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Grand Theft Auto IV Hits Xbox 360, PS3

by April 29, 2008

The buzz over what’s speculated to be the top selling video game of the year was palpable last night. All over North America Grand Theft Auto IV went on sale at the stroke of midnight. Game shops and electronics stores opened starting at midnight for one hour to give sales a running start.

I attended a local GTA IV midnight madness event mostly out of curiosity to see what kind of people would attend such a thing. This was a video game release, not limited ticket sales for a soon to be sold out concert. There were no known GTA IV Lineshortages of Grand Theft Auto IV when it went on sale. There was no chance speculators would be able to cash in on eBay when they took home their copy of the game.

People who stood in line, in many cases for hours, all across America last night did so for one thing: love of the game. That’s a surprisingly idealistic notion for such a decidedly cynical video game.

Rockstar Games is no stranger to controversy over its unique strain of video games that have been much loved and ‘oft maligned lately. The Grand Theft Auto series has borrowed a pinch from the open-air freedom of fantasy role playing games (like Oblivion) and added it to a universe that exists at the crossroads between Film Noir and The Godfather. GTA IV seems to epitomize our cynical times.

But my question when attending the midnight sales event of the game was - what kind of cynical young adults would sit outside a store at midnight waiting to get copies of this kind of game?

Grand Theft Auto IV doesn’t share much in common with dress-up Star Trek GTA IV Openingcrowd or the fantasy paint-your-face group of Orcs that attend gaming conventions. But those I saw camping out in front of the store since hours before the doors opened at midnight possessed a dedication that rivaled all.

As I stood in line, myself un-immune to the spell of one of the most hotly anticipated titles in recent memories, I listened.

It turned out the crowd consisted of a cross-section of unusually regular people, mostly males in their 20s and 30s. Some were students most were workers and many parents themselves. They talked about classes, jobs, kids and the mild golfing weather we’ve been blessed with lately.

These people crowding in line didn’t seem at all to be the fantasy fanatics or jaded anti-heroes like Nico, star of GTA IV. The lines last night were filled with average people who shared an infatuation with a video game.

About the author:
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Wayde is a tech-writer and content marketing consultant in Canada s tech hub Waterloo, Ontario and Editorialist for Audioholics.com. He's a big hockey fan as you'd expect from a Canadian. Wayde is also US Army veteran, but his favorite title is just "Dad".

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