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    May 17th, 2010 at 04:58:51     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Final Thoughts
    I’m still mildly irritated and ultimately do not know what to think of Super Columbine Massacre RPG’s final sequence of gameplay. After the solemn memoriam of the aftermath of Columbine that features the actual pictures of the gun ridden bodies of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, mourning parents consoling crying students, police, and the baby/childhood pictures of both Eric and Dylan, the character is then transported to hell/perdition and fend off soldier demons from DOOM.
    I believe this terribly detracted from the game’s authenticity and overall message. I was no longer endeared the to characters and became estranged from the game’s material. This was a drastic change considering just a few minutes before I was watching Dylan sitting alone in the cafeteria while Radiohead’s heartbreakingly nostalgic Fake Plastic Trees played in the background. The game quickly undone all that it had worked to achieve in moments what it took over and hour and a half building.

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    May 17th, 2010 at 04:58:26     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Media and Culture as your Arsenal
    Once starting the shooting and diving into the more aggressive gameplay, we are introduced to the wider arsenal. Aside from the weapons (a rifle, shotgun, semi-automatic, and two knives) you also have media culture at your disposal to augment your abilities. If you equip DOOM your agility and attack is raised. In regards to DOOM Eric states, “Get ready for desensitization!” On the other hand, if you equip the Marilyn Manson album, your accuracy is astronomically raised. Furthermore, other items associated with the teenage culture aids your health such as cheeseburgers and hot dogs and other items in outcast culture such as trench coats, backwards caps, sunglasses, and Luvox (an antidepressant) increases your accuracy, attack, and regenerates your health.
    Although explicitly stating that these items aid the massacre, I believe that the game developers did not intend for us to draw the conclusion that these items instigate a violent culture. All the descriptions are done in a tongue in cheek fashion. The most explicit example is when Eric picks up the Marilyn Manson album and states that he “knows the media is gonna give this guy a tone of shit. It’s not his fault.”

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    May 17th, 2010 at 04:57:55     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Setting the Tone through Media, Music in Particular

    The first component of Super Columbine Massacre RPG to strike me was the music. The music in Super Columbine Massacre RPG endeared me to Eric. After waking up, I walked over to the boom box, activated it, and started to play Smells Like Teen Spirit by Nirvana. What was ironic was despite the MIDI file’s lack of lyrics, I could still hear the first words of Smells Like Teen Spirit in the back of my mind, “Load up on guns and kill your friends, it’s fun to lose than to pretend.” This theme became the soundtrack to the expository action I engaged in before leaving my room (checking the calendar, calling Dylan, and examining DOOM) and added a sense of unrest and urgency to the atmosphere. This coincided beautifully with the blackjack pizza flashback that “were the good times” according to Eric when he and Dylan would experiment with igniting black powder to the more fun-loving but no less serious toned Lithium (a song about turning away from the church), also by Nirvana.
    The next part where music played an integral part in endearing me to Eric and Dylan was after Eric set the bombs in the cafeteria. Eric goes to meet Dylan out on a hill overlooking Denver. During this scene Dylan tells Eric of all his frustrations with the Denver, its rich snobs, and all the pressures that they place upon them. This dialogue is spoken with Radiohead’s Creep played in the background. Radiohead’s song of heartbreak and longing for acceptance and affection from that one person and ultimately being denied highlighted a huge layer of subtext implicit in the dialogue.
    The music featured in the beginning of Super Columbine Massacre RPG endeared me to Eric and Dylan. It eased me into their situation and made them vulnerable hurting teens yearning for affection and acceptance

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    Apr 19th, 2010 at 10:32:39     -    Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)

    Despite a long laundry list of obscenities and unspeakable violence, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas is a game with redeemable qualities. San Andreas places a particular emphasis on “family” and being there for them. CJ, Sweet, and Kindle, like any group of siblings, fight all the time, but they truly care for one another and keep each other’s best interest in mind, even when the sibling in question do not quite see it that way. A specific instance is during the mission when CJ looks after Kindle when she goes out with Cesar. Sweet and CJ look after Kindle, despite their major fight, and protect her.
    Grand Theft Auto San Andreas values not only the immediate nuclear family, but also those close around you. The theme that ties all the Pine Grove Gang missions together is that of Family. Staying close and defending the people who mean something to you, whether that means your brother and sister or a childhood friend. Therefore, despite the mountains of gratuitous sexual references and violent behavior, Grand Theft Auto San Andreas communicates the message of a deep bond that lie between you and the people around you.

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