The Cultural Importance of Grand Theft Auto in Modern Day Society

by Adam Fitzgerald Smith
city photo

When I was in elementary school rumors spread like wild fire in small voices through the halls. At recess there was talk of killing cops, stealing cars and having sex with prostitutes. “My mom won’t let me play it,” was heard more often than naught, but some lucky sixth graders were able to get their hands on a copy and share the good word of Grand Theft Auto III. By the time I was in sixth grade my best friend had secured a copy of the latest game in the franchise: Grand Theft Auto: Vice City, still considered a fan favorite. We were able to maintain our placid existence as suburban 12 year-olds all while murdering rival gangs and winning the cocaine war of the 80’s.

By middle school we moved to the west coast and rose to power in Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I’m sure many of you remember the uproar against violent video games in the early 2000’s. Columbine blew the world’s mind, and according to many disturbed parents at that time, kids picked up guns and killed other kids because Grand Theft Auto made it possible. While most of us will agree that notion is absurd, there are some individuals who still believe violence in video games leads to violence in reality. If you cannot distinguish reality from a $50 virtual reality presented as an interactive game, then you may want to stop reading now. These games played a vital part in my growth as a fully functional adult and my adolescent self was aided endlessly by the wisdom packed into these games.

What if instead of inciting violence, Grand Theft Auto actually allows people to let out aggression by doing literally whatever any person has ever wanted to do, in the safety of a non existent reality?

Grand Theft Auto is a video game experience that allows its player to use an avatar to act as a virtual manifestation of that player’s id. To those unfamiliar with Freudian psychology, the human psyche is divided into three parts: the ego, the id and the super ego. The ego is the realistic moral center of our minds; mediating between the angel on your shoulder (the superego) and that devil that appears on your opposite shoulder to tell you all the awful things you desire deep down (the id). I think that today’s society is so out of whack that most people allow themselves to be controlled. While I am not promoting a video game to free your consciousness, I want you to consider the moral bending aspects of something that struck me as much more than just a mere video game.

Grand Theft Auto V is far and above the best game that I have played yet in the series. I personally felt a little disappointed with Grand Theft Auto IV a couple years ago, if for no other reason than that IV seemed too short. Every installment has added something even better to the games but Grand Theft Auto V reinvents the series entirely. Instead of having only one avatar you actually have three: and by the time I was finished playing through the game I realized each character represented the three dimensions of my own personal psyche better than Sigmund Freud could have ever psycho analyzed.

The main three characters are incredibly unique as they are completely insane, but this is the whole point of the series. No normal person would do the things the characters in these games do and it takes a very liberal individual to deal with the excessive sex, violence and profanity that have become somewhat of a staple in the Grand Theft Auto series. Michael is perhaps the “main” main character and he can be considered the middle ground of an “ego” character: and Michael is a very demented, very disgruntled, over weight middle aged man on the edge of divorce with two kids that are perfect interpretations of 21st century white privileged scumbags. Michael represents the every man; he is a little pudgy, a little depressed despite his wealth and mainly just bored.

Franklin is the character that could be considered the “superego” and his character was created to be the moral center of the three mad men. Franklin may murder and steal but not with the back stabbing demented gusto of the other two. Trevor is the psychotic of the group. Hilarious, horrible and sarcastic to a fault, Trevor could be considered the “id” character. Trevor is the worst and he is the best at being the worst. He is deranged, bipolar, sadistic and downright weird. Trevor represents what person could be if he or she abandoned all social norms and practices. With Franklin as the angel, Trevor as the devil and Michael as the sad sap “normal ego” torn between his love for the game and his love for his family; GTAV plays out as one of the best written and most interesting games in history.

I will not go into plot details of the game because as any avid player of theGrand Theft Auto series will tell you, the story lines of these games become addicting. Just as people will race through back-to-back seasons of stellar shows like Breaking Bad, people will race through the Grand Theft Auto games if for nothing else other than the story. The great thing about Grand Theft Auto V is that the story and the game play are both beyond satisfactory. The cars in GTAV are the coolest yet and the gameplay is the closest you can get to actually stealing or killing without really doing it.

Switching between the three characters can become a bit of a chore but the gameplay demands it and hard work is rewarded with more of the amazing story and more remarkable toys as you progress through the game. The clothes also allow GTA players to customize his or her own avatar just like players of games like Sims. Michael, Franklin and Trevor quickly become every player’s three-dimensional alter ego. After the game ends you feel a little broken hearted, there are no more missions, just a bunch of random odd jobs and Easter eggs. You wake up from the virtual reality and walk back into real life… and so many problems are still the same, but now the player is forever transformed. Metaphorically Grand Theft Auto has always been beautiful and every game gives new insight into life. GTAV is nothing short of phenomenal; there are life changing acid trips, climbing to the top of the business world and lots (and lots) of people to kill. Grand Theft Auto isn’t for the faint of heart, and it is just a game; but life will always be dangerous and crazy whether we are inside or outside, so we may as well have fun. Once the game is over you wish to reintroduce yourself into society in a way that represents your growth. Because make no mistake;Grand Theft Auto games do help the players grow; trust no one but yourself and take hold of your own life- or someone else will.

Lost > Found by AFS

Lost > Found by Adam Fitzgerald Smith

There’s something passionate blowing in the wind/ you can almost hear it… but few can bear it

We are all trying to keep our heads above water / swimming through the ether

Lost in our own thoughts, confused by our own hearts / left coming up blank

When a deep memory stirs an ancient emotion/ we drown in nostalgia

Like the helpless animals we are; fucked, fucking and fought into exhaustion

We feel the floor go out beneath us, as if we are flying/ But instead we are just drifting, indescribably.

Left behind by love long since gone/ struggling with what few answers we have left.

Trying to please our parents/ or maybe the direct opposite for no particular reason

What other than anarchy can we feel inside? It can’t lie, can it?

‘Can it! Get back to work’ / I will get on with my daydream, once my depression subsides

The responsibilities we know we have but we hide/ so we let our tricking thoughts lie to us

The hurt of the reality that gnaws away at us/ never letting life go smoothly or just

Rather crippling us while we try to come to grips with what the fuck is going on

Like a never ending acid trip gone awry/ how did I get here?

More importantly, why am I this way? What’s that way?

The infinite possibilities of who I will be even five minutes from now

The probability that things will not go how we want them to

The actuality that our stories do indeed end.

But we get up again: again and again/ day after day: chasing some inexplicable urge

The will to keep fighting pushes us through the darkness that envelopes us

Even as we lose sight the blank canvas of the mind goes deeper/ an infinite chasm forever going inwards

With worlds all our own; nowhere ever feels like home and we all feel so alone/ but we go on anyways

Through addictions and tragedy/ no calamity is overlooked when writing our own books

Forever expanding past what our eyes see / despite the horrors of the world

The rape victims, the homeless, the babies with no parents/ the passion keeps driving us

There’s always a shot at redemption and for that we are lucky/ there’s endless hope like space above us

It’s funny how the clouds move and make the stars look like they’re falling

It’s as if we can feel the world turning/ so for that we must keep burning.

Adam Fitzgerald is a local writer, musician and teacher in the Metro Detroit Area. You can listen to his music at several sites online –
Adam Fitzgerald’s Soundcloud
Adam Fitzgerald’s Facebook
Adam’s bands:
Moon Lake Soundcloud
Moon Lake Facebook
The Kodaks Bandcamp
The Kodaks Facebook

Three Workouts For Getting In Shape Within The Confines Of Your Own Home

It’s been a little while since our last post but here’s a self-help article for your leisurely pleasure.  It is that time of year again: the time of year where we begin to look down at our winter bellies and wonder how they grew upon us and how we can rid of them. Alas, have no fear! This post is geared towards both men and women equally. The reason I love these workouts is that they are quick, simple and really effective. If you don’t have a gym membership, don’t want one or simply don’t have the time to go for a run, then these are for you. Most importantly, all three of these are free. Yeah, they’re free. So get excited and shed the Cheetos and bourbon you ate all winter while watching Adventure Time from your couch under a blanket.

Who: The first video vixen I would like to introduce is the Blogilates host and star, Casy Ho.

What: While she may be kind of annoying with her overtly enthusiastic personality, she knows how to tone up your abs and butt. All of her workouts are Pilates based with some HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training).

Where: Just sign up for free here and you will receive password to access a calender every month with YouTube videos from her Blogilates channel. Each workout is about 25-40 minutes in length and consists of 3-6 videos, most of which you can do barefoot on a yoga mat.

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February 2014 Playlist

REHAB MIX TWO

February 2014 Playlist by Fox King

for those of you with lovers and those of you without; enjoy Valentines (it’s a made up holiday anyways)

1. Good Sex – Kevin Drew

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Jem’s Gems: 5 Must Have Shoes From Steve Madden For S/S ’14

For women who don’t know what kinds of shoes to buy for this coming spring and summer or maybe need help narrowing it down so they don’t spend hundreds of unnecessary dollars, here is my quick guide for you: 5 shoes. 5 styles, all under $500.00.

1. Steve Madden’s Marlenee is a beautiful shoe. I would probably buy this in every color if I didn’t have bills to pay and food to eat. These shoes can be dressed up or down for both day or night. I would wear these with a sexy little dress or a pair of nice denim pants during the day.

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“Defending Creationism: 6,000 Years of Certainty” by Clyde Warbles Jr. (as told to Jaysun Rich)

Lately, there been some so-called “scientists” crawlin’ out the woodwork tryin’ to claim that the Earth is over 6,000 years old. Lyin’ cheats like Bill Nye.

I want to take a moment to weigh in on this: Folks, the truth weighs approximately 1.7 pounds. Yep, you guessed it. The weight of my old bible.

6,000 years ago, when God was creatin’ Heaven and Earth, he knew that his children would want to know how it all went down. That’s why he done wrote his best-selling book. So we would never forget.

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Cold English Interview Q&A for ReHab Magazine

Cold English

ReHab Magazine recently interviewed front-man David Strauss from the band Cold English about everything from having heart-to-hearts with Jude Law to figuring out how to survive as an up and coming band in the Motown Music Scene. To listen to their music click here. Cold English also has a show coming up at The Shelter in Detroit next Saturday February 22 at 6pm. Tickets are $13.00.

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Jem’s Gem’s: 5 Things I’m Crushing On This Week from Vile Company

Vile Company is a clothing company based out of Detroit, Michigan. They don’t mess around when it comes to clothing, art… and pretty much anything else that they do, whatever that is. The clothes are so hardcore that if someone sees you in them, they might just start bleeding from their eyes. Vile is a equal opportunity clothing company in the sense that they cater to both men and women. I would feel lucky to have any of these items in my closet:

1. Fist Gen Roll Top Red

This  blood red hat is perfect for letting other people know that you’re not to be fucked with, but you also want to make a statement.

First Gen Roll Top Red

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Two Videos

The first video we are sharing with you this week is from renowned multi-instrumentalist/producer/whatever Chaz Bundick a.k.a. Toro Y Moi. With the release of last years “Anything In Return” Toro y Moi now has a solid status as music more substantial than what some used to call “chill wave” (though we here at Rehab do not support genre/name calling 🙂 ). The video for “Rose Quartz” is a dazzling beauty of mixed media arts swirled together with the ambience of the track for an amazing pastoral effect.

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