Wednesday 18 April, 2012
After playing Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, I can honestly say that the game is unlike any other that I have ever played. Hearing about the game and actually playing it are two totally different concepts. When my friends had tried to explain the concept of the Grand Theft Auto series to me in the past, it seemed simple; one runs around the world reeking havoc through the merciless slaying of innocents and gangsters alike while stealing whatever vehicle one desires. However, after actually playing and living the content of the game I realized the severity of the game’s interwoven themes. Among the many themes and concepts the game possesses, I was particularly intrigued by the game’s portrayal of violence.
Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas definitely took an interesting twist through it’s depictions of violence, mainly because when I was examining the dialogue the characters had along with the missions that I had to complete in the game’s story mode, I felt that violence was being promoted. In other words, I felt as though the content that was being relayed to me, was encouraging me to commit as much mayhem and chaos as possible because, in the end, there were no consequences. If police showed up or if any other NPC tried to stop my “rampage,” I could simply just equip my AK47 and kill as many people as I wanted until I was satisfied with no formidable opposition. This “promotion” of violence became apparent to me shortly after playing both the missions at the pizza parlor and the mission to obtain guns from Emmet.
Shortly after a failed robbery attempt on the cashier at the pizza parlor, I (playing as the character of Carl) was escaping with my equally unsuccessful partner in crime being that the cashier had now obtained a shotgun and had begun to fire upon my follow gang member and myself. Now, while I could have easily escaped in the “get-away” vehicle without causing any harm to anyone, I decided to run the pizza parlor cashier over in order to acquire his seemingly attractive firearm. This particular scene demonstrated the game’s encouragement of violence through the inclusion of an incentive. Meaning that if I committed murder, not only would I representing my gang but I would also be acquiring a very powerful firearm that I could later use in my future missions and if I had driven off, my reputation as a “badass” would have been damaged and I would have remained gun-less. Although the scene at Emmett’s gun shop wasn’t exactly the same, equal promotions of violence are portrayed.
When I was at Emmett’s shop, shortly after my inquiry for firearms had concluded, I was asked by my fellow gang member to perform an exposition of my accuracy skills through the usage of my firearm. The reason I chose to examine this particular scene in the game was because after every successful shot I made, Emmet made comments that dictated acceptance and praise such as, “I’m so proud of you.” Needless to say, not only does this quote from Emmet demonstrate the acceptance of violence but it also promotes the gamer to continue on his or her violent path because if he or she does so, they will continue to receive praise for it.