Response 14

Duncombe helps to create a terrific visualization of a world in which many of us look to escape to. Often times our internal desires for sex or death are what triggers us to conform to playing such video games like Grand Theft Auto. This is in order to play out those desires that we would otherwise not be able to carry out in the real world due to the many limitations and restrictions placed on our society. Grand Theft Auto is a immensely popular game since it provides the player with a fully manipulatable avatar placed in a 3-dimensional world where he/she can do whatever they want, however they want. The character (CJ) can be changed in terms of being obese or buff and can even get a haircut or a tattoo but his skin color can never change. “CJ isn`t a real black man; he is an action-packing stereotype”(55). The need to keep this character as a black man stems from the need to allow character identification. In order to fulfill the desire to identify with what we are not. This allows the player to understand the character that they are playing and form alliances that would not have been possible in another setting. It also allows the player to embrace difference and recognize the “Other” in an action of empathy. Through playing this game, it allows the player to view a world which is not his/her own and reflect on the views of others, only then may the barrier of stereotypes diminish.

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2 Responses to Response 14

  1. Rownak C says:

    I agree that these games allow for the player to identify with the “other” as you typed in your post. I think that it is important to always empathize with what is CONSIDERED the “other”, even though the goal is, in fact, to not view an African American man as someone who is on the opposite side of the fence. Even though Duncombe seems like an exceptionally brilliant man from all that I have read of him so far, it angered me slightly to see his support of the stereotypical aspect to GTA’s character called CJ. He explains in great detail about how people are not quite being racist, but accepting and embracing the stereotypical Black man by playing this game. My only concern is with this stereotype existing in the first place. We are one race. Such sick stereotype SHOULD not exist.

  2. Interesting point. How would you couple this with the idea that such a world revolves around crime? Doesn’t the game, then, suggest that the characters in the game do not care or empathize with others?

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