Staff Editorials

Life Lessons from Liberty City
Posted: 13.07.2008 22:22 by James Pikover Comments: 8
Grand Theft Auto is a series known for pushing the boundaries and taking flak from the media for doing so. Rockstar’s latest iteration of their Series, Grand Theft Auto IV, is the most robust, realistic and recently denounced.

It may not have reached the media levels of Mass Effect’s sex scene, but we haven’t heard the other side of the story. What has GTA IV taught us that is valuable for our lives? Here are ten life lessons we’ve learned from the streets of Liberty city.

1. Family Comes First

From the moment hero Niko Bellic steps off the boat, he backs up and protects his cousin Roman at every opportunity. Roman has a place for Niko to live and a job ready upon his arrival. Even just as cousins, their relationship holds beyond their huge differences (Niko being a badass and Roman the opposite). Friends can come and go, but family is forever.

2. Actions Speak Louder Than Words

Talk isn’t cheap, but compared to the actions Niko takes, talk is right there next to worthless. Roman is a man who talks a lot, and that talk gets him in trouble. Niko talks little, gets much done and is respected for it. Roman is seen as a chatterbox, Niko a doer. The same applies to the real world.

3. Self Maintenance is Important

Walking around in clothes you’ve had for years makes you look cheap. Driving a half broken car does too. What says more about your utter lack of self care than your shoddy appearance and a car with only two inflated tires? People notice if you wear the same clothes daily (or monthly), but they notice more when you look sharp and have class.

4. Never Go Into A Situation Unprepared

Niko is screwed time and time again, but rarely is he caught unprepared. If you know what the situation is, expect it to turn for the worst. It may be his time in the Red Army, but Niko’s cynical mind pays off, for him and players. Nothing is ever as it seems, and he knows that. Not everyone is James Bond and can improvise on-the-fly. Entering situations unprepared can get you fired, injured, or worse.

5. Making and Maintaining Relationships is Crucial

Throughout Niko’s stay in Liberty city, he meets plenty of people on both sides of the gun. Some are better than others, but they are all people and need to have social contact beyond work. Sometimes, they’ll call you, which means it’s a meaningful relationship to pursue. If it’s someone you want to get closer to, invite them for dinner or go hang out. The effort alone is enough to impress. If you don’t keep those relationships, those people will soon fade away from your life. Friends come and go…

6. TV and Videogames are Forms of Relaxation and Entertainment

Viewer Discretion is Advised for the following video.

In this day and age, it’s easy to forget what everything is intended to do. Cars take us from point A to point B, coffee machines make coffee, etc. TV and Videogames are forms of entertainment, made specifically to entertain. The seriousness of games is always comical, because no matter how serious they are, they are still just games. They are played to have fun and relax. TV is the same. Niko watches TV in his Lazy Boy armchair and relaxes. The content on TV and games are made to promote joy in your life, so if you aren’t happy, change the channel!

7. Drinking is a Social Activity

This may come as a shock, but alcohol is not a bad thing. It’s a great way to liven up almost any situation, and of course needs to be used responsibly. Drinking with friends will almost always make your time together more enjoyable, so long as you all remember what happened. Drinking alone…means you’re an alcoholic. Stick with friends, be responsible.

8. Drinking and Driving is not Smart

Let’s get this straight; drinking is a social activity, not a driving enhancer. Other than being highly illegal and the cause of 40% of all car accidents, it’s just dumb. The human mind is not made to drive when drunk. Your vision may not be blurry and you may not sway incredibly when drunk, but something bad can and will happen. Take a cab or walk home. Otherwise, you’ll be arrested, possibly kill someone, or be killed yourself.

9. GPS is Great, But Knowing the Area Is Better

If you’re playing GTA IV, then you can drive a car. You know how hard it is to get somewhere you’ve never been. GPS is a good solution, but it’s no excuse for not knowing the area. How often do you drive around the building you’re supposed to go in before realizing that’s it, or that yes, you are on the right street on the wrong side of town? It happens to the best of us, but not when we know the area. Knowing your surroundings can be crucial for many reasons: knowing which areas have traffic, knowing the difference between the most direct and fastest routes, knowing the small, unknown streets that can easily save you a few minutes…no GPS or map can excuse knowing the streets.

10. Keep Your Word

If there’s anything, anything at all GTA IV can teach us, it’s to be a man (or woman) of your word. When you say something, do it. Throughout the entire story, Niko is known as the man who does what he says, and is trustworthy because of it. No matter who you are, if you remain honest to yourself and those around you, people will find you likeable, even if you aren’t.
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By herodotus (SI Herodotus) on Jul 13, 2008
Lines between reality and virtual worlds have been seriously blurred here. Too much Mountain Dew methinks (and I thought it was just WoW players who thought this way:D).
By Revan (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2008
&quot;Not found&quot;? Wowerine! Did you post this?!?! ahaha And nah herodotus, the line between games and reality only blurs after drinking too much ginger beer! :D
By Revan (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2008
what! NOW it pops up!?!
By Revan (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2008
hmm, guess thats why they made the &quot;Reload&quot; button... :S
By Wowerine (SI Elite) on Jul 14, 2008
Well, I see you are getting way over your natural abilities here Rev (I mean, you are a security guard, who wastes his boring time on watching vids from your Archos:P) It&#039;s fun to make fun of people, right, and this GTA stuff is serious, it is a good guide tough. Good work there writer, not much philosophy, the best way to present your ideas to the masses (nothing to do with Mass Effect:)
By Revan (SI Elite) on Jul 16, 2008
&quot;security guard&quot;?!? I wish!!! But no one&#039;s stupid enough to give that kind of job! :D
By mistergame (SI Veteran Newbie) on Jul 18, 2008
yeyeeeeeeeb the bestt game for history 2008 gta 4... thanksss rock stars
By marien (I just got here) on Aug 04, 2008