You can have sex with a prostitute in Grand Theft Auto 5, just as you can with most of the other games in the series. But in the newest version of Rockstar’s latest, you can do it from a first-person perspective.
Here’s two vital points you should take away from this, whether you agree with it or not.
Grand Theft Auto is a satire on American culture
Grand Theft Auto has always been a satire on American culture. From the night clubs to the gang wars to the heists. Rockstar isn’t subtle about it.
It’s why the games are so divisive in the media. They prod at the touchiest subjects in America. Remember Hot Coffee or Trevor’s torture scene? These spurred healthy discussions about what subjects games can express, their faults and their benefits. GTA 5’s first-person prostitute sex is another one of these topics that people have opinions about, especially considering the series’ past.
The prostitute scenario makes sense within its context. That context, of course, being a story of horrible men partaking in criminal acts to achieve some kind of personal goal. I don’t think there’s a point in the game where I felt that Michael, Trevor, or Franklin were respectable men given what monstrous things they’ve each done. Sure, I still empathized with them at points, just like I did with Breaking Bad’s Walter White, but at the end of the day, I was following the lives of terrible human beings. So, in their lives of crime and pleasure, I see no reason why they wouldn’t have the option to have sex with a prostitute. And the first-person mode only makes your role as them even more personal.
Grand Theft Auto is a male fantasy
GTA has always been a male fantasy. From the night clubs to the porn stars to the sex scenes. Rockstar isn’t subtle about this one either.
The women of GTA are secondary to the lives of its leading men. They serve others’ wants and needs without having their own. This is intentional to tell the stories of these men, but it does propagate deeper problems with games.
It’s that question of why.
Rockstar makes huge, impressive, well-written, and well-structured games. It chooses to primarily focus on male-focuses stories. Why not change that up? I’d love to see it happen, especially in a hugely successful franchise like GTA.
But I digress. The thing to take away here is that GTA is a game about dudes and reducing a prostitute’s role to a pleasure object for both player and character (I assume) is only one way of doing it. It’s the same way most games do it. The men you shoot through to get to an objective are usually given more characterization than the person you get intimate with. It serves the story, but it’s furthering long-held assumptions about prostitution and others a real human being. Games can do so much more; Rockstar can do so much more.