Why ‘Grand Theft Auto’ Needs a Female Protagonist

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The Grand Theft Auto video game series is wildly popular and commercially successful. While violent to the point in which watchdog organizations view the series as toxic, Grand Theft Auto‘s brand has incredible gameplay value. It’s slickly produced and gives player’s the chance to complete missions or mill around causing havoc. Throughout all the years of GTA‘s remarkable run, it’s been missing one primary thing: A female protagonist. Here’s why this change should be included in GTA’s next installment.

With GTA V introducing the groundbreaking three protagonist format, many doors have been opened. Game creators would be taking a risk designing an installment with one protagonist who was female. While I’m not opposed to this idea, the fact is that a three protagonist style leaves creators room to experiment. For what fans hope is another addition of GTA in a couple or a few years, implementing a female protagonist is a must. A combination of Lisbeth Salander and Lara Croft would do the trick.

The Salander-Croft morphing is largely said in jest, the clearer reality would be a well-rounded, intelligent, and powerful character capable of advancing in the criminal underworld. Since GTA protagonists have to be criminally inclined, it would be a welcomed change of pace to have a female character placed into a male-dominated mix. This needed inclusion could encourage more women to play the game. Many branches of thought probably see higher doses of people playing GTA as more damaging than beneficial, but my position is that all video games should widen their demographics.

As loyal players of the GTA series, we’ve had Tommy Vercetti, the rising kingpin of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City. We’ve played with Trevor Philips, the insane and savage lunatic building madness in Grand Theft Auto V. We’ve been Carl Johnson, the emotionally dynamic gang member of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. All great characters. All males. All played out to a degree.

For Grand Theft Auto VI, we need a female protagonist as awesome, maniacal, and criminally aspirational as the three GTA protagonists just mentioned. This would be a brilliant marketing move and a quality decision even beyond the simple economics. The fate of the series is in excellent hands no matter what, but a female protagonist might make more hands pick up a controller.

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Tyler is the Editor-in-Chief for Hardwood and Hollywood's pop culture section. He has an unrelenting fascination with Lisbeth Salander and Omar Little. If you're looking to work on a writing project with Tyler or to be interviewed, reach him at [email protected]

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