The main absurdity, to me, is the whole bit where you start the game with horrible weapons and quite literally no way to defend yourself against superior weapons leaving you with three options:
1) die a lot
2) leave and find new session
3) find someplace to hide and waste time hiding
Really infuriating and such a BS decision. Of ALL things this is the one that I truly dislike and wish had no place in the game.
It's poor decision making on the part of the devs. Every new player should start with $100,000 IMHO. They won't be able to unlock many weapons but it gives them a chance to steal and mod a car.. buy some ammo, some new clothes, etc.
That's one of the reasons if I see a new player to mod a car for them... sell it quick and bank the money.
It's actually quite a good decision. It's annoying when you start out but the reasoning behind it became extremely obvious once everyone was stinking rich and most players were glitching everything they could - it was mayhem, just a giant free-roam deathmatch. Too many players felt they had nothing to work towards as they could afford everything so there was no point in playing missions, survivals etc. for some of them.
Giving you nothing at the start gives you a reason to keep playing, make some cash and level up. I don't think anyone should start with any cash but a safehouse or a small garage would be better. Spawing on the street was never a good thing. It's annoying but it incentivises the player to progress with the game.
As to the OP question, the only thing I find absurd is the need for some people to cheat at what is not too difficult a game.
I paid my dues leveling up and (before the money glitchers) busting my ass for pocket change. It was exactly the kind absurd scenario that most of this forum derided before GTAV was released, as "No way they will require us do menial low-paying jobs to level up in GTAV. That just isn't GTA. GTA is about having fun." SURPRISE! What we got was: Rob 6 liquor stores to afford a single armor upgrade for one car! Let alone a paint job.
I think that the original concept was that the expensive toys would be so incredibly hard to grind for, that people who could afford cash cards would get the toys. That is, only rich kids would have tanks. That was Rockstar's vision. I have to say, the money glitchers (quite intentionally) did completely undermine that concept. On the internet, tanks want to be free.
Saints Row is right on. The original business model was to make a product that required users to re-invest over their initial investment of the product, to be able to leverage the features and benefits of the game. And if users could not afford the "cash cards," then they had the option to grind their game-time away in missions, survivals, etc. to make enough in-game money to afford those features.
As an avid Rockstar supporter of many years (GTA, Red Dead, Bully, etc), I bought the game day one, too. I don't "svck" at GTA (like some replies suggest! LOL!), yet after doing 8,017 survivals, 143,912 races, 1,304 parachute jumps, 11,221 missions, and 6 death matches, I was able to afford a nice apartment AND an Adder. I was in heaven!
But then, along came Brian and that whole fiasco... don't know who Brian is? Then you don't know half the GTA5 story.
Then came the car dupers. Then the money hackers. Then the God moders. Then the Level-uppers. Then the speculation of bans and resets. Then the purge.
Now, I'm back to robbing stores just to make enough to buy ammunition to redo the same survivals, races, missions, parachute jumps, etc. that I grinded my hairy behind for, already. Except now, I have an Entity... which, if I take it out then there's a good chance a tank will blast me and force me to spend $9932 just to get it back, despite not being my fault.
If you don't find that last part of my post a little "absurd," then boy, you're in the wrong thread! Cheers!