Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Grand Theft Auto: North Dakota

I live in Fargo, North Dakota and have been playing Grand Theft Auto V on the Xbox 350. I have noticed something that should be added to the discussion of games real world counterparts. It appears that the newest addition to the highly popular Grand Theft Auto series, Grand Theft Auto V, has introduced a fictional Midwest state based on North Dakota named North Yankton. The only city to be depicted is Ludendorff, a name based on the capital city of Bismarck, North Dakota. Bismarck is named after the 19th century German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck. Ludendorff appears to be named after another German historic figure, Erich Ludendorff, a WWI German General. While the name of Ludendorff is based on the city of Bismarck, the landmarks found within the fictionalized city appear to based on Fargo, ND. The map shows a lot of similarity in regards to the location of the landmarks including the Pollock Theater, the Cathedral, and the Hotel Donaldson among other things. I have shown some of the similarities below. I have noticed some other similarities, including the light poles, railroad lines, power lines, a coffee shop, and some various buildings. I haven't taken the time to show the comparisons of these features yet but may do so later on.

North Yankton State Patrol v. North Dakota State Patrol

Left: North Yankton State Patrol
Right: North Dakota State Patrol
North Yankton State Patrol vehicles have Trooper of the Year 1997 printed on the side. The North Dakota State Patrol vehicle pictured has Trooper of the Year 2007 printed on the side.
Left: North Yankton State Patrol 
Right: North Dakota State Patrol seal.

Ludendorff, North Yankton v. Fargo, North Dakota

Left: Map of Ludendroff, North Yankton
Right: Map of Downtown Fargo, North Dakota
Notice that the river appears in a very similar location. The railroad lines are located in a similar location. The location of St. Mary's Cathedral in Fargo is compared to the fictional cathedral in Ludendorff. The location of the Fargo Theater is compared to the fictional Pollock Theater in Ludendorff.
Left: A Cathedral in Ludendorff
Right: St. Mary's Cathedral in Fargo, ND

 Left: Hotel in Ludendorf
Right: Hotel Donaldson in Fargo, ND
 I did not compare the location of the hotel in Ludendorff to the Hotel Donaldson in Fargo on the compared maps but the location is roughly accurate.
 Left: Pollock Theatre
Right: Fargo Theatre