GTA 6: Why Now is the Time for a Female Protagonist
Rockstar Games hasn’t officially announced Grand Theft Auto 6, but with GTA 5 having made so much money, a sequel seems like a sure thing. There have been several rumors about the yet unannounced game and one that has been going around for years is that GTA 6 will have a female protagonist.
If GTA 6 did have a female protagonist then it would not only be the first GTA game to have a female lead but it would also be the first Rockstar game to star a woman in the main role. Games like Red Dead Redemption 2 have featured characters like Sadie Adler in supporting roles and GTA 5 and RDR2 allow players to create playable female characters in their multiplayer modes, but GTA 6 would be the first with a woman at the helm in story mode.
Rockstar hasn’t commented about this, or any other GTA 6 rumor, but it’s about time that it gave a female character a shot. While other game developers have embraced a refreshingly inclusive take on gender, as Cyberpunk 2077 will remove gender choices and games like The Sims 4 also have non-binary characters, Rockstar has yet to give women a chance. The developer has never been one to follow others, setting the pace with technology and its approach to storytelling, but in this case Rockstar looks depressingly behind the times.
It’s not just about face value, however, as a female protagonist in GTA 6 would be right on message with what Rockstar has always done with the series. GTA 5 and GTA IV had unshakable social commentary, as did the first Red Dead Redemption. In GTA IV, players saw Eastern European immigrant Niko Bellic and his cousin Roman try to achieve the American Dream, like a modern version of John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men. GTA 5 is set after the 2008 recession and players can see how the economic slowdown has affected the NPCs of Los Santos and Red Dead Redemption shows players how the end of the Wild West affects cowboys like John Marston. In a time of #MeToo, #TimesUp, the Women’s March, and other campaigns for gender equality, GTA 6 could provide a window into today’s headline news stories and the social issues of 2019.
Importantly though, GTA 6‘s female protagonist would allow Rockstar to tell these stories through the eyes of a woman. In other Rockstar games, players have been given some truly great stories from the perspectives of men. Players have seen Michael in GTA 5 try to wrangle his children back onto the right path, Red Dead Redemption 2 players saw Arthur wrestle with his guilt over his family, his past love and how it all showed in his love for little Jack Marston and the way he taught the young how to fish.
What Rockstar could do with the female experience in GTA 6, from a woman who gets revenge after her good for nothing husband walks out on her, or a mother who turns to a life of crime to provide for her children, or a female character so tired of being harassed that she recruits an all-female gang to teach her harassers a lesson. The possibilities are so great and so exciting and it would be a huge leap for Rockstar and hugely entertaining for players.