To the casual observer, it may seem that this game and its sequels
encourage random violence
. Nothing could be further from the truth. True, you get points for each vehicle
rear-ended and each pedestrian
run over. But only in fairly small quantities. Meanwhile, each crime
gets you into more trouble with the police
. The game provides spray shops where you can get your car repainted and the license plate
s changed to get the cops off your back, but using this service costs money. The more trouble
you're in, the more it costs. The cost of erasing your record can easily be greater than what you earned by creating it. Crime does not pay
... unless you do it right.
In order to actually complete the levels, you have to play it smart. You have to get your bonus multiplier up to the point where killing people counts for something.
The main way you do this is by performing missions.
And when you're on a mission, you can't afford to put success at risk for the sake of a thrill kill or two.
This is the real moral lesson GTA teaches us: Random violence is no match for focused, goal-oriented violence.