In Defense of GTA 5’s Most Hated Mission
Grand Theft Auto 5’s missions are among the most varied in any open world game, and the game manages to strike a great balance between intense action and calmer settings. Sometimes the more sombre sections are received worse than Rockstar may have hoped. However, there is one quest that has become notorious for its unpopularity while being crucial to the success of the game’s sarcastic tone.
Unfortunate though it may be, “Did Somebody Say Yoga?” has become one of GTA 5’s most recognisable missions. Because of its tedious pace and lack of excitement, it has become one of the most reviled missions in GTA 5, and possibly the entire franchise. Given how it all plays out, I can see why fans would be annoyed by the mission, but I wonder if they are missing the larger thematic point that Rockstar was trying to make.
In “Did Somebody Say Yoga?,” Michael and his wife Amanda attend a yoga class, where Michael eventually loses his cool and attacks Amanda’s teacher, Fabien, resulting in the dissolution of his family. The yoga segment consists essentially of holding the indicated position until the next prompt is given, much like a quick-time event, except that it is painfully slow. It’s up there with the most tedious missions in Grand Theft Auto history, which is probably the point.
The Grand Theft Auto series is a satirical look at the United States woven between crude jokes and bathroom humor. The protagonist of GTA 4 satirises the American ideal by coming to the United States in search of a better life only to realise that things are really worse for him here. The story is instructive for Liberty City because it serves as a counterpoint to New York, which is home to such cultural landmarks as the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. San Andreas, meanwhile, examines the police and the prison system. Soon after his release from prison, CJ is once again confronted with situations in which the biggest criminals are law enforcement officers and members of the armed forces.
Since Rockstar took Los Santos from San Andreas and reimagined it for GTA 5, it had to incorporate some features from present-day Los Angeles. In doing so, it exaggerated the city’s superficial, consumerist, and self-absorbed qualities, making light of these characteristics as a way to poke fun at them in the early 2010s. Especially in the context of this endeavor, yoga is the ideal way to sum up that ideal.
Video Game Parody of Los Angeles
Detachment from material concerns is a fundamental tenet of Eastern religious and spiritual traditions, from which yoga draws its inspiration. But Los Santos in Grand Theft Auto V is shallow and self-centered, and its yoga community reflects that. The GTA characters’ backstories provide hints about this inconsistency. We infer that Fabien uses his position as a consultant to have sexual relations with his clients, among them Amanda. As a serial cheater and spendthrift, Amanda also goes against the grain of what yoga teaches. Even though Michael appears to have begun the exercise with good intentions, she continues to make resentful comments toward him throughout.
Some might say that Michael’s reaction was the most reasonable one. Unlike Amanda and Fabien, who try to hide their true feelings and mistakes, he accepts his present state of mind and feelings. Aware of his history as an abusive husband and violent criminal, he reacts negatively to Fabien’s physical behaviour toward his wife. The bad guy Michael is still there; unlike Amanda and Fabien, he has a sense of his own humanity.
With this mission, we winkingly acknowledge the stereotype that Americanized yoga is dull. If GTA’s satire of modern Los Angeles includes a critique of LA’s vapid dullness, then a boring yoga mission would be an appropriate vehicle for that criticism. It could be argued that the execution was poor because so many players failed to recognise its significance, but many creative choices are met with audience indifference and still succeed in delivering their intended message. The mission’s notoriety and subsequent unpopularity are both indicators of how successfully it achieved its parodying goal.
For the more latest news on Games, keep on following us here on GamerCottage