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    Feb 21st, 2012 at 19:40:40     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    My third and final go around with Super Columbine Massacre RPG was about as miserable as my first two and left me feeling relieved that I didn’t have to play the game ever again. Although I did not enjoy my experience with the game as a whole I did pick up on a few themes in the game that I did not pick up on during my previous run through the game. One of those themes was how it seemed the creators were trying to draw sympathy for Dylan and Eric.
    I picked up on this through the cut scenes that are featured while you roam through the school going from area to area killing everyone. One of the cut scenes shows one of the killers being picked on in the locker room. After the scene is over it shows them talking about how they couldn’t wait for this day and how they enjoyed killing them. I know why they added those cut scenes because they wanted to add backstory, but the way they played out seemed like they were trying to draw sympathy for the boys. Another thing similar to this was how when you would kill people you would get rewarded with food and it would say in the dialogue bubble “you have received a hamburger you brave boys”. The brave boy’s part was very weird for me because these two are the farthest thing from brave that I can think of. By calling them brave is another way I thought the creators was trying to draw sympathy for the shooters.
    Another thing that I noticed was the role pop-culture played throughout the game. When I went down to the lower level a small cut scene came on that showed ex-president Clintons address to the nation about the events that took place at columbine. I thought this was very good and nicely put into perspective what you were doing in the game because the president’s message was very solemn and you could tell the emotions that he had while talking. Other pieces of media could be found in the cut scenes that featured Marilyn Manson lyrics. I think that it is well known that Marilyn Manson has dark lyrics and by featuring them in the game they give the player a perspective into the psyche of the boys and how dark they were emotionally and how jaded they were by society.
    I did not end up finishing this game and I don’t think I will. I found it to be boring and made me more frustrated than entertained. Although it was boring it did present many questions while playing it, and had very many themes in which were relevant to the time.

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    Feb 20th, 2012 at 22:04:38     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    For my second session I finally made it to the section of the game where the actual killing takes place. My journey there though did come with its shares of frustration. I must have gotten busted 90 times during the bomb planting part of the game, and at numerous parts I had no idea where to go in order to advance the gameplay. This frustration I believe influenced me heavily on the actions I took when the killing actually took place. Going into this game I had the mindset that I would kill as few people as possible and take the most ethical approach I could without failing the game. I felt that it was my responsibility, and I thought it would be a nice contrast as opposed to what really happened. However this strategy was thrown out the window due to my own frustration.
    I found myself hunting down as many jocks and preppy girls as I possibly could in order to put into play my own of revenge plot. No other factors influenced my desire to shed blood other than my own frustration. This is one factor where the game failed for me. The ethical question of should I or should I not kill these people was nonexistent because of the frustration.
    Another factor that caused me not to think about the ethics at all in regards to the killing was the way the combat played out. I found myself finding this aspect of the game to be more comical then eye-opening. The turn-based combat was very cheesy and took a lot away for me in regards to the realness of the situation. Whenever I would kill someone and the dialogue would pop up saying something along the lines of “Score one for the trench coat mafia!” I found myself cringing at the cheesiness, more than feeling bad for the person I just killed.
    Because of these two factors the realism was just not there for me. I didn’t feel any remorse for the lives I took because I was still frustrated from prior points in the game and the combat played out more like Pokémon then a realistic shooter. Although what I was doing was wrong, I didn’t seem to car as much as I would in other games.

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    Feb 19th, 2012 at 18:40:04     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    I was very skeptical going into a game that is based on the tragedy that was the columbine massacre. Prior to receiving this assignment I had never heard of the game Super Columbine Massacre RPG, and I had little knowledge about the events that took place around the columbine shootings other than that it was the worst school shooting in the history of the United States. Within the first few seconds of gameplay I was immediately reminded of Pokémon based on the graphics and the point of view that you are given as the player. This was a minor observation in the grand scheme of things but was something that I noticed right away. But after my Pokémon observation I did definitely notice the darkness of the game. The dialogue between characters is very solemn and was very good insight into the mindset they were in before they went ahead and killed their peers. I don’t know how much of recorded dialogue between Dylan and Kyle was recovered after the shooting, but the dialogue in the game seems very accurate to me.
    While I was given the task of collecting things from my house before we set off to go to the school I decided to go up to the random objects that could be found in the basement to see if I could find any objects that were separate from the main objective. I did manage to find a Marilyn Manson CD, and a copy of a DOOM game. Not that these two pieces of media automatically make people decide to slaughter innocent civilians, but I do know that it was documented both enjoyed violent video games, and Marilyn Manson’s music. Along with the dialogue this part of the game was also realistic, and played true to the age group that Dylan, and Kyle came from. But this also gave some insight as to what may have influenced them, if only a tiny bit.
    Along with the extra items that I did manage to find, I did also stumble upon some extras. One of which was a monologue from the movie apocalypse now. I found this interesting that they would include this into the game, but realized that it did make sense. The monologue that is featured speaks of war and the horrors that can be found in it. This is probably a good indicator of how the boys felt about the world, meaning that others didn’t understand what they were going through and they’re only solution to that problem was to try to change the world that they lived in. Unfortunately they’re means of carrying out that task was through violence.
    I didn’t get that far into the game, but from what I have seen thus far it seems like a very realistic and dark game. I’m sure when I reach the part where the killing task place there will be more ethics in order to discuss.

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    Jan 25th, 2012 at 21:55:21     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    For my third and final go around with Grand Theft Auto San Andreas: I decided to return to doing the main story missions. The first mission that I tried to tackle was the mission, Drive-By. In this mission you are given the task of driving your fellow gang members through a certain section of the city killing members of a rival gang. It took me a couple tries to complete this mission as I was having difficulty evading the police at the end of the mission. Having finally figured out that it is easiest to just run over the enemies to kill them, rather than waiting for my friends to shoot them, the mission was a breeze.
    But while I was running over all these gang members I was thinking to myself is this the best way to go about this? I wasn’t thinking in the sense of is this the easiest way possible, but is this the cleanest, most guilt free way in which to complete the mission. My answer to that was no. Rather than having a very small role in the killings of The Ballas, I chose to have a very active role. By having this active role I killed the majority of the men, rather than killing none.
    After coming to this conclusion I started to think of the role of violence in the game. I think that it’s safe to say that the more violent of an approach you take to completing the main missions, the more of a chance you have of completing them, in a short and easy way. In the example of the Drive-By mission the first couple of tries I did the mission without killing anyone, and I failed the mission every time. But when I did the mission with the approach of running every enemy over in sight, the mission was fairly easy.
    I would challenge anyone to complete this game without killing a single person. I think it’s reasonable to say that that task would be impossible. The creators made the game with the intention that it was going to be violent and the game reflects that. Some of the first missions require violence, thus exposing the player right away to what the game is all about. Even while driving vehicles I found it difficult to not at least kill one civilian, albeit it was not intentional. This is a result of the cars being hard to handle, and civilians always seemingly walking in front of your car.
    Overall I really enjoyed this game and found it very entertaining. Although the game is filled with racism, violence, and blatant stereotyping, I still enjoyed it and knew what to expect from this type of game. I have realized that the game is full of choices, much of them hindering on what you think is ethical or not. I will definitely be re-visiting this game in the future and look forward to what the crazy world of Grand Theft Auto will throw my way.

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