Azarielost's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)
| [September 21, 2010 07:41:01 PM]
| GTA—San Andreas (Day 3)|
In terms of issues, GTA: San Andreas displays a positive viewpoint on health. In the early portions of the game, when main protagonist Carl Johnston (CJ) has just been dropped off in his old hood, he comments on the prevalence of drug pushers in the area. His brother indicates they moved in when the neighborhood declined. This is a subtle prod that drugs are a handicap to normal, healthy living. During the actual play through of the game, Carl will usually receive a significant monetary reward for killing drug peddlers on the street. This acts as a positive reinforcement to specifically target the drug dealers in the game. The game’s creators have created a political statement through player incentive that removing drugs from everyday life has pleasant outcomes. This seems to imply the question: Is GTA: San Andreas influencing players to improve their health?
A supportive example of this question lies in the leveling system of GTA: San Andreas. CJ begins the game as a scrawny individual unable to run long distances. After a basic missions, the player gains access to a gymnasium where CJ can work out to improve his body. Working out is limited by realistic hindrances such as fatigue, hunger, or time. Players are forced to remember when they can next enter the gym and to monitor their character’s body. Negligence to CJ’s health results in the game’s difficulty increasing as he fattens, loses health, and cannot run. Game designers planned for players to be interactive with their character’s physical well-being. A system of rewards, for proper actions, and punishments, for negative actions, is basic psychological strategy to create and reinforce new patterns in individuals. The foundations of habits do not have to only be from the physical world. GTA: San Andreas, a digital world, has the power to influence its players. The answer to the posed question, based on the aforementioned examples, seems to be yes.
The next issue to take into account is the moral correctness of a game influencing people’s health. From an impartial viewpoint, no physical harm seems to be resultant from the game’s emphasis on healthy habits. Real world people are also not forced to follow the game’s ideas of healthy living; they can choose to accept the views or not. Reasonably, the positive outcomes also favor the idea of GTA: San Andreas promoting healthy choices. Buyer lifespan is extended providing more real-world income. From the opposite side, promoting negative health habits world be illogical. Poor health shortens players’ lives and reduces potential revenue for the GTA: San Andreas creators. Furthermore, GTA: San Andreas uses positive health as a way to increase in-game social interaction. CJ receives more compliments and attention when he is physically fit, both from females and his gang members. Furthermore, several missions cannot be completed in vehicles and rely largely on the player character’s own strength. An example of this is when CJ’s brother is set to be arrested at an intra-gang meeting. Another mission involves silently killing guards at a rappers house to obtain some secret music lyrics. Speed and endurance factor towards the players chances of both success and survival. Missions designed like these enforce the idea that, sometimes, the only reliable object around is one’s own body. These combined examples show why, in general, the game leans more favorably towards a fit, well-muscled, individual.
GTA: San Andreas creates an environment where one’s physical substance plays a key role in game success. By using non-vehicle missions, a stats system based on user-dedication to healthy living (Via exercise and food intake planning), and positive game rewards for higher personal health, GTA: San Andreas does influence players to actively manage their own health. No one suffers injury from learning positive ways of bettering themselves, and future revenue streams are prolonged by however many players decide to take a page from GTA: San Andreas.
read comments (1) -
add a comment
| [September 20, 2010 09:35:29 PM]
| GTA—San Andreas (Day 2)|
For this log, moral issues about stereotypes were the mindset the game was played in. GTA: S.A. features a main protagonist of seemingly African-American descent. The game portrays the A.A. community as welcoming to the gangster life-style. Ways to earn respect include treating women as objects via pimping missions, stealing cars, and generally killing anyone that fails to have the same mindset as the protagonist. One of the worst stereotypes is that of class warfare. The middle-class and above have to be taught lessons for their wide-spread ignorance. GTA: S.A. paints everyone not from the bottom rungs of life as haughty or self-indulgent. From the current point played, no realistic charities or kind people seem to exist. Even worse stereotypes exist for specific groups.
Women and police: they are some of the most frequent sufferers of preconceptions, stereotypes, and misinformation. For example, in game, most women in the game are portrayed as easy to get the better the protagonist looks. Even the women’s preferences for looks are stereotyped. The protagonist is urged to get ripped, get an appropriate hair cut, and have money to entice the ladies. Police are constantly scattered throughout the city, yet are portrayed as inept. Law enforcement is exaggerated as an overbearing big brother type figure, instead of there to help the people. When the player is under attack by enemy gang members, the police appear uninterested, showcasing the stereotypical saying of “never there when you need them.” Yet, the slightest hint of self-defense results in helicopters, swat cars, and even tanks blasting away at the protagonist. This follows the stereotype that the government and the police always use more force than necessary.
The key question, however, is why all this matters. Is it morally acceptable to consistently, rapidly, and overtly subject players to personal or cultural stereotypical beliefs?
In terms of the shortest answer, no, it is not morally acceptable. The reasons for this being the overbalancing weight of possible harm. Using a Rule Utilitarian viewpoint, if everyone consistently felt free to use their own stereotypes in society, several negative consequences would occur. For example, discrimination based on supposed racial genetic superiority that does not exist in factuality (factual reality). Yes, GTA: S.A. can be illogically argued to not be on display out in the open. The logical facts though are that games have players (normally) and players constitute a society all their own. To maintain impartiality, evaluation of the opposing argument becomes a requirement. The premise of GTA: S.A. being “just a game” and having no effects on people is like saying media lacks the power to influence people. Commercials’ simple effectiveness undermines any variation of this approach. Since GTA: S.A. has power over people, it has a responsibility to use that power not to cause a
add a comment
| [September 19, 2010 02:11:04 PM]
| GTA—San Andreas (Day 1)|
Justice seems to be one of the most elusive ideals to grace the desires of the human psyche. Playing San Andreas with the thoughts of justice, as well as, the ethical, moral, and cultural issues, fully changed the way the game plays. To give an example, when the player begins the game, the protagonist receives an introduction as a delinquent outside the law. Policemen, led by one officer Tenpenny, quickly arrest the deviant for the proverbial “no good reason”. The police represent law and express the opinion, via their actions, that rules (laws) are arbitrary, being subjected to personal vendettas, which also removes law, in general, as being morally sound. Morality requires two essential ingredients: reasoning and impartiality. The belief in immoral law continues in the way that bribery (and money in general) controls the police force in the game. Players can essential wipe out a squadron of police, get arrested (or dead), and pay a small fine to escape, theoretically bribing the officers. Additionally, the player is shown the viewpoint of a positive vigilante system versus a negative one, with justice meted out by each individual or group of individuals. To avoid a known chaotic outcome, the player is constantly reminded that the inter-gang violence started because of too many personal vendettas and too much private vigilantism. Controversially, a group-dynamic led cycle of justice is encouraged throughout the game. One’s encouragement to “stick with your homies,” no matter the cost, is a consistent rote dialogue ingredient. The ideology of group-justice prevailing may seem foreign to some cultures, yet to others, honor killings and individual/group-justice is a central facet of society.
Cultures values are not above analysis of moral solidity. The reasoning behind the underlying game premise is: the law is immoral because it is not impartially meted out to all groups. The conclusion follows that group justice works more efficiently than an established, social baseline, justice. From an impartial perspective based on logic, several issues present themselves and survive even in the game itself. One logical issue with the conclusion stems from the results of following that path. In the game there exists constant fighting and death, yet this is all shrugged off. Feelings of the strong survive or fires temper the steel incline some people to desire this type of world. The protagonist shows this in-game by strengthening the more he is forced to run, drive, swim, or fight. Morally speaking however, feelings are not impartial (varying person to person). Furthermore, this world would violate the principle of the sanctity of human life. With people simply shrugging off another death as normal, life becomes almost a bauble, something worth looking at then throwing away. Even more against morality is the premise of GTA: San Andreas. By basic reasoning, the individual reactions to an idea or object do not necessitate a change within the original idea or object. For example, one can look at a stained glass window and either be passionately moved or not without damaging the glass. In the same way, a viewer could choose to use their feelings to either steal the glass or throw a rock and break the glass. The authorities who enforce the law are human and make human errors. Their individual errors or interpretations of the law do not affect the law itself. Furthermore, laws are normally the product of societal reasoning and are monitored by multiple groups to create pseudo-impartiality.
Thus, the law has a stronger argument for being moral than group-vigilantism. It is true though that money does affect the laws, thus the pseudo-impartiality. Yet reasoning has presented a stronger case for the use of law, not vigilantism. Thus, while the opinions expressed by GTA: San Andreas have some essence of validity, they are not morally sound.
add a comment