On October 25, 2004 I spent my evening waiting in line with many other avid gamers for 7 o’clock to roll by and my local EB Games to begin selling Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas for the PS2. It was an eye-opening experience for me. You’d have thought that Elvis himself was back from the dead for another comeback tour. It was electric. And although I had played video games for a long time, I had never considered it mainstream until I stood in that line between a 40-ish year old man and a wide-eyed mother sent to pick the game up by her sons. This truly was an event. This was a Springsteen concert for the gaming crowd. This proved to me that gaming had finally come into its own and was truly accepted as a medium in our society. And looking back on it, I don’t think any other game could have done it; not Halo, not Metal Gear and not Final Fantasy. GTA has become more than a game. Everyone has heard about it; good or bad. GTA has defined a generation and is solidly ingrained within our culture. It may take place in the 80’s or early 90’s but it has always been a barometer for our current trends. How many other games can claim such a mass appeal and reach? How many other global events can? GTA has changed us as a culture and experiencing it again on the Xbox has made it even sweeter than ever.
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