Virtual Photojournalists Document Mayhem In ‘Grand Theft Auto’ World

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Photojournalism jobs may be disappearing in real life, but they’re thriving in at least one corner of the Interwebs. A handful of participants in the online version of “Grand Theft Auto” have decided it’s more fun to document virtual felonies than commit them and have formed a team of street photographers.

Members of the “Media Lens” social crew — created by film editor and amateur photographer Christopher Murrie — adorn their avatars with emblems reading “Media — Noncombatant” and “Media Pass.”

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This entitles them to roam the virtual streets of GTA more-or-less unmolested. When they come across something interesting, they whip out the game’s standard smartphone and snag a screen grab. Sometimes applying Instagram-like effects. (Haven’t the people of San Andreas suffered enough?)

Just like real photojournalism jobs, the GTA role is unpaid and low-status, with fellow players complaining about everything from photographers overemphasizing the violent aspects of the game to oddly familiar “I can take better shots than that” snipes.

(via Laughing Squid)

Image credits: Images by killerdead77, beardlace, Sparx73

  • olafs_osh


  • Mike

    No light- no photography.

  • Kevin Purcell

    There is already a rather good street photographer, Fernando Pereira Gomes, wandering the streets of Los Santos and Blaine counties.

    He has a good eye (much better than the examples above).

  • 3ric15

    Slow day at PetaPixel?

  • Omar Salgado

    Ora sí que…

    ¡¡Qué mamá da esos consejos a sus hijos!!

  • Hannah Paige Woodard

    Didn’t this article basically already run on PetaPixel a few months ago?

  • Baa Bra Brack Ship

    Do you mean, screenshot?

  • PJ

    Calling this photojournalism is a slap in the face of all of those in the profession (I’ll pass on the redundancy of calling it visual photojournalism)…

  • Sanders

    I’m a photojournalist, working for a newspaper in Houston, and I have no problem at all with this. I think it’s funny, and entertaining. Stop the butthurt.

  • turbo138

    Same here. kinda wish I had thought of it.

  • Paul

    I’m not against the idea but non of these photos are very intresting

  • harumph

    Lol, you said “photos.”

    Wasn’t there a poll to see what readers wanted to see less (and more) of at the new Petapixel? No more Grand Theft Auto articles should be at the top of that list.

  • flightofbooks

    what do you think that bright thing coming out of your computer monitor is?

  • flightofbooks

    I love how this is exactly the sort of comment I see on basically every article featuring an IRL photojournalist (but all kidding aside, that is a cool link and thanks for sharing!)

  • flightofbooks

    a photograph is a painting made with light. want to explain how a screen shot is not a photograph? you won’t be able to, at least not without also disqualifying every digital photograph in the process.

  • flightofbooks

    The guy taking aim at the hang glider is pretty unique (or maybe it’s not if you play the game, I wouldn’t know)

  • Avaviel

    The concept is neat. The execution leaves quite a bit to be desired.