I Murdered A Woman & That Ain’t Right!

No gun laws and easy targets. It’s all fun and games until you realise what digital death represents…

Today, I shot a woman! I shot a woman in cold blood, for the first time ever. I did it not because she threatened me or hurt me or anything like that, but because she was there. And I didn’t like the look of her. And just because I could — with impunity too. How often can a person get away with femicide? Actually, in reality, quite a lot— nonetheless, that’s why I travelled here this morning, where killing’s a game.

The sweaty lass was dressed in worn pleather sandals, baby-pink knee-high socks with white frills at the top, and a snug “I’m not fat, I just come with airbags” t-shirt. She put up no fight. It was too easy. I enjoy a challenge as much as the next man, so this outcome was suboptimal. I’d at least hoped for the deserved thrill of a whimpered “Please don’t kill me…I have a family” or a sniffling “I’m rich…how much will it cost?” What a disappointment.

Of course, I’d ignore both these feeble pleas, or any others, for there’d be no real family and no need to take the cash. Thanks to soaring stocks in Eugenics Incorporated, my coffers are bursting. That said, my victim did drop $69 when she fell, with a thud, to the ground. And I confess I pocketed this meagre bonus.

I should be grateful to the broad for one reason. That afternoon, she gave my darker other his debut, made in some dank alley behind a crumbling movie theatre. It was so fitting, so 90s thriller, so…me.

After fruitlessly prowling in the city all morning, I’d retreated to the cinema for an air-conditioned reprieve from the heat. I started to watch The Loneliest Robot in Great Britain, a satire that follows a bored factory robot whose cocky, fembot-loving co-workers can’t stand him. The second act wasn’t to my taste, so I chose to slip out. I had real women to deal with.

And that’s when I saw her, bending down to retrieve a fallen corndog. “Five-second rule,” she muttered, snorting, right before I made sure, with one squeeze, that nothing would ever bloat her tummy further.

At either end of the alley, beyond scattered call-girl flyers and used condoms, passers-by had done what passers-by do best — they’d passed by. As they did, was a single head turned? No. Was a single scream let out? No. Was a single rescue attempted? No. Was a single phone call made? Once again, no.

As blood pooled from the lifeless blob, a patrol car had rolled past slowly, its siren releasing a short, sharp wail. The officers inside didn’t see me. The police here, they’re not on the ball.

The oddly (but conveniently) apathetic bystanders merely went about their mindless business, roving and babbling, scoffing and guzzling, leaving me undisturbed to dispose of the body. All in a day’s work, I guess.

Although unjust in the eyes of many, as far as transgressions go, this was tame. And it really will go unpunished. As we speak, with the swollen corpse stuffed behind an oversized dumpster, I’m headed for the airport. I’ll soon go back to my native country, with which this land has no extradition agreement. When I return, I’ll face no music, only a clean slate. That’s how it works here.

Although nigh impossible, as far as I know, suppose someone finds my second-rate quarry or the gun used to kill her. Even if that happens, the police could never pin this murder on me. To buy my nifty semi-automatic, I used no ID. The moustachioed hillbilly running that grotty suburban joint — all chipped red paint and “Guns 4 Fun” outside — never asked for any. He was more concerned with “what brings a city slicker like [me] down this way.”

The gun laws here are non-existent at worst and softer than an overfed simpleton at best. Why else would one bother to visit a trigger-happy pseudo-dystopia like this, with little going for it over and above cheap hookers and a gloriously unashamed disregard for human life?

After emptying some hot lead into that girl, it would have been wise to flee faster — in case the cops got their act together. But seeing as the overriding theme of the day was consequence-free recklessness, who was I to argue with my darker other? Anyway, I’d paid to be here, just like everyone else, and I planned to get my money’s worth, thank you.

So, rather than make straight for the airport, I took full advantage of the stolen vehicle in my possession — a purring, gunmetal grey affair with four exhausts. I roared away from the concrete sprawl into nearby hills, where I’d find a twisty joyride and maybe kill number two.

It sadly wasn’t to be, but all was not lost. I managed to mow down a gazelle, a prairie dog, and a lady cyclist. While the animals respectively rolled over and under the car, the cyclist simply fell into the safety of a bush. She’d stood upright without so much as a stumble, wiped leaves from her lycra, asked what the fuck was wrong with me, and then casually took a call from some woman named Mary — as if nothing had happened. After that, the idiot ran into overgrown shrubland, leaving me aghast, stunned, and too late to catch her. Anyway, it was getting dark and home was calling.

I’m actually nearly at the airport now. Once I abandon my ride, just past this Slaughter, Slaughter & Slaughter billboard, under a strangely appealing Brutalist veranda, it’ll be no time at all before I’m on my couch for the evening, coming down from my would-be tour de force, and wondering, how will the sequel look?

And I mean precisely no time at all because I’m already on my couch, coming down from not murder but yet another sanity-testing day in lockdown, and wondering, how will the sequel look? Grand Theft Auto VI, that is. It won’t have taken long for the keener gamers among you to work out I’ve been playing the incumbent GTA V.

I can safely say I didn’t actually whack any women today, digital or otherwise — the image at the top of this post depicts an axe murder by some other player. But if I had killed a GTAV lady, it would have been a mere slice of escapism. I’m not a psychopath, I swear. I respect women, and every word above was crafted as a commentary on the game’s profuse misogyny and violence. Oh, and I’m a slight chubber myself, so unlike in the game, there’s no fattism here either.

Even if its seven-year-old superhit is intended as a scathing satire on modern-day American culture, Rockstar Games really should tone down all of this. It needs to shut the strip clubs, get the prostitutes off the streets, and introduce strong female characters. Not all male players will snap back to a calm, feminist reality after powering down, and no man should be able to do the things I speak of above.

Although no real evidence exists to prove a causal link between virtual and actual aggression, there’s enough angry, anti-women sentiment out there in the real world without bringing it into the fantasy realms to which we disappear, wouldn’t you say?

London-based freelance journo (mainly film & TV), content writer & editor, ghostwriter, and blogger. Also currently studying to be a UX writer.

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