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The real world is now more ridiculous than GTA 6 could ever hope to satirize

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The real world is now more ridiculous than GTA 6 could ever hope to satirize 1

GTA 5 came out on consoles in 2013, about three years after The Social Network mythologized Mark Zuckerberg’s rise to power, and three years before Facebook would play a pivotal role in—whoops!—allowing online misinformation to influence the 2016 US election. In GTA 5, Facebook is parodied as Lifeinvader, a social network where you can “stalk” posts instead of “liking” them. This joke now feels approximately three million years old. Somehow, it was still at least a little edgy then to point out that social media is invasive.

Today we take that as a given. We know tech companies view our personal data as a product and that social media can do bad things to our mental health. That’s just the mundane reality of day-to-day life in 2020, without getting into the PTSD that content moderators develop looking at horrible shit on social networks, or how they end up succumbing to conspiracy theories. A button that says “stalk” is so much more innocent than the actual ways social media affects us today. And the same goes for almost everything that’s happened in the seven years since Grand Theft Auto 5 came out. So what the hell can Rockstar do with its next game? How can GTA 6 satirize a world that’s thoroughly mad?

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