The lights are on
Hello, my name is Mike, and I don't really enjoy Grand Theft Auto. I've tried. I promise that I've tried. I played all the way through GTA III. Sure, I had to use cheat codes because of the checkpoint problems, but I saw the end.
I played through about half of Vice City, but after I realized that the wobbly cars and weird targeting of the clumsy on-foot combat weren't getting better, I stopped. I even owned a copy of San Andreas at launch and never unwrapped it because I just wasn't interested.
I buckled and bought a copy of GTA IV at launch and put in about five hours before getting bored. The funny thing is that I understand the appeal. The tongue-in-cheek, wry approach to society is engaging. The stories are filled with memorable characters.
The radio stations, especially with Lazlo at the helm, are some of the best aural experiences in gaming. I understand all of that, and still there is something about the franchise that feels off to me. I just don't have fun playing these games. And if I'm not having fun, then there's no reason to keep playing.
I write this not to diminish the enjoyment that so many derive from the series (and there are millions of you, making GTA the cornerstone of Take-Two's business). I don't deny its mass appeal. I just want others like me to know that it's OK to be different.
So, while your friends migrate to Los Santos next week and you feel left out because you don't want to spend $60 just to fit in, remember that you aren't alone. It's OK to not like Grand Theft Auto.