TTEchidna's Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)
| [October 6, 2008 01:16:17 PM]
| Ah the wonderful world of stereotypes. As I've seen several others addressing this issue in the game, I figure I'll give it a shot myself. As far as I'm concerned, there's no issue at all with the stereotypes depicted in the game because they're just that-- stereotypes. No one really acts that way, and if they do, they really ought not.|
Most have brought up the stereotypes depicted in CJ and his gang, likely because they're the most evident to see. Certainly, one can recognize that they're based in a stereotype, or as a warped depiction of a famous artist or actor. But they are far from the first or only ones. For as long as the series has been in 3D, all bets are off for political correctness, and the staff at Rockstar will make fun of anyone and everyone they can. From the country radio stations that talk of sleeping with one's own sister or eating possums to the criminal empires running the three cities featured, GTA's world is a giant joke poking fun at our own.
One might ask, though, is it right for someone to make fun of people? I'd definitely say it is. No one likes to be made fun of, but at times it is the best way to get the point across that acting in a certain way is incredibly stupid. Ammu-Nation's shops and radio spots make fun of crazed gun lobbyists who bribe the government to get bigger so they can protect their second amendment rights from the government... Area 69 makes fun of a government which refuses to tell its own citizens anything for fear of others stealing information on how to destroy the planet. The real question one should ask is, is it morally right for a person to let a stereotype about him or herself continue by acting according to said stereotype?
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| [October 6, 2008 12:30:58 AM]
| Ah, yes, another chance to get back to this. After entering a crapton of cheatcodes and deciding to park a train in front of a crossing surrounded by barbed wire, I realized that causing chaos in a world where literally every cop is after you for going into an area you weren't supposed to yet is absolutely hilarious.|
But where to start... I always prefer the long-range stuff, blowing the helicopters out of the sky and every car on the road to smithereens is always fun. And I'd say that here's the greatest reason why it's fun: it hurts no one. When I blow something up in San Andreas, the only people dying are virtual, barely polygonal 3D models. Sure they look sorta like people, and younger kids might mistake them for it, but how many kids under the age of eight play video games anyway?
Mostly, it's adults who play these games anyway. Most games are titled in such a way that adults who are buying the games for their kids (because face it, no kid makes enough money on their own these days to get very many without their parents' help anyway) would be smart enough to determine that "Grand Theft Auto" kinda means, well, stealing. Not all games are to be learning experiences, and the cheat codes I entered prove that. Riot mode, every car around you instantly explodes, the ARMY coming to chase you down for no reason? It's not morality here at work, it's just really fun to watch.
Perhaps it shows what kind of person someone is, though, if they do mess around with the game to the best of their ability. Perhaps it proves something of those who watch virtual chaos and enjoy it, as I do. It's a side that most people do not embrace in the slightest, trying to push it away with morality and then ending up breaking their own moral code on multiple occasions. I believe, actually, that games that allow for total destruction allow people to take out their internal rage and sadism on a world that feels nothing and means nothing is healthy, and keeps their rage on the outside world from showing. Humans are animals, whether they think more superior of themselves or not, and in a civilized society one cannot go around destroying it all. But in the privacy of one's own home, in a virtual world that means nothing to anyone within it, one can bring out all of their animal urges. Hot coffee mod away, destroy the entire population of a town with firebombs. It's not real, so there is no need to make choices based upon the player's own morality at all.
However... there are several missions in the game that do reveal the character's morality... I'll go into those tomorrow though.
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| [October 1, 2008 12:22:58 PM]
| It's been a while since I fired up San Andreas-- or a PS2 for that matter. Since I've been in school, there's never been much time to play games, so this assignment is welcome for me.|
Since the subtitles were initially turned off, I didn't catch much of the initial narrative. However, I do remember that the story starts with a man coming home to Los Santos from Liberty City in order to help his siblings get things in order after his mother has died. Along the way he has to deal with corrupt cop Tenpenny, played by none other than Samuel L. Jackson.
However, this really is all there is to it as far as morality goes. CJ, the main character of the game, is faced with a world in which he must do anything to survive-- including invading Army bases. I personally did not face any ethical choices when playing, as it is just a game. Break into an airport by parking your car on the sidewalk next to the wall? Go for it. Unlike the real world, where this would provoke the DHS into overdrive, a game allows you to do just about anything.
I honestly don't understand where all this garbage comes from that games make kids violent. Honestly, sure, the games show people hurting each other. It can't be done in reality, that's why the game exists. When a kid can't understand that, and decides to emulate the game, that's just bad parenting.
An intelligent, reasonable person, when playing this game, would never be confronted with any ethical dilemma. Playing it, one does not constantly think about "what if I were to do this in the real world?". Rocket launchers don't grown on trees here in reality, and anyone who does think that was screwed up long before popping the disc in. The game is about doing what you can't do in reality, because otherwise it'd be boring. No one wants to PLAY life.
Now if you'll excuse me, I'm gonna go find that list of cheatcodes that guy mentioned. I want my parachute and army jet.
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