| Today I played with cheats, and finally got past the first mission. Instead of following my fellow gang members on a bike, I materialized a jetpack and flew above them, keeping track of their locations. I felt no guilt, nor did I regret my decision to do this. Not only was I happier, but a substantial amount of pedestrians were spared their lives by me not staying on the street.|
Storywise, though I'm still not very far, I already get a sense from these characters that they will not be changing their lifestyles very much. CJ has already decided to stay in Los Santos for no other reason than his boys are there. He has not looked back on his past activities and seen the wrong he was doing. His brother and his friends are exactly where they were, stuck in petty gang violence and tagging buildings. The lifestyle CJ has chosen does not allow the player to make correct ethical choices. He must stay loyal to his gang, and that gang is not volunteering in the community or keeping at risk youth out of trouble.
Truly, the only "values" the game promotes are loyalty, ambition, retribution, and fitness. As stated before, the gang is where all your loyalty lies. As a player, ambition plays a role in all CJ's actions. You want to collect all the weapons, drive the best cars, have the most sexiness. It's the shallow, non-community conscious version of the American dream. Retribution seems to go hand in hand with loyalty, as getting revenge on those other gangs that are against yours seems to be important in CJ's life. Fitness is also very important, and maybe the only positive message to the youth. The more fit you are, the faster you can run and the longer your stamina can last. But in the world of the game, you are not running in a marathon or a lupus fun run. The faster you run means the faster you can escape the cops on foot. All these "values" are skewed and based in nothing. None of them encourage moral lives or any sort of service to the greater good.
Gameplay wise, I love cheats. They are excuses to do anything. I gave myself infinite life, created a jetpack, rode around in a bumper car, and dressed up like an S & M gimp. But the wildest cheat I used was one which sent the entire city into mass chaos. Every pedestrian was brutally fighting each other, as were cops. Explosions erupted, cars were flipped over. I found it all very amusing, which I find a bit disturbing. It also excused me even more than usual from beating random people in the streets. Overall, the cheats further created the sense that anything goes in this city and there are no consequences for evil actions.
I also found the radio stations to be extremely entertaining. While they each had their own explicit content and message, they were more satirical than they were influential. They mocked people for lewd sexual activities and idiotic life decisions. These may actually be the most relevant and positive messaged aspects of the entire games. In my next post, I'll discuss more of the specific radio commercials in detail.
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