Laverim's Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)
| [January 21, 2009 03:43:18 AM]
Having grown bored of the cheats, I opted to return to San Andreas’ main storyline and follow that for this final log. The violence content of this game only continues to escalate as you progress through the game’s story elements. This is to be expected, given the nature of the Grand Theft Auto series. You become armed with weaponry rather quickly as you progress as well as gaining various ways to accessorize your character. Many of the practices you involve yourself in relate back to his gang affiliations. You can go to the local gym, where you can exercise and buff your character up. These mainly consist of button-mashing mini-games that allow you to dispatch targets more quickly or run faster and longer.
You also have the ability to buy clothing and accessories to customize your character’s appearance. However, the game makes it fairly obvious that everything you purchase has an effect on how ‘gangster’ your character is. Your character is instructed to start dressing in green immediately, and is eventually required to complete a mission. Gang colors play a large role in game play, as if you’re dressed in a certain color, rival gangs will come to attack you. This heavily pushes the violent gang culture that Grand Theft Auto has immersed the player in, as I mentioned in my first blog. Even the smallest action as targeting a person, even if unarmed, they will raise their hands in the air and freak out.
By this point, it becomes fairly evident that you are playing a highly violent and intimidating character. Should the player try to minimize the amount of crimes they commit, it doesn’t serve to do the player much good as each mission involves doing something illegal in some sense. You are required to participate in drive by shootings, chase-and-kill tasks, and various other assignments that our entire society finds entirely immoral. Additionally, race-related issues only grow in their presence as the story progresses. Characters frequently use various derogatory language and racial slurs, whether it be talking amidst themselves or someone not of their group. This game proves to have a relatively high emphasis on racial tension in conjunction with the gang violence.
The interesting aspect to this, I’ve come to notice, is while you can steal cars, it’s not particularly required. Every mission, or at least at my point in the game, provides you a vehicle you must use. Not only this, but you are also accompanied by a friendly character in most circumstances. While I am reluctant to play Grand Theft Auto regularly, I finally did find myself drawing some entertainment from the game, but in the form of driving. Taking a car and hitting max acceleration is quite enjoyable. This is furthered by making hair-pin turns around corners, or hitting steep inclines and launching yourself into the air. While this is entertaining, I would never think to attempt a feat like that in reality due to the dangerous nature of such an action. Socially speaking, these dare devil activities would be heavily frowned upon, and is even deterred by law. So in essence, one could even consider driving recklessly in San Andreas is unethical in contrast to real life. One would most certainly not want to having someone rear-end their car at eighty miles per hour or more.
This drives home the general idea of the game that I had before even picking it up. San Andreas is a game devoid of conventional morals as we know them. The world these characters exist in is heavily contrasted from our own, and proves to give the player a perspective from a different cultural and moral background, where killing is permissible, where reckless driving is fun, and so on.
add a comment
| [January 19, 2009 03:28:15 PM]
On my second playthrough of Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I figured it would be a good idea to try out some cheats while playing. According to a friend of mine who had played the game in the past, a fun way to use cheats in this title was to combine the all weapons cheat with the super jump cheat. As I began this second play through, I found the cheat codes a bit daunting to input. Perhaps this is an effort on the part of the creators to deter cheating. To my surprise, using this cheat will incur damage when you touch back down on the ground. In a way, I suppose this makes a fair bit of sense in an ironic way. By leaving in fall damage with a cheat like this, you bar the players from being able to truly exploit it.
This, in effect, forced me to learn a way around the damaging qualities of this super jump, teaching myself ways of negating damage upon landing. This typically involved bouncing off of buildings, or finding a way to travel from rooftop to rooftop. This, coupled with the katana, made me begin to feel like I was playing some sort of ninja assassin game instead of San Andreas.
This brings me to an interesting standpoint for San Andreas. The developers have introduced us to this gang-infested and truly violent realm and culture. While playing this game, we the player, are allowed to believe that what we are doing is the right thing to do because the game will reward us for our actions. Killing allows you to acquire money, having sexual intercourse with a prostitute will recover health, killing said prostitute will give you back your money, and the list continues on. However, when it comes to the cheat codes, they are long and difficult to input, with game play drawbacks in some cases. This acts as a strange deterrent for cheating imposed by the developers of the game. This begs the question of whether or not the creators deemed cheating in their game ethical. The cheats in question are within the game, but not without side effects. Naturally, one could go ahead and input all of the cheats, but this would take a decent amount of time and attentiveness to the code’s input. As stated before, this bears some irony to it in the form of a game free from typical societal values and morals with the implication of a moral standing against cheating.
read comments (1) -
add a comment
| [January 18, 2009 05:17:17 PM]
Before I began playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, a friend of mine pointed out to me that its plot was based on the movie ‘Boys in the Hood.’ He recommended that I watch this movie to fully appreciate San Andreas’ story. Granted, I don’t find myself really having the liberty to slow down and watch this movie. This game does strike me as a gangster movie, as my friend indicated, and I suppose this is one of the charms of the series that I never paid any attention to in past play throughs.
Sand Andreas seems very heavily driven through race and gang relations. This was gathered through playing the first three missions of the game and watching the various cinematics. While anyone will openly admit that gang affiliations, killing, and racial slurs and discrimination are bad, that appears to be the entire premise of San Andreas. We, the player, are immersed into the character’s life and lifestyle. We are introduced to gang culture and the morals that are tied to it. Granted, this appears to be a gradual immersal and not necessarily spontaneous.
You’re released from prison, and your character, CJ, immediately returns to his old gang buddies. As soon as you arrive, you’re almost killed by an old friend, not knowing who your character is. Most moral codes perceive killing as an abhorrent practice. However, in this gang culture, you quickly realize that killing is an accepted practice, and that you must kill or be killed by rival gangs. It doesn’t stop there, as the game begins to relate to you that you can build respect from your rival gang members by placing graffiti over rival gang graffiti and various other illegal activities. This game easily throws the player’s morals to the wind, throwing them into the midst of what is easily a lawless land filled with heavy gang violence.
read comments (1) -
add a comment