Oh, so you can have it both ways! Pulitzer-winning author Junot Diaz (The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao) writes in the Wall Street Journal today of his love affair with the time-sucking video game Grand Theft Auto. He's also willing to admit to the lowbrow fun that it actually is (let's not dress it up with Godfather-referencing praise, people!)
"OK, let me be clear: I love GTA IV and I have no doubt that it is art, but an equal to "The Sopranos" or "The Godfather"? Narrative art of that caliber is distinguished by its ability to re-organize our preconceptions, to shift us into a world that's always been there but that we've been afraid to acknowledge, and I'm not convinced that GTA IV pulls off that miracle.
...For me, GTA IV is more an example of our evasions as a culture, more of a fairy tale, more of a story of consolation than a shattering cultural critique or even, dare I say it, great art. GTA IV is a game that allows you to forget how screwed-up and complicated things are in the real world; it could have done more, it could have put that screwed-up complicated world front and center."