Video Games

How Easy Money Makes Grand Theft Auto V Boring


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.

Read the whole thing.

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 Read that here.

NEXT: Free Lunch or Shit Sandwich? Nick Gillespie, Steve Forbes, Jim Rogers, Wayne Allyn Root, Jenny Beth Martin

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  1. I just wish they’d tone down the cops in single player. I can certainly appreciate the satirical nature of the LSPD, but it’s a bit frustrating being gunned down for the “crime” of being plowed into by a cop car, or simply standing to close to a cop on the sidewalk.

    Also, if I fire a silenced weapon in the middle of a deserted forest, I shouldn’t immediately become a fugitive.

    1. Well, then Stop Resisting.

    2. Actually, I think standing next to a cop too long could get you executed. FWIW, you should probably avoid them at all costs.

      1. You had a cell phone right? And it has a camera. What did you expect the cop to do? Not shoot you?

  2. What an ending to a game.

  3. Meh. People should be able to choose how they play. They might get bored, but not everyone will.

    A lot of people don’t play games for the challenge, but for the opposite – escapism.

    1. But he’s talking about the online portion with other players. Cheating in multiplayer games makes you a dick.

  4. He admitted to using cheat codes.
    That defeats the intent of the game.
    It’s like playing Minecraft on Peaceful.

    1. Seriously. The challenge was ruined after you cheated? No shit, Sherlock.

      1. There should be a final, ultimate cheat allowing the player to start a 20-min countdown to an unstoppable nuclear annihilation of the entire game universe for himself and all other players (also resulting in the destruction of his own hard drive).

        There will be a “Miracle Mile” scenario where for the first 10 minutes the players riot in nihilistic frenzy… then the final 10 minutes where they all hug each other and cry and ask deep questions about the meaning of life.

        1. Assassins Creed IV apparently has a rapture bug.

          Wait for it.

    2. He admitted to using cheat codes.

      It is not a cheat “code”.

      That defeats the intent of the game.
      It’s like playing Minecraft on Peaceful.

      Peaceful mode in minecraft is designed into the game. You just go to options screen and select can it not be intended?

      1. Intended for people younger than 5, perhaps. Peaceful is boring.

      2. I spent my glitched cash

        Well, maybe he didn’t use “Cheat Codes(tm)” but he took advantage of glitches or bugs in the game- if I take his own words at face value.

  5. Cheating in single player is one thing. Cheating in online play is entirely dickish

    1. I’m collecting donations to hire a team of hitmen to track down and kill online cheaters.

      1. But your bitcoin reward kitty just took a major hit.

  6. “GATV”?

    I used to think nick was hip.

    (a tear rolls down an indian’s cheek)

  7. I knew about the online cheat (something yo do with selling a bike then logging off before you leave the garage screen) and never used it.

    I still got bored with the game and stopped playing it.

    If they release a single player DLC that looks good i might play that.

    1. The cheat in question:

      There may be others and i have no idea if this one still works.

  8. I wrote about how videogames are the great art form of the 21st century for

    Isn’t about 80 years too early to say that?

    1. Maybe not quite 80 years, but def too early. In 1913 they probably said that about ragtime.

  9. Huh, GTA… I just got my new Bad Ass pc up and am learning to play Eve. Operative word: Learning.

    This helpful graphic shows the learning curve of Eve. I’m at the far, far left.

    1. “learning to play Eve.”

      Don’t do it!!

      The game is horrible (point an click space flight and combat, endless griding, no NPC universe) the people who play it are horrible (more interested in finding the latest glitch they can exploit then anything else) and two real space trader games are coming out in 2014. Star Citizen and Elite: Dangerous.

      1. Star Citizen looks dope as hell. I wish I knew about it earlier; there were some serious bonuses (like lifetime insurance on a spacecraft) for people who bought the game while still early in development.

  10. OK wow these guys really seem to know whats up.

  11. I had the same problem with Skyrim (sans cheat). The open-ended world structure is amazing but it does flatten the difficulty curve and you eventually reach a point where you just plow over everything. Time to start a new character, I guess.

    1. Their are several “hard mode” mods that make the game harder. If you have steam they are very easy to install.

  12. I played San Andreas every day for three months straight while cheating. It didn’t reduce the enjoyment one bit for me. Mostly it helped cut down on grinding, but there was plenty to do with your ill-gotten gains and immortality.

  13. I needed the cheats in Liberty City just to get through the gunfights. I made it through GTA V and only used one cheat and didn’t really need to. Sometimes I’d forget to even restock my armor before missions. I tried the diving for cash cheat and got eaten by a shark. The heists paid better anyway.

  14. But the joke it turns out was on me. Once the challenge was removed, the game stopped being fun.

    This sounds like a job for Obviousman!

    1. Seriously, I’ve had some run-ins with Skyrim cheaters before. They say it’s their right to cheat in a single player game. I say they do indeed have that right, just as they have the right to peak at all the cards in solitaire. But it’s still cheating.

      Why they think this contributes to the enjoyment of the game baffles me. I think this is the end result of our school system, we’ve raised a generation that thinks it’s entitled to a first place plastic trophy, even in a single player game.

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