matthewcolecio's Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)
| [April 21, 2013 09:53:41 PM]
| This third session of GTA: San Andreas was a good one. It started off with continuing missions outside of Sweet’s house. The first mission was to “represent” the Grove family. I headed out to the store to get a green hooded jacket and some camo pants and bandit scarf. Right across the street is the gym, and I go in to work out a bit to get that “gangster physique” as Sweet puts it. So now CJ looks the part of a Grove street family member. After getting properly dressed to earn some respect in the family, Ryder starts making fun of CJ and questioning his status and driving skills. The next mission is called “cleaning up the hood” and is brought on from Ryder questioning CJ’s driving skills. In mission I get to drive around and kill bawlers with the Grove street family, just a normal night for them. The next couple of minutes involved hunting down gangster’s clad in purple attire and make them road kill.|
After the “cleaning up the hood” mission was over I went straight back to Sweet’s house to get the next mission, but no one was there. Shortly after stepping outside I get a distress call from Sweet, he is the middle of a gun fight with a section of the Grove street family that isn’t on good terms with the group anymore. This dilemma presents itself it a through the use of the cell phone system within the game, simply pressing L1 on the controller while someone is calling activates it. The is the first time I really get to have a gunfight in the game with multiple people in a mission, the previous missions were just driving around and letting the rest of the family take people out. This time I get a better feel of the gun combat system in a real situation. After rescuing Sweet and his girlfriend I rushed to drive them to a safe location. A memorable piece of dialogue from Sweet after this mission really caught my attention; he says it’s time to stop the “green on green” war. Suggesting that family is important and the fighting should stop. With that it brings me to my main topic of this session, family.
Within GTA: San Andres there is a sense of solidarity and camaraderie within the Grove Street family. After each mission with members of the family I am rewarded with cash and respect. Respect is a key system in the game to improve CJ’s position in the gang and makes sense with the motif of family elements. All the members of the family so far have never hesitated to rush into a violent situation to protect other members of the family. There is a strong bond present with these characters, everyone is watching each other’s back.
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| [April 20, 2013 07:50:33 PM]
| Second session in the violent world of GTA: Sand Andreas. This second session I’ll be running through game play and characters a bit more in depth as well as the narrative within this session. Also the main focus of this log will be the stereotypes I've come across on these journeys. |
The previous log ended with CJ and Ryder getting some pizza and Ryder attempting to rob the joint. Shortly after that in this session I continued with the main story line a bit more. The next mission was to drive CJ’s brother Sweet around to rival gang areas and “tag” their turf by spray painting graffiti over their tags. This mission was pretty funny because I couldn’t for the life of me figure out the location of one of the first tagging areas to continue with the tagging mission. For a while I wished I had some type of locator for quests that help immensely, like Dead Space or Fable II and III. Eventually I found the tag, it was behind the house on the next street over (I was only searching behind and between the house’s yards). The mission ended with a police chase on our way home and things went pretty smoothly, expect for the random bystanders I hit with CJ’s car along the way (I don’t ever seem to use brakes in these types of games).
At this point in the game I didn’t feel like doing another mission right away. I traveled around town just looking at the graphical achievements of the early 2000’s and couldn’t help but laugh a bit. I remember playing this game when I was about 11 or 12, and man did I feel at the time the graphics were crazy good and nothing could compare, plus it was my first experience with a sand box type game. Regardless of how “dated” this game seems compared to modern games, it still provides an exceptional experience. The next 30 minutes or so of game play just involve me running around causing all sorts of terror and criminal activities with frequent visits to the hospital and local police station.
During this trip around San Andreas, I’ve noticed many stereotypes. Almost all of the stereotypes were focused on minorities, because most of the in-game NPCs were Asian, Mexican, and African Americans. It’s a swapped role, the minorities of the real world are now the majority, and the Caucasians were minorities and police officers within the game.
I’ve decided to pick up where I left on in the story of the game and the next mission I took was with Ryder. Before I dive into that I’d like to talk about Ryder a bit. He seems really friends and family based man that has a sense of belonging within the “grove” community. He refers to anyone he doesn’t agree with as “bustas”. “Token black guy” is the stereotypical phrase that describes Ryder in a few short words. Anyways CJ and Ryder go around trying to found out who is selling hard drugs like crack and cocaine in the neighborhood. After driving around we found one of the drug dealer’s and I had to beat the crap out of him. Shortly afterward Ryder tells me to pick up a bat and head to the hideout of the drug dealers and crack heads. We walk in and it isn’t a pretty picture. Everyone takes out a bat and starts attacking each other and in the end Ryder and I get out of there after “teaching” them a lesson.
After that Mission I partake in a nice ride with the family. We decide to go eat the stereotypical African American food, fried chicken at the “Cluckin Bell”. Who would have guessed? These stereotypes are everywhere, especially when it comes to the “hood” life. While we order our food a rival gang spots up and attempts a “drive by” on us, in retaliation we also start shooting back with sub machine guns. After this whole ordeal, the next mission is just Big Smoke and I. We need to get “strapped”, or in other words get some freaking weapons to defend ourselves in this urban warfare environment. We visit an old crazy guy named Emmet who has been selling guns to “the community for over 30 years”. After purchasing some handguns the game has a more in-depth tutorial on combat with guns, which I found really easy to follow and get a hang of the basics relativity fast. That’s another great aspect of the game; the controls are simple and effective all together.
This session was really great and thrilling because I feel like the violence levels from my previous session doubled at least. Some key things I’d like to note during this session: the radio feature when driving a car is freaking awesome. I’m not a big fan of any the music on the radio, expect for the channel “Radio X”. Listening to rock and metal bands (especially Metallica) provided and set up a good mood for the joyride and criminal activities that took place during most of these car rides.
After GTA Sand Andreas and Vice City I haven’t touched the GTA series, no particular reason, it just escaped my focus I guess. But playing the game again has really made me seriously think about buying the latest game on steam.
This entry has been edited 3 times. It was last edited on Apr 20th, 2013 at 23:17:26.
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| [April 19, 2013 11:59:09 PM]
| My return to Grand Theft auto: San Andreas on the Playstation 2 is here. As I got ready to play this game, many nostalgic memories came to me as I dusted off the Playstation 2 and rummaged through my old games to find San Andreas. Hooked up and plugged in, I was ready to return to a world where violence is king, stereotypes are glorified, and family is important to survival. |
San Andreas opens with the main character CJ returning home from the east coast. On his way home he encounters cops that he used to be very familiar with, implying past history of violence. These cops “welcome” CJ back into the “hood” and rob him of his money and blackmail him to stay out of trouble by suggesting they might frame him with the murder of a police officer. CJ has just arrived at home to the unfortunate death of his mother and is already being terrorized by corrupted law officers. This brief introduction has already depicted that violence has a sense of normality in this world.
After being blackmailed and “welcomed” home, CJ arrives at his mother’s house where he grew up. As CJ walks into the house he is mistaken for an intruder and almost hit with a bat by Big Smoke. After clearing up this ordeal Big Smoke and CJ head off to the cemetery to visit CJ’s mother. Here CJ reunites with his family and friends and there seems to be a sense of chaos lurking in this stressful environment. After an argument between CJ’s brother Sweet and a lady whose name I didn’t catch, they are attacked by way of “drive by” by a rival gang and the group has to escape to home territory on bicycles. Most people would maybe be in a bit of panic and their hearts racing because of this climatic thriller chase but all I could do was laugh my ass off as nostalgic memories come and go. First thing that popped in my head about this was the popular internet meme “Well that escalated quickly”.
From now on I will be referring to CJ’s actions in the game as my own, because “I” am controlling him.
Shortly after getting home in a somewhat safe environment, I save the game and walk outside. I can see a few pedestrians walking on the sidewalk and I attack them with no remorse. Why? Because of the freedom this game allows, I’ve come to embrace the freedom and remember past experiences of why I loved this game. I was rewarded for killing several people in the streets by wads of cash dropping out of their corpses. Being rewarded for killing people on the streets? What kind of world is this? It’s Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas.
Next, I partake in a ride with Ryder (no pun intended). This ride involves me getting a haircut and eating some pizza. Pretty average day with a friend huh? Well not really, my friend attempts to rob the pizza joint and confronts the cashier with a pistol, who retaliates with a shotgun in our face. The game takes us outside of the pizza place and I’m supposed to run into the car with Ryder and get the hell out of there. Well that’s not what I do, I turn around and attack the cashier and kill him. I am rewarded with a shotgun the man had after he is lying on the floor in a pool of blood.
In analysis of my short of many experiences in GTA: SA, I found myself thinking of violence. Even from the beginning of the game violence has reared its ugly head and I wasn't able to avoid being attacked by some outside force. When thinking about which lens I should use to speculate this game’s ethics, I find that Kantianism will not work, there is so much violence in this game, and as a result everything in that lens would be deemed immoral. Rather I take the lens of Utilitarianism, which looks at the results, and how much good is produced to determine if an action is deemed ethical or not. An easy case to argue would be that many of the situations I faced so far were ethical by “self defense”, except for the random bystanders I killed on the street, that was indeed immoral in the context of the game. If a cop within the game saw that, he would have attempted to arrest me through means of violence.
This entry has been edited 4 times. It was last edited on Apr 20th, 2013 at 00:06:20.
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