Momentary Disassociation, Or Wow, Billboards!

You're looking at a pic of Star Junction — I mean, Times Square. One thing you might not realize if you've never visited New York City is the just-a-little-off-kilter accuracy of the geography in Grand Theft Auto IV. For example, the Yahoo! ad you see here is located in the same spot as GTA IV's "EyeFind" search engine billboard, and it blinks and flashes just as bright.

I headed down there on Sunday so that I could pick up a Darkrai for my Pokemon game at Toys R Us (did you guys get one?), and since I live further uptown, I hadn't been there in a while - like since picking up and getting into GTA IV

I wasn't expecting it to be such a strange moment. Bright lights scrolling by, taxis everywhere, flashy cars to steal — I mean, admire. I've been floored by the grandeur of Times Square, tourist crowds and all, ever since I moved to New York City back in 2002, but this was the first time I got a little rush of surreal giddiness as if I'd walked into a video game.

And then, just when things couldn't get any weirder, I saw this:

Whoa, it's Niko!

Momentary Disassociation, Or Wow, Billboards!

See that little awning? They're selling nuts! I can restore my health!

Momentary Disassociation, Or Wow, Billboards!

Okay, maybe I should get out a little more. But they really went all-out with the GTA IV-as-wallpaper ad campaign - I also took a snap of six-fingered lollipop girl down on the Lower East Side. Rockstar never did answer me on what was with that six-finger deal.

Momentary Disassociation, Or Wow, Billboards!

Did you West Coasters go through this with San Andreas?