The year was 2013 and, as I was there in the United States in person, I think I can speak with authority. It was September and I was studying cinema at the New York Film Academy, a very important phase for me.
It was the first big step I took to start changing my way of thinking and producing content. In a film school, logically, discussions about scripts are always some of the strongest. Storytelling, narrative, decisions about the elements that will help tell the story indirectly, photography, in short, there is a lot in this area.
And, coincidentally, it was in the same month of September 2013 that the city of New York (and the rest of the world) was in monstrous anxiety awaiting the release of GTA 5. Bus stops, billboards, sides of buildings, Time screens Square… everywhere you looked there was a reference about the game that promised to revolutionize the way we understood the concept of “open world”.
For those who are not familiar with games, open world games are those that give the player freedom to go wherever they want on the map. It even has a series of consecutive missions, but there are countless other possibilities for changing routes midway, side missions, characters that can be interacted with at any time, buildings that you can enter just for fun or to interact with something other than necessarily a mission – in short, any route is valid, whatever it may be.
It’s a concept that goes against traditional old games like the first Mário Bros and the first Sonic, where the stages were always the same, with an equal and repetitive sequence of challenges. The open world does not. This is the state of the art of freedom to follow your own path and create your own story. And GTA has always been a reference in this.
We are talking about an acronym for Grand Theft Auto, a reference to “car thieves” or “the great car thief”. The first of them came at the end of the 90s. It was released for the computer and, as technology still didn’t help, the game was seen from above, as if there was always a drone showing the map. But the proposal was already clear there… and it was already revolutionary.
I remember very well the day I arrived at my neighbor’s house who had a computer running the game and I experienced for the first time that feeling of following my own path and doing the missions in the order I wanted. It was liberating.
To this day, there are still those who criticize the premise of being a car thief who goes about stealing whatever he finds, someone who exchanges gunfire with the police and so on. Even though this is, in most cases, an outdated discussion, it is good to say that for every research associating an increase in violence with young gamers, there are several others saying the opposite, that playing video games is, for example, a way of channel the aggression of the real world into a game that won’t hurt anyone.
Don’t fall into the trap of thinking that someone who plays a game like this will necessarily end up doing terrible things in real life, this has never been proven to be true. And the fact is that GTA has become top of mind in this style of game. Everyone says that producer
This says a lot about the importance this game has in the industry as a whole. The person who produces GTA is Rockstar, a company that makes few games, but they are all incredible. Perhaps the franchise’s hype comes precisely from the fact that it took them so long to bring an update – remember it’s been 10 years since the release of GTA 5?
I don’t think I need to say here how much money Rockstar has been making with all of this, it’s obvious that it’s a lot. What I want to highlight here is the size of this industry, which is already much bigger than cinema has been for a long time. The most impressive data comes from Newzoo, a company that follows the sector like no one else. They show that the global gaming market in the world is expected to close 2023 with revenues of an absurd 188 billion dollars.
This is practically 2.5 times the entire film industry. This is so because almost half of the planet’s inhabitants play with some frequency. Since cell phones became smartphones and started to play more complex games, these numbers have continued to explode. According to the Game Brasil Survey, which was carried out this year, more than half of those who play here in our country do so on their cell phones. The big companies in the sector are keeping an eye on us, so much so that, of all current Nintendo video game consoles, 37% were sold here in the Americas. Okay, but what about GTA 6? What’s even newer? Just playing to find out for sure.
As a gamer, I’m also VERY excited and I freaked out at the trailer that appeared on the internet in the last few days. There you can clearly see a game with unbelievably realistic graphics, chases that immerse you like never before in what’s happening on the screen and the promise of a level of interactivity that no one has ever seen in a video game.
Oh, and just to finish the story at the beginning of the text, I was talking about my screenwriting studies for a really crazy reason. As I was in the United States at the launch of GTA 5, I bought a copy and started playing there on the PlayStation 3 of a classmate who lived in New York. I was so impressed with the complexity of the game, with the almost infinite number of possible routes, that it opened up a huge question for me about the script.
I was at that moment understanding how difficult it was to think about a film script, something that is controlled and was written to be recorded in a unique and specific way by the director and the production team. I was just thinking about how difficult it was to think of the script for a game so “open to change”, which offers so many possibilities for whoever has the controller in their hands.
Just like film writers, those who think about this are also great geniuses and need to be recognized as such. Because today playing video games can be as impactful or even more impactful than watching a cinematic masterpiece. But all this with one very important difference… in the video game, the end of the film takes a while to arrive and can have several versions depending on what you did along the way. In philosophical terms, it’s very similar to our lives… and to think that there are still people thinking that this is all for children.
Source: CNN Brasil
I’m Robert Neff, a professional writer and editor. I specialize in the entertainment section, providing up-to-date coverage on the latest developments in film, television and music. My work has been featured on World Stock Market and other prominent publications.