Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy
Since Donald Trump’s election in 2016, popular and scholarly commentators have been looking for speculative and/or dystopic literary works that might provide analogues for the Trump-era. Perhaps the most famous of these was the renewed popularity of Margaret Atwood’s The Handmaid’s Tale. In this regard, though, video games remain an underexplored fictional form. With its exaggerated and parodic satire of an America ruled by the corruption and greed of extreme right-wing populism, Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (2004) offers a speculative fiction that players can enact as well as imagine and simulate as well as prepare. Thus, reading the game through the lens of speculative fiction shows that GTA: San Andreas offers the kinds of intertexts, allusions, and parallels that Brabazon, Redhead, and Chivaura (2018) argue is essential for making sense of a dystopic present.
Original Publication Citation
Ouellette, M.A. (2021) Society doesn’t owe you anything: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas & video games as speculative fiction. Dialogue: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Popular Culture and Pedagogy, 8(1), 11-23.
Ouellette, Marc A., "Society Doesn’t Owe You Anything: Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas & Video Games as Speculative Fiction" (2021). English Faculty Publications. 149.