Sunday 5 October, 2008
During my second session with San Andreas I encountered some very interesting features of the game pertaining to health. CJ has to exercise to maintain a healthy physique, and he has to eat in order to have energy, but the player has to keep an eye on how much CJ eats in order to avoid him becoming overweight. It seems a little ironic that a game with so much violence also concerns itself with personal health. San Andreas takes light of carjacking but considers healthy eating to be very serious. The obesity feature and the over the top attitude San Andreas takes with violence makes the game seem less like an unethical, irreverent “murder simulator” and more like a satirical social commentary about our culture’s glorification of violence, sex, and drugs.
In my previous entry I talked about CJ’s moral compass being based entirely on his friends and family. I was thinking about whether CJ’s might use some derivative of one of the major moral theories like Kantianism, utilitarianism, or the social contract theory. CJ often acts based on what would produce the most good for his “homies”. This is somewhat similar to the utilitarian view that we should do what produces the most good for the most people, however CJ is extremely partial and seems to act to only help those that are important to him. I do not think that Kantianism could apply at all. CJ seems to have some personal rules but he would be willing to break them if certain circumstances arose, and Kantianism does not provide leeway for exceptions from universal laws. However, CJ does have some virtue. He has an enormous amount of loyalty for his community.
I think that CJ’s lack of strong morals can be related to his surroundings. The early part of San Andreas is set in a poor neighborhood that appears to be based on Los Angeles. The police are mostly apathetic and pedestrians are indifferent and rude. No one cares what happens to people they do not know; it’s every man for himself. CJ can’t rely on anyone but himself and his friends and family. He does not feel obliged to follow the laws of a society that is openly hostile toward him.