dvicente's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)
| [April 19, 2012 03:01:39 PM]
| This time around, eventually after going through some missions, I was finally given a lowrider of my own to customize. Actually, I grew rather attached to it because it was astonishingly interactive - the suspenders can bounce in certain directions to any beat or tempo that I wanted! And to top it off, I was jamming to ďPoisonĒ by Bell Div Devoe on the radio. Yeah, that's the old school jam that I headbanged to when I was 3! I finally had that faint pleasure of cruising around in a lowrider with the music turned on real loud - just as it happened around my neighborhood when I was a child - except it would be really loud salsa music.|
It was even more interesting that I had a lowrider now since I actually wanted to keep the car nice looking with no dents or anything - I followed the rules of the road! Or at least whatever rules I can follow, which was limited to the yellow linings on the street and the stoplights. Consequently, it was less likely for me to run over people or get caught by the police. Plus, I had to take really good care of driving around rival gang members, otherwise my beautiful car will get shot at and explode. Heck, I donít even have to follow the theme of the game anymore! Iíll just grab my lowrider.
I find it humorous that my attachment to a material object actually caused me to commit less crimes. It made me think about poverty in the real world though and how everyone else doesnít get to have that kind of experience. I figured, if everyone was given alowrider or crime-safe hobby to concentrate on, thereíd be less harmful crimes going on. At least thatís what I naturally concluded from the consequences of having a lowrider in this game.
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| [April 19, 2012 02:49:05 PM]
| Prewritten: 4/13/11|
Iíll take some time now to reflect more on the narrative of the game. To what I can recall, CJ is working for some police officer and now has to regain the respect of his neighborhood homeboys. I can imagine respect is important for the context of this game, seeing as how San Andreas is a very violent area filled with gang wars and whatnot. With an area so tense, just ticking off one gang member is enough to get killed by countless others. Thatís what this game communicated to me when I attempted to beat up one of the members dressed in purple - if I had betrayed my green comrades, Iíd expect the same to happen. In this manner, I think GTA makes valid commentary about social comraderie when respect is emphasized as a driving variable for success.
Still, I wasnít very interested in the gameís narrative. What I ended up doing for the next 30 minutes was really playing around with the game like an open sandbox. I figured since the game was so open it deserved to be explored, and I went out as farthest as I could as I was driving in a stolen firetruck.
This is the general foundation of my ethical experience of the game. I didnít care if I ran people over because there were no real negative consequences surrounding that, and all I really wanted to do was explore. If I ran someone over and the police killed me, I restart at the hospital. If some gang member wanted to shoot me down, Iíd simply shoot back. So I kept on exploring. Eventually I ended up on some island, where I guess the police headquarters were, and they decided to shoot me down just for intruding.
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Apr 19th, 2012 at 14:50:50.
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| [April 19, 2012 02:32:47 PM]
| Prewritten: 4/12/11|
After taking some time to configure the controls to my liking and actually getting CJ to ride a bike properly and semi-realistically, I finally handled the basics of the game. It was odd though - having heard of this game quite a few years ago, I was surrounded by friends who literally had fantasies like these back in elementary school when all we listened to was rap music and play basketball. I was surprised how much this game hit home for me - at least, the overall atmosphere.
Iíll take some time now to go over the driving mechanics of the game - just the driving itself. Driving in this game is nothing like how it was when I played Need For Speed: Most Wanted for the Playstation 2, since GTA isnít all about racing. Yet, while Iím driving, there are stoplights that NPC-controlled cars would follow, and no street signs in San Andreas. I wondered why the developers chose to do that. Was it to remind us, the players, that Grand Theft Auto is no a perfect reflection of reality? Or was it to impose a worldview in the view of the vice that occurs in San Andreas? Itís most likely the latter. I would imagine the way San Andreas is presented is the way as CJ sees it - no street signs, and police officers would be very lenient about following the rules of the road until they see that Iíve run over a person.
Looking at these conditions, there are a lot of behaviors that I can get away with in the game. As long as a police officer or gang member from another area canít see what Iím doing, Iím free to beat up or run over any person or steal any car to my advantage without losing anything. Of course, I can always choose not to in my own ethical experience, but nothing in the narrative of the game or the mechanics of the game is making me feel guilty about it. I mean, sure thereís blood when I really do beat a person up, but an ambulance comes in later and saves them. Whatís there to feel guilty about?
I think this is what the game designers were trying to communicate with this game - to simulate the worldview of the characters in their city and what they would have to do for sustenance.
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Apr 19th, 2012 at 14:50:33.
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