Conservative leaders have long attacked Grand Theft Auto for inciting violence and bad behavior in the people that play it. University professor Joseph Delappe is trying to flip that narrative. Delappe is using GTA V to highlight violent gun crime in America. Rather than the violence in society coming from the game, the violence in Delappe’s version of GTA V comes directly from society.
What Delappe has done is hack a version of GTA V and is broadcasting it over the internet via a live stream called Elegy. The hack has taken the normally passive NPCs (non-playable characters) and turned them into gun-toting killers. Rather than peacefully going about their day, the NPCs are shooting and killing each other. These aren’t random killings, however. Every murder in the stream represents a real gun homicide in the states.
Be advised the stream below is for mature viewers only
Every day, Elegy resets and reenacts every gun crime homicide that has happened in 2018. That is a lot of killing reenacted every day, and every day more people will die than the day before. Delappe describes it like this:
“Gun homicide totals since January 1st are revised daily on this website which are then fed directly into the project – starting at 0 each midnight, each day the new total body count since January 1st is reenacted in it’s totality and so on. As of July 4th, 2018 there were 7,293 gun homicides in the United States – by the end of 2018 this number will likely reach close to 15,000.”
In 2015 Janelle Monáe released the powerful song HELL YOU TALMBOUT as a protest against police violence perpetrated against people of color all over America. The song invites everybody to say the name of all the victims up to the time it had been written and invokes a visceral emotional reaction from all but the coldest of listeners. Delappe’s project doesn’t have the names of the victims, but the numbers are stark. The fact they keep increasing day after day hammers home another point that sits perfectly next to Monáe’s humanization of the disturbing statistics we hear about every day on the news.
The project started on July 4 and plans to run until July 4, 2019. Expect a bloodbath.