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GTA Online players respond poorly to an in-game performance of Hamlet

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Grand Theft Auto 5's world is one of crude pastiche. Whining DJs and phallic puns plastered against buildings, backdropping the sleaziest excesses of American culture. In an attempt to bring some culture to this world, one YouTuber tried to stage a one-man performance of Hamlet—but quickly found Los Santos to be a city hostile to a bit of Shakespearian flair.

Spotted by Kotaku (opens in new tab), GTA Online player Rustic Mascara took to the game's public lobbies to "re-appropriate the world of GTA as a space for meditative existentialism through performance and poetry". 

Mascara is, of course, immediately gunned down by a random player. But as he returns to give it another go, so too does his would-be assailant, who seems more receptive to his performance. A few lines in, however, and another heckler steps in to stop the show with a rocket launcher.

Not to be phased by defeat, Mascara tries again—this time, at the Vinewood Bowl, partying up with a friend to bring a little more dynamism to his performance. He even sends messages to other players in an attempt to draw a crowd. This is, by all means, a full theatrical production.

And then the cops show up.

Within moments, the crowd (formed of two onlookers) has already started a fight with itself, before turning its ire onto the performers. Nevertheless, Mascara and co continue, even as the roughhousing attracts an armed police presence that forces the actors to pull out their own sidearms. 

Theatre may have many languages, but GTA only speaks the language of violence. 

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Natalie Clayton
Features Producer

20 years ago, Nat played Jet Set Radio Future for the first time, and she's not stopped thinking about games since. Joining PC Gamer in 2020, she comes from three years of freelance reporting at Rock Paper Shotgun, Waypoint, VG247 and more. Embedded in the European indie scene and a part-time game developer herself, Nat is always looking for a new curiosity to scream about—whether it's the next best indie darling, or simply someone modding a Scotmid into Black Mesa. She also unofficially appears in Apex Legends under the pseudonym Horizon.