Wednesday 21 January, 2009
For my final entry I decided to start by gauging the game's AI and what type of message it sent out. To do this I used the tried and true tactic of "lets see what happens when I shoot innocent bystanders in the head, in broad daylight, on a crowded street". In affluent commercial areas the most common effect my killing spree had was that everybody panicked and ran for their lives, which was a poor move since I was in a Jeep at the time. More to the point, I needed to vacate the premises quickly since waiting around would make CJ have to deal with scads of police officers. Although the wealthier citizens of San Andreas ran for their lives, this wasn't true of all citizens. Under bridges, one can sometimes find gang members hanging out and doing what they do best: loitering. If there's one law that must be followed in San Andreas, its no loitering, and the penalty is death. Taking out my shotgun, I blasted one of the members in the chest assuming the others would run. Instead, the gang members opened fire with weapons of their own and while it didn't save them it did knock off a good chunk of my health. It's comforting to know that the game's AI counts for both the flight and fight survival mechanism.
That last paragraph touched upon stereotypes ever so slightly in the sense that gang members shoot back but most ordinary citizens don't. After a bit more rampaging in the game I found a few other notable stereotypes. First, the women that you talk to most often are dumb as rocks, granted its mostly just CJs girlfriend and the hookers he's pimping out, but c'mon Rockstar, can't we at least have one ho thats saving up for med school? Second, the police response time is significantly longer in the more dilapidated areas of the city, which sounds like a great place to wreck some havoc, however the Hispanic and African-American dominated 'hoods have a much higher likelihood that bystanders will be carrying weapons and will shoot back if you get up in their grill.
I can't believed I managed to get through three entries without stating the obvious moral deficiency that the best way to get ahead in the game is to kill people, take their money and steal cars.