Last week one of my good friends was nearly murdered. He wishes to remain anonymous here, so let's just call him R. R had been browsing Craigslist for a car engine and found what looked to be a good deal. He called the young woman who placed the ad and asked the right questions. The details checked out and the seller seemed on the level, so after work he went to the woman's home to inspect the engine and discovered the hard way that the whole thing was a set up.
The house was actually an abandoned foreclosed property, and when the seller led R around to the side of the house where the engine was supposedly waiting, he was instead greeted by a masked man wielding a shotgun. The armed man aimed at R and was about to fire when he slipped on the rain-slicked grass and dropped the gun. They each went for the weapon, but the attacker grabbed it first and, barrel in his hand, swung the shotgun like a club at R's head. He dodged, but took a solid impact blow to his hand. As the man shuffled the gun back into a firing position, the woman leaped on R's back and tried to knock him out by slamming a chloroform-soaked rag over his face. Now, R is a big guy, and the last place you'd probably want to be when attacking him is on his back, because he flipped the woman off of him and, with a move that would most likely impress the best of Street Fighter's World Warriors, flung her at the armed man. The two were knocked to the muddy ground, and as they scrambled to stand, R stumbled back towards his truck as the chloroform started to numb his senses and slow his movements. He sped away to safety, fish-tailing out of the driveway and eventually pulling over some distance away until his head cleared. Aside from a nasty wound on his hand and some scratches on his arm from where the woman gouged to get a grip on him, he's fine and is nearly recovered from the experience. I tell you this story here because, like most things in life, R's ordeal sparked an idea for an interesting addition to a popular video game franchise.
Grand Theft Auto IV established the use of in-game Internet to receive e-mail and browse the web. A later GTA adventure, Chinatown Wars, built on that addition with an in-game smartphone PDA capable of receiving text message e-mails from drug dealers eager to make a sale. Imagine a new type of website in GTA's world — let's call it "Gregslist" — where the protagonist can arrange online to meet to buy weapons, vehicles, and other items from other characters. Most of the time the sales are legitimate, offering players a good deal on a used rifle or a half-decent car. Sometimes, however, the supposed sale is a robbery attempt, giving the player ample reason to draw his own weapon and return fire. Slaughter the would-be thieves before they do the same to you in order to steal their weapons and vehicles. If Rockstar or the developers behind another open-world GTA-type game would like to use this idea, be sure to include a move where the player can fling an attacker at an armed bandit. R would appreciate that.
(Images via GameSpot)