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March 28, 2010

Tom Bissell on his addiction to videogames and cocaine...

Bissell is a gifted writer who has lost the will and the attention span to read, to write, to do much of anything else but play.
Tom Bissell's confessional from the Guardian:

Vice City's sequel, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, was several magnitudes larger – so large, in fact, I never finished the game. San Andreas gave gamers not one city to explore but three, all of them set in the hip-hop demimonde of California in the early 1990s (though one of the cities is a Vegas clone). It also added dozens of diversions, the most needless of which was the ability of your controlled character, a young man named CJ, to get fat from eating health-restoring pizza and burgers – fat that could be burned off only by hauling CJ's porky ass down to the gym to ride a stationary bike and lift weights. This resulted in a lot of soul-scouring questions as to why a) it even mattered to me that CJ was fat and why b) CJ was getting more physical exercise than I was. Because I could not answer either question satisfactorily, I stopped playing.

Bissell still has powers of observation:

"Strange. All that effort to feel this empty." Outside of the inarguably violent missions, it is not what GTA IV asks you to do that is so morally alarming. It is what it allows you to do.

Posted by Rafael Fajardo at March 28, 2010 12:00 AM