I felt uncomfortable with the mere thought of having to play Super Columbine Massacre RPG! Mainly because I wasn’t sure how the game was going to represent the tragic events that occurred at Columbine. From the title and the exclamation point at the end, my first reaction was that this game was going to make light of the whole situation and be nothing more than a reenactment of the killing spree that took place. I kept thinking about the kind of person who would go out of their way to play this game, especially after reading the READ ME file during installation. There is a small blurb that reads, “You play as Eric and Dylan Klebold on that faithful day in the Denver suburbs of Littleton. How many people they kill is ultimately up to you.” When I began to play the game I was surprised with how simple and childlike the graphics were. It reminded me of an old Zelda or Pokemon game and the controls were extremely simple. The fact that the game begins in Eric’s room and you are then able to explore and look into his things immediately caused me to feel that it was more than just a reenactment. As uncomfortable as I felt taking on the role of Eric, I couldn’t help but feel engaged to items I discovered in his room. I found the game “Doom” in the room and a text box appeared that read, “Let the desensitization to violence begin.” I also found antidepressants in the room, which apparently kept him out of the Marines. The game play continues in the basement where there is a flashback scene and also a recording of the boys contemplating on what they were about to do. All of the items and the dialogue seem a bit tongue and cheek but ultimately are there to help the player understand what was going on in their lives before the shootings took place. Although the characters in the game seemed cute and harmless, there is an eerie and creepy tone overall which are heightened when the boys listen to their recordings or watch a scene from Apocalypse Now for inspiration. I found the recordings to be interesting because an actual picture of Eric and Dylan appear. The boys seem to exhibit some sort of remorse and say that they do indeed feel bad about what they are going to do. As soon as I read the recording over the image of their faces, it was obvious that the designer wants us to feel that the boys are human and experience first hand how they were going through a distressing period in their lives. The designer is choosing to provide the player with a representation of the boys that is removed from the depiction that mainstream media has already ingrained in our minds. Perhaps these boys were not the monstrous, cold, calculating, killers, that were affected by violence in movies, music, and games like the new stories claimed. The game is providing the player with a medium to think about why the boys felt so strongly about society in the way that they did, instead of hearing about it in a detached way through the news.
Rating (out of 5):