I was reminded why this is when I tagged along on archie's clothes-shopping expedition today. First, GTA only has 4 or 5 chains of clothes shops, and each caters to a fairly specific style and price-range. As we wandered down the street staring helplessly in through windows in an attempt to determine the difference between Top Man and French Connection, I became increasingly enamoured of the GTA approach. I also like the fact that your choice is automatically restricted to clothes that fit, which contrasts strongly archie's tragic and ultimately fruitless search for men's trousers with a 28" waist. Finally, I can't overlook the fact that GTA simulates the income from my gang activities by having a big pile of money appear on my doorstep every day. If that happened in real life, I'm pretty sure I'd be a bit more spend-thrift.
Still, I did buy a new shirt this lunchtime, which marks my first purchase of new clothing from a proper shop for at least a year. Admittedly, I was motivated partially by a desire to set a good example for archie by making a purchase after relatively little agonising; but I was also bearing the lessons of GTA in mind. I can but hope that it spreads its good influence into other areas of my life. Soon I'll be eating healthily, working out at the gym, going dancing regularly, improving my pool game, and buying flowers for my girlfriend (though hopefully not making a controller error and accidentally hitting her with them). With any luck, I'll also start finding money on my doorstep, though that would require computer games to exert a little more influence than even Jack Thomson would expect. Luckily I lack both driving confidence and an uzi, which rules out pretty much all of the naughty things that the game might otherwise encourage. So don't worry, I'm as unlikely as ever to pop a cap in your ass, even if you are a buster.
Oh, and while I'm posting about fashion, you may wish to know that rstevens is doing a very limited reprint of his awesome pixelsaurus t-shirts (as modeled by me in my user pic, for example). If you get one, don't worry about wearing it to the same events as me. I'll just tell everyone that I had one first and you're copying. (Hmmm... Surely there's a market for a website to enable people to co-ordinate their t-shirts to avoid such a situation. Maybe a plug-in to facebook or something...)