One of the most traumatic gaming experiences I’ve ever had occurred early in GTA III. I’ve forgotten the specific mission, but it was incredibly hard. Well, actually, all I recall is that I failed it on a number of occasions, in a wide variety of ways – I’m kinda inferring the difficulty of the mission, to be honest. Anyway, after about an hour of trying and trying again, I finally managed to complete the damn thing and I was on my way back to my safe-house. Both Claude (GTA III’s protagonist) and the car he/I was driving were the worse for wear, but I just needed to be done with it as soon as possible. Of course, it didn’t exactly go according to plan – I got sideswiped by another car in a vicious, unprovoked attack, and hurtled towards the wall, barely missing a pedestrian on the way. Plowing into the wall was enough to make my battered car give up the ghost, so I dove out and ran for it. The explosion brought Claude down to under 10 health, which wasn’t ideal, but I could actually see the safe-house alleyway up ahead. The end was in sight.
At which point, the granny that I had just missed running over (through some fairly breathtaking driving skills, I might add), who was clearly overwrought that I had nudged her handbag or something, pulls out a frickin’ M16 and proceeds to go all Scarface on my ass.
It’s all very well Hilda Knott talking about how games keep her mentally active and that she’s been gaming for over 40 years, but I got a case of the shivers when I read ‘grandmother’ and ‘GTA’ in the same sentence. Those words should never be together, ever.
I want those hours of my life back.