In the beginning, the series was meant to be ironic, a gag, and a funny one at that. In the first episode, Mattheis finds himself tasked with robbing a gas station. He had already discarded his gun, armed with only his fists, but the gas station attendant handed over the money when Mattheis’ character put up his dukes in a fighting stance. To assuage his guilty conscience, he returned to the store again and again, purchasing sodas and candy until he had repaid the money the game forced him to steal.
“Truthfully, I have but one desire. I wish to engage in this world in a manner independent of pain and suffering,” Mattheis says in the introduction to the series. “However it appears that this society I’ve been born into is one that is rife with death and destruction, pain and loss. This world is one filled with hatred and violence, with self-declared rivals at every turn stealing as much as they can carry, hedonists risking everything for cheap thrills, all seemingly lost, all seemingly pursuing an endless goal [...] until they are inevitably bored at which time they find themselves simply moving on, choking themselves with the noose of emptiness and denial, all the while convincing themselves and others that they are happy. This game, this Grand Theft Auto, is what I believe to be an extension of this society: a boiled-down emulation of the worst principles available to humankind. I want to explore this world to see if I can exist peacefully in spite of the directives imposed. I believe there is something more to this.”