GTA: SA

Of all the games I’ve played for this class, GTA San Andreas was without a doubt the most blatantly racist and sexist of them all. While I appreciate its plot-driven objective, the game’s hyperbolized stereotypes of African Americans and predominate violence leave me concerned about its effects on a younger audience. I remember watching my older cousins play an earlier version of GTA as a kid and recall the accuracy with which the game depicted my hometown of Los Angeles. I’m impressed with the way the series has continued to replicate the city—so much, in fact, that I was able to navigate certain parts of Los Santos (one of the game’s 3 major cities) solely based on the fact that I’d driven there in real life.

I expected most of the racism in the game to come from characters of authority (specifically white people and police officers) but was surprised to find that even the black characters made disparaging remarks about themselves. There is one specific part where Carl is trying to get a casino’s architectural plans from a secretary. When she asks if he knew this was prohibited, he responds, “No, I’m just a dumb ghetto kid, I don’t understand shi*.” While racism typically originates from a racial out-group, this game also includes it from the in-group.

Mentally, it was hard to play certain parts of GTA because I didn’t approve of what was happening.  I’d heard that if you sleep with a prostitute and then continue to run her over with your car, you get your money back.  I unwillingly tested this out to see if this was true and was pretty shocked to find that it was.  Overall, I’m impressed with the mechanical and procedural elements but saddened by the possible real world implications of the overwhelmingly discriminatory fiction that is San Andreas.

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American Supremacy in Battlefield 4

I have to say, I’m incredibly impressed by today’s selection of grandiose, Michael Bay-esque FPS games. While they may not be entirely accurate in their representation of war, they are some of the most photo and audio-realistic games I’ve ever played. One of my best friends is a big fan of this genre, so I decided to head to his house for this assignment. The surround sound speakers gave me a convincing sense of immersion—In fact, I was so impressed by the sensory experience that I had a hard time focusing on the game itself.

Perhaps the most noticeable theme throughout games is that of American supremacy. The U.S. military seems to be the only force capable of solving world conflict (and more importantly, they feel it is their job to do so). They go about destroying cities and innocent lives because it is their “duty.” There is a point in Battlefield 4 (on a mission through Shanghai) where you come across a group of Chinese civilians hiding in an alley. When you approach them they say, “Americans? Good. We can use your help.” Instances like this appear throughout the game, where the Chinese are depicted as helpless without the help of the Americans (when the Americans are the ones who started the war in the first place). I also noticed that the Chinese voiceovers are pretty ridiculous—If you shoot one of their soldiers slowly and continuously, they will mechanically shout out the same phrase in an overly exaggerated accent until they finally die.

Yes, these games do glorify war to a large extent but I’d hope that players have enough common sense to discern the difference between a gaming spectacle and what goes on in reality. Unfortunately, this is probably not the case. I really do appreciate the games visually and acknowledge their attempts to capture the American military “spirit.” The inclusion of crass dialogue between soldiers and songs like Creedance Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” give the games a cinematic touch and a much-appreciated creative edge in my book.

American Supremacy in Battlefield 4

I have to say, I’m incredibly impressed by today’s selection of grandiose, Michael Bay-esque FPS games. While they may not be entirely accurate in their representation of war, they are some of the most photo and audio-realistic games I’ve ever played. One of my best friends is a big fan of this genre, so I decided to head to his house for this assignment. The surround sound speakers gave me a convincing sense of immersion—In fact, I was so impressed by the sensory experience that I had a hard time focusing on the game itself.

 Perhaps the most noticeable theme throughout games is that of American supremacy. The U.S. military seems to be the only force capable of solving world conflict (and more importantly, they feel it is their job to do so). They go about destroying cities and innocent lives because it is their “duty.” There is a point in Battlefield 4 (on a mission through Shanghai) where you come across a group of Chinese civilians hiding in an alley. When you approach them they say, “Americans? Good. We can use your help.” Instances like this appear throughout the game, where the Chinese are depicted as helpless without the help of the Americans (when the Americans are the ones who started the war in the first place). I also noticed that the Chinese voiceovers are pretty ridiculous—If you shoot one of their soldiers slowly and continuously, they will mechanically shout out the same phrase in an overly exaggerated accent until they finally die.

Yes, these games do glorify war to a large extent but I’d hope that players have enough common sense to discern the difference between a gaming spectacle and what goes on in reality. Unfortunately, this is probably not the case. I really do appreciate the games visually and acknowledge their attempts to capture the American military “spirit.” The inclusion of crass dialogue between soldiers and songs like Creedence Clearwater Revival’s “Fortunate Son” give the games a cinematic touch and a much-appreciated creative edge in my book.