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An Honest Murderer

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During my holiday, I used my time away from my PC catching up on my 360 games which I have neglected. Well, I was going to, but was instead consumed by GTA V. Like most of the GTAs, I really enjoy the game and have to admit that it does trump GTA IV. (a game which I spend a lot of my time defending these days)

In the game, one of the main characters is an archetypical African American gangster named Franklin. He is the youngest of the characters and arguably the only mentally stable one. Besides his degree of professionalism, like all GTA characters he is a thief, murderer and vandal. This is not unexpected. What did strike me, however, was a line of dialogue in one of his mission arcs in which he reveals something seldom seen in many criminals.

In the scene, a character is requesting that Franklin assassinate targets for ethical reasons (as well as lining his own pockets). Franklin replied by saying that he is fine killing and stealing, but he wasn’t going to admit that he was doing good. A similar situation comes up again with the other character, Michael. Throughout the game, Michael frequents his very expensive shrink. In these sessions, Michael often expresses worry that he has lack of empathy and is more worried that he doesn’t care that he kills rather than the killing itself.

For some reason, I found this aspect of the game’s story particularly engrossing. These are two characters are blatant psychos, but unlike their third compatriot, want to change or admit that they are bad. This is an example of self-conscious criminal. A person who knows they are doing bad. Niko Bellic from GTA IV was similar to this as he recognized all the bad things that he did and wanted to change – yet circumstances disallowed him from doing so.

So here’s my question – who is more ‘evil’? A criminal that knows he is bad or a criminal who thinks he is doing good.

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