A game that I would look through for a game analyses is more of series. I would personally like to take a look through the Grand Theft Auto Series. These games have been around since 1997 and I’m sure the creators are going to continue with the series. What do gamers usually think about when playing this game? Are they trying to create a whole new identity for themselves? Does this create any type of game war like situation at all? Are there hate crimes? What social category did the creators exactly aim for when creating this series? Growing up with these type of games, I remember the first Theft Auto game I purchased, which so happened to be Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. I never came into contact with the other games, but I do know enough of what kind of world I tried to create or even recreate for myself to live in.
The background of the game pretty much sums it all. In Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas, the main character is brought up in the world of the gang life. Just like any of the other Grand Theft Auto games where the main character is brought up in gangs, mobs, or being a mobster. This game is supposed to have the reflection of the gang life of the Bloods and Crips, a crack epidemic, and the LAPD Rampart Scandal which are all held within Los Angeles. The creators had something to base this video game out of. The games protagonist is Carl “CJ” Johnson, who grows up in the life of gangs. The plot of the game is rather long, but mainly the main character is seeking vengeance on who murdered Carl’s oldest brother.
Going on what kind of identity does this create for the gamer? The game can choose his path of righteousness that eh or she wants to choose to go down. The gammer can make Johnson go to the gym, where he can become a toned beast that is a lean mean money making machine. I know that’s the identity I gave myself when I played. The player can bulk CJ up to the point that he looks like Ronnie Coleman (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gSMaI63H9hc). A player can make CJ have the appearance to look like Fat Albert where he’ll be too big that he won’t be able to run away from anyone. Something that I also think that players loved to play with while playing the game was the outfits that they had the option to choose from. Like girls playing with their barbies and ken dolls by choosing what type of outifts they can wear for the day, this was the manly or gamer version to make CJ look cool, hip, or have any type of swag at all to his appearance. Another way to create some sort of swag for their character was give them some sort of haircut style. Whether it was to have an afro, a mo-hawk, different colored hair, a goatee, and so on and so forth. This also game also gave gamers the opportunity to have an automotive of their choice, whether it was a tricked out car with hydrolysis, a race car that can speed up to over two hundred miles per an hour, and or even a jet plane that can shoot out missiles. Lastly another big thing that this game had to offer was CJ’s sexual appearance. Also lets not forget about the cheats that come and go with these video game series as well. An individual can have a cheat that can have the character use weapons of their choice, have any type of transportation that they desire, and or have a certain amount of money to make them feel rich. A player that controlled the protagonist could make the main character into the ultimate player or just do the missions as he or she please. If one was to look through this game and tried to analyze, one could say that gamers would try to create the life style that they have always desired.
Something that I personally think that people should look at is the type of lifestyle that is played through this game or series. Is this game teaching their consumers that it’s okay to use violence to restore peace? In any of the Grand Theft Auto games, the main character is going to have to face off other gangs or mobs through violence. Eventually when the violence begins, this then usually starts one huge mob or gang war between two different subculture groups. In San Andreas, there were two different African American gangs, a Latin Hispanic gang, a Chinese gang, a Vietnamese Gang, and the list can continue. When players come into contact with these other gangs or mobs, the usual outcome that normally comes out is violence. Personally I believe that this type of situation or ordeal is teaching individuals that “it’s okay to use violence to regain the peace that has been lost”. But with these violence, this also teaches the game that it’s going to be okay to use out in the open of the game as well. Whether the violence is being used on a women, different cultures or races, and or even cops. When violence is generally used on cops, that’s when things really go down. As soon as one police officer is hit, hurt, or murdered by the protagonist it’s as if the whole world is trying to chase the main character down for revenge. Personally I believe that these type of games are teaching the gamer that it’s okay to use violence to gain balance within life, or to even use the language that comes out of the video game as well.
Recently I read Chapter Three of Gaming by Alexander Galloway. The chapter was titled, Social Realism. At the beginning of the the chapter is proposed that players gain the experience through these type of videos games and to try to use them in the outside world of reality. However, I personally believe that this is one thing that can be noticed as a flaw. I think what is gained from these video games is knowledge rather than experience. Like in the game series of Grand Theft Auto, what is generally going to happen when a player makes the protagonist assault an individual and or a police officer? For a real life instance we gain the knowledge that it will generally create a situation of violence. There can be more experiences through out these games that can help the gamer learn or to gain more knowledge about what can happen through the real world if these crimes are committed. Another situation that can come up in this game is the thought of the main characters sexual orientation. Players learn the consequences through prostitution if they do choose to try that through the game, which is generally against the law in the game and in real life itself. All of these instances help players gain knowledge for reality, they don’t gain the experiences for real life. That’s what I gained through grand theft auto in this game analyses.