Someone proposed the next Grand Theft Auto should take place in Portland — and it went viral. I have many words about this.
First off, I’m confused as to why every gaming news site is discussing this when the source was not Rockstar, or even a source affiliated with games in any way, but a random opinion on a REAL ESTATE site. (You might wonder what articles like that are even doing there. I think the clickbaiting commotion over this holds your answer.)
As someone who’s lived in Portland for literally his entire life, I can always tell when someone says something like this and they’ve never ever been here. The sudden attention paid to my home town, as if it just started existing in 2010, feels very bizarre. You may have heard “the dream of the 90’s is alive in Portland.” In a sense, but not in the way implied. In the 90’s, Portland’s actual name was “Seattle’s Shadow.” They got all the attention, they got a Kelsey Grammer sitcom, they got three sports teams while we had to make do with one. Growing up, I never thought I lived in a significant city, and I never thought I’d see a single TV show base itself here, let alone three at the same time. When you heard “Portland” on one of the networks, half the time they were referring to a place in Maine.
Let’s get this clear. Portland is not a GTA city. It is too….CLEAN. It is the opposite of noir. There’s no mafia to be found (in fact, I’m not certain there are even any Italians). I’m sure there are seedy spots I’m forgetting because I avoid them, but there are a lot of colors (anathema to a triple-A game) and the level of crime is pretty low (which is why I continue to live here and not in LA). They mention the abundance of strip clubs, but I hadn’t noticed this because there’s an equal abundance of E-cig shops. In fact, there might be more. Just wait’ll the legal pot thing kicks in; then at least two businesses on every block will be about smoking something.
They mention nine gun shops. HAHAHA. They may be there, but you can’t have guns in Portland — it clashes with the liberal culture. You realize what would happen if you practiced an open-carry policy on any Portland street. Everyone around you would scream at the sight of it and the cops would be called immediately. You would be on the news that evening, described by Anna Canzano as a psychopath mere blocks from a public school, and unless a friend had bail, you’d be spending the next few days in jail despite having done nothing. Try translating that into the video version. Fun game.
Also, there’s the matter of what kind of parody name you would stick onto a Portland-like GTA locale. You can’t give us any mocking moniker that we haven’t affixed upon ourselves already. We already came up with “Stumptown” — in fact, back in the 19th century. “Portlandia” is written by Portlanders and is a smokescreen: the truth is, we made up the whole “hipster” thing to keep you from moving here. We’re the only city in the nation to launch an anti-tourism campaign.
Finally, Movoto claims “you could go to a different coffee bar every day for two years.” Actually you can go to a different coffee bar infinitely since by the time you visited all 637, many of the earlier ones in that number would be out of business and replaced with new ones. This would take a lot of effort to program.
Rockstar has said they’re unlikely to set a new GTA in any place but the three cities they’ve established, meaning they just want to spoof Los Angeles and New York forever. If they ever want to step outside their comfort zone, and pick a village where the mood still fits, I suggest Detroit. Portland is muted and murder-free…..if you ignore the Wesen problem, and you can, because we have a guy for that.