|Civil Liberty City - February 7, 2002 - Erin Mehlos |
Disclaimer: The opinions expressed
within this column are those of the participants and the
moderator, and do not necessarily reflect those of the
GIA. There is coarse language and potentially offensive
All sales are final.
Don't say we didn't warn you.
Sometimes when I dive into my Agent inbox and clap eyes on all the familiar names of longtime contributors I remember from before I was DA -- hell, before Chris was DA -- I briefly contemplate sending out a mass invitation to a huge, argumentative party. At Angelo's. With beer, and those little sausages. Think of the fun we could have. The DW freaks could get really plastered and pick a fight with that little pocket of Xenogears fanatics, the Xbox owners snap under continual chiding from the PS2 and GCN supporters and smash the place up, and all the guys could line up 10 deep to hold one of those elusive grrl gamers' hair back when she reached her limit and had to puke.
Anyway, who'dve thought making a topic out of a game that's been out for months and doesn't even remotely fall under the GIA's particular bigtop of coverage would be such a PilotFire? The problem, then, was deciding which way I wanted to take the dicussion: the amazing reader response today was made up of equal parts GTA vs. NOW and Carjacking For Fun and Profit.
In an effort to meet all your dietary needs, I've attempted to mix things up to the best of my ability.
|Victim in my own home - controller in hand
Well, I read the womens, uhh, thing about it. This is now the time for the
girl/women gamers that are supposed to exist (although I'v never seen one
with my own eyes) to come out from hiding and say "Hey, I'm a
girl/female/woman, and I like games, and this game doesn't make me feel like
a victim in my own home." Unless ofcourse it does. Then...well, wow, gosh I
hope it doesn't. To be honest with you, I don't know how women feel about
this. I couldnt care less if anyone is offended by it, but I have never
thought about hitting a woman, and after beating that, rather, those hookers
to death with a baseball bat, I still don't wanna hurt anyone let alone a
woman. Besides, those hookers don't cost that much, I just figured If i
can't have them, no one will.
Hey, I'm a girl/female/woman, and I like games, and this game doesn't make me feel like a victim in my own home.
But I suppose I don't count. So here's Kate instead.
|The purveyor of evil candies speaks
Woohoo! Another topic I have something to say about. GTA3 (along with the
newest Tony Hawk) is the drug of choice over at the apartment I almost live
in. It has seeped into our lives.
I love this game. It's as fun to watch as it is to play, especially when you
pay attention to little details like the radio commercials. Pogo the Monkey
rocks my world. But I think the best part is how damn STUPID everybody is.
You steal a cab and the former driver is your first passenger. You drive up
to another passenger--the hood is smoking, you're on the wrong side of the
road, and then you run them over--and they get back up and hop in. And the
cops... oh, god, the cops. Flying all over the road and causing more
destruction than you wreaked to get them to chase you in the first place.
(If you happen across the cheats, I suggest turning on "Low Gravity" and
then engaging them in a chase... hilarious.) Blowing up their own cars. My
friend ran to a parking lot on top of a steep hill--the cops tried to drive
STRAIGHT up the hill, causing the cars to flip over, pile up and explode,
and then two of them made it to the top on foot. They then proceeded to just
stand there while he was right in front of them.
And then we found the tank. Oohrah!
It does seem to have an effect, however slight... not that we go about
beating up prostitutes or anything, but one friend noted that now every time
he gets in his car he has the slight urge to put the pedal to the metal with
no regard for anyone or anything in his way. I, too, had a side effect...
there's a task where you have to bring one of each kind of car in to a chop
shop. I was helping my friend look out for the types he needed, and had
learned to spot them on sight. A couple days later, I was walking down the
street and noticed a line of vehicles waiting at a stoplight, and without
even thinking, I started prattling off "Blasta, Kurawa, Idaho..."
Video games don't make you violent (except when you keep losing), they just
make you warped. And there's nothing wrong with that. God knows it was bound
to happen anyway.
hijacker of buses
purveyor of evil candy
When you've achieved my level of game-resultant warpedness -- i.e. you're looking at brick walls and remarking to yourself how shitty the texture mapping is -- viewing cars in terms of what you need/want to swipe next is hardly a big thing. I mean, I've already been wondering for the past decade and a half how people would react if I just started wandering unbidden into their homes and rummaging through their nightstands.
|If by some cruel twist of fate I had children....
Let's face it , GTA 3 is filth. It's all about gratuitous brutality. The prostitute beating is no worse, and no better, than the murders of bystanders and other criminals.
If you had children, would you want them exposed to this? Do you think it will improve their moral character?
If I had children, no, sir, I would not want them exposed to GTA3. So you know what I'd do? I'd heed the watchful glower of that guardian "M" the ESRB was kind enough to stick on each and every copy, and refrain from buying it for them.
GTA3's "gratuitous brutality" certainly shouldn't fall into the hands of the very young, but GTA3 is not intended for them, marketed towards them, or (not legally, anyway) sold to them.
|No parade for you
Yes, beating prostitutes to death and taking their money was a bit
extreme. But you know what? The cops would arrest you for that. It's not
like you're being applauded; there's no parade in your honor because you
killed a few whores. You get arrested. Just like in real life. What's the
They're not marketing GTA3 to children. They're marketing it towards
adults, as the contents of the game are more mature than most. If you
don't like more realistic games, then don't play it. Go back to your
Pokemon and your Super Mario, and enjoy yourself. But just because
someone doesn't like a certain thing, that doesn't give them a right to
stop others from enjoying themselves.
I went to that NOW feminist website once I saw it, read it, and sent an
email to them about not only their stance on GTA3, but several other
things I had read when exploring the site as well. I didn't say "You
people suck because you think this, or don't agree with me on that", but
backed up my arguments with explanations as to why they were wrong on
their stances. I hope others will do the same.
There are things in this world far more immediately dangerous than Grand Theft Auto; things that are far more immediately obtainable. Cigarettes, for example. I'd be willing to bet every last one of you an Xbox and 20 games (well, okay -- assuming the Xbox ever has 20 games) that cigarettes have been responsible for more deaths -- more violence, even -- than GTA3. Yet we allow people to smoke. What's up with that?
I'll tell you what's up with that -- it's your choice, your freedom. One of those arcane concepts America was founded upon.
Of course, hell, one of the founding fathers' foremost visions was little or no taxation and look at how that's gone, but hey, that's another story....
|Will you be my friend too?
Let me say something right off the bat. I am the bane of modern society. I'm
one of those crazy born again Christians. I even teach a bible study on
That being said...I LOVE GTA3. If beating whores to death and pulling drive
bys is wrong, then DON'T do it. Listen, we live in a world of choice and
freedom. I value my freedom. The same laws that let a game like GTA3 get
published are the same laws that let me teach a bible study, and that let NOW
run their web site.
There is a Mature label on it for a good reason. If kids are getting their
hands on the games, it's most likely because mommy and daddy bought it for
them. I personally believe you censor at the reciever, not the transmittor.
You don't want children acessing porn? Independant parental control program.
You don't want your kids exposed to violence and sex? Don't take em to R
movies and don't buy them M games.
And if you are that concerned about GTA3...don't kill people. Putting out
fires, stopping criminals, and saving people's lives is quite fun.
On top of all this...why do feminists object to violence and sex? I mean,
these are the people that lobby for Queer as Folk, with all its innuendo and
such. Oh yeah, but since it fits within their agenda, it's off the hook. I'd
put money on it that if you could either A) pick up a guy or B)play as a girl
and pick up a girl or C) buy condoms before you bang the hookerthat NOW would
ecstaticly endorse the game.
By the by, despite my convservative Christianity, the previous paragraphs are
in no way a slight on anyone. I'm actually a huge proponent of freedom of
speech and equality. I may disagree with something, I may think it's morally
wrong. But, the people doing such are still people and God created us all
Ray Stryker...done preaching, moving on to hijacking a tank...
Bless you, sir, for you represent sanity in this time of chaos.
I consider myself to be a stringent feminist: few causes are as laudable, to my way of thinking,
than straightening out the present patriarchy so women aren't expected to work twice as hard for half the the salary and men aren't alone in having to register for the draft to be eligible for financial aid to attend college. That said, what the hell does getting GTA3 yanked have to do with furthering women's rights? Defining one's own values and acting independently are one of the primary tenets of feminism. If you don't think the content of GTA3 is for you, then don't support it with your consumer vote, and for God's sake don't buy it for your kids, but don't go clamoring for stores to discontinue selling it. You're trying to censor a creative outlet, here -- taking away people's freedom of choice. And, gee. Where have we heard that before?
GTA3 is a shining example of a guilty pleasure. It's also one of the best
d4mn games this year. I feel guitly playing this game, but I can't stop
'cause it's so good.
OK, I'll admit: I don't feel guilty anymore. I just try to keep myself from
perusing all those nice sports cars the rich kids got for free at school for
possible candidates as my "new wheels," 'cause I have to take the frickin
bus home. And I'm a senior!!
Seriously, this game is the sleeper hit to end all sleepers. Think about it:
when it was announced, everyone thought, "Oh, it's just GTA, only in 3d." I
didn't care at all for the two previous games, as they were pretty
forgettable. Buying GTA3 was a bit of a risk, not to mention a decision made
on-the-fly during a generic trip to the mall. AND I payed $60 for it (stupid
Not one hour into it, I realized that this game ROCKED!!! Sure, it's JUST a
driving game, but how many driving games let you throw a city into chaos,
death, and destruction? It's definitely not for kids. Even if GTA3 was blood
and hooker-free, I still wouldn't recommend it to anyone under the age of
15, based on the subject matter alone. Heck, I was worried whether or not I
could play it when my parents were home. Thankfully, my dad found the idea
of running over pedestrians in a fire truck pretty funny, and my mom was
humored by the realistic weather effects (don't ask why:P). You should see
the kind of stuff my 15 year old sister does. And I though I was
*Ahem* Oh yeah, there was a question, wasn't there? Simply put, my answer
is: GTA3 is so good, I don't care about the fact I'm doing stuff that would
land me in jail for sure in real life. Everyone has a guilty pleasure. This
PS-My friend came up with the greatest "alternate" title for GTA: (G)reat
(T)ank (A)viator. If you've tried flying the tank in low gravity, you'll
know what I mean:)
This letter nearly inspired me to relate a sunny and charming anecdote about GTA3 being a favorite of my dear uncle ... but then I remembered he faced charges of assault with a deadly weapon, namely a 4-door sedan, not too far back. Heh heh heh ... heh.
|When they take away your GTA, you gotta vent somehow
Unfortunately, GTA3 was removed from store shelves here in Australia a few
weeks before I bought my PS2. Fortunately a colleague of mine *did* manage
to get the game before the mature adults who are obviously more enlightened
than all other mature adults decided that us less-enlightened mature adults
couldn't handle the game. Apparently their objection to it was the business
about picking up a hooker and then beating her to death afterwards to get
her money. It wasn't the sex or the violence by themselves that they
objected to, but rather the association of sex and violence together. I
hear that to get around this objection the new, censored, version of GTA3
being re-released here soon has taken out the ability to pick up the
hookers. You can still beat them, shoot them, run them over etc, just can't
have sex with them. What it says about our society when it's considered
more acceptable to *show* somebody being beaten to death than just
suggesting that they're having consensual sex (even if for money) is
probably a matter for a separate discussion.
As for the NOW, I'm tempted to say that if they've got the spare time to
waste writing up garbage like we saw on that link, they must all have very
wealthy husbands out there earning the bucks to pay the bills. But I'm too
nice a person to say that, so I won't. Instead I'll just pick a few minor
points out of there.
Firstly, they say the game involves the player "doing drugs". Now I may
have only played the game for 15 hours, which I'm sure isn't half as long as
they'd have spent playing it before feeling qualified to blast it like they
did, but I never actually encountered a situation where I even had the
opportunity to do drugs in the game even if I'd wanted to. Is this a hidden
little "easter egg" in there somewhere? I certainly don't remember seeing
anything in the manual telling me which button was the "do drugs" button.
The only thing I remember that comes close to "doing drugs" is that little
pill icon that puts the game into slow motion for a few seconds... not
exactly explicit stuff. If running over a pill icon is considered "doing
drugs" and the game is condemned for that, shouldn't it be praised for
letting the player put on a performance of the "poor Yorick" scene from
Hamlet by running over the skull icon?
Another favourite quote of mine from the NOW article is "But how many
young men fantasized about picking up and beating to death a hooker before a
video game suggested the idea?". Now correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm sure
at least a few hookers had been murdered (many by beating) in the world
before videogames were invented, let alone GTA3. And you know what?
Although I never fantasized about doing such a thing before playing the
game, after playing it I *still* don't fantasize about it. What's wrong
The last bit of the article I'd like to mention is where they talk about
how it encourages violence towards women. The game actually allows violence
to be perpetrated against men just as easily as against women. This is true
equality of the sexes. You can kill anybody, regardless of their sex, race,
religion or age. Surely it would have been sexist to exclude women from the
violence, since they're supposed to be treated as equals of men in all
things? The game promotes equality of the sexes by announcing loudly and
proudly to all the world that a woman can stop a bullet just as well as any
This is probably getting a bit too long to fit into a DA column, but at
least it's given me an outlet so it was worth my time to write it, even if
it wasn't worth yours to read it.
Don't devalue yourself: you voiced a lot of common opinions in one concise, effective letter, saving me time which I can now spend doing something constructive like beating pimps to a saucy pulp for cash and stealing the ambulance that arrives to clear up the mess.
You make a lot of reference to how much time whomever wrote NOW's incendiary little article actually spent with the game -- a particular that had a lot of readers up in arms in and of itself:
When I read the article on the NOW website I started to get angry; my veins were throbbing and my blood was boiling. Needless to say, this
always happens to me when I read ignorant and judgmental tripe about 'saving our children (when the game is explicitly intended for those 17 and
up)' As such, I've grown accustomed to this right-wing banter and it bothers me less and less each time I see it. As far as I see it videogames are
not going away anytime in the near future.
But what does piss me off is this:
"People who have played the game say that the beating is bloody and done with a baseball bat that you can feel in your hands through the
THEY DIDN'T EVEN PLAY THE FUCKING GAME! They are relying on what 'people who have played the game' have to say. And what's this bullshit
about a baseball bat you can feel in your hands through the controller? Shit, I want one of those NOW. (get it?)
-mista tea, waiting like a good little boy for Xenosaga.
I suppose one reason I'm facilitating this active bashing of a respectable and generally worthwhile group like NOW is a strange sense of vengeance. I mean, if the GIA were to present a game -- say, Legend of Dragoon -- with a review score -- say, oh ... 1 -- without having actually played the game, we'd get flamed into the next century by irate fans. Hell, Nich's pants are still smoldering from the LoD affair -- and he did play it.
The moral of the story: if you're going to make sweeping criticisms of something, you'd do well to lend yourself at least the air of credibility by experiencing it first.
And I'd wager NOW would've enjoyed playing GTA3 a lot more than Mr. Maragos enjoyed playing LoD -- certainly Nich would have.
Well. Maybe not....
|The wrong impression
The last letter you printed yesterday has more to do with my thoughts on
GTA3 than you would think, and here's why.
Red Raven has a good point in that by now, there ought to be more nonlinear
RPGs popping up since we've got the technology. (Specifically the storage
space--it's not really a matter of processing power as it is a matter of
storage density, since real nonlinear games require several times the space
and planning that linear ones do. When you have to map out several possible
realistic outcomes for every decision, the branching tree becomes thorny
pretty quickly for a planner.) The linear storylines are already frequently
excellent; with a feeling of real control over their outcome, they could be
GTA3, while not an RPG, promises this. Amazingly, it even largely delivers
on this promise. And here's where my feelings about it get conflicted. It
has true nonlinear gameplay, in that you decide how to play the character on
both the micro and macro scales, from how you handle a specific situation to
your behavior in the game in general. So far, great.
The problem I have with it, and the reason I haven't played the game, is
that the storyline it chooses as a framework for this groundbreaking
gameplay revolves around wanton murder and theft. This turns me off. I'm
not calling for its banning, nor do I think less of people who enjoy it--if
I did, there'd be no way I could continue to work with the several other GIA
staffers who do love the game. But it has effectively killed any interest I
would have otherwise had. (Don't even get me started on State of Emergency,
a game with all of GTA3's amorality and none of its innovative gameplay.)
What I'm trying to say is that I think both are needed. The epic,
well-planned storylines and colorful, well-defined characters of an RPG plus
the sort of nonlinear, player-defined gameplay being pioneered by GTA3.
Because when that game is made, it'll placate not just me but all the other
prudes out there too, and we could have the next game on our hands that
would truly appeal to anyone who can pick up a controller.
In reference to today's topic, I'll say that GTA3 was excellent... But
while the elite readers of DA (myself included) can go on and on about the
non-linearity of the game being its high point, non-linearity isn't what
keeps the game selling. It's hookers, guns, bombs, and running over poilce
officers with their own cars. The general gaming populace could care less
about "non-linearity" - they want to blow stuff up and shoot people. "Did
you know you can snipe pedestrians?" And I know this from all too much
first-hand experience - I work for the nation's largest software retailer.
And also, that's why people care about State of Emergency. They don't
care that it probably won't be "ground breaking" or any of the other things
we call GTA3 - they care about throwing benches and shooting innocent people
and all that kind of stuff.
One other note... Red Raven wondered where a bunch of "games" were -
American Beauty, etc. I can say that Medal of Honor: Allied Assault is by
all means the Saving Private Ryan of gaming. It takes a fairly hefty
machine to run well, but it's an excellent title (and something the GIA
would obviously never cover). It's the only FPS to even come close to
Half-Life in terms of gameplay and especially in terms of STORY... which is
something I believe we all like a little of now and then. :-)
--SoulSabre... "I whupped Batman's ass."
P.S.: As far as the Gladiator of gaming, there's always Circus Maximus for
The sad truth of the matter is that, despite critical acclaim for its non-linearity, GTA3 is most famous for its content, and probably always will be. I fear that its step in the right direction in terms of gameplay will be largely overshadowed by the unsavory image critics of its violence have propogated, making developers wary of following in its footsteps.
I mean, unless you're State of Emergency, who really wants to declare themselves the next GTA in light of all this bad press?
|Controversy & tribal clowning
Grand Theft Auto 3 has been the source of much controversy amongst my
friends at college. Some decry it as worthless trash, while others herald
it as the most fun since Unreal: Tournament Edition. I have my own take on
things: let me divulge and talk about clowns for a moment.
In Wichita, there are a couple guys who do this routine called "Kapoot." In
the words of one of my friends:
"I attended the Kapoot master workshop when they were here last year and
have seen the performance on TV. Their form of mime is an interesting
cohesion of European and Hopi Indian clowning. The former functions on the
premise of a "high" character and a "low" character, much like Laurel and
Hardy, and such. The high figure is the authority of power, usually
condescending and bossy, while the low figure is oppressed underdog and also
a little stupid. What the dynamic between the two accomplishes is a kind of
tongue-in-cheek commentary of morality (where the Hopi influence comes in),
a finger that points out our flaws, says, "See, look how we are behaving,"
and allows us to laugh at it. The stuff is damn funny."
I think something similar is going on in GTA3: just as the clowns in Kapoot
act out some of society's worst ills (scapegoating, war, romanticizing
death), in much the same light does GTA3 paint crime, violence, and our
seeming "adoration" of both. It's obvious that Rockstar has a sense of
irony--just listen to the Chatterbox radio station, where a caller declares
videogames "warp our children's minds." So what I'm saying is, while you're
beating up prostitutes, killing police, and running down innocent bystanders
as the underworld's chauffeur (and laughing at all of it), your
subconsciously recognizing the senselessness of it all and that this is no
way to act in reality. At least, that's what I think.
Jason Love, who only plays the game for the "complete freedom to finish
missions however you want." Really!
I'd tend to agree, and so, I should think, would the readers who wrote in telling me how they'd laughed harder playing GTA3 than they had in a long time.
My reaction to the first few minutes of the game, loathe as that part of me with pretenses of piety is to admit it, was similar. Seeing underground icons -- pimps, pushers, thieves -- reduced to such shallow and inately absurd stereotypes, within the context of a world in which you can sprint through a red light right past a parked squad without the cop batting an eyelash, is, well ... funny.
|Cats & crime
I always thought that the moral ambiguity was part of the fun of gaming. It
tickles my wicked spot like nothing else does, except when I push the
sleeping cat off the couch for no reason.
I've heard there are more enlightened ways of acheiving deep satisfaction
than playing at murder and mayhem, but how many of us are really that
refined? Call me when they come out with trading cards for university
professors and members of prominent orchestras, then I'll reconsider my
digital catharsis. On second thought, don't bother. Polygonally-rendered
mayhem would probably then satisfy that craving for wickedness the more.
Show me a person who hasn't been angry enough to imagine inflicting grevious
bodily harm, and I'll show you a person who is either emotionally or
imaginatively inert. That we should release these feelings by playing a game
is better than any real-world alternative. A game will reach "over-the-top"
when (somehow, magically?) stopping mid-video crime spree to have sex with a
hooker and killing her for cash (or whatever) does more real-world harm
than, say, punching your boss in his big, fat, deserving mouth.
P.S. This letter is a work of fiction and any resemblance to actual persons
or events is purely coincidental. No cats were harmed during the making of
P.S.S. Will trade full set of 1904 rookie-year LSO for rare 1909 Einstein
"Combed Hair" Airbrush.
Great. As if there weren't enough activist groups on gaming's collective ass, you gotta go and roust the ASPCA.....
|The price of freedom
G'Day from Australia. Love the site! Double Agent is always a good read.
I feel compelled to write to The GIA for the first time today, given the subject.
As you may know, GTA3 was banned here in Oz, after an initial release. I snagged a copy quickly, as the original GTA is one of my all time favourite PC games. But,
after it was out for about a month or so, it was suddenly pulled off the shelves. The Australian Office for Film & Literature Classification (also responsible for classifying
video games) cited it was originally refused classification on grounds of "sexual violence" (obviously refering to the trick involving the erm, ladies of negotiable affection)
and it shouldn't have been released at all.
I thought it was a fairly obscure trick - probably like most people, it would never have occurred for me to try something like that until I read it in a FAQ. Certainly the FAQs
I read sensationalised the fact that you could go beat up these poor ladies to get money back afterwards. And I think that was the problem - some folks made too big a
deal out of it, it was all just a big politically-incorrect joke, abusing the flexible nature of the game. And those who are more thin-skinned than the rest of us (like that
feminist site), heard about it easily enough and immediately denounce the game. The OFLC, who I suspect didn't know about the trick while classifying the game, finds
out and thinks "Shit! We approved a game that has this in it... We are gonna get in trouble". Then pulls the game off the shelves and makes up a story that it was
released illegally without classification to protect their asses.
The whole scenario raises an interesting point about these realistic, immersive 'living' game worlds, like GTA3. With the freedom they offer, comes choice: Good or Evil.
Right or Wrong. Anything can happen, and is possible (at the discretion of the player). As the technology improves, and the games become more immersive and more
flexible, to maintain realism, issues like sex & violence (and choices regarding them) are probably going to be addressed in more detail. Hey, they are facts of life. I am
interested to see just where the line will be drawn: how far developers will and will be allowed to go. Will players be mature & responsible enough not to abuse the game
mechanics and virtually perform socially unacceptable actions?
By the way, to the best of my knowledge, GTA3 is not the first game where the player can but not necessarily engage in this kind of activity: Ultima 6, 7 & 9 also had
NPC's that could be solicited and then dispatched later. You never hear complaints about those (although Richard Garriot did get into a lot of trouble with the 'child killing'
thing since Ultima 4, but once again that was at the discretion of the player).
To partially answer your question: the whole hooker thing looks silly anyway. Try smashing the doors off your car first, and holding down L2 or R2 to get the side views -
you can see the character models sit stock still in their seats while the vehicle bounces up & down! (How were the developers going to get the proper motion capturing
done for that one?!?). Because of this, on my second time through the game I am not bothering at all - the novelty wore off and it just lowers the realism of this excellent
game. Plus, it does seem somewhat ungrateful offing them after they have just done you a favour and all that, especially considering how much easy cash you earn
An edited version of the game is due out in Australia soon. I don't advocate censorship, but for those of you in Oz who missed the initial release, you won't be missing
much. I say that if the hooker thing is removed, but DMA/Rockstar have fixed some of the bugs (I once fell through the bottom of the map!) in the meantime, then it should
be all the better because of it.
Dave de Vries
GTA3 poses a lot of interesting questions, actually -- which you scratch at in your third paragraph.
As implied by Nich's letter, there is a definite push for more freedom of action in games now that we're venturing into hardware territories capable of realizing open-ended scenarios and such. Has anyone really considered the full implications of this "freedom"...? Say a game was developed where you didn't play as a carjacker -- you played as Sir Galahad, His Noble Holiness the Just and Pure of Fuzzy Bunny Land. Also, let's say your intended role within the game was something along the lines of keeping peace, doing good deeds, and generally preserving the Fuzzy Bunniness.
Even in such a construct, if you had total freedom....
... what's to stop you from taking Sir Galahad on a killing spree, maiming lepers, raping goats, and stabbing geriatric bunnies in the eyes with sharpened sticks?
With the boundless freedom we have in life comes moral responsibility; if games should continue moving towards realistic freedom, should that moral responsibility fall in the hands of the developer, or the hands of the gamer? Can we be trusted to guard the sheep when our avatar is anatomically correct? Probably not -- but should we be, just the same?
You know what you have to do. Rock on, readers.
- Erin Mehlos