lowbrowculture

collects stories and ideas from John Kelly

Why I Don't Play Grand Theft Auto IV

Ten or eleven years ago, I was in a pub and we got talking about Jimmy Stewart. For some reason, I thought now would be a good time to try my hand at a Jimmy Stewart impression. Now, if you’ve ever seen me try to do an impression of anything, you know I can’t, it’s just embarassing. Maybe the stars were smiling on me or something because that day, I managed to do a pitch-perfect impression of Jimmy Stewart.

That was the first and last time I ever tried a Jimmy Stewart impression. I will probably never be able to do one again, let alone do a better one, so why even try?

I was playing GTA IV a while ago and, like most people who play it, I started fucking around in between missions. Goofing off - crashing cars, shooting random people and generally acting like a deranged psychopath. One of my favourite things to do in that game is to punch someone and then stand there. Maybe it’s because I’m a complete pussy and I’d never try this in real life. Anyway, I punch people and see what they do. Most times they just go “Hey!” and walk away. Sometimes they scream and run away.

Except once, I punched the Charles Bronson of Liberty City. He just snapped, went berserk and started beating the living fuck out of me. I would have fought back, but he was going so nuts that I never got a chance to punch him. So I ran away.

He started chasing me.

I swear to God, I don’t know if the developers made it this way, but I could have sworn he was foaming at the mouth.

I ran and ran and ran. Usually, with videogames, you run far enough away and the person chasing you gives up and goes back to their pre-scripted routine. Not this guy. I ran into my apartment - your safe-house, where you can save your game by lying on your bed and ‘going to sleep’ for a few hours. He chased me in. I didn’t even know non-playable characters could open the door! So I did the only thing I could, I lay on the bed, went to sleep and saved my game.

When it was done saving, my character woke up, the guy was still standing over my bed, barking and shouting at me, and started punching the moment I stood up. I eventually just grabbed a gun and shot the guy.

Now I can’t play GTA IV again, because I know I will never be able to top the image of a crazy guy yelling and screaming at me as I lie in bed asleep. I don’t care how good the rest of the game is, it can’t beat that.