context.

Another feature the designers have incorporated is GTA Online a massive multiplayer social meeting of the single player game, in this multiplayer mode you can set up gang crews with your friends and then tackle heists and compete with other gangs in gang warfare amongst many other features, this makes people once again question the level of violence in the game as you are setting up and planning your own murders, robberies and heists, one particular feature you shout into your headset a number of profanities and violence to make the shopkeeper give you the till money quicker.

GTA is a prime example of the vastly growing capabilities of games design with realism everywhere from scenery to the characters faces. The way to see the progress of the gaming industry is to just look at the first Grand Theft Auto to the now GTA V 16years later, its still the same genre of gaming just modified over years of technological advancements.#gta-then-and-now

Overall this game is a game designed to challenge the boundaries of gaming and what you can do in the game, although this causes much debate it clearly is a wanted game that no other game challenges in this genre causing such high sales of a world record breaking standard.

Images I used:

1 Comment

Log Book Entry Two: 11/10/13

In Fridays CATS lesson it was all mainly based on the word Analysis and what it means. The definition for analysis is “a detailed examination of the elements or structure of something”. Once we had discovered this we had multiple debates about gaming as it is today, the particular focus being Grand Theft Auto. The Grand Theft Auto series has spanned over 16years featuring 15games on multiple platforms the most recent being Grand Theft Auto V, it is a game which you can do everything you shouldn’t do in real life such as heavy violence, murder, gang war, drugs, robberies and much more violent related content. The discussion was one that troubles todays world as a big debate which is: Are video games related to violence? we had much debate on this with many opinions of why it is and isn’t, whether its the parents fault for buying their children these game when the game is rated 18 with one particular student being 4 when he first played Grand Theft Auto. So I decided to do some research on this and found many interesting topics on it, one being extremely shocking and not doing the game any favours a man was stabbed for collecting his pre order and had it stolen. This topic of nature versus nurture is one that will continue for many years, here’s an interesting article on the topic.

After this we was given a short clip of Space Odyssey to analyse

We w\s asked to get into groups and use our analysis skills to give feedback to the rest of the class on what we had found. My groups 3 topics to look at was Sound, Movement and Time. All of these topics linked together as the common theme was the speed which was all very slow, there was lots of tension built by this and the background sounds of a hiss which we perceived to be oxygen or a hissing pipe, the main sound of the clip was the voice of Hal 9000 and him trying to stop Dave from deactivating him, this was all very monotone and emotionless. The movement was slow as Dave had zero gravity to deal with as well as a precise operation to undertake to deactivate Hal. Then time was slow as it felt to us the time dragged due to the focus required on the clip and other elements which felt like the deactivation took longer than it did.

These analytical skills we had just used was a taster for us as to our next set of homework for CATS, which was to choose an image and write a comprehensive analysis (500 words) on it.

#gta-5-online-gameplayTo do this I have begun research on the game I have chosen which is one of my favourite games at this time and will have many opinions to it Grand Theft Auto V. I am researching it by analysing the visuals of the game and also the gameplay and why Rockstar may have chose to make the game this way.

I will also use my background research on the game to link it to social and historical context. So this is the beginning of my research.