Saturday 16 January, 2010
I really did not enjoy my first video game experience. Watching the intro video for GTA shocked me. It blatantly promotes stereotypes all of all races. Perceived racism aside, GTA leaves no room for ethical choices. I quickly learned that if I wanted to progress in the game, I would have to steal and kill.
From the beginning it bothered me how minorities were portrayed. Most black and hispanic people were stupid thugs. The only white person who had a speaking role worked at the pizza parlor, and he was talking in that nerdy voice people use for impressions of whites. But really, any time a character spoke, it made me cringe. It's easy to picture young people emulating what they hear. It made me think of when I first came to DePaul and was shocked to hear white suburbanites saying the "n word" to each other without pause. If someone in the city I'm from said that, it would not go down well.
The portrayal of women in this game is also ridiculous. They are stupid and seen as either sex objects or targets for violence. A friend sat with me to coach me through the game and told me to hit a woman to see what would happen. As CJ began beating her, he said "I blame society!".
What worries me about the portrayals of gender and race in this game is what it will teach the young people who play it. I know older gamers are able to differentiate between game and reality, but will young children in the suburbs understand what they're seeing? I come from a city that has gang violence, and it isn't cool or exciting. It's sad. I think this game glorifies so many things that most people don't consider ethical (i.e. killing).
The values presented in this game a messed up. CJ is trying to be loyal to his family and friends, but in order to do so he has to commit robberies and murders.
It's late now, and I'm having trouble articulating my thoughts. I think before my next entry I'll go through the class notes and see what connections I can make.