Robert's Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)
| [September 24, 2009 05:48:59 PM]
| My game experience was different when I played the game to investigate and log the physics of the objects and characters, and how they may contribute to the value system of the game. The first thing I noticed was how the characters reacted to being injured. |
Some characters who where hit by an auto, where knocked off their feet and rolled over the car before hitting the ground. Sometimes if you bumped into the wrong group of people on the street Blood spurted from arteries and bodies crumpled after there was a spray of bullets. As I played J.C., my auto flipped over and I was able to drive upside down on the roof of my car in any direction that I wanted to before my car blew up and I was knocked to the ground by the exploding car. Even though I was able to get out, I was still in harms way and I was killed by the explosion. A message then appeared on the Screen: ‘Wasted”.
The autos that I drove took a generously long time to explode. This extended time contributed to the value of the auto as a key piece of equipment to move around in the game. There seemed to be a glowing life monitor in the form of a damaged glowing red hot engine manifold. This glowing area served to warn the player the car will blow up soon; you better plan to get out! The damage to an auto was cumulative and compounded as you ran into, over and through things. As this damage grew I wondered why I could still drive, in real life a car would have been totaled by hitting the first light of utility pole straight on. Instead of the front of your auto being totally smashed, the poles deflected like bowling pins out of the path of the car.
Food plays a very important part of your energy level in this game and controls the value of the life of your character. Physically food and the different types available have their own value system and contribute to developing your character’s longitivity.
Having the stolen cars immobilized created a situation where your character continues on the mission on foot until there is an opportunity to steal another auto. It seemed that the focus of the auto thief would be on car type and street value during the first stage of the game, but instead it is on proving that you are “down” with your homies, and that you still have what it takes to be a part of a group. Being down means to show trust, loyalty and a sense of covenant and family. The ordeal that is developed for your character is for the purpose to make a bond. This bond is more valuable than the cars in the game at this point.
read comments (1) -
add a comment
| [September 24, 2009 05:48:31 PM]
| My latest experience with the game Grand Thief Auto is from the perspective of race. The way my avatar character J.C. is portrayed and how he interacts with the environment makes me wonder why minorities in the game are portrayed so violent. It almost seems that every character that is a black male in the game is violent. But what is more disturbing are the activity choices that the characters participate in on a continual bases, and how the game allies with the media stereotype portrayal of black males who live in economically deprived neighborhoods. |
The game suggests that the main activities of most of the people who live in poor neighborhoods are violent criminal acts. There is little evidence of what happens on day to day bases in a real economically deprived neighborhood .or the choices that the people who live there make. The only culture that is shown in the game is the negative criminal culture.
To portray an ethnic group in this way is very racist. Choosing a negative activity that takes place in a poor environment and emphasizing it through suggestive isolation perpetuates a negative stereotype of that ethnic group. The game suggests that the main life style choice for black males in poor neighborhoods is to be very violent, and criminal.
The game also suggests that the violence that takes place in these environments, takes place so frequently that there is no resistance from the honest people that live there and there is no reaction to the violence that takes place. The honest people in the game calmly drive through the war zones and get robbed of their possessions without any complaint. The game makes it seem like J.C. or his homies and rivals has no fear of getting caught, and that they have no real need to take precautions, except to arm themselves with weapons. Anyone who has really lived in an area like this knows the gangster is the most afraid person in the neighborhood; he trusts no one!
add a comment
| [September 24, 2009 05:48:03 PM]
| My first half hour of play was very reckless; it was like learning to ride a bike and drive a car all over again. There was a thrill attached to being able to run over people and kill them without being held morally responsible for your actions. There also seem to be a very quick conditioning that takes place that causes you to lose your value and respect for the lives of the people that you encounter during the game play.|
Some of the desensitizing is created by the graphic images of blood spurting and death, which seems to be the main objective of most of the interactions between characters other than your homies. This lack of sensation takes place for the player character almost instantly. You know that your avatar character you are playing is heartless and hardcore.
In this game environment violence is encouraged and rewarded by a show of respect through the dialogue of your homies. There is a lack of justice for people on the streets and drivers of the autos that you force out of the vehicles they are driving. The police that you encounter are corrupt and seldom respond to the killings that take place every time you rub someone the wrong way. In fact the justice in the game seems to be the violence that you get to perform as you try to complete your mission.
A drug culture type of justice; kill everything in sight that happens to purposely or mistakenly gets in your way. They deserve it!
For this games environment system this is right. In the players real environment this is of coarse is wrong.
The game is an example of cultural relativism where the standards of the culture dictate what is wrong or right. In the culture of Grand Thief Auto San Andreas, killing is the right thing to do. The rules of the game support and reward this action, and the more blood you spill the more respect you seem to have. The killing is impartial; all the character types in this game are candidates for death, and it can be supported by reason; if you kill you have a good chance of living and completing the mission. This of coarse is a direct conflict with the real world of the player, since random and first degree murder is wrong.
This brings to mind a controversial dilemma that I feel one should deal with ethically. I had to ask the question, since the marketing of the game is to kids and teenagers; is this game ethically sound, is it right to market this game to youth knowing the value and justice system it supports? This argument I feel is worth investigating and will help guide designers of games to a better ethical position.
read comments (1) -
add a comment