Well, this is awkward.
While we admit we’ve idled away countless hours playing Grant Theft Auto V: San Andreas, just about the last thing we’d ever expect from the Rockstar Games franchise is an earnest Pride parade to come sweeping past all the malevolent action, let alone one that stands as a tribute to victims of the Pulse massacre.
And yet, Digital Spy reports that a dedicated clan of GTA 5 enthusiasts — working in collaboration with Stockholm Pride and the Swedish advertising agency Garberg — have designed a mod that sends a garrulous Pride parade through the (extremely) mean streets of San Andreas:
The mod was partially conceived as a tribute to the many victims at Pulse, the Orlando-based gay club where dozens of innocent Americans were gunned down last month.
While we’re sure their hearts are in the right place, it’s easy to argue that Grand Theft Auto is perhaps one of the most improbable — perhaps even inadvisable — franchises to incorporate a Pride parade into its gameplay; certainly one that claiming to be a tribute to Orlando. The reason why will be stunningly obvious to anyone with even a passing knowledge of the game’s content.
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While playing last week, we drove a truck down Verona Beach Boardwalk, mowing down dozens of beach bums, tourists, and street entertainers with three squad cars hot on our trail. That was just before we chased a Mack Truck down the freeway, crashing into innumerable commuters and mowing down loads of innocent pedestrians. Later, we decompressed by blowing up a bunch of meth-head bikers, as one does.
Perpetrating unspeakable acts of violence is not only inevitable when going through the game, it’s the very essence of the game. It’s also one of the most entertaining aspects of the game.
Unfortunately, it won’t be long before some infernal antigay gamer proudly posts YouTube clips featuring one “protagonist” — say, hardened career criminal Michael De Santa — firing into the parade with automatic machine guns, or simply mowing down people with a stolen truck, just because they can.
Nevertheless, here’s what Christian Valtersson, president of Stockholm Pride, had to say about the mod:
The message of love and equality is always needed and we are happy that players get to host their own Los Santos Pride Parade. It has been wonderful to get to cooperate with such creative and talented people as the ones who made this idea into reality.”
So, yeah. Awkward to say the least.
Here’s a preview of the mod, currently only available for PCs and downloadable here: