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    Aug 8th, 2011 at 11:38:33     -    Columbine RPG (PC)

    What I thought was odd was that the first person approached during this rampage was a friend to Eric and Dylan. They told the kid to run off, instead of killing him instantly. This bothered me more than anything. These two characters thought this action was moral because they spared someone they liked. In the men’s bathroom, they also decided to spare the child being bullied. However, they also decided it was okay to gun down random people whom they did not know. This leads me to believe that the massacre was purely driven by emotions, and the characters were completely void from any sense of morality. The game hints that bullying was the biggest motivator for Eric and Dylan. These two characters were overcome by their emotional rage. They felt that there was no way for them to escape their situation. They abandoned any rational thought and decided to end everything, instead of seeking an alternative.

    This game was so far out of proportion that there is no way the media could seriously criticize it. Dylan and Eric were fueled by a Marilyn Manson CD (it is an accessory that upgrades a character), which mocks the fact that the media attempted to blame the massacre on that music. The player was also expected to kill hundreds of civilians if they expected to complete the game, but in reality, only 13 people were actually killed during the shootings. The game mocks the idea that video games were inspiration for these atrocities, as DOOM posters and music was played throughout the game (During the hell mission, the enemies and music were straight from DOOM). By blowing the stereotypes about the massacre out of proportions, I understand why the developers would create such a game. Unfortunately, I was unable to finish the game because I did not level enough during the massacre, so I was repeatedly killed by the enemies in hell.

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    Aug 8th, 2011 at 11:31:01     -    Columbine RPG (PC)

    After the bombs did not detonate, Eric and Dylan decided to continue and shoot everything. Since I have played violent games my whole life (ex. GTA), I have been desensitized on the morals of killing in a virtual space. With that being said, I still could not enjoy the gameplay of Columbine RPG in any way. The combat was turn-based, which seemed pointless to me, since the “enemies” were unarmed. Turn-based strategies usually require at least some “strategy”, but the auto-attack function makes the gameplay extremely boring. I realize that dealing “129” damage against a child with a high-caliber rifle is supposed to convey the message that the massacre was immoral, but this would have been much more effective had this been a top-down shooter. By making this a shooting game, the player would feel more guilt and remorse from gunning down unarmed teachers, jocks, and children. Pressing auto-attack made the game feel dumb for me because the only gore that was shown was the dead body afterwards. I tried to avoid any contact during this time and got to get to the point where the two characters finally killed themselves.

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    Aug 7th, 2011 at 23:42:12     -    Columbine RPG (PC)

    Columbine Massacre RPG turned out to be exactly as I thought. It is simply a narrative told from the shooter’s perspective, with many facts and beliefs about the real-life massacre included. I was disappointed to find that the protagonist starts out in his bed, and calls his sidekick. This means that the entire game will emulate a JRPG style game. The developers decided to incorporate many stereotypical Japanese game devices into this game. I knew that at the beginning, this game would shows several cut scenes for character development, with little gameplay actually included besides walking. I was right… I also found the text within very difficult to read, so it took me some time to get through these cutscenes.

    The two main characters both seem to know exactly how their day will unfold. Eric and Dylan are certain that they are “leaving this world” today, and they seldom have any thoughts about the contrary. The player has no room for moral interaction with the game, since it is purely linear. Eric and Dylan spend their morning loading their car with guns, explosives, and other weapons. The flashbacks explained how they arrived at this point in their lives. The game attempts to rationalize the mindset of the characters, citing both childhood bullying and lack of freedom from their parents. After I planted the two bombs in the cafeteria and went back to the parking lot, I decided to take a break.

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    Jul 27th, 2011 at 11:37:15     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    Since the narrative of this game is linear, I am not able to influence any aspect of it. This can hinder a player’s experience with the game, especially if their moral character conflicts with the course of the game. Let’s say I am morally against killing people, no matter the situation. I will not be able to progress in the game at all because I refuse to complete many of the missions. However, I can still have an enjoyable gaming experience should I choose to not follow the narrative. I am able to be a taxi driver, an ambulance driver, a fireman, or play the game in any fashion I choose. I particularly enjoy this sandbox-style game genre, because I can have an individual experience with it. Some days I can choose to race and customize cars, and on others I can complete missions to open up the world of San Andreas to new possibilities. Most importantly, how I play the game vastly differs from any other person. The game has been ridiculed for its lawless and immoral nature, but the player can decide for himself whether he wants to take part in these activities or not.

    Today I came across an interesting mission, one that reveals CJ’s true character. In “Burning Desire”, Tenpenny orders CJ to make sure that a certain ‘gang-banger’ does not leave town alive. If CJ does not comply, he will almost certainly be killed or thrown into prison. During the mission, CJ’s goal is to torch the gangster’s house with Molotov’s. Shortly after doing so, CJ discovers that a girl is trapped inside, and she is choking because of the dense smoke. The rest of the mission involves saving this girl. This action shows that CJ does not want this life of gang violence. He feels that he has no other options. However, the player may not realize that CJ is not actually an evil person. This is the first instance where CJ does something virtuous, and it reveals another aspect of CJ to the player.

    -C Weir

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Jul 27th, 2011 at 21:06:02.

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