I finally got a chance over the weekend to drop Grand Theft Auto IV in the tray and give it a few hours on the spin cycle. I’ll certainly be posting more about this as I sink deeper into the sweet, oblivious mayhem of Liberty City over the next couple of months, but in the meantime, check out the latest episode of Game Theory podcast for an excellent discussion on the game’s social and artistic merits. One of the contributors to the conversation is Heather Chaplin, who wrote an excellent piece for NPR that can be found here.
Lazlow Jones, the GTA writer-director, says he’s gotten frustrated with the level of outrage that surrounds the game. But on another level, he understands that sometimes it takes a while for the public to recognize greatness in its midst. He points to the debut of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet score The Rite of Spring, which scandalized Paris in 1913.
“The entire hall erupted into a riot,” he says, “and there were politicians and people calling for it to be banned, because it was some kind of hedonistic thing that was certainly not art.”
A hundred years later, Jones observes, we look back on The Rite of Spring as one of the great compositions of the 20th century.