Do Not Pass Go
One thing users can’t do in GTA V? Play as a female character. The game doesn’t feature any playable women, Rockstar Games co-founder and VP of creativity Dan Houser said, because “the concept of being masculine was so key to this story,” just like it has apparently been key to every previous GTA installment.
It’s frustrating, to say the least, that a vanguard company like Rockstar Games brushes off the idea of allowing for female leads with statements like Houser’s. While it’s not an outright “fuck you” to female gamers, it’s a pretty implicit one. The decision to have three characters allows for what Houser calls “nuanced stories, not a set of archetypes.” But if Rockstar really wants to showcase diverse character types, why is the company so dismissive of having a female GTA lead? Houser’s statement assumes that women aren’t capable of criminality, that violence and mayhem are inherently masculine. But Houser is wrong. And as GTA continues to push the envelope for scope, story, and vision, it’s insulting that women are still excluded.
Molly Lambert takes on Grand Theft Auto’s trio of male leads, and the pathetically stubborn male creators behind them: “Women have violent nihilist fantasies, too.” [Grantland]