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This Monday, GameSpot editor Carolyn Petit published her review of the greatly-anticipated Grand Theft Auto 5. While the review is fundamentally positive, Petit did not shy away from the more questionable elements of GTAV: inconsistent characterization, ill-executed political messages, and an atmosphere of profound misogyny. In particular, Petit cited the portrayal of the game’s few female characters (depicted as laughable new-age feminists, housewives, and sex workers) and a proliferation of offensive in-game advertising (such as fragrances that would let consumers “smell like a bitch”). In the end, GTAV received a 9/10 and an Editor’s Choice award from GameSpot - but apparently, that wasn’t enough.
The responses to Petit’s article are myriad. Many have been supportive. Many others have been abusive - questioning Petit’s “agenda”, her qualifications and objectivity as a reviewer, and even calling for her resignation. Rather than responding to each fallacious argument, FNVG will point you in the direction of several articles that dovetail with our subject matter.
"It is Petit’s job as a video game reviewer to make observations about video games - whether it is gameplay, story or graphics - and to praise and/or offer criticism accordingly to inform the reader to the best of her ability. It would be unprofessional for Petit to not mention the sexism she found in the game.” Fruzsina Eördögh responds to claims that Petit’s review was politically or emotionally biased.
"Humor, just like anything else, isn’t meaningful unless it risks enough to actually say something. […] The self-proclaimed iconoclasts of contemporary humor have become, in fact, shills for the status quo, selling their shameless endorsement of it as edgy and subversive." Mammon Machine explores the true meaning of satire, and how some humor fails to qualify.
"Loyalty to the product is unwavering. Inherent to this unidirectional wave of unchecked enthusiasm is the tendency to wipe out, drown, tear down or eradicate anything that stands in opposition." Kris Graft addresses a consumerist culture that demands validation above critique.
“Grand Theft Auto V Review.” (Carolyn Petit, GameSpot.com) 16 Sept. 2013.
“Game Reviewer Does Her Job by Pointing Out Sexism in GTA 5, Is Pilloried for It.” (Fruzsina Eördögh, Medium) 17 Sept. 2013.
“This Isn’t About Grand Theft Auto V.” (Kris Graft, Gamasutra) 17 Sept. 2013. Web. 18 Sept. 2013.
“Penny Arcade and the Slow Murder of Satire.” (Mammon Machine) 3 Sept. 2013.