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    Jul 24th, 2010 at 16:17:32     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)

    Today was my second time playing GTA: SA and it was a little easier to use the controller. I started all over from the beginning by riding the bike and learning how to save the game; however, I failed the mission of covering of graffitis by getting arrested after my fourth one. Then I found the joy(?) of punching people and stealing cars. I somehow managed to steal a fire truck and got a mission of taking care of a burning car. But by the time I got off the truck, the car blew up and I was unable to make any money.

    My friend was watching me play (and struggle) and the first thing he said was "This game is so bad" because of its language and what other characters say to the protagonist. This goes along with my race talk from yesterday - how this game is very stereotypical of a "bad" neighborhood with people shooting each other and prostitutes walking on streets trying to score someone. Also, another thing I noticed about this game is that when I punch and kill a white person, I get a lot of money. But when I kill a different race, I only get $20 or so. Weird.

    Then I thought about what we talked about in class - the grey area: is this acceptable because it's a video game, or is this what's actually happening in real life (therefore the game is "realistic"? Is it ethical to punch and step on someone and steal their money/weapons? While I was playing SA today, I thought of this one article I read in psychology - it was about a guy from my neighborhood from home who was into the game Matrix and once thought he was actually in the game that he shot his parents. This made me think if the same thing would happen to people who play GTA: SA on a regular basis (..or in a way that's unhealthy for them). Can games like this really alter one's mental health and cause that person to do harm?

    I have yet to do any cool missions like flying a plane, but let's hope I get to do something cool the next time I play it.

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    Jul 23rd, 2010 at 21:02:59     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)

    My friends always tell me that there is no such thing as 'childhood' to me because it took me 19 years and half to try Taco Bell, and I still haven't been to a lot of fast food chains. But I was encountered with Play Station 2 to play GTA: San Andreas today, and I think this is one big part of my childhood that I have missed.

    I thought this game would include a lot of cars just running into each other and drivers beating each other up because their cars got hurt and whatnot. But it wasn't - Lego Star Wars being the only video game I have ever played (on XBOX), I was worried about the amount of time I would have to put into this game in order to tell myself, "I have successfully played GTA: SA (SA) today and I will continue this tomorrow". Also, as a psychology major, I assumed the protagonist (CJ)'s personality and the story line of the game based on two things: his mother recently passed away, and he gets arrested soon after that. Such major events in one's life is likely to cause the person to behave in ways that he or she has never had in the past. However, I must say I was quite wrong.

    I believe race is one major issue in SA. Graffitis can be seen very easily throughout the game, and the characters wear baggy clothes that some people might call "typical" of a specific race. The characters reminded me of a bunch of gangs living in one big community - they are all very built, wear similar clothes, and do similar activities on daily basis. Now, with the fowl language being mixed together with characters, I find SA to be quite racist and stereotypical. What if this game took place in a typical White neighborhood? Chinatown? Different country/continent?

    The game itself was challenging for me because I have never played anything on PS2 before so it took me a lot of time to figure out which button does what and stuff. But I thoroughly enjoyed the game as I started to recognize different symbols of the controller and I hope I get to experience it some more the next time I play it.

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