Arguing 'Grand Theft Auto IV' With N'Gai

Once a month or so, N'Gai Croal and I debate a video game. Usually we do it well after a game's been released. We call our exchanges Vs. Mode, co-publish them on both of our blogs, and hope that people have enough bathroom time to read them.

The latest debate concluded this morning. It's all about Grand Theft Auto IV. We talked about bringing our A game for this one. Or at least we would have if we spoke in sports metaphors. It's full of spoilers... about the game's moral quandaries, its ending and other stuff. So beware.

But if you're looking to see him have a go at me for preferring San Andreas to GTA IV and if you're interested in stuff like this...

N'Gai: I'm wondering whether the fault lies not with inconsistencies in the work of Rockstar's writing team, but with the credulity of all of us. Liberty City is filled with self-deluded characters like Playboy X, Manny and Brucie, who present themselves one way only to be exposed by their behavior. Why do we take Niko at face value? Is it just because he's our avatar? ... Maybe Niko is deceiving himself as much as do the rest of the lowlifes he runs with. Maybe as much as he believes he's fatigued with death and killing, he's actually drawn to it? Maybe we have all misunderstood Niko Bellic.

...then head to either of our sites and read the loooong debate. I'm linking to his version, because I'm classy.

Round One

Round Two

Final Round