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    Oct 29th, 2009 at 02:46:17     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    These past couple of hours really lowered my views of this game. I had initially gotten the sense from the creator’s statement that he was rather serious about the content and message, and wanted to give an impression of the minds of the two boys through researched elements of their lives and the event. However, the events that happen after the boys kill themselves are laughable. Not only does he introduce a whole world of blatantly personal opinions, but much of the content isn’t even congruent with any kind of meaningful reflection of the two boy’s lives. Did hell have to be inhabited by a host of videogame characters that play their theme music when you talk to them? Did the representation of Satan have to be a pop culture reference to South Park? For me these elements disrespect and discredit serious introspection regarding the columbine incident the creator may have been trying to induce.
    That aside, this last but of the game did reveal a significant gameplay element. One has to be evil to even hope to win! I went down to hell the first time horribly under leveled, and only managed to avoid everyone long enough to realize there were mandatory fights I could not win. At this point I reloaded an old save and leveled up in the school by killing random people to see how much of a difference it would make. It’s interesting how much easier I could brush these actions to the side now that I had a purpose. However, I stumbled across a few more story related moments I had missed, one involving asking a girl why she believed in god before killing her, which I found quite disturbing. After venturing to hell again and still having issues since I didn’t kill enough people, I grew too frustrated and simply found a video of someone beating the game to watch.
    Of all that occurred in hell though, I found the conversations with Nietzsche to be interesting. His philosophies contain some interesting parallels to the boy’s actions, and it almost seems as though the developer may be insinuating that the boys thought themselves Ubermensch.
    All in all I think this game did some interesting things, and also did some really foolish things. Though in some ways you can freely explore motivations behind the shootings through playing, I think behind it all it is dominated by the developer’s personal opinion.

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    Oct 28th, 2009 at 01:28:56     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    This time I geared up and began the “massacre”. I think it was an interesting choice to put the control of the killing in the hands of the player, I was expecting a more scripted style where the people who died in the actual event would be inevitably killed, with fewer player made choices. The way it was done though provided a very intriguing conflict of interests. The game itself pretty much pushes you into trying to kill people, but so far as I can tell it doesn’t actually have any effect on your ability to finish the game. Thus I have been trying my best to avoid everyone, against the game’s wishes. Or is it?
    I feel like this is one of those important distinctions that puts this game in the “serious” category, as well as pushing itself into the realm of art. Most games on some level function via a system of challenges and rewards. This creates the engaging and pleasurable experiences that we are so accustomed to using as a form of escapism. This game toys with that system, using it to challenge our sense of good. The challenges that the game encourages me to participate in provide rewards I do not desire. It almost feels like the game has a "good" and "bad" path built in, without even explicitly defining it.
    I came across some interesting situations while playing. In either of the bathrooms there are characters doing special things, and I figured (rightly so) that there would be special and possibly relevant dialogue involved if I killed those people. I did because I have a desire to experience as much of the game as possible so I can best evaluate it, but at the same time the feeling that I did something wrong is ever present.

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    Oct 25th, 2009 at 14:42:50     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    I wouldn’t call this game “fun” in the traditional sense. It is intriguing to play because of it’s unique goals, and (assuming the developer’s information is correct) as a way to understand the shootings, but I couldn’t really call it fun. Id say that the way you digest the game is much more closely tied to your understanding of it’s development and what it refers to than your average commercial game. I read the artist’s statement on the website before I began playing the game. Not only did it raise my interest, but I think it allowed me to take it with a degree of seriousness that I otherwise wouldn’t have.
    This makes me wonder what I would have thought without the relevant background information. So far I have planted the bombs and geared up at the park. Since the game carries very little in the way of explanations of intent from what I’ve played, I think I would have jumped to the conclusion that the creator might have actually been unhealthy fascinated with the events of the shooting. I probably would have thought the creator was “disturbed” or “seriously messed up”, rather than a creative and meaningful artist. Perhaps this has happened to people, and it has contributed to the game’s controversy? It probably would have been helpful to have a disclaimer of sorts at the beginning of the game itself.

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    Sep 24th, 2009 at 12:19:38     -    Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)

    Well, today I did a few more missions, got to a point where I kept failing, then decided to roam the city instead. I discovered the vigilante missions and realized it was the first (and only) thing I had found for your character to do that could arguably be construed as good. The only other ways to make money and progress is via breaking the law, then again you still have to break the law to start the vigilante missions anyway. The game feels more and more like an RPG with one class choice. There are a very limited number of ways to interact with the world, and despite the game’s supposed “freedom”, all of the choices limit you to the one role your intended to play, that is a thieving violent murderous gang member.

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