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    Oct 29th, 2009 at 14:04:44     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    I can't say I've really accomplished much more in this game outside of killing a multitude of students using a variety of weapons. I'm a little confused now as to what the objective of the game is (if it is anything other than kill as many people as possible). Despite the fact that I have not accomplished much more in the game, I have been able to think about it a lot more critically. It seems to me that more than commenting on the actions of Eric and Dylan, the game is more interested in critiquing the media's sensationalism and immediate scapegoating of video games/music/movies. It's especially intruiging to me to see an "independent" video games like this as I don't really have much exposure to them. I only really see the big-budget/mass-produced games, and I think that might be why I have such a cynical view of them. I have trouble believing that any of those games are created for artistic purposes or to make the players ponder what they are doing . . . or even a narrative that is based around some sort of emotional pull. I feel the same way about movies (Hollywood pictures generally suck), but with movies there is a huge underground independent community who are interested in making art. Super Columbine Massacre, however crappy the gameplay may be, is really cool for that reason. The designer bypassed the system to carry out his own vision and spark interest on a level above just pure entertainment. I would love to see more of that in the video game world . . . and I honestly think it will happen sooner or later.

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    Oct 28th, 2009 at 22:18:02     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    I must say it's sort of hard for me to get very far in the game without getting really frustrated. For a long time I could barely get past the hallway (I'm sort of incompetent when it comes to games). But I think even this is interesting . . . you can't be seen by the kids basically because they taunt you whenever they see you. I'm under the impression that the bombs are hidden, so it's not like you are hiding from the kids for any other reason other than to avoid being taunted. I was also really annoyed every time one of these kids questioned me - it honestly made me hate them and look forward to killing them. I guess the game is trying to put me into that sort of frustrating position and make me think twice about judging the killers as purely evil. Once I got around to killing people, I found I didn't have the option of not murdering each individual (at least I couldn't figure out how not to). I guess that's just as well because the point of the game is to kill. I can use different weapons to kill different stereotypes . . . the "popular girl" the "jock." The "church boy" even got on his knees and prayed before I shot him, which was pretty gut-wrenching. It may be sort of crappy in terms of game quality, but Columbine Massacre is definitely making me think some things that I may try to avoid thinking about. I had forgotten a lot about the Columbine shootings, and this has made me revisit them in an interesting albeit uncomfortable way.

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    Oct 27th, 2009 at 23:07:32     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Wow, this game is really interesting. I think if it had been created by a professional team of developers it would be even more disturbing than it is. It already makes me slightly uncomfortable to play it even with it's terrible graphics. The first thing that strikes me is that the game designers seemed to think it was crucial to represent Dylan and Eric's media exposure. I remember hearing musical artists like Marilyn Manson were blamed for "inspiring" the Columbine massacre. I didn't know that Apocalypse Now also appeared to "influence" them. The game seems so focused on little details (of course, I don't even know how factual these are) . . . it makes me think this game was definitely created to explore ethical issues. To think that a game was created entirely for the purpose of conversation and to make the gamer feel uncomfortable is interesting for me (I still am kind of cynical about video games and their artistic/ethical implications). While I don't particularly enjoy playing the game, it is sort of cool (for lack of a better word) to be placed in such a compromising position (essentially pretending that you are a killer based on a REAL killer). I seriously doubt that the conversations are accurate, but I think the "recordings" that they do are based on what they really said. I felt like reading that stuff was really intense, far more than any other meaningless storyline in a lot of the video games my friends play. Maybe it's just the fact that it's based on real events that makes it more intriguing - I'm not totally sure. But it's definitely thought-provoking, even if the gameplay is a bit archaic.

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    Sep 23rd, 2009 at 21:00:16     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (360)

    I don't really see how people can beat this game, I'm already very sick of playing it. It's not that I'm offended and can't bare to watch it, I am just bored of killing people and running away from the cops. The criminal life is not for me. I think it's significant that my initial curiosity at what it would be like to be a criminal wore off pretty quickly. I understand it doesn't fade that quickly for everyone, but I think that once they try it and see a hypothetical version of what it feels like, their quench for trying it disappears. One thing I found interesting is how there are always consequences for my actions in the game. I don't truly have the freedom to do whatever I want, at least not without there being extreme consequences. The more people I run over, the more cars I steal . . . the more intense and expansive the police chase for me becomes. If ever there was an argument that didn't say the game is an awful catalyst for violence, it is that these consequences are always present in every move you make. If anything Grand Theft Auto is an excellent platform on which to discuss ethical problems, even outside the realm of the belief that playing the game is, in and of itself, unethical. However, I don't really intend to play it again anytime soon.

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