Jamie Jack­son


Sling­shot Cartel Vice City was the gate­way drug that con­verted mil­lions of Tony Hawk and Gran Turismo- play­ing ‘ca­su­als’ into harder-core gamers. But GTA: San

An­dreas crept up, slit their throats and bled them out as fully fledged mega nerds, and they didn’t even know it. If you said 20 mil­lion-plus peo­ple would wan­der around an open world for months of their lives, no­body would be­lieve you. But we did. The set­ting. The story. The in­sane en­gine that throt­tled the PS2 to its lim­its was a feat of en­gi­neer­ing wizardry.

Ar­guably it cre­ated emer­gent game­play – at the very least it showed it to a mass, non-nerd core au­di­ence. It also had the best sound­track in a game. Ever. And the way it was de­liv­ered just lay­ered on the im­mer­sion in a game. You no longer dropped out all in-game music and stuck your own sound­track on your tape deck.

But more than any­thing, it al­lowed so many peo­ple to have com­mon ground. Whether you were a white, pot-smok­ing hip-hop head or a busi­ness­man who “just has a PS2 for

FIFA”, if you played it, you could talk. The only peo­ple I know who didn’t play it are peo­ple who didn’t play games at all.

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