Oct 28 2013
I won’t lie right now and proclaim that GTA: Online is the utopia of all multiplayers, because it’s not on an objective point of view. There are a number of bugs, an imbalanced economy, and repetitive content. Paul has his share of gripes and he’s never shy about it in his articles and during discussions.
Yet, the weird thing is I still find myself wandering the streets of Los Santos. I’ve always wished that I could play a Grand Theft Auto game with a friend. When San Andreas introduced co-op mode, it was like a dream come true.
While GTA: Online may not have lived up to the grandiose expectations of most players, it still gives its fans a platform to cause mayhem with friends and strangers no matter how flawed it is. Heck, I think I’ve gone back to play GTA V mainly because of online instead of replaying the single player campaign.
The online component surprisingly gave me a fun new way to reconnect with geographically distant family and friends and it’s freaky just how much “real life” bonding activities we mimic in-game.
Read on to know more about how GTA: Online reeled me in and the activities that my friends and I love to do.
Aside from going on a murderous and drug-filled rampage, my friends and I like to do pretty normal stuff. There were times when we only went online to play tennis, arm wrestling, and go hunting in the mountains. You could say that these activities could just be easily done by meeting up physically. I’m afraid that’s not the case for me.
I moved to a new whole locale for college recently, so all my close family and friends are pretty far away. I haven’t even seen most of them in two years. Going hiking in Los Santos would never replace the real thing, but it was as if I was really with my friends. Imagine if we were using the Oculus Rift and the lip movements perfectly synched to what your friend says. That would really enhance the experience.
It was also weird at one point when my cousin and I were shopping for clothes in Los Santos. We ended up trying so many different outfits on and took turns parading each other’s outfits. It reminded me of the times when we were actually inside a mall.
It was also funny how we would have awkward silences during long drives. Yet, we also had mundane conversations like “how was your day?” or “what’s new with uncle x or aunt y?” while seated through traffic. Yes, sometimes we do obey traffic laws. In fact, my cousin won’t let me drive in-game because I’m a reckless driver. We would also mimic the game by suddenly blurting out “you’re going to kill me!” or “don’t you know how to drive!” whenever one gets involved in a collision. Seconds after, we’d go back to our normal chat.
My cousin and I also planned a beach outing one time. We wore bikinis and before you ask, yes I have a life vest/ body armor. I couldn’t figure out how to take it off. Anyway, we rode jet skis and took a lot of selfies and photographs covering different scenery. These are stuff that we’d actually do in the beach. Trust me, there are more of these beach photos and it’s embarrassing.
It’s just surreal how it felt like we were really hanging out and bonding. Most people criticize how online connections don’t really mean much or are essentially considered as “weak ties,” but sometimes there are exceptions like moments in GTA: Online.
I guess the bugs and glitches can be annoying, but I’ll always come back to Los Santos online as long as it gives me a place to bond with my gamer family and friends.
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