One of the greatest things about the internet is that if you want to say something, but can’t quite figure out how to say it, odds are good someone else has already said it. And done it beautifully as well.
Tom Bissell is one of those writers you come across who you are instantly elated and crushed to find at the same time. Elated, because he’s such a haunting and brilliant writer, you want to voraciously consume everything he’s done as fast as you can. It’s so spot on. It’s so perfect. You just want all of it. And then you realize that you’ll never ever in your whole life ever be as good a writer as he is, and it makes you want to give up writing forever. Thus the crush.
I’ve had quite a bit of trouble lately figuring out what I want to say about the Grand Theft Auto series. I feel like I need to make a statement, I’ve left it hanging out there after all. But there’s a problem. You see, I refuse to spend any money on the games and thus, have never actually played them. So it would be quite hypocritical for me to sit here and shoot my mouth off about the games, without actually experiencing them.
Fortunately for me, Tom Bissell has played the GTA series, and even professes to love them. And yet, his deconstruction of them in “Poison Tree; A Letter to Niko Bellic about Grand Theft Auto V” is so spot on, so perfect, and so encapsulates everything that I feel about the games, it’s something I think everyone needs to read. The title above is from his article and it’s just one of many amazing things he says in it. Go read it now. You won’t regret it.
Extra Credit: His “Thirteen ways of Looking at a Shooter” is also a brilliant and amazing piece about the trouble with modern first person shooters and shouldn’t be missed either.
Next week: An Urbanite update and then a Christmas break.