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    Nov 2nd, 2010 at 21:49:04     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    :: Entry Number Three ::

    Today I played my third session of Grand Theft Auto. I couldnít really focus much on the Ethics of anything due to the fact that I had to play the same mission over and over and over again because I kept either dying or failing. I did manage to noticed a few things during my 114 minutes of playing the Drive-by mission repeatedly.

    I notice that quite a bit of funny and interesting ďstereotypingĒ went on in the commercials of the radio station that was playing. There were two commercials that I actually recall sticking out in this fashion.

    -- There is one in which a mother was talking about how she and her son celebrated everyday with cake so the he would be morbidly obese so that he couldnít ďrun awayĒ. The mother claims that this is because her sisterís (I think) son left the house at the age of eighteen never to return. This plays into the stereotype that parentís want to have their children be children forever and the stereotypes that rebellious teens leave home as soon as they are legally allowed to and they donít come back. However, the fact that it was supposed to be a fake cake commercial was humorous to me.

    -- Another is a commercial about a politician that was talking about how there ďneedsĒ to be poor people. He goes to say that the rich people are yin and the poor are yang and that being poor is okay, and that they donít need to contribute to society because no one cares about them. In the commercial, a man says that heís been going through a tough time and he asked the politician if the government could help him get back on his feet. The politician replies that the government has no responsibility towards poor people and that the manís ďgreedyĒ attitude was what was pulling the country down. I think this commercial lays quite heavily along the ďpoliticians only care about the rich and the rich are always favored.Ē Sadly, enough, in a roundabout way, this is very true being that people that just need a little help making ends meet even when they are working hard.

    Another thing that I tried to pay attention to today was the violence in the game. The face that the police, any one of many times that my car caught on fire once I was supposed to be running from the cops, they didnít try to arrest me; they just shot. In real life, Police are not allowed to fire on a person unless they have a gun or have fired first. This sort of violence in the police force kid of surprised me because I hadnít really been thinking about that until tonight. I also noticed, at one point where I had taken a break from replaying the mission over and over, that when youíre riding a bike, if you nearly run over a pedestrian (or several) when there is an foot officer nearby, they will knock you off the bike and arrest you. I found this violent reaction excessive as well. My guess is that since the real life LAPD and Los Angeles, which San Andreas and Los Santos is based off of, police are very well known for their excessive use of force. However, is it really to this sort of extent in real life? There was no reason for the officer to hit me in the face to knock me onto the ground and arrest me. Well, perhaps the developers of the game meant to exaggerate the violence to make a statement, or perhaps this sort of extremely unnecessary force really has occurred.

    Overall, I did end up enjoying playing Grand Theft Auto. I also noticed that the game has had a bit of an effect on me. I noticed myself getting a little angry at the game every once in a while. This never happens to me. I mean, sure, Iíd get frustrated playing the same level over and over if I continue to die in any other game, but Iíve never actually been happy to have a game that, when I get annoyed with a mission, I can just run around beating people up and stealing things. And thatís saying something since I have the patience to continue to play for almost two hours doing the same mission over and over. In any case, Iím glad I gave the game a chance and bought and played it. I may use it as an outlet for frustration in the future. I donít know why, but there is something therapeutic about being able to beat someone up virtually. :P It gets out the anger without causing real world damage.

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    Oct 31st, 2010 at 18:52:57     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    :: Entry Number Two ::

    Today I looked a lot at the sterotypes in the game (when I was able to pay attention since I was getting annoyed with repeating the drive-thru mission over and over because I fail at that mission).

    - I literally laughed when at the beginning of said drive-thru mission, the boys were talking about what to eat and one suggested tacos and another said no, ďChicken, no questions.Ē How stupidly stereotypical is that?

    - I also chuckled at the fact that when the group was at the drive-thru, Big Smoke, in true fat boy fashion, ordered a HUGE amount of food. I thought this was comical as well.

    - One more stereotype I noticed was that when you were told by one of your homies to go to Brincoís and get a ďflagĒ the salesgirl, who was blonde, had a very typical kind of lisp like, nasal quality to her voice and sounded quite whenever she spoke.

    Other than those three stereotypes, I didnít really notice any others, partly because I was getting annoyed after having repeated the same mission so many times.

    I also spent a lot of time just riding around on a bike. I noticed that there are quite a few people that just spontaneously get run over. Which, to be perfectly honest, was quite amusing.

    One other time that I noticed something peculiar is that evidently, drivers in the game get road raged VERY easily. After I accidently tapped the rear bumper of a car and they spun a little, I drove around them, next thing I knew, the car I tapped was literally pushing me down the road. Why? Iím not entirely sure, but I thought it was funny.

    Also, the underground gun trade kind of piqued my interest, My favorite part about it was at the end, as CJ and Big Smoke are leaving, Emmet says, ďRemember, you didnít get Ďem from me. And Remember Emmet is the best place to get guns. I always have high quality merchandise, Iíve been serving the community for over thirty years.Ē I thought it was interesting how Emmet didnít want the boys to tell anyone where they got their guns, but he was boasting about his amazing service. Emmetís not all there, if you ask me.

    Sadly, I didnít pay as well of attention this time as did the first time since I was actually kind of into the game and enjoying myself. Hopefully, next time I play, I can pay better attention to some of the ethical issues, or just issues in general that happen in the game.

    Oh, by the way, Steam told me that I played for another 87 minutes today. :)

    This entry has been edited 2 times. It was last edited on Oct 31st, 2010 at 19:05:07.

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    Oct 29th, 2010 at 20:23:59     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    ::Entry Number One::

    Today, I played GTA for the first time. To be perfectly honest, I came into this believing that I was going to absolutely abhor the game. Nothing about it seemed like a good idea to me and I hated the idea of having to play it. However, after playing it, I realized that it wasnít nearly as bad as I thought it was going to be. The only really huge qualm I have with the game is the graphics, being that Iím very visually inclined, bad graphics have, in the past, been basis for me quitting games. (Pathetic, I know.) Nonetheless, I understand that since it was a game released originally in 2004, and the version Iím playing (via Steam) was released in 2005 so the graphics may not be as stellar as more recently released games.

    Anyway, onto the game itself and the ethics of it (the whole point of this).

    First off, the whole race issue, even in the meager 93 minutes that I played (Steam tells me Iíve played this long. ha ha), was kind of . . . disturbing would be the right word, I suppose. I know that the kind of racist remarks in the game are very obviously not unheard of, I was a little uncomfortable with the comments that I could hear in both the cut scenes and in the general game play from random passerby.

    Another issue I found almost laughable in its extremity is the police corruption. When a police officer comes to beat you down with a billy-club for jumping a fence, or tagging over another tag, itís excessive and almost humorous. Also, the point of the police framing CJ from the very beginning and the stupid phone call about not leaving town because ďitís a bad ideaĒ is just asinine in my opinion. However, I guess that since Iím from a very small town in upstate New York, Iím just used to everyone knowing the police by name, having them be family friends and good people, the idea of this sort of corruption is laughable.

    One thing that made me more disgusted than anything else was the women in the game. The women come in only a couple extremes. The girls that stuck in my mind while playing, mainly due to their frequency of appearance, are either dressed in next to nothing strutting down the street or they are decked out in baggy, ghetto girl clothes. The latter didnít bother me nearly as much as the former. Itís nearly impossible for there to be as high a concentration or whores (literally) in one area. It almost like the programmers of the game decided the gamer needed a stupid amount of virtual female flesh to ogle. It annoyed and sickened me, and I definitely think itís not okay.

    As far as moral choices . . . Iíll put it bluntly, there arenít really any. You canít choose to not beat down a crack dealer, or a thug. You canít choose whether or not you join back up in the gang. The only real choices you have are when it comes to having to run everywhere or steal a car or bike or something, and whether or not you run from the cops.

    Letís consider these two choices.

    Walk vs. Steal a vehicle :: Walking/Running raises your endurance levels and your strength the more you run, but it takes forever. Stealing a vehicle: a much quicker mode of transport, morally wrong, but more fun. So this decision is one that is completely fair in terms of giving the player an actual choice between ďrightĒ and ďwrong.Ē

    Run from the cops vs. Donít run:: Okay, so if you donít run the cops you either get shot to death, beaten to death, or arrested, all three of which result in you losing your weaponry and money and failing the mission if you are on one. Running from the cops gives you a chance at surviving and still completing the mission. In this case, the player doesnít really have a choice, they are practically forced (unless they enjoy playing the same mission over and over and over) to run from the cops, which in reality is immoral.

    In other words, moral choices in the game are virtually nonexistent.

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