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“Grand Theft Auto” maker: Video games hate liberals

On Sept. 17, "Grand Theft Auto V," the latest installment in the wildly popular video game franchise, will be released for the Playstation 3 and Xbox 360, perhaps as one of the final major games for the current console generation.

Video games have developed quite a bit in both quality and influence since the "Pac-Man" booths of yore. In 2011, the Economist reported the video-gaming industry was already three-fifths the size of the movie industry. For that reason alone, games deserve serious critical attention -- and that includes looking at their politics.

"GTA V’s" publisher, Rockstar, has dealt with themes of socialism and class struggle in the past -- and in a way that at times seems to betray a right-wing, anti-government slant. Two games deal especially closely with these issues: "Red Dead Redemption" and "L.A. Noir."

"Red Dead Redemption" is a 2010 action and adventure game inspired by the spaghetti westerns of filmmakers such as Sergio Leone. Now I'm not a die-hard gamer. I haven't played everything out there, or even close. During the opening character-creation sequence of "Skyrim," a game hardcore reviewers were in ecstasies over, I got bored and gave up. But I LOVED "Red Dead Redemption." And yes, the caps lock is necessary. It boasts a beautifully rendered world, solid character development and a well-written story.

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