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    Nov 24th, 2010 at 23:33:18     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (XBX)

    GTA San Andreas: November 24, 2010 5:30 pm

    I really wish the Grand Theft Auto series didnít have to be in such bad taste. It took 3 days of meta-playing to realize this. The game is so much fun, and there is so much to do. My biggest problem with the poor taste is that it doesnít actually help the game; it just gives it a larger controversy. I remember when GTA 3 came out and it was really hyped for the stereotypes and the vulgarity, almost more than how good of a game it was. The same thing happened with Vice City, and then San Andreas. I can spend so much time in this game doing nothing. I like driving the fast cars, getting away from cops. I like customizing said cars, and I like shooting random people and then cops to raise my wanted level. Why those people have to be ethnically or gender stereotyped is so beyond me. I donít think that the people who made this game are bad people. I think they think they are hilarious. This game just started to make me angry. I think there is too much hate in the world to need the stereotypes in the game. I think the developers rely too much on cheap laughs and easy stereotypes to make parents angry, and Iím still not sure why the need to do that. I donít know why I sound so conservative writing this, I really tend not to try and silence anyone, but this game just seems to hurt the world more than help. I think my biggest concern with the game is that itís so widely played. There is very little audience of this game who can say, ďOh, this is farcical.Ē I think thatís what creates the greater uproar. Maybe parents should worry more about raising smart kids who can understand parody and less time berating game makers for being a little vulgar. I feel like I donít have anything more to say after what ended up being two and a half hours of game play. Maybe thatís a problem with this game, and perhaps the people who made it. They throw all these cheap gags in, but none of them actually stand for anything. You can steal a characterís Vespa, or in the game, ďFaggio,Ē but that doesnít really say anything at all, and there in lies a problem with the credibility of the creators

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    Nov 24th, 2010 at 23:32:51     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (XBX)

    In my second day of playing GTA: San Andreas, I continued to avoid doing missions as they are quite frequently tedious, or just frustrating if I get caught doing one for a long period of time. I think having played the game before was the biggest issue, though, in that I already have the general idea of how the plot unfolds, thus I had C.J. do more recreational activities such as stealing cars, and fighting in the street and eventually using cheats to raise my wanted level to new heights. A sense of violence does come over me when I start playing with the rocket launcher, in that I wish the explosions were bigger. Also, I wish the environments were more destructible. I understand that in a world this big, the programming would be a nightmare to develop that much action, but I still would like to completely level an entire city block. (Writing that down feels weird, but thatís probably because Iím tired and since Iím just coming off the game, I may be a little over stimulated.) When I play this game, I start to think of a bit by the standup comic Louis C.K. I only think of it to pull myself out of the constant action, I think, but he proposes that television in really a dangerous thing for children and as an example of that, he says that if you have kids, when theyíre watching TV, without them knowing youíre going to do so, turn off the television. Their reaction is proof that there is just too much stimulation in television and kids donít know how to process it. (The bit is from the 2010 special, ďHilariousĒ which just premiered at Sundance Film Festival.) Anyway, Iím growing less interested in the ethnic stereotypes as they go on, I donít know if Iím becoming numb to them or if theyíre just so dull that my brain chooses to ignore them, but either way, I find myself more concentrated on the colors they are wearing. I forgot the Skateboard/bike Park in the first level. I spent a lot of time in there when I grew bored with shooting people at random. Maybe thatís why people think the Grand Theft Auto series is so dangerous, because the worlds are so vast and there is so much to do. I feel that in this game, much more so than in other narrative single player games, I can play for long periods of time, and constantly be entertained. I do enjoy raising my wanted level all the way to 6 stars because itís actually an interesting fight with the SWAT teams who have similar if not better weapons than C.J. with almost all of the weapons cheats. Also, itís interesting that so much cash can be gained from muggings. Friends who have been mugged have told me that the mugger usually doesnít get more than twenty dollars and a cell phone, maybe a CTA pass out of the robbery. Also, my C.J. is now covered in tattoos and getting pretty muscular. My only problem with the tattoos in the game is that the artwork is relatively unimaginative. Especially with gang tattoos, that tend to be very subtle, these tattoos are really over the top. The outfits my character can afford at the more urban store are pretty funny, in that itís hard to believe gangsters actually wore outfits like that in the 90s. After roughly 45 minutes of play, thatís what I noticed today.

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    Nov 24th, 2010 at 23:31:39     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Super Collumbine Massacre RPG!: November 24, 2010 8:00 pm

    On my last time playing the game, I just got stuck in hell. Apparently I didnít grind enough levels during my time in the massacre. Regardless of that, the game did get me to do more research on Eric and Dylan, which was clearly what the game intends on doing. In the artistís comments, he clearly states that the forum is as important as the game. If people were more polite on the forum, I would have spent more time looking through it, though it did teach me that I would have to restart the game again to get through the hell level. Anyway, upon my research I found out that one of the boys was depressive and the other was actually a sociopath, which I found interesting. It really seemed to be the perfect scenario for what would eventually occur. The game doesnít necessarily express that aspect; itís more interested in debunking the mediaís falsities within the game, such as their love of Marilyn Manson, which we have learned was in fact not the case. One person I did do research on was KMFDM which appears quite frequently in the game. Interestingly enough, unlike Manson, this musician did have more to say, apparently because heís always been very political, but apparently he preaches nonviolence and anti-hatred. As for the game, I canít remember playing a video game and feeling like it was important until this one. Itís like watching Triumph of the Will in that you can tell that there is something different about it that jumps to that border of context meaning more than the art itself. I think thatís why the creator, Danny, actually made the game, the context. He wasnít interested in being a game developer; he just found an outlet to explore what happened. I still feel odd coming off playing the game for longer than 15 minutes. I feel woozy, like I just swam too deep. Overall, I love what this game stands for. I like that it seems poorly made, it kind of is inspirational for art. Iím happy this game and games like it exist.

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    Nov 24th, 2010 at 23:31:14     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Gamelog Day 2: Super Columbine Massacre RPG!

    I had to restart my game today, if only because I couldnít get through the enemies in hell because I didnít kill too many students my first time playing the game to this point. So I restarted the game with the intention to grind levels more and I did, getting Eric to level 13 by the time I finished playing. It took much longer to grind levels, especially considering that the fight scenes take so long to play out and they are so uneventful and extremely unattractive, even for an 8-bit turn based RPG. Iím starting to like the game more as I play it more. Iím still not enjoying the actual entertainment value of the game, but Iím not sure Iím intended to, but itís an interesting perspective into the minds of the shooters. During my second time through, I took more time exploring classrooms, for example I didnít go through the cafeteria the first time, and this time, I found it to be a pretty jarring experience. His smash cuts to actual pictures, for example the pictures from after they killed themselves, transition so quickly that it can really take a gamer off guard. I think Iím really starting to appreciate this more as art, though. It definitely makes me want to learn more about the subject, but I still have two major issues with the game: the fact the characters go to hell and the unfiltered teenage angst that the game is completely covered in. First, the fact they go to hell is a problem for me because I donít know if itís necessary, or right for the game designer to diagnose that outcome for the two killers. In fact, I have a problem with the really awkward change in pacing in that we are given a documentary-like experience for the first half of the game, only to throw reality out the window for the second half. Also, the game transitions to abruptly from being inside the heads of the killers to instantly judging them for what they did, meanwhile we were given at least hints of justification for an entire half of the game. As for the angst, a lot of the writings and songs in the game feel more like the designerís thoughts, not the shooters. Iíll have to research more into how much T.S. Elliot they read, or how much Radiohead they listened to, or even how many times they saw Natural Born Killers, which are all referenced pretty heavily in the game.

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    1Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (XBX)Finished playing
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