jvognsen's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)
| [April 18, 2012 08:46:51 PM]
| After my first initial experience with the game, I figured it was time to explore how exactly the system judges one's actions. To experiment with this I decided to load up some cheats so that I could explore how executing actions with certain weapons would affect my wanted level.|
LXGIWYL = Weapon Set 1, Thug's Tools
PROFESSIONALSKIT = Weapon Set 2, Professional Tools
UZUMYMW = Weapon Set 3, Nutter Tools
FULLCLIP = Infinite Ammo, No Reload
My first experiment was with a flamethrower. With my flamethrower equipped, I walked up to a street corner where 6-7 pedestrians were walking about minding their own business. I then decided to light every pedestrian within range on fire. As 6 pedestrians went running around alight, I waited to see what the response from the police would be. Eventually the pedestrians fell to the ground one by one and I was shocked to see I was given only one star. Apparently in this game punching a pedestrian is equivalent to lighting 6 pedestrians on fire. With this case example I argue that the game is extremely inadequate at accurately measuring the morality of one's actions.
If we were to look at this example from the perspective of utilitarian ethics, it would make sense to assign a value to how 'bad' things are. For example, we could possibly assign the following:
Punching someone: 1 unit of bad
Lighting someone on fire: 10 units of bad
If you follow these hypothetical values, then my action of punching one person would be viewed as overall being 1 unit of bad. My action of lighting 6 people on fire would be 10*6 = 60 units of bad. Perhaps a two star wanted level requires 65 units of bad. If a two star rating does in fact require 65 units of bad, then the game views killing a cop as being worth more than 6 times that of killing a pedestrian since killing a cop instantly gives you two stars. While killing a cop in the United States often carries a much more severe penalty than killing a pedestrian, it is nowhere near 6 times as severe.
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| [April 18, 2012 07:04:20 PM]
| I have long been a fan of the Grand Theft Auto series, with my first experience with the franchise being the top-down Grand Theft Auto 2. My interest in the series peaked at the release of Grand Theft Auto: Vice City and was immediately destroyed with the release of San Andreas. For my first post, I am going to explore my initial impression of the game. |
I started up the game and immediately experienced my eyes bleeding due to the graphics (which I remember being incredibly horrible even when the game was released). After searching through the graphics settings I realized I just got scammed for $15 by steam. I can live with poor graphics as long as the gameplay is decent. Once I accepted the graphics, I went about trying to play the game. The narrative wanted me to go find some CJ or TJ guy, but I am not one to follow narratives so I got on a bike and instead went for a ride. To my dismay, the controls on PC were absolutely horrendous. I enjoy GTA: IV on the PC, and I can attribute this largely being due to the controls being much improved.
After accepting that I must play this game regardless of the aversion which I have towards it, I set about exploring. While exploring I became immediately bored, so I went up to a random person and beat them to the ground. Was this action ethically wrong? Well, apparently the game views this action as wrong only if a cop sees you. I was given one star on a scale of five. After being discovered by a cop, I knew the fun times were to ensue. I immediately started beating the cop frantically and then stole his car. Somewhere between beating down a cop and stealing his car I gained another star. With two stars, I drove around in the cop car looking for more excitement. Eventually due to being shot at by police and running into cars, my car blew up and I respawned at the hospital.
Overall this first experience with the game felt fairly shallow. I really didn't have much connection to my character so I did not personally relate to the violence I was committing. It is also hard for me to feel ethically responsible for pixels on a screen, especially when these pixels create horrendous graphics.
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