ShaymusMcLaughlin's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)
| [February 10, 2009 04:02:33 PM]
| Entry #3|
Just for the nostalgia value, I decided to try and get as many Wanted stars as possible without cheating to start off my play session. This is something my friends and I did years ago when the game first came out. Weíd take turns just trying to wreak as much havoc as possible, and then survive as long as possible. Needless to say, it requires a lot of shooting and a lot of exploding. Now I did not make it to 6 stars ever, as Iím a bit out of practice and my guy still has low shooting stats. I got to 5 stars once, and 4 all the other times. Like I said, itís been awhile for me, and I was never amazing at it to begin with. But for some reason, while I feel conflicted about things like killing a hooker to take her money, this kind of competition doesnít faze me at all. After thinking about it, I believe I know why.
Buying the services of a hooker and then killing her in cold blood feels much more personal, like a real thing that people could do, and have done. Itís a one-on-one crime purely for the sake of using somebody. By going on the huge shooting sprees and trying to get as many stars as possible, it feels like a video game again. Things like that donít happen in real life. You never see a guy with a machine gun standing there, shooting everybody in sight, blowing up cop cars with grenades, and instantly switching to a RPG launcher and shooting down a helicopter. And it just continues happening. That isnít a sequence of events that our brain can comprehend as right or wrong, because weíve never experienced anything like it. Itís like somebody throwing out the number 873 quadrillion. We understand whatís going on, but we canít fully wrap our head around its impact because we have no real experience with it. Whereas killing the prostitute after using her just to save $50 or $60, thatís something that everyone understands.
This is why I have trouble with some of the smaller conflicts in games like this. Because I view things so personally, and I know that, morally, itís just utterly and completely wrong to do. But something like blowing up 20 cars in a row with one grenade just seems too unrealistic to me, so I detach my emotions and morals from it.
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| [February 10, 2009 04:02:20 PM]
| Entry #2|
Alright, so my game picked up at Mission #12. I know I didnít detail the other missions, but I wanted to address the other issues. Youíre now doing missions with the cops who originally picked you up at the beginning of the game. In this one, the main cop (who sounds a lot like Samuel L. Jackson, but Iím not sure itís his voiceÖIíll have that for next update) tells you and your buddy to get a ďlittle something somethingĒ off of a train thatís making an unscheduled stop. He also reminds you to stop killing well-respected officers ďplease.Ē
Now, this would be another issue in the game. How can such a crooked cop try and call another cop ďwell-respectedĒ when he might be one of the least-honorable men on the force. It just seems out of place, and it goes against what I consider to be morally right. If youíre going to be crooked, be crooked. Just donít show-off how great other cops are like you care about the integrity and image of the force.
So you get to the train, and find out that another gang got there before you. So you kill them off, and then hop on the back of the train as it continues on its way, throwing boxes of drugs off the back and (somehow magically) into your buddyís car who is driving behind you. After your buddy takes as many boxes as he can, the cops come, and you have a 3-star wanted level. Basically you need to drive away from or shoot all the cops.
And this is where the possibly-Samuel L Jackson cop comes into play again. He has to know that cops will be there to try and stop the drug trafficking. Which means there will be cops who are in the line of fire (most likely). Meaning that most of them will die. But thatís OK, since they arenít the ďwell-respectedĒ ones? Or is it justified for his own gain? What about his orders for Carl isnít hypocritical?
Would I change the game though? Not one bit. But this is clearly a much weaker story than Vice City or GTA:IV.
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| [February 10, 2009 04:02:05 PM]
| Entry #1|
The game opens with you, the player, in the role of Carl, a young black male who returns to his hometown on the west coast after finding out from his brother that their mother died. Carl had been gone for five years. He gets pulled over by the cops on his way home from the airport. They clearly are familiar with Carl, and make references in the ensuing car ride to past drug use and past gang activity. Carl though, swears he is clean now and is out of that business.
Immediately, I wanted to root for Carl. And not just because thatís the character Iím playing with, but because he is down after his motherís death, he claims to have overcome some demons from the past, and heís harassed by the cops the second he gets into town. He comes off as a young guy in a bad situation who finally started to turn things around, but still canít get any breaks. But having played this game before (by the way, how terrible do the character models look now? I always thought they looked really good. But they look awful. Everybody has exaggerated movements and webbed fingersÖweíve come a long way) I know that I will start killing with Carl very soon, and getting right back into the thick of those illegal things he supposedly quit.
And this is why I canít feel bad for Carl anymore. Heís clearly distraught over his motherís death in the beginning of the game. They take time to show you that he is sad and confused. So to turn around and start killing other senselessly seems a bit hypocritical of him. Why would he want somebody to lose their mom after going through the pain of losing his? I want Carl to succeed, and I want him to feel good about what heís doing, but you canít justify any murders if you want Carl to still feel like a victim.
This is where Kantianism can be applied. If Carl (or the player) decides itís wrong that his mother was killed (which we find out much later on), then itís wrong for Carl himself to kill anybody. Whereas if Carl decided it was OK to kill all the gang members/civilians/cops he kills, then he canít be so upset over his mother being killed, because the rule needs to be applied to everyone, not just himself.
But then again, this game would be pretty boring if you couldnít kill anybody because the main character you controlled was a strict believer in Kantianism.
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