Artwork 3: GTA V Helicopter News (Intervention)

by | Nov 9, 2018 | Artwork #3: Intervene

ARTWORK 3: Intervention – GTA V Helicopter News

The Premise:

Players have to act as reporters in a GTA Online match and report what they’re seeing in Game Chat

The Rules:

  1. Two players (One Pilot, One Reporter) pretend to be part of a News Helicopter crew in a GTA Online lobby
  2. The Reporter must “report” in game chat where everyone can hear them
  3. Neither the Pilot nor the Reporter can attack other players or return fire if attacked by other players

Artist Statement & Inspiration:

My main goal with GTA V Helicopter News was two fold: One, to create a fun and silly game that forced participants to interact with the extremely hostile world of GTA Online in a different context (as a defenseless spectator), and Two, to force those who commit the actions that make GTA Online extremely hostile to view their actions through someone else’s eyes.

Part of the inspiration for this project came from memories of the mini games my friends and I had come up with playing games like GTA IV. I also drew some inspiration from machinimas like Freeman’s Mind and Red vs. Blue, which usually manipulated the game to create content that was somewhat different from the intended play (more so in the case of Red vs. Blue). The main inspiration came from several role-playing mods that sprung up from games like ARMA 3 (Project Life) and GTA V (LSPDFR), as well as the many videos that sprung up around such mods.

As for broader sources of inspiration, the work of The Yes Men, particularly in regards to the performance where one of their members impersonated a DOW Chemical spokesperson on the BBC, was influential. This performance drew international attention to DOW’s misdeeds (in regards to them failing to clean-up after the 1984 Bhopal Chemical leak, which was caused by a company they later bought), while also showing how they continued to do nothing to mitigate the damage (i.e. Failed to compensate the victims of the disaster). While my project had far lower stakes, their method of using performance art to make a group of people come face to face with their misdeeds explicitly inspired the second part of the project’s main goal.

Play Report:

  • Results weren’t bad, but they weren’t great either.
  • Plenty of footage was recorded, but there wasn’t much vocal response from the players
  • 9 times out of 10 we were shot out of the sky before we could start recording (had to constantly stop and restart due to Xbox Capture limitations) by hostile players in various flying vehicles (Helicopters, Jets, Hover Bikes, etc.) as well as ground-based players with anti-aircraft weapons (Heat-Seeking Missiles)
  • Side note: It was also really difficult trying to get helicopters because they were spawning in weird places and I had my HUD turned off to get the best footage