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    Oct 5th, 2008 at 18:56:41     -    Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

    First I would like to say that for my first entry I had the wrong name for the main character. I accidentally said that his name was Tony when it is really Nico. Now moving on. The second time visiting Liberty City during my Game play of Grand Theft Auto, I wanted to take specific notice on the role and presentation of ethnicity in the game. I found this to be a major part of the game. The main character we take the role of is Niko Bellic, loosely referred to as an “Eastern European” immigrant. Niko works for the “Bratva” which is the Russian Mafia, working on various assassinations and other odd illegal jobs. He arrives in town by boat and gets picked up by his cousin Roman, also of Eastern European decent. Roman brings Nico back to his apartment, which is very diverse, and not so upper-class residential area. It is obvious that foreigners mostly occupy the area, we can tell because we can hear the comments and voices of pedestrians around us. Also one of the secondary characters we meet, Michelle, when talking has a dominant Hispanic accent. This is no surprise considering that one of the previous GTA games have Latino and African American gangs as the community focus. One of the plot points we encounter during game play is Roman dealing with Albanians. He says, “ Let me know if you see any of those Albanian scum bags walking around”. So we are introduced to the Albanian street gang who deal with illegal loitering. We are presented with a very negative stereotype of Eastern Europeans. They are all involved with some type of gang/mafia or illegal activities. Their “jobs” are to go and kill one person or a group of people because they have not paid their debts or something to do with trafficking objects. The way that the characters interact with one another reminds me of the Social Contract theory. This theory stats that the moral rules are those that are necessary if we are to gain the benefits of social living, also that it is for the groups mutual benefit if others follow the rules as well. So Nico, since he is part of the Bratva, is following the moral rules set by those of the gang. He must kill and fulfill his duties since those are the rules he has to follow. Rights are closely tied to duties and that is certainly the case for Nico.

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    Oct 5th, 2008 at 18:08:50     -    Grand Theft Auto IV (360)

    This was not my first experience playing one of the many Grand Theft Auto games, so I had an idea of what I was getting into. First I would like to mention how impressed I am at the design aspect of the game. It was presented more in movie form then in a standard role-play game. There was a definite Act 1, Act 2, Act 3 structure to the storyline. This provided great introductions to the location and characters involved. There are many different ethical situations happening throughout the game play, however for this journal entry I would like to focus on the topic of Gender. This is a theme in the game that I feel is very dominant and makes many statements concerning the idea of male and female roles in society. One of the first visuals we get is a women in leather bed wear whipping a man in leather underwear. Not only is this demeaning to women immediately but it sets the scene for the type of people and the social class they are apart of.
    The instruction booklet that is given with the game is designed to be a “Liberty City Guidebook”. Inside it shows different restaurants and social facilities you can visit. One of the advertisements is “ Honkers Touchy Tuesdays! Honk! Honk! At last you get to honk our honkers with open palms and no grabbing! We are the Breast in town”. The picture that goes with this advertisement is one of a girl in underwear sliding down a pole. So actually before you even start the game you are under the impression that girls are objects of desire for our protagonists and that since there are many of these strip clubs and cabaret bars in the area, we know that this is not a very classy neighborhood, so the people in the neighborhood must be of a lower social class.
    Not only does the game provide a poor image of women, but also a poor image concerning the gender role of men. Since most of the main characters are men, we are only allowed to play the role of a male figure that is shown to be the dominant male role. In one of the opening scenes, our main character Tony makes’ statements to his cousin asking were “Barbra big tits and Angela who sucks like a vacuum are”. Right away we get the impression that these guys are scumbags, and that their only objective is to get some action. We also see the main character steeling cars, killing and beating up other people, and dealing with other illegal activities. We really don’t get a look at the good side of this guy, therefore my immediate impression was not a good one. Even though this is just a video game, I feel that the way they represent men and especially women, is very unethical, however in some ways it is a realistic interpretation considering venues and people like this do exist. Is it really necessary to show the extremes? I would have to say for sale purposes that people want to see the extremes and interact with them, because sine it is only a video game, there are no real life consequences.

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