Tuesday, 24 September 2013

Grand Theft Auto

Cricketers among the millions, indeed billions, who have rushed to purchase Grand Theft Auto V should prepare themselves for disappointment.

Cricketers might have joined Fantasy Bob in supposing that a computer game based on the careers of characters named Michael, Trevor and Franklyn would have something going for it in terms of cricket interest.  For who else could these characters be but Michael Vaughan, Trevor Bailey and Franklyn Stephenson.  An unlikely trio perhaps, but they could be brought together with a few leaps of the imagination.  The highly developed skills that each would bring - Vaughan's sublime cover drive, Bailey's stonewall defence, and Stephenson's celebrated slower ball could give them an advantage in most tight circumstances.

But FB is sad to relate that the characters bear no resemblance to these real world heroes at all. Michael is a former bank robber in his early forties who lives with his dysfunctional family on the proceeds of his former life. Trevor his former partner lives alone in a trailer in the desert. Franklin makes a living as a repo man for an unscrupulous Armenian car dealership. And cricket is far from their minds as they career around their fictional world in a series of ever more frenetic heists, car chases and shoot outs.

No place for real heroes in Grand Theft Auto V
The game is set within the fictional state of San Andreas and the fictional city of Los Santos. Despite the fact that these are said to be based on California and Los Angeles respectively, a fact which probably explains why the characters encounter no cricket matches in progress as they scream along in their souped up cars, FB understands that there are references to Edinburgh's tram project in the detail of the narrative. The developers of the game are based in Leith an area of Edinburgh which suffered significantly from the protracted construction phase of the project. Despite being dug up several times the original intention of running the trams to Leith was abandoned - leaving only fond memories of snarling taxi drivers in the minds of Leithers. And hidden references in best selling computer games.
Fantasy Bob's faithful, if dwindling, worldwide readership will correctly infer that the chances of FB playing Grand Theft Auto V are less than of his successfully defending his wicket against leg spin bowling. That is considerably less than zero.   Such games join the long list of those manifestations of the modern world that FB finds unnecessary - a list which daily grows in length but more recently has been extended by UKIP MEPs, the paintings of Jack Vettriano and above all the IPL.

But if a story involving Vaughan, Stephenson and Bailey was too much to hope for, the reference in the narrative to Edinburgh's trams suggests that all is not lost and had the creators of the game made a little more effort they could have got FB on board.  Had Michael, Trevor or Franklyn at a crucial point in their adventures, instead of blasting everything in front of them with an automatic weapon or executing a series of hand-brake turns, simply sat down for a nice cup of tea and an empire biscuit, FB would have found something to commend.  It would have been a start. It would have given him a bond with the juniors next season.  A lost opportunity.

1 comment:

  1. Has a video game based on cricket been invented yet? If not, it should be. FB will need something to occupy his active mind during a long retirement :-)