Sunday 19 September, 2010
Well, I had never played any of the Grand Theft Auto games since I heard how violent and offensive they can be. After a few minutes of playing Grand Theft Auto San Andreas, I realized that the rumors were in fact true. Playing as Carl “CJ” Johnson, I started the game running through the streets of the city depicted and noticed that I was able to easily attack anyone on the street and gain some monetary points. The money isn’t available until you defeat the person I attacked and beat them to a bloody pulp or murder them.
It matters not if the person is a civilian, minding their own business, or another gangster, carrying a variety of weapons. At one point I got into a fight with a police officer and had to weather getting shot at or beaten with a baton. I experienced my first virtual carjacking when I pulled a man out of his car and stabbed him to death. After obtaining the car, I was offered the chance to complete a mini game but I chose to instead drive around the city and run people down with impunity.
The ethical question here is: is this game so violent that it is desensitizing those that play it to violence in the real world? At one point I was laughing at all the inventive ways I was coming up with killing bystanders, but does this mean I would laugh if it were to happen in person? Would I go around killing random strangers just because I did it in the virtual world and it gave me a thrill? I would say not since, as an adult, I already have some sense of what’s acceptable in a moral sense and what’s not. This game is rated mature for a reason and is not meant for younger, more impressionable audiences.