Monday 16 April, 2012
This game is a legend is far as I am concerned. I used to play this back in the day when it first came out, and to play it again took me back. With that said, I notice a lot more ethical aspects of this game than I did when I was 13 or 14. Right in the beginning of the game, player was arrested for, I belive, drugs. The game starts out with you, presumably, getting out of jail and going back to your home. Now when I was 13, I probably had no clue what was going on and just thought to myself this is the start of shootin' some guns and stealing cars. When I played earlier, I realized that I am actually playing some drug dealer who is in a gang in San Andreas. The implications kind of hit me hard because I am now going against every ethical code I have learned in real life and playing some badass gang member in a video game. Now, I really have no problem if it is just a video game, but I asked myself should our morals affect what we do in a virtual reality as well as in reality? Do some people live in their gamespace and believe it is more than just the game?
After I went back to my house, I met up with my fellow thugs and we started talking (one of the many narratives). The next thing I know, I am getting shot at by, what I'm assuming are, rival gang members. The prompts then told me to go and jump on a bike and escape. Now, why would I jump on a bike to escape some dudes in a car with a couple of uzis trying to kill me? For some reason that was the question I kept asking myself, especially after I hijacked a car to get away and it wouldn't let complete the mission if I wasn't on a bike (tears).
The narratives and the characters in this game are really something else when looking at it from a more mature standpoint. One of the narratives had the "n" word every other word and the amount of swears was apparent. The characters on the other hand were classic, stereotypical gang-bangers. All the women that were displayed in my first session were either half naked prostitutes asking me for a good time when I bumped into them, or the ladies in the narratives were also skimply dressed. This begs the question, does sex sell, once again.
After I went back and got my bike and completed the mission, I was able to continue on to the next mission which was getting a haircut. For some reason the leader of my gang didn't like the way my hair looked and I had to blow fifty dollars to get a new haircut. After that "mission" was complete, the next prompt told me I had to go eat some food or else my energy would go down. I thought one thing: seriously? It's a give in that I would probably not have eaten if not prompted (maybe get dehydrated or something), but if the developers are trying to teach us something here, it's something I have known for a while. Then when I finally bought my pizza, my bro walks in with a gun and tries to rob the place. Well this didn't go over too well when the cashier pulled a shotgun. The cashier proceeded to chase us out of the store and when I got in the car, I ran him over. Well, I felt my life was threatened and I had to do it right? Actually, no. I got two stars for that and the cops were on me as quick as a mouse. After fighting back, a cop hit me with his car and "wasted" me. My question here would be, why did the cop immediately start shooting at me? I was unarmed!?!? They didn't even ask questions, they just got out of their car and started shooting. It is things like these that I think can change peoples perceptions of justice, police, etc. This was as far as I reached in the first day of 30 minute gameplay.
Race had a definitive presence in this game because just about everyone is the stereotypical black gang-banger. I feel like the developers are definitely feeding off the "norm" stereotypes. Everything that a black thug would say, they say. It is one of those things that developers feed off to connect and further feed those stereotypes. Throughout the different versions of GTA, correct me if I am wrong, there hasn't been a white guy as the main guy. In the latest, GTA IV, it is a Russian or Albanian male. There also is a gender issue here too. The main character is never a female, and all females that you interact with are either prostitutes or strippers.