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    Feb 23rd, 2010 at 10:01:30     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    For my final time playing the game, I went to the library. After killing a few more students, I approached a computer and triggered another cutscene. At this point, I really didnít care to watch the backstory and attempt to sympathize with the characters. I tried to skip it, but couldnít, so I forced myself to sit through it. After it ended, I approached the window, where it said that the cops were coming. At this time, I started to get excited because I expected for a really tough boss fight to happen.

    Needless to say, I was disappointed when there was no boss fight and it cut straight to when Eric and Dylan committing suicide. I thought that the game would be over after that. However, what came next really bothered me. After the two students committed suicide, I was presented with a very long montage of depressing images from the actual incident. Sitting through these images made me feel horrible about not only what happened on that day, but also for me playing through a recreation of these events in the game. For the first time in the game, I had felt sorry for what I had done.

    This brought up an issue for me. The final montage completely took me out of the game and related it too closely to the actual real-life incident. Before, everything else had been in 2D, along with exaggerated reenactments of the events. These did not seem to connect too strongly to the actual event, so I felt okay with it. However, once I started seeing real images in this game, a true connection between the game and real life was made to me, and I felt terrible about it.

    After the credits, I was surprised to find myself in the next part of the game, playing through Hell as Dylan. I walked around for a while before I got into my first encounter. I was also surprised when the battles actually seemed like real battles now. Plus, since I had less equipment, the game was much more difficult. The enemies of Hell were aggressive, and I actually started having more fun again with the game. Thanks to the Hell level, I was able to temporarily forget about the horrors I had just committed in the school. Since this part felt more like a game (running through Hell killing demons), I was able to disconnect from the actual event.

    In Hell, I ran into several tough enemies, including a Demon Imp, who managed to kill me for the first time in the game. I thought it was a bit unfair, as before, nothing could touch me, and now suddenly, it was doing 80 damage to me. After reloading my game and running around in an endless maze, I encountered another tough enemy, the Baron of Hell. I went all out against it, but not only did it do a lot of damage when it attacked, but also healed and remove most of the damage I did. I was unable to beat it and died, and it was at this point I stopped playing.

    Overall, I was not as affected by the game as much as I figured I would be when I first heard the title. Maybe Iím just not sensitive to these things because of all my experience playing violent and offensive games, but I looked at the game as more of a game than a recreation of the tragic events of that day. I thought that the first part of the game was boring and cumbersome, and then when you actually start battling, it was too easy and repetitive. It is also very hard to know where to go, and when you finally complete the school part, the reward didnít seem like a reward at all. Hell seemed interesting with its increased difficulty, but again, it was too confusing to know where to go and too much of a difficulty jump. I doubt I will ever touch this again, not because I was bothered by it, but because I didnít think it was that good of a game.

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    Feb 22nd, 2010 at 00:20:40     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Earlier today, I made more progress in the game. I started out in the Parking Lot, which was now full of people. Like a RPG, I figured that by walking up to someone, you would initiate some kind of battle with them. Well, the first person I walked up to was a friend of Eric and Dylan. They warned him to leave the school, which I was taken aback by. I thought that everyone in the school was their enemy, but apparently, even they had people they cared for and didn't wish to harm there.

    Then, the fighting started. I was slightly amused by the stereotypical "enemy" names for the students (Nerdy Girl, Jock, etc.) because they reminded me of the generic enemies in a typical RPG. As I killed the people in the parking lot, I didn't really think about the terrible thing I was doing. I was actually thinking about how easy it was to kill everyone. Not only do you level up easily, you always attack first and your first attacks most likely kill your opponent. As I breezed through the parking lot, I found the combat starting to get stale and repetitive.

    I think that this is because in a game, I am only focused on the objective. I like exploring around and looking for items, but my main goal is to complete the objective. Since my objective here was to kill the students, I followed that and ignored the consequences or moral dilemmas. This is how I feel about all games that I play.

    Next, I went inside the school and killed a few people in the hallway. Then, I went into the classrooms and killed more people. I had a hard time relating this game to the actual incident, as I don't think people would casually walk around the room as the two students slaughter their classmates. Things like this kept me from relating this game to the actual tragedy that occurred.

    After killing enough people to get to Level 10 or 11, I started to get bored with the same old easy and repetitive combat. This is when I started trying to avoid people. I avoided killing more people not because I thought what I was doing was wrong, but because I wanted to further the game and move closer to the goal. I wandered down the hallway and up some stairs, still avoiding people. I then ran into a janitor and had to fight him. Upon fighting him, I won a key.

    Lastly, I want to write about my experience in the bathroom. When I went into the bathroom, I found a group of guys bullying some kid. Upon confronting the bullies, I fought them and used my strongest items on them, killing them quickly. After they died, I found it a bit disturbing how thankful the kid was for us saving him. He gave us a reward, and for the first time in the game, I actually felt like I was playing as the good guys for helping this kid out. It was a strange feeling, and even more so as I remembered the other students I mercilessly slaughtered.

    After this, I went back to the parking lot and saved, ending my experience for the day.

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    Feb 20th, 2010 at 22:28:33     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Upon hearing the name of the game, Super Columbine Massacre RPG, I expected to experience a violent, offensive and distasteful game. I am familiar with the Columbine tragedy, and I couldnít help thinking about the amount of people that would be offended by the game. Nonetheless, I knew I still had to play the game.

    So the first thing I notice is that the graphics are reminiscent of old 2D RPG games, a style that I am fond of. I explored my room and found a copy of Doom for the PC and played a Nirvana song. I had done some research on the incident a while back and remembered the reports about the students playing Doom. The descriptions on the Doom game, as well as the other objects in the room, made me realize that the creators seemed to be making light of the two students and the incidents. I no longer thought that this would be a dark and twisted game, but more of a light-hearted and exaggerated experience of the incident.

    After going into the basement to collect the weapons, I saw a flashback that, I believe, was an attempt to connect you with the characters. Furthermore, there is also a part where you can record your final message to the world, where he admits what heís about to do is screwed up and wrong, and that heís sorry for it. I didnít really feel bad or feel emotionally connected with them though because the acts they committed were heinous. Theyíre just two crazy kids to me.

    The part at the school was frustrating because the game doesnít really tell you what to do. After getting the bombs from the car, I walked into the school and got spotted. I didnít know what caught me, but I was sent outside and had to do the sequence again. It took me a few tries to realize that there are actually cameras in the hallway, and that you have to walk directly under them to avoid them. After avoiding all the cameras, I was caught by a hall monitor. It took me a few tries to actually get to the cafeteria. Once there, I was told to plant the bombs by the tables near the snack machines. I wish it had been more clear here, because it took a while for me to find the exact spot I needed to stand in to plant the bombs. I was starting to get a bit frustrated before I finally figured out where to plant them. After that, I left the school and saved in the parking lot.

    After watching a cut scene on the hill, I activated the bomb in my car and went to watch what would happen next. I admit I chuckled when one of the guys said that they had set the bombs to detonate at night. I was so engrossed in the game and its humor that I had temporarily forgotten that it was based on a real life incident. Before going to the next part, I saved the game and exited.

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    Jan 18th, 2010 at 21:14:01     -    Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)

    On the final day of this assignment, I was planning to continue to play the main story of the game. After meeting up with my friend, my first mission was to tag over some graffiti. I found a few of the tags, but then I was unclear on where to go next. I didn't see any marker on the mini-map indicating where to go, and I also saw nothing in the main menu map. After running around for a few minutes, I started to get bored of looking around for it.

    Apparently, my boredom leads to me getting in trouble. After running around for a while, I finally got into a car and started to drive around. While driving, I ran my car into a group of thugs. I then got out of the car and encountered the surviving members of the group, who were not happy about what I had just done. They attacked me, but I beat down and killed both of them.

    It was at this point when I realized I was having more fun committing violence in the game than actually trying to further myself in the story. I find this weird because I am not a violent or angry person in real life. However, due to frustration over not knowing how to progress the story, I eventually took it out on the in-game characters and felt better.

    I have played a lot of video games in my life, and I have definitely played a lot of violent games. GTA:SA was one of the first games to make me question and realize the harshness of my violent actions. It could be because of the realistic setting the game is in. It could also be that since it is so easy to play in a violent and reckless manner, I felt like killing random pedestrians for enjoyment.

    Overall, my experience with GTA:SA was much more interesting than I thought it would be prior to starting the game. I went in with the goal to get as far as I could in the story, but instead, I gave up half-way into it and decided to enjoy myself by causing harm to the people inside of it. There are a multitude of ethical issues in the game, however, for every bad action I did inside the game, I remembered that it was just a video game and meant nothing for my real life.

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