TechieTalk: Roy's Alternative Career Guidance Services: Crime Really Does Pay

By Roy Mathur, on 2013-02-11, for The Independent Daily, Mauritius


With the global economy tanking, why not consider a life of crime as an eminently sensible career choice? You see, no matter how bad things get, there will always be a demand for the services of an experienced criminal. But don't just join the humdrum hoi polloi of common street scum like muggers and bag-snatchers. No, if you have serious aspirations in attaining the lavish lifestyle of a wealthy crime king-pin, I suggest that you shoot for the stars and attempt to climb the ranks of the far more prestigious mob, Triad, Cosa Nostra or Yakuza.

And, of course, the absolutely brilliant thing about an increase in crime is that it also leads to a corresponding requirement for an increase in the number of people employed in preventing it. It's almost as if one hand washes the other isn't it? Hmmm. On the other hand, this is great news for those of you at home in the milieu of mayhem, but who draw the line at crime. Now you get to emulate Dirty Harry Callahan, Sam Spade or Mike Hammer and put those dirty, dastardly perps either behind bars or six foot under. Imagine thata job where you get to take out the trash with a gun AND get paid for the privilege.

And what finer way to tune those underworldy instincts to the tautness of a nice steel garrotting wire by practicing your nefarious arts with a few well-chosen video games?

The Bad Guys: GTA: Although games house Rockstar is not unique in the field of crime-based games, they were the originators of the seminal Grand Theft Auto series of video games. In the GTA series, you play a character chosen from a set of dubious underworld denizens from various thinly veiled allegories of real-world cities. For example, Liberty City, that features in the very first game, is a (slightly) more corrupt alternate New York City and the Vice City of GTA IV, is Miami.

There a currently four games in the series with a forthcoming fifth instalment called, imaginatively enough, GTA V: Los Santos, San Andreas. The aforementioned playable characters vary between the games, but the common theme running through them is that of lean, hungry, ambitious hoodlums stealing and murdering their way up that gory, bloody hierarchy. As the title suggests- driving is also featured, so razor-sharp reflexes are vital.

The Good Guys: LA Noire: Rockstar are again guilty of also creating this well-received game. I have a terrible weakness for noir. I just can't resist anything set in the 1940s with tough guys in hats wielding .45s or Tommy-guns, slinky girls in blue dresses, curvy cars and private dicks with a never-ending store of witty one-liners. Here, you are Cole Phelps, a police detective in post-war Los Angeles. In this violent crime thriller, Phelps investigates corruption, the illegal drugs trade, murder and racketeering in the tarnished glitz of the City of Angels. Bogey would be proud.

The games mentioned above are brutal, violent, blood-drenched, loud and filled with fairly colourful street vernacular; thus, mostly rated as "Mature" but, as "Mad" Frankie Fraser once said- "it's better to be the dentist than the patient." Now I wonder where mum hid my power drill?