Try-hard gamer (and Daily Beast National Security writer) Eli Lake dishes on how online play in Grand Theft Auto V (GATV) became boring once he learned cheats that allowed him to dominate the mean streets of Los Santos:
In real life, the sudden accumulation of wealth may lead one to buy nice clothes, take a vacation, give to a charity or make sound investments. But in the world of grand theft auto, I spent my glitched cash on more lethal goods and services. I purchased a tank. I purchased an attack helicopter. I purchased a sniper rifle. Those were the goods. As for the services, I now had money to send mercenaries and airstrikes against players I did not like. Yes, the game has something called “Merryweather Security” because “everybody needs a private army.”
It was payback time. I went after as many of my tormentors as I could find. I no longer worried about dying either. With millions in my in game account, why did it matter? It was exhilarating going from hunted to hunter. Nor did I feel any guilt about cheating. This is, after all, a game where you pretend to be a criminal.
But the joke it turns out was on me. Once the challenge was removed, the game stopped being fun. After a while it gets boring coming up with new ways to kill other players.
You want something that never gets boring? Read Lake's terrifying 2010 piece for Reason, "The 9/14 Presidency: Barack Obama is operating with the war powers granted George W. Bush three days after the 9/11 attacks."
Back in September, when GATV first came out, I wrote about how videogames are the great art form of the 21st century for Time.com. Read that here.