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    May 15th, 2013 at 02:13:07     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    For my last session of playing Super Columbine Massacre, I decided to just finish the game. I assumed there couldn't be much left, since the massacre was over. I was very wrong. Left only with a pistol and Ecce Homo, which I will admit to reverting to an earlier save to get, I started my trek. After reuniting with Eric, I trudged my way through obnoxious hordes of repetitive Doom enemies, and was rewarded for my efforts with some pop culture humor, including meetings with Santa, Megaman, and Darth Vader, and some more topical scenes. Returning Ecce Homo to Nietzsche allowed me a humorous bit in which Nietzsche talked about the flaws of the world in his own, intellectual terms, and Eric and Dylan simply respond with their own witty musings, ie, "Yeah, they're all fuckheads."

    The most interesting part of the final chapter of the game, for me at least, was the press conference that I watched after defeating Satan. As each person got up to speak, and used this horrible tragedy as a soapbox for their own purposes, I was reminded of the soapboxing that takes place after so many tragedies. They basically covered all the tragedy chasing figures. One pushed gun control, one argued that music and video games were responsible, another said it was the end of days, and that we were all doomed. The truth is much simpler. Eric Harris was a psychopath who thought that others deserved to be exterminated for their inferiority, and Dylan Klebold shared some of his views and was pulled in by Eric's rhetoric. Two teens failed to have respect for human life, and if anything, they needed psychological help.

    Super Columbine Massacre RPG, while an awful game in many traditional ways, was a fantastic game for it's efforts to make people think, using a platform that many still see as a toy. Going through the motions of orchestrating murder myself, rather than simply watching someone else do it, gave far more insight into the nature of Eric and Dylan's mindsets. It also forces viewers to see too murderers as more than pure evil, and see them instead as people gone far astray.

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    May 14th, 2013 at 01:50:55     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    For my second session of playing Super Columbine Massacre RPG, I picked up where I had previously left off. I had just placed the propane bombs, so I made my way to the park to gear up. The boys shared a moment of thought overlooking the city, and offered a few words on their motivations. They talked about how they just wanted to get away from a world they saw as fake, and full of people not worth their respect. When they began pulling items out of the duffel bags, and they were presented with friendly "item get"-styled screen showing a picture of the weapon, which I can only assume were taken by police when investigating the incident. The happy jingle that played as each real-life murder weapon was presented was certainly a bit unnerving. I opened the menu and equipped my newly found gear, then headed back to the parking lot. After setting the car bomb's timer, the boys settled in to wait for the first explosion. After several minutes of waiting, they realized none of the bombs were going to go off for another 12ish hours, and began their attack immediately. At first, I assumed I had to engage with each student in order to progress, so I spent a decent amount of time hacking my way uncomfortably through classmates, then realized I could simply rush down the halls, and avoid most encounters. I ended up in the library, and after setting the computer tables on fire, I made my way over to the window, only to notice the cops outside. The boys attempted to hold them off, but quickly realized that it was futile, and brought their own rampage to a close. The final thoughts that I witnessed were very strange to watch. Throughout the whole rampage, I had felt like there was a very...fatalistic tone to both boys' thoughts. They had clearly planned to not leave the school alive. After their death, a series of images set to music rolled, showing survivors, victims, and the boys themselves. It made me very uncomfortable to see images of the suffering that I had essentially brought about by playing the game, and brought up a crucial difference between this and the average video game (aside from horrible gameplay and awful art). When you play a game, you aren't faced with a bunch of families torn apart by what you did. You deal with the situations the game puts in front of you, and NPC deaths aren't a big deal. The dynamic changes drastically when you are face to face with an image of a mother crying, or a scared child.

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    May 13th, 2013 at 01:18:38     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Going into this game, I was interested in what exactly it would be. I had heard about the controversy it had sparked when it released, and its subsequent pulling from the finalists of Slamdance. I have always had an interest in books, games and movies that cause an uproar when they are released; banned books and historically censored movies are particularly interesting to me.

    Before I got to any of the real meat of the game, I found myself extremely irritated by the font used in the game. The font kerning is awful, to the point that letters in the next word actually can be closer together than letters in the game word. I quickly got over the pain that is reading the text, however, when I began to get into the game more. Having played other RPGs, my first order of business was to walk up to every object that might be interesting and investigate it. As I explored "my" home, I was unnerved to see the... humanity, I guess, that I saw in the inner monologue expressed regarding each object. It wasn't the home of a mass murderer, it was the home of a person, albeit with some mental issues, that felt society had wronged him. The pizza box flashback revealed a desire to not disappoint their parents, and a sense of pride for their college application. It seemed like, at the time, they weren't really convinced that their plan was going to take place. Leaving the video recording was also poignant. Their concern for their families and friends was genuine, and they expressed remorse, even though most descriptions do not portray them that way.

    As I progressed to the school, and was tasked with planting the bombs, I ran into some issues with the games mechanics, and some issues with the medium. It was not immediately apparent that the strange, open-air toilet shaped things were cameras, and it seemed like I was repeatedly being caught for no clear reason. Once I figured out what I was doing wrong, though, it was smooth sailing. I returned to the parking lot, and saved, wrapping up my first play session.

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    Apr 24th, 2013 at 16:44:57     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    For my final (for class at least) day of playing GTA: San Andreas, I decided to set aside missions. I felt the time had come for me to do what all GTA players eventually do. I had to go on a rampage. No game of GTA is complete without at least one rampage.

    Just before my rampage, I got arrested. All my guns were taken away, and rather than reacquire them, I decided to just use cheats. With my newfound weapons in hand, I began my spree. Driving became bowling for pedestrians. Every street was a shooting gallery. Police pursuit was simply a minor obstacle to be obliterated with a rocket launcher.

    My rampage was cut short when I tried to enter a cheat to lower my wanted level in an alley. I was holding a grenade in my hand and facing one wall, and the code required the "fire" button to be pressed. I saw CJ throw, but didn't react in time. Kaboom. Its just as well that way; at least I got some comeuppance for my crime spree.

    It was really very satisfying. Going into my rampage, I had some pent-up aggression, as I was having a bad day. When I finally stepped away from my computer, I felt very relaxed. I was surprised how much better I felt. People who say that this game causes violence in people have the wrong idea, I think. If anything, this game let me take out my anger and aggression in a healthy and harmless way. I still know everything I did was wrong, but I would never do anything like that in real life. If nothing else, this game should at least be recognized as a outlet for ethical experimentation, and a way of focusing frustration toward something harmless.

    This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Apr 24th, 2013 at 16:46:20.

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