Talking About the Grand Theft Auto Series and My Experience as an Immigrant in Korea for Kotaku


I’ve never shared my experience as an immigrant in Korea for two years as a kid and was grateful to Kotaku for allowing me to discuss some of my personal story while comparing the incredible Grand Theft Auto games that in many ways represents the modern American epic. This is one of those stories that we spent a lot of time editing and I am so grateful to the fantastic editor at Kotaku, Tina, for helping chisel and focus the story. We cut away a lot of the dross while emphasizing the key elements.

Both GTA’s were fantastic, but GTAIV’s story resonated with me more for the reasons I talk about in the article, which has its roots in Niko’s immigrant arc. I played through the entirety of GTAV with Angela, and we were both blown away by some of the most amazing sequences we’ve ever experienced in a game. The scope is honestly humbling and that, in conjunction with all the social satire and issues they explore, made me really feel, as mentioned above, that this is as close to the American epic as I’ve seen in recent years. The level of violence in the game is shocking, but at the same time, I realize it’s as much a commentary on the players as it is the characters within that world (and also, while both were fantastic technical feats, going back to GTAIV after V was eye-opening for how far it had come). As I don’t want to summarize the article in this post, I’ll let it speak for itself:

The Grand Theft Auto series is the ultimate commentary on modern America. Greed, lust, money, and crime are wrapped together into a Las Vegas buffet of a game that is entertaining, insightful, and overwhelming in its sheer variety. What fascinates me most is the way GTA represents the tempo of modern culture better than almost any other medium. Everything from the music playlists, the polygonal landscapes that mimic real cities, the caricatures of celebrities, and the fascinating antiheroes. Whether you take it as allegorical, symbolic, or literal, the Grand Theft Auto series is the modern epic

And regarding Trevor:

Trevor is arguably one of the few playable GTA characters in the universe that not only gets what it means to be in the GTA world, but revels in it. He doesn’t want to be likable or sympathetic. He doesn’t want you to feel comfortable, or somehow justified in doing the horrible things you do on the streets of Los Santos. Even after the brutal torture scene in the By the Book mission, he makes it clear he only did it because he enjoyed it, not because he was forced to by the FIB



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