As an internet webmaster who runs a website online via digital cloud computing, I often enjoy hearing about the hot new trends sweeping the cyber-community by storm. For example, a few months ago I read an article about how it's cool for people to take photos of their friends pouring milk on themselves. Before that, the hip thing involved people taking photos of their friends laying down on something. The internet is truly a crazy, unpredictable realm of unbridled creativity, and it's impossible to know what wacky fad will come along next! The sky's the limit, from putting potted plants next to elderly people, sneaking spare tires into Wal-Mart, to perhaps the triumphant return of trepanning!

One constant that managed to thrive throughout the internet's reign of terror has been the popularity of a video game franchise entitled "Grand Theft Auto." I first heard about this video game two weeks ago, when I was attempting to buy an Orange Julius at the mall. A street-savvy teenager remarked "I can't wait for Grand Theft Auto 5," and his friend agreed. What was this "Grand Theft Auto" they spoke of? Why could they not wait for it? I rushed to ask them more about this product, but my Asperger's and tremendous girth instead forced me to silently stand motionless and avoid eye contact while mentally picturing Sonic the Hedgehog cradling me in his arms. Then the cashier refused to let me pay with Bitcoins.

As it turns out, "Grand Theft Auto" is a series of games that involves the player committing crimes. Not crimes like forgery or driving with expired license plates, but hardcore crimes like murder, murder on a boat, and murder because of a car. These themes resonate with a majority of the internet community, as no other game to date has allowed players the freedom to harm or kill enemies. This is the reason why players in the Madden NFL series always remark "that didn't hurt, I'm okay" after they are tackled or fall over.

Unfortunately, GTA's popularity has resulted in many individuals attempting to "cash in" on its fame by producing and releasing exquisite clones of the well-known title. Usually these facsimiles are nearly identical to the original game, and many rubes have been duped into purchasing them by flim-flam hucksters in fly-by-night schemes. Today we'll take a look at the worst GTA ripoffs ever released, giving you and your loved ones the power to differentiate between an authentic "Grand Theft Auto" title, and one that is coded by a Croatian teenager in a barn full of open gasoline canisters and black-market pesticides. You can thank me by subscribing to my Youtube channel.

#5: "Crimelife 2"

"Crimelife 2" is a harrowing, spiritual tale that instantly grips the player's emotions using the time-tested technique of "showing a video of an ugly dude getting off a bus." The player is then freely allowed to commit all types of murder crimes in various ways, assuming the AI doesn't murder itself first. Citizens roam around in random directions until vehicles run them down and kill them, transforming their bodies into stacks of rotating cash. Physics are strictly forbidden, and any attempt to find a purpose in this game will result in failure.

#4: "Crime Line"

Also known as "Strouken Count IV" (that's foreigner language for "Stroakin' Count 4"), this title adheres to the GTA formula of big city crime. Unlike the previous game, "Crime Line" offers plenty of additional activities like playing pool, picking up mysterious packages, eating food loudly, and inciting gang wars with the only black inhabitants of the town. Watch out for the police officers wearing the Ranger Smith outfits, as they'll attempt to hug you to death when your crime star count increases.

#3: "Crime City 2"

Forget the crime life and the crime line, this is an ENTIRE CITY built on the infrastructure of crime! At least that's what I'm guessing. Crimes seem very difficult to commit in this small town, mostly because the citizens, all of whom are identical floating clones, move at 30 miles an hour, teleport, and disappear with impunity. Entering a vehicle causes all citizens and most of the landscape to instantly vanish. There are absolutely no weapons or anything that possesses the ability to cause damage to anybody. On the positive side, your character starts off with $999,999,999 in his pocket, but this is slightly negated by the fact that there's literally no way to spend your money on anything. It was a nice gesture though.

#2: "A True Theft"

It's no secret that reality television and documentaries are very popular these days, so "A True Theft" undoubtedly attempted to ride this wave by releasing their unique take on GTA. They've slightly changed the formula in various ways, perhaps to make their game stand out from the rest. For example, there are no other people in the game. You are on an island roughly 30 x 30 feet wide. There is no way to cause theft in any fashion. A true gem in the field of GTA ripoffs.

#1: "Gangs of New York"

Loosely based off the movie with a similar title ("Footloose"), this game takes places in the mean streets of New York City, home of the New York Yankees and people who were either born or live there. You play as a Russian who has apparently left Russia for the sole purpose to enter New York. A mafia boss instantly greets you and gives you a ride to help jumpstart your life of crime. Unfortunately he never exactly reveals how to make these crimes occur, resulting in an utterly jagged and confusing excursion through polygons crafted by Lord Satan himself. I won't spoil the rest of the game for you, mainly because I'm absolutely incapable of explaining any of it, and the mere process makes me somewhat enraged.

Whew! Hope that clears everything up and all confusion has been cast aside! Feel free to subscribe to my Youtube channel if you'd like to witness further video game abominations. It would be a crime not to.

– Rich "Lowtax" Kyanka (@lowtax)

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