Flickr is a prominent social networking website in cyberspace that allows users to share photos with friends, family, and other users. Recently, a storyboard was posted on Flickr mimicking major themes and features of the Grand Theft Auto video game series, however, the storyboard was photographed in Appleton Wisconsin as opposed to “San Andreas”. The story begins with a picture of a girl sitting on a couch playing Xbox. The next few shots have an identical interface to the Grand Theft Auto series but the pictures aren’t computer generated. The photos depict a man taking another man out of his car, beating him, stealing seventy-five dollars, taking his car, and throwing the passenger out of the door. Afterwards, the man walks into the bank with two empty bags and a gun in the weapons logo. The next scene shows him walking out of the bank with two full bags and millions of dollars. The story ends with a girl walking away from the couch with an Xbox controller in the foreground. The story has numerous metaphors, such as anonymity in cyberspace as depicted by the girl becoming the man in the game.
Flickr is an extremely user friendly website. Moreover, Flickr, is more than a website, its an online tool. Flickr has essentially become a massive online photo album. Personally, I have found it extraordinarily easy to use. Uploading photos, tagging, creating and editing sets all seems intuitive on Flickr, as if the late Steve Jobs played a role in its development. The Grand Theft Auto idea came from groupthink. The crew responsible for “Grand Theft Auto: Midwest City” wanted to photograph a story that parallels the progression of cyberspace, and the idea of having numerous personalities. Developments such as these can be seen in the idea of the story itself. It is a group of kids, rewriting a scene of Grand Theft auto, putting a unique spin on it, and sharing it with the world.
PBS journalist Jennifer Woodward Maderazo came to similar conclusions about Flickr in her article “Flickr Changes Lives, Launches Photog Careers”. She describes Flickr as a place where “bad photographers get schooled, mediocre ones get better and some even rise to the top as stars, all supported by an immense, and sometimes intimate, international community”. Maderazo also believes Flickr is more than a social networking site where friends can share pictures. The storyboard “Grand Theft Auto: Midwest City” is simply the tip of the iceberg. Akin to Maderazo’s beliefs, Flickr is a place for experimentation and an online destination for artists to develop their talents.
"Grand Theft Auto: Midwest City" can be found here.
Jennifer Woodward Maderazo's article here.