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    Oct 29th, 2009 at 11:13:49     -    Columbine RPG (PC)

    As the game goes continues I find it almost unbearable to play. The beginning of the game starts out and seems to give a clear thought intention of the developers through the use flashbacks and numerous items which make it almost like an educational look to what happened that morning. Once the game gets to the actual massacre it becomes so mindless. Oh, there's a church girl better kill her. Oh, there's openly gay man, he needs to die. The game at this point just becomes so repetitive its almost intolerable for me. I suppose I dislike this part so much because I the reasonings the two boys give to kill different people are so faulty. At one point, one of the church girls is asked if she believes in God. When she responds she does we decide to kill her. Its as if the boys are just killing people because they think different than them. Like they have some form of cultural viewpoints that they decided was superior to everyone else. Meanwhile the flashbacks show that they hate people because they feel left out. If you put out the vibe that you think you're better than everyone else, obviously no one is going to want to be around you.

    What Dylan and Eric fail to realize is that this is only high school! What happens there does not define the rest of your life and the people you hate in high school are people you will likely never see again after it ends. It makes me believe the boys would have to have some severe emotional issues to think the only way to make things right is to murder everybody.

    Overall, the game was pretty terrible. Of course, I've never been one to enjoy the tedious repetition of RPGs. I think the biggest problem I find with the game is the lack of direction or indicators of how to complete the objectives. This led to me playing the game much longer than I had originally anticipated. However, I think the message the developers put forth is a solid one. I believe the commentary they were trying to make is that this is a horrible event that took place, but we should not be so quick to rush to blame the easy targets. Media does not shape who we are. Its our environment.

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    Oct 28th, 2009 at 22:22:42     -    Columbine RPG (PC)

    During my second session I found out how frustrating this game can be. As I try to bring the homemade bombs into the school I constantly try to avoid the narcs but fail. It would've been nice if the developers gave the gamer some sort of clue as to why they are constantly getting busted but alas I'm left with nothing but to try and try again. At least I get to listen to this awesome MIDI version of "Sweet Dreams" for 100th time. I start to wonder if they made it thus difficult on purpose. Possibly to show that it isn't as easy as the average person thinks to get weapons into schools. Perhaps to show that our schools are relatively safe and that Columbine was an isolated incident. Eventually I find myself yelling at the screen, "Just let me plant the goddamn bombs!!" I'm wondering if I can even get through this part. When I finally make it to the cafeteria, a moment of joy comes over me. Only to find that when I take two steps to the right, I get "Busted" by the narcs again. After about 20 more minutes of this I find a route that allows me not get caught and complete the objective. And possibly out of sheer irony, my computer crashes.

    At the end of my session I came across the part where the boys where gearing up in the park. The amount of weapons they have on them is terrifying. To me this signifies that major change is needed as far as gun laws. I know the game conveys gun laws have nothing to do with the incident of Columbine but I have to disagree. To me the second amendment is arbitrary. When that amendment was written it was because the country was trying to fight off the British. The founding fathers could've never imagined people having assault rifles. If we were to take a Utilitarian perspective on gun laws, they would be outlawed because it would be better for society as a whole to not have them.

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    Oct 28th, 2009 at 21:33:08     -    Columbine RPG (PC)

    Columbine RPG is a controversial game that offers the audience insight into the hours leading up to and during the fateful events of Columbine. The game begins with the audience taking the role of Eric as he wakes up on the day of Columbine. First thing I notice is the graphics. They definitely bring me back to the Sega Genesis days. The lack of indicators of interactive objects becomes a nuisance immediately. I just run around the room hitting enter hoping that something will tell me what to do next. Through this process I find many interesting objects scattered throughout the room. The most notable is a copy of Doom and a Marilyn Manson cd. It appears the developers put these in the game because many misguided people blamed Columbine on the media the 2 boys took an interest in. As I make my way through the basement picking up bombs I stumble upon a pizza box which brings about a flashback of the boys blowing up homemade bombs for the first time. Its disturbing to see the characters take such joy in the talk of blowing up their school. The conversation is peppered with laughter while they talk about death and how they have to start a revolution. Finally as I make it out of the pizza box flashback, Dylan and Eric decide to record one last video.

    This video is very telling to me of what the developers intended with this game. Throughout the video the characters proclaim how this isn't the fault of anyone but themselves. They say that after their done people will probably to blame Columbine on guns and video games but they'll be wrong. Basically the developers are trying to convey that the killers of Columbine are not influenced by the media they were exposed to. I could not agree more with this message. Hell, I listen to Manson and I've played Doom, it hasn't turned me into a killer. The people that try to push blame on these type of things are looking for the easy answer. Its easy to say that since one plays violent video games and listens to violent music that they have the propensity to be more violent but it wouldn't be logical because most people don't react that way. Instead maybe we should look deeper into the psyche's of the young men. Maybe we'd find out that they were chemically imbalanced. In the game we do see an anti-depressant prescription. The main point is to try to go deeper into the issues rather than see things at a surface level perspective.

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    Sep 24th, 2009 at 14:07:36     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    Today is my final session with the game. I would say that it is my last session, but that would be a lie. The complexity of this game just makes it too fun not to see the entire story line through. Today I play probably the worst mission in the game. I sneak around some random guy's house as I steal guns for Ryder. I stop to wonder why they made Ryder look like Easy-E. Is it a homage? I find it interesting that the one true life gangster they choose to include didn't even die from that lifestyle. Instead, he died from sleeping with too many women. In my mind this only furthers the glorification of being in a gang.

    To be honest I could go the typical moral route here and rant about how the racism, stereotypes, and criminal behavior of this game is unacceptable and offensive to me, but that just wouldn't be true. Sure GTA presents some improper ideals but nonetheless the game is fun. However playing the game for this class makes you experience GTA in a different way. I think everyone should realize that although GTA may be offensive to some, for others this is real life. The lifestyle shown in the game is not much different from the culture of America's ghettos. Personally, I think GTA provides the looking glass into a culture many do not understand and I appreciate it for that. Nonetheless there will always be those that outraged at the games content saying its not suitable for children. I really wish that instead of parents relying on the TV to raise their children that they actually become parents and live up to their societal duty. I find it absurd that one could imply the game makes people more violent or racist. If one cannot separate the difference between fantasy and reality then they have a problem.

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