GTA 6’s first trailer has given us quite a glimpse of what we can expect from the game. Rockstar Games’ next big title seems to paint a lot of pictures on a canvas that’s an open world ready to be explored. Between all the lines we’re willing to read, there’s a particular one that comes to mind; the relevance of social media in the game.
The trailer doesn’t shy away from showing us an important aspect of the world of GTA 6, and how the characters seem to embrace it. The satirical versions of TikTok and Instagram seem to have made their way (quite strongly) into the game’s landscape, and it’s worth considering how it will all play into GTA 6.
What the Trailer Shows Us
Let’s consider everything the trailer has shown us so far. A lot of the scenes shown in the video are from the perspective of a smartphone camera. We’ve got crazy people twerking, running, dancing, and every kind of goofy move for the sake of social media. Some of the comments from certain characters are absolutely hilarious:
Ay Papi! Save some sugar baby for the rest of us!
This one’s made by a user called DadBodSquad, with a button next to it showing the ‘Follow’ which looks quite familiar to the design from Rockstar’s Social Club features.
Another one by in-game user PlanetLeonidaMan captures a man running from the cops, with the caption:
Usually gotta hit the strip club to see jiggle like that fr
Clearly, Rockstar isn’t backing away from their usual over-the-top humor that doesn’t care to be politically correct, at all. This is also evident from much of the other social media footage shown in the GTA 6 trailer, most NPCs will not shy away from capturing videos that will add to the trend of an online world within the game.
At some points, we can even spot a LIVE comment section when a bunch of characters mimics a TikTok dance routine.
There’s also the inclusion of Weazel News, the infamous news media outline in the Grand Theft Auto that will make a comeback. We can perhaps expect a blend between statical versions of popular social media platforms like Instagram and TikTok, and Weazel News footage where characters can possibly share comments and media across platforms.
Social Media Will Bring Out the Same Mature Themes in GTA 6
Right off the bat, we immediately get a sensory overload thanks to all that’s going on in this world. The crowd density itself communicates how larger-than-life a mix of stories players can expect. For instance, everything that’s going on in this world is worthy of a ‘reel’ or TikTok video that climbs the social media charts.
Thus, people are motivated to live a life on the edge, doing all sorts of shenanigans for a couple of likes from strangers and friends.
In the past, Rockstar has pushed the habit of weaving a satirical narrative based on the craziness that America has to offer. This time around, we have a fictional take on Florida; a state already known for all sorts of wild behaviors. Add to that the social media aspect (with its loop of validation)
Furthermore, the addition of an active social media life in the game adds perspective to the protagonist’s tale. Consider them using online platforms and finding out about the disparities and opportunities around them. Not only does this build motivation for the protagonists, but also breathes more life into the ever-evolving nature of GTA 6.
A Throwback to GTA 5’s Stock Market?
For those of you who have played GTA 5, you might remember a neat little mechanic that would change based on the events in the game. When accessing the web in-game, you could take a look at how the stock/share market is doing, based on which, invest in certain stocks and build a portfolio. What made this even more interesting was how in-game world events would shape the market.
There was a series of missions between Franklin and Lester, where Lester would ask players to assassinate certain targets. Based on this, certain companies and their shares would be affected, and Franklin could invest in those stocks accordingly. GTA 6 might certainly have this feature, but the social media part adds weight to it.
You see, as things happen in the world, there will be a character/NPC who will talk about it online. Through the game’s version of tweets, videos, or simple cross-platform sharing of news. This will likely affect how missions go or take place, where either Lucia or Jason informs one another. In fact, there’s a chance they might have to use these platforms themselves to keep up with trending news in hopes of finding new opportunities for crime.
How Could an Online Mode Play into it?
As we’re aware, Rockstar’s Social Club recently made an official exit from online platforms. But, throughout the years, this was an ongoing multi-purpose tool for various Grand Theft Auto games (and other Rockstar titles). Ideally, Social Club would let players connect and share their stats, music tastes, images, and so on. With GTA 6, this might just take the next big step.
Consider this; your character in GTA 6 makes a big discovery and soon climbs the ladder through the in-game social media platforms. The line between a single-player offline experience and an Online mode starts blurring when all of these stats, news, and other info also make an impact in the game’s Online version.
Something like this isn’t new to the gaming world entirely. We’ve seen these kinds of mechanics in games like Death Stranding, where the protagonist’s hard work in the game would reflect in its online mode too. The line between the two was almost non-existent, as players could indirectly ask for help, or contribute to other players’ worlds and give them a thumbs up for all the work they did.
In GTA 6, there’s a high chance of an ever-evolving map to implement social media powerfully. Whatever happens in the players’ world gets linked to the game’s social media, which in turn affects how other players view it. This cross-connection is what can keep the game in a healthy live-service model if Rockstar chooses to go that way.
From all that we’ve mentioned above, it’s clear that Rockstar wanted us to pay close attention to the 10+ year gap between GTA 5 and GTA 6. There have been major cultural changes in this time, thanks to the overwhelming impact of the digital world. Especially social media. Moreover, the game’s take on social media will do wonders for how versatile the game’s overarching narrative can be. After all, the success of GTA Online has shown us how impactful content updates can be, and GTA 6 won’t beg to differ.