Mercury8826's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
| [October 5, 2010 12:23:26 PM]
| Last time playing. I have to say that when I started this session I tried to do so with an open mind. It helped, I think, to read the excerpt out of _Games and Culture_ because it made me think of the inspiration for the game. |
It was a bit annoying because I had to start from the beginning again, since I didnít have a memory card to save my progress. However, I think it was ok, because I was able to take in the same scenes in a different light. In the excerpt the author talked about the creators of the game, and how they based it on Los Angeles. With this in mind they visited California to get a first hand experience of what it was like, and were disappointed at how ďnormalĒ it was and not at all like the moves that took place there. Remembering that as I started the game over, I started to see and understand. It really was like a movie, in the sense that it was heavily stereotypical in order to get the point across for the sake of the story.
Thinking of it like that also changed my mind about how itís ďracistsĒ. I was suddenly reminded of comedy shows when I was younger and how there were some with nothing but white people and some with nothing but black people. I never really thought about it before, but it really did seem like they didnít _want_ to mix. Iím not sure why, and I still canít figure out if its unethical or not. It just seemedÖ normal.
I went through the storyline again, quicker this time since I knew what I was doing, and realized that it would take a _long_ time before I would really get anywhere. I thought it was interesting that at one point they actually impressed something ďgoodĒ to the player. The part when they hit up the drug dealers and ranted about how bad crack was for people was surprisingly moral, I think. However, their means of handling it was probably not the best way to deal with the problem. I mean, I suppose a ďscare methodĒ is effective, in that if you do crack then CJ will come after you with a baseball bat and beat you up side the head, but I think its probably a bit extreme. It also ďteachesĒ that the best form of punishment is death, which is not so good.
Anyways, after I got to a point in the storyline that I couldnít succeed at, I decided to roam to the parts of the map that I hadnít yet explored. When I did this I found that the world in San Andreas was a lot more extensive and diverse than I originally thought. I only got as far as the upscale neighborhoods, but that alone showed me that this game had more to it than just gangster fights in a poor community. It was intriguing to see the different places, and I wish I better understood how the gameplay worked so as to understand the moral and ethical findings of the areas outside the hood.
However, the game had exhausted me at this point and I was ready to put it down. I do have a bit more respect for the effort put into the game, I only wish it wasnít as focused on crimes and gangs and more focused on the player doing what they wanted. I wish they gave the player more options to be himself or herself in this world in California, instead of forcing the main character to be a certain way. They couldíve created other missions and situations that would come up depending on where they went and who they met. But I digress. The makers obviously had this in mind, and the only thing I can do to protest is not play the game.
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| [October 4, 2010 09:10:36 PM]
| Ok, second time around wasnít as bad as the first, mostly because I had a working controller so I was able to figure how not to get killed every 5 minutes. The game play is still a bit foreign, but I think I figured it out ok. Driving is a pain in the butt, however with some practice its not that bad. |
Ok, so I started with the storyline, because the last time I tried to wing it, I hadnít the slightest idea what I was doing, and thatís mostly how I got killed so frequently. When I began playing the storyline, I noticed that thatís when the game starts teaching the player itís inner workings and how the game played. However, I found is difficult to understand what the NPCs wanted me to do half the time, due to the fact that whenever they gave me a command it was hidden and encrypted under a crap load of foul language. I notice that this is something that could prove influential in an unnoticeable way. Its bad enough that there are people using this language before the game came out, but to encourage more people, who probably donít utter it as frequently, to use it so casually is dangerous for player.
Subjects, such as bad language, are more difficult to discuss as a moral issue, because it is not physically harming someone. Similar to lying, people argue that in certain cases its ok, and, according to Utilitarianism, can be considered ethically sound depending on the situation. However, something like that is highly psychological in the sense that if you become familiar with it, then it is bound to slip out when you donít want it to, thus hurting either someone or yourself.
Another thing that bothers me concerning the game that I havenít heard much about is the fact that not only does it teach you how to hurt someone with spray paint, but it encourages you to do so. This is bothersome mostly because, in contrast to a gun or something of that sort, a can of spray paint is easy to find in almost any garage. Kids, although I recognize that this isnít necessarily for kids, have access to this, and may decide to explore its functions due to what was portrayed on the screen.
Another tidbit is that your character is shunned if you donít have tattoosÖ Iím not allowed to choose my personality, for example, if I wanted to help someone, I canít do it without being rude or violent to someone else. I have _no_ choice. I feel like Iím being forced to do something and be ok with it, no matter what _it_ is, in order to move on in the game.
Other little things about the game Iíve found annoying and relentless were the fact that if you get caught hitting someone the police are on you in no time flat, however, if someone starts hitting you and a policeman is presentÖ they do NOTHING! Jerks!
Not a very good second round.
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| [October 1, 2010 07:20:27 PM]
| Before I even start playing the game, I get the impression from the box that GTA San Andreas is going to be one of those games thatís going to imitate real life, and not just any real life, but the real life of someone who involves themselves with gangsters and prostitutes. Sure enough, when I started playing, that seemed to be what it was all about. |
I will say that my first experience wasnít a very accurate experience, because my controller was messed up (at first I thought it was the game design so I didnít exchange the controller, but when I mentioned it, the guy at the Gaming Lab, said it shouldnít be like that). So, that alone was enough to make me sour about the game. However, the rest of what I played wasnít helping it at all.
Your characterís mother has died and your character has come back to his hometown, which mimics that of a poverty-stricken community, and is welcomed home by someone whom I think is his brotherÖ Then youíre volunteered toÖ help them with somethingÖ Thatís where I ended with the main storyline. I decided after that that I was going to simply explore. While exploring, I found that whenever I ran past group of guys, they would start attacking me for no adequately explored reason. They were annoyingly consistent.
Things I have noticed: Almost everyone is black. You, all the gangsters, the prostitutes, and even the corrupt cop that gives you a hard time in the beginning. Iím not sure whether to call this game racists against blacks or whites. It could honestly go either way, and hereís how. Its racists against black people because it is giving me the impression (whether true or not) that black people are the only people in these kinds of communities that are gangsters and poor. And its racists against white people, because of the sheer lack of them in the community, almost like it was intended for a black audience only. I feel like I shouldnít be playing it, because Iím white.
I will say, one of the things I did enjoy about the game was that, although somewhat stereotypical, the animation techniques put into the NPCs made them appear real. They way the prostitutes walked helped me recognize them as prostitutes, or at the very least a woman with a loads of sexual self-confidence.
Iím not looking forward to my next session, but know it is necessary for understanding the issues in this game.
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