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    Oct 28th, 2010 at 09:49:29     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Concerning realism in SCMRPG, the game approaches historical event with accuracy, but eventually strays off the path reaching absurd and humorous levels of play. The game tends towards increasingly ridiculous scenarios as play continues. At first, the designer implements significant narrative and story building elements into the gameplay like dialog between characters. Tasks are also specifically assigned (i.e. call Dylan before going downstairs; grab duffel bags before leaving the house; plant bombs in specific locations.)The game even went as far as to prevent saving the game in any location other than the parking lot. Once I entered the school, there was no going back! Rather than giving me free reign to do as I pleased, the game sculpted the background of the game through these key events, providing a realistic approach to the overall recreation of the Columbine shooting.
    As the game lessons the frequency of these guided events, the play evolves into something of a joke. I massacred dozens of kids in countless rooms before ultimately comes to terms with my own demise and ending my own life. From this point on the game loses all sense of realism. I now played in a Hell level, parodying Doom in all of its aesthetics including monster sprites and music. Here I encountered various celebrities like John Lennon and Ronald Reagan. The game officially abandoned any sense of realism and instead focused on creating a humorous aftermath for the deviants Eric and Dylan. Upon finally slaying Satan, I was rewarded for my deeds. I practically laughed as the amount of absurdity far exceeded my expectations of this game.
    I feel as though the humorous attempt at creating an epilogue was used to further trivialize the violent and relatively realistic precursor to the Hell level. By forcing the player to laugh at the game’s narrative, the designer successfully lightens the gravity of the otherwise dark and controversial situation. Through this method, the game achieves a lesser level of realism but a greater level of acceptance amongst an otherwise easily offended audience.

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    Oct 27th, 2010 at 23:22:30     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    On the subject of violence in Super Columbine Massacre RPG, the game portrays the act in the most realistic way possible given the constraints on graphical output from the engine. While SCMRPG does display blood and the result of each murder by permanently displaying corpses on the floor of the school, the actual act of murdering the student lacks detailed representation. Few blocky pixels denote bullet fire and unexciting explosions visualize area of effect bomb weaponry.
    Despite these limitations of graphical representation, the act of violence feels very real, especially during the prologue of the game when I had to place bombs in key locations of the school's cafeteria while avoiding security cameras and confrontations with other students. The concept of planting bombs inspires greater emotional attachment than mindless murder of countless, generic enemies. In this scenario, I didn't know who I was going to kill, but the thoughts going through my mind were that I wanted to harm as many people as possible, regardless of their identities. Through integrating this part of Dylan and Eric's plot into the game, the designer placed me into a situation in which, despite the poor graphics of the engine, I felt very involved and effected by the acts of violence I performed.
    One objectionable feature of the violence is some of the students' attacks or "abilities." Each student type touts a unique move based on their personality type; some of these abilities could be viewed as controversial. Most apparent are the abilities "pray" and "cry." Church girls never attack you and instead simply choose to pray. By praying they are healed health points, simply prolonging the time it takes to kill them. This aspect of suddenly associated religion into this massacre proves controversial to religious members and not necessary crucial to the design of the game.

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    Oct 26th, 2010 at 23:46:31     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (SCMRPG) attempts to accurately portray teenage stereotypes through its gameplay. For instance, sprites are stylized to represent each 'clique' of the high school population. In addition, every student I ran across was named after their respective clique. No students had specific names and instead I associated each person with only the stereotype they belonged to. This decision by the developer might have been made to demonstrate the concept of stereotypes amongst teenage population.
    Many high school students do not often judge peers properly but instead make general assumptions based upon physical appearance and first encounters. This can easily be related to the perspectives and Eric and Dylan. Both boys were not close with many of their high school peers and instead based their knowledge of them based on generally negative stereotypes. Their distaste towards their school population formed from these uninformed judgments. After encountering countless generalized "jocks" or "nerdy girls" they all became mundane and the same. Slaying one church girl or cheerleader after another didn't invoke sympathy towards my victims of the massacre I was part of because I had no personal connection to any of my targets. I only viewed them as nameless stereotypes categorized by their stylish pixel arrangements that perpetuated the stereotypes throughout the world of Dylan and Eric, and in turn (as the player of the game and controller of the shooters), my own eyes.
    By generalizing the student population into various cliques, the developer was able to reduce the level of emotional attachment a player would normally adhere to. Doing so both accurately recreates the apathetic perspectives of the shooters while trivializing the obscene content of the game that many players would otherwise object to under more realistic and detailed descriptions of characters.


    This entry has been edited 3 times. It was last edited on Oct 26th, 2010 at 23:53:02.

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    Oct 5th, 2010 at 10:09:49     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PS2)

    Race and ethnicity are accurately portrayed within Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas. Developers present the player with a moral framework structured around impartiality, making sure to never once inspire racism unto the player.
    Within the game world, neighborhoods are categorized and divided based upon ethnicity. Each neighborhood can be generalized by the racial make-up of the citizens wandering the streets and each culture is represented equally and consecutively throughout the course of the entire plot. Initially I dealt with primarily Black and Latino cultures in Los Santos. This city is heavily overrun with ghettos and poverty-struck households as made apparent by key design features of house components like cardboard doors, broken mattresses, and worn down interiors.
    Later on in the game, I arrived in San Fierro, a city run by a Chinese Triad. I allied with the Asian alliance and ultimately turned on the Latino gang members associated with the Loco Syndicate. And further still, I was then forced to rid the city of a Vietnamese gang, the Da Nang Boys. This portion of the game forces the player into slaying many people regardless of race, upholding impartiality with regards to the array of ethnicities found throughout the game.
    Game designers employ an unbiased perspective of race by crafting characters of the same race that represent both the good and bad in the world. For example, CJ and Officer Tenpenny are both African-Americans but present the two opposite ends of the spectrum. Officer Tenpenny is despised all game because of his corruption and inability to withhold moral rules, while CJ becomes revered amongst many gangs because his devotion and passion.
    The developers made it clear that race is not a deciding factor in the morality of each person. The segregation of neighborhoods based on race may at first appear racist, but closer examination reveals the truth behind this design choice. The game developers sought for reality and not discrimination against races, giving the player unbiased experiences with a myriad of cultures throughout the experience of the game.

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