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    May 15th, 2013 at 12:30:27     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Donalisa Gomez
    GAM 228
    5/15/13

    Super Columbine Massacre RPG! (Game Log Assignment 2 PT.3)

    So, like I said in my first game log for Super Columbine Massacre, I can’t play this game the way it is meant to be played. It is too real for me. As far as realism goes, I expressed my feelings on just how real this game feels to me, knowing that it is based off of an actual event that took place a little bit over a decade ago. I actually felt like I was the guy, in his house, doing the things he did that morning…creepy. So—in an attempt to change history, I guess—I refused to play the game according to the objectives. I probably ended up shooting a handful of people and didn’t set off any bombs. Most of the time I just went around; walking and exploring the space of the game.

    This game is heavy on the violence. After “playing” the game for thirty minutes these past three days, I decided to watch the run through to get a better since of what the game is supposed to be like; how it is meant to be played. If this game is a depiction of what happened that day, then that (what went on that day) is pretty messed up. To actually think that at one point the guys went around the parking lot shooting people at random, shot up the cafeteria without a care as to who was who, going into classrooms and choosing their weapon of destruction…violent. I think the violence in this game is justified though. The designer did what it took to get people/players to realize just how tragic the events of April 20th, 1999 were. The high school was the site of a massacre and was a bloody, violent day, and that it well expressed through Super Columbine Massacre RPG. I think it is ethical for the designer to truthfully depict the shooting for what it was, and not try to sugarcoat it in lies of a simple school shooting where a few people die, but something where the killers had an emotional detachment with what they were doing; they didn’t feel sorry for taking down students, classmates like pigs off to slaughter, but were seeing each kill and each bomb explosion like a successful mission; scary, but right/truthful.

    I think that teens especially can relate to this game because—despite how people go on with their lives—they go through a lot these days. No matter who you are, where you’re from, what you do you are going to come to a point in your life when you feel that it would be better if you could just 1) end it, 2) get rid of someone else, or 3) do something worthwhile that you will be remembered for. Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold did that. Regardless of the popular opinion that they committed a heinous act and should in no way have done what they did, there may be just as many people who agree or can relate to the two guys who did what they were all thinking about. Now, this is just my opinion, so you can disagree if you will, but I honestly think that any teen, student, or person is capable of doing something like this if pushed to the limit, and Eric and Dylan were just bold or fed up enough to do it.

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    May 14th, 2013 at 21:25:54     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Donalisa Gomez
    GAM 228
    5/14/13

    Super Columbine Massacre RPG! (Game Log Assignment 2 PT.2)

    The story of Super Columbine Massacre is based off of, or actually a retelling of what happened the on the day of April 20th, 1999 in Denver (I believe). The designer of the game did not want to just make a game that acted as a documentary of what happened that day, but rather a journal if you would. What I’m trying to say is that the designer wanted to be as factual as he could about not only what happened that day, but more so WHY it happened. To this affect, the designer had a certain responsibility to keep his game’s story line and such as close to the original as possible. Because of this, there is a certain level or feeling of authenticity while one plays the game. Knowing that the game is not just fabricated from myths told by people who were uninvolved in the event, or theories and opinions expressed in the media makes the story all the more powerful.

    We talked in class (like the first week) about the power of media; how it persuades opinions and has a certain level of control over people. I think many people who heard about the Columbine incident did not really know how/what all happened. When given an inch, we take a mile; by media reporting of two teenage boys who went on a killing spree in their high school and, for example, just so happened to listen to Marilyn Manson, people start spitting conspiracy theories about why rock music or metal or any other “disturbing” genre is turning kids into delinquent murders or something. I happen to listen to Marilyn Manson, and trust me I won’t be killing anybody anytime soon. The thing about media is that it is everywhere. You cannot escape it. Because of this, I think when people hear about something in the news or read about it online or in those things called newspapers, they always take it as truth and la almost. Sure, there are people who disagree with what’s on the news, but then they take the bait—information provided or fabricated by media—and turn it into something of their own. Pretty soon everyone knows “what really happened”, and then soon nobody knows (because there are so many different “truths” that have been brought to the surface on the media’s fishing rod).

    Also—since we have been talking about the first amendment and what that right really entails or permits, it is necessary to say that—yes the media has the right to say/print/report what they want, and everyone else in America can twist that information however they see fit, there lies that problem with in what instances this can be applied. For example, if some crazy mother goes to her kids’ school and raises all kinds of hell over not having proper security or something—due to her current understanding of how easy it was for two high school kids to bring weapons to and setup bombs around their school—and goes around yelling that there is a bomb in the cafeteria, demanding her children be homeschooled, it’s like yelling fire in a crowded theater. If only she had been well informed as to what really happened and just how these boys were able to do what they did.

    This was the objective of SCMRPG’s designer; a retelling of the events that went on that day, from start to finish, and telling that story through the accounts of its authors (Eric and Dylan). I believe it was more ethical for him to use the accounts of the “culprits” in designing this game and the story, because again, you never know what could happen if he just went along with the media’s viewpoint that this was some acts of adolescent rebellion against the education system, or a product of certain music poisoning our youth, or whatever other old wives tale they can spit up. Maybe people would have held riots on music labels/radio stations so that they would stop producing/distributing such music, or crack down on students in school to make sure they are head in the “right” direction, or maybe people would even turn to witch trials on those who seemed to be socially awkward and were thought to be those unstable people who are capable or going crazy one day and killing everybody in a fit. In these cases, countless numbers of being will get hurt—physically, mentally, or emotionally—and companies, radio stations, and even the music/media industry could suffer financially. Whereas with how the designer chose to tell it like it is—being responsible for keeping the story as authentic as possible by not only believing in/relying on the media’s account of the event—maybe a couple hundred people who are somehow closely linked to what happened that day may suffer some trauma from it being revisited. That’s still the lesser of two evils, to me.

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    May 12th, 2013 at 12:14:27     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Donalisa Gomez
    GAM 228
    5/12/13

    Super Columbine Massacre RPG! (Game Log Assignment 2 PT.1)

    I had no idea what this game was beforehand, so before I started playing it I read the description and watched the trailer on the website. The game is tightly based off of a school shooting that took place on April 20th, 1999 in America. In the game, players can play as one of the two kids responsible: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. After reading about this and watching the trailer and seeing what other people had to say about it, I think my impression of the game will be affected. At this point, I haven’t started playing yet, but I am sure that if I didn’t know that the game was based off of a real event, my reaction would be different. Not to say that I think it’s a bad thing that they turned such a tragic event into a game, but that when playing it I may think “wow, so this is what it was like” or something like that. I mean, if anything making a game out of an event (current or past) is (I think) a great way to get word around about what happened—like I said, I knew nothing of “the deadliest school shooting in American history”, but thanks to this game, I am now informed.

    I even took the time to read the game designer’s statement. I was surprised that this game was just made with an “RPG maker” program. Something that struck me was that the artist set out to make a game that did more than just amuse players, but instead was a game that strove to be “socially conscious” and “something that mattered”. The artist talks about trying to balance personal morality: staying true to the event of what happened that day while respecting those who suffered and died that day. To do so, the artist didn’t rely on political, personal, or public views, but instead chose to tell the story from the view of the two who committed the massacre. The artist definitely takes a video game to new lengths of what a video game can be. The object of the game is that the Columbine shooting is more deeply understood.

    Ok, time to play… I haven’t been able to get very far at all, but I’ll say what I can… I feel that the game is very effective in trying to get players to think about what they are doing as the character and not just using the keys to play the game through. About what I said earlier—knowing that this game is based on a true event, and its effect on my impression of the game—every time I think about shooting someone or setting a bomb, my heat raced more and more, despite not having gotten to that yet. I’ve played games where you fight people (Naruto Ninja Storm, or Street Fighter), and even games where you go around killing enemies (InuYasha Demon Tournament or even GTA), but each time I treated it as a game. With Super Columbine Massacre I’m not so sure I can do that. I honestly don’t want to go into rooms and choose my weapon to kill people. It’s kind of scary actually. Since it is a game made from a real event, I feel as though I will be there doing the killings; like everyone I will shoot is actually (not only a representation of) a person who is dead now because of these two guys who went on a shooting spree. With GTA I talked about a similar reaction—living the life of the character and it effect my personality—but unlike GTA, the feeling inflicted upon me by SCMRPG is something that is long lasting and I still can’t get over it. At this moment my hands are pulsing a bit (not to sound like I’m over exaggerating), but I’m a bit freaked out by this, and I haven’t even killed people yet! Ethically, I don’t know if the impact of this game is right (ethical) or not; the designer wanted people to think about this and feel this way, but because I don’t feel good or “happy” right now, I’m pretty sure others didn’t as well. Taking on a role is great during a game, but there is a danger of getting TOO into it; the ideal thing is to let the “magic circle” be separate from reality, and SMCRPG is too real for me. I sincerely do not wish to play this again. Really…


    This entry has been edited 3 times. It was last edited on May 14th, 2013 at 19:06:12.

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    Apr 24th, 2013 at 11:34:21     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (360)

    Donalisa Gomez
    GAM 228
    4/24/13

    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (Game Log Assignment 1 PT.3)

    I was finally able to complete a mission, yes! Ok, anyway, I think this game is changing me. Well, not changing me, but changing my behavior to suit that of the game’s lifestyle. In my weekly reflection on Rauch and Utilitarianism, I found a post online about whether or video games make people violent; for example, Fable with being a game of constant killing (as I’m told) and whatnot.

    Grand Theft Auto has an effect on me as a player. After the entire jail and cop episode I went through, I got even more violent towards the “people” I encountered. I got more “ballsy” almost. This was true in two situations: stealing a car, and hitting women. So, the first situation was when I got out of jail, had no idea where I had to go, so I started running around, stealing vehicles, and dodging cops/civilians. However, after a while, I got annoyed with not having a goal in sight, and not doing anything productive. I eventually totaled the car I was in at the moment (because I can’t drive in video games, at all) so I stole a new one; however, I did not realize who was driving it—I did not even care, actually. It turned out to be the enemy gang, the “purple shirts”; nevertheless, I successfully stole the car. They shot at me, but I got away *win*. After this, every time I saw someone is a purple shirt, I ran them over. Why? I’m not completely sure myself. According to Kant and Utilitarianism, I would be a great unethical person.

    I didn’t stop with the murder of several enemies, no, I went on to beating innocents. That prior feeling I had of not wanting to harm civilians and get busted by the cops again disappeared; I could care less what happened now. This could be because I’m not very good at the game in general, but I think it’s because of the game’s influence over my (in-game) behavior. So, when I was back to walking around aimlessly—t ying to find my house again—I wondered if I could randomly hit people I walked by (why? I’m not so sure myself). The first one to pass by when I thought this was a chick wearing a bikini top and short shorts… perfect target. What I thought was strange was what she said afterwards “You ain’t gonna hit this b#tch, b#tch”…nice. Further strengthening my argument that GTA depicts a severely stereotypical “hood life”. Anyway, back to the cat fight; I was surprised that she started hitting me back—I expected other “people” in the game to just ignore your (the player’s) existence, but no. And I accidentally hit a guy while fighting the woman, so it ended up being two against one; I ran away. What struck me the most afterwards was that I wanted to do it again. The next “hoe” I saw, I wanted to hit her and have a squabble. Or even the guys; I had no problem throwing hands (fighting) with however came my way.

    It was as if GTA was changing my personality and behavior into that of a person (CJ) who is living this lifestyle first hand (going to jail, dealing with shootouts, disrespecting life/women/etc.) However, as soon as I was done playing and stepped away from the controller, those feelings were gone; I didn’t become that person. When I was talking to a friend about how I did in the game, I told them about stealing the thugs’ car, and I felt accomplished. When telling them about how I was bored so I beat up random guys and women, I felt like “maybe I shouldn’t have done that”, but I didn’t feel bad when I was doing it. It was as if, during the game, that behavior was normal or expected of me.

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