Decoding the Mount Chiliad Mural: post #1620
I've followed the guy since, and academic isn't the word I would have used.
Thanks a lot for your comments!
It's not the word I would usually use either. But following themutedtrumpet’s definition of “academic,” that other guy’s writings had “no practical purpose” for the investigation as far as I could tell. All I got from his manifestos was him bragging that he suddenly realized that a player’s actions, chosen within certain gameplay parameters, can affect an outcome. Simply put, games are interactive. That’s obvious. It’s true for every game and video game I’ve ever played, from solitaire to LSD Dream Emulator. He made GTAV sound no different from Frogger or Asteroid, even though GTA obviously takes interactivity to a very different level. (Well, I guess some of the early GTA games did look a little like Frogger...) But if he was trying to say something beyond that, if he was honestly trying to say anything at all, he unfortunately couldn’t find a way to communicate it.
To riff on the movie metaphors and Hollywood easter eggs that have popped up in the thread, those manifestos reminded me of that sloppy documentary (?) on The Shining that just came out, Room 236. Sometimes people get so obsessed with trying to prove that they have some kind of special insider’s knowledge that they refuse to see the big picture. Sometimes it’s easier to make up simplistic fantasy explanations and conspiracy theories than to appreciate the real depth and nuance of the thing itself.
I bet there are a lot of helpful ideas that have been lost between the cracks of the main discussion here too, including some “out of the box” stuff. That’s why I hope people will continue to do good research, and then clearly identify their sources, share their evidence, and present it all to the forum in a way that 1) shows why those observations are important and 2) allows other people to verify them independently. That, in a nutshell, is what academic really means.
Wow. The fact that an easter egg hunt in a video game has gotten this intense is really amazing. I really admire all the people who are putting their time and effort into the search. I still expect that there’s a ton of interesting things to find in GTAV, whether they’re easter eggs and cultural references that are easy to spot, or just small details in the game’s incredible programming.
At the same time, you can’t forget that video games like Grand Theft Auto--just like Thelma and Louise or Alien or the other movies GTA references--are big-budget commercial products that are created in order to make unbelievable amounts of money in the real world. There are a few comments here that have hinted at the idea that we need to step out of the GTA story world for a minute and think about how rumors of UFOs and jetpacks are being used in Rockstar’s sales strategy... online missions, DLC, upgrades, etc.
That’s one of the reasons I’m curious to know who “discovered” these easter eggs in the first place. Maybe we can create our own mural that shows how information _about_ easter eggs was spread online and then gives us new clues about how to find other treasures in the game itself.