| So Jose was right about writing to a text file before writing to here. I just lost a lengthy post and I'm not going to rewrite the whole thing so here are some key points:|
The game sets up an environment and story which makes the immoral actions the player makes justified and the consequences negligible, such as shooting cops and stealing cars from innocent bystanders.
In the first few minutes cops are shown as being corrupt, abusive, and racist. They threaten to frame CJ, the main character, for the shooting of a police officer. Then they dump him off in a dangerous neighborhood.
This is where I took control of CJ, and after taking a bike that I was told to take by the game, I soon found myself attacked by a gang. After accidentally hitting one with my bike (and apparently killing him?) the cops showed up and started attacking me to. I defended myself and the cops started shooting at me. I'd seen people play this game before and I guessed that I could steal cars just as I'd taken that bike, so I did so as it offered me the best chance of survival. So I felt justified off the bat in both fighting cops and stealing a car. I also found it hard to control the car and thus crashed into a lot of stuff, but it was all for the cause of escaping.
Later on, I made two other discoveries that made it okay to perform these kinds of actions as the player.
First, pretty much everyone is a jerk. People on the street will pick fights with you for very little provocation. Then you have to defend yourself.
Second, NPCs don't care about property damage. I crashed two friends' cars into various objects and ran over one guy's fence, and neither cared. Most NPCs seem to feel this way, which makes the consequences of most actions very negligible.
Taken together, these discoveries about the setting and the story makes it far more acceptable to do things that we normally would consider very immoral. It makes the main character the oppressed and most other characters the oppressors. And over time, the lack of consequences and this feeling of justification just bleeds over into the free roaming game play and the player feels its okay to perform these acts in any situation, regardless of whether it is for survival or the story.
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