This mega-hit crime sim earned $800 million in revenue its first day. While many know it for its violence or vice, it actually has some things to teach us. This is what I have been able to pick up from the game so far.
1. Google Glass is Perfect for Robberies
In the first heist of the game, a main character uses fancy camera-glasses to capture key details of a jewelry store he intends to rob. This definitely a clever use of Google Glass-like technology; the NSA and police would never think to look out for pictures streaming over wireless signals from the exact GPS coordinates of a soon-to-be robbed convenience store. They would think "no professional would ever be dumb enough to leave that obvious of an evidence trail." Yes we would, Big Brother. Yes, we would.
My only concern, if I were the robber, would be getting nothing but annoying robbery equipment banner ads all over the internet for the next month.
2. Karl Rove Has a Secret Criminal Double Life
The man in one of these pictures is the seedy idea-guy operating in a legally questionable area behind the scenes of some pretty big players. The other is a Grand Theft Auto character named Lester Crest. They are clearly the same person.
It makes sense. In 1970, Rove orchestrated his first heist (that we know of), using fake identities and rock concerts to steal letterhead from a Democratic competitor and sabotage his campaign. Offers of free beer and sex, on campaign documents, were then used to lure countless ruffians to a posh campaign event.
What does Karl/Lester have to say about that? That it was just a youthful prank. Meaning that is only what he was capable of, messing around, as a kid. Imagine his potential as an adult with years of experience.
I rest my case.
3. The British Have Driving Superpowers
The United Kingdom has been seeing drastically decreased traffic-related deaths over the last several decades. In fact, the U.K. has one of the best records out there for traffic-related fatalities: 2.75 killed per 100,000 people per year. What is their secret? Grand Theft Auto V gave us the answer.
One of the main characters, a guy named Franklin, can slow down time when driving to avoid accidents. Handy, right? Well, one of the main ways he builds up his special ability meter to be able to slow down time is by driving on the wrong side of the road. The left side of the road. The British side of the road.
But wait, there's more. The more Franklin uses this ability, the longer he can use it. The British have gotten so accustomed to driving on the time-slowing side of the road that they just perpetually remain in slow-motion whenever they drive. Just look at London traffic.
4. Smartphones are Better than Sleep
In GTA V, or G-Tav, as all the kids are calling it (presumably), you have two options to save your progress. The first is by returning to your character's home and sleeping. That makes sense; sleep is necessary for the brain's memory to save in real life.
The other way to save in the game is by simply pressing a button on your virtual phone, which you always have on you all the time. Which begs the question: Why sleep when you have a smartphone? I ask myself the same question every night. Gadget insomnia is totally a thing.
But who needs a healthy sleep cycle when we have access to as many reminders, contact information, and information as we could possibly need from our phones anyway? After all, they have made it totally possible to live without a functional memory.
5. Healthcare Reform Will Hurt the Country
It is nice to be the protagonist(s) in GTA V. If they die, they appear an hour later and dollar poorer at the nearest hospital. No lasting consequences, and negligible losses. It is the perfect Obamacare future.
If it weren't for that cheap easy health care, I be much less hesitant to go on rampant crime sprees at the risk of my own life. In fact, I'd say that the expense of health care is the one thing holding the American people back from a never-ending reenactment of The Purge.