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    Nov 5th, 2008 at 17:20:39     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    The ‘second part’ of this game takes us to after the killers have committed suicide and are now in hell. This part of the game disturbed me at first because I felt that the game took a turn from being a commentary meant to promote dialog about columbine, to just using the game as a way to gain media attention and ‘popularity’. The scene is now in hell and it looks very much like a much loved game DOOM, including many of the demons featured in DOOM. The idea is you go around killing demons and then have to find the two parts of the satanic bible and then satan (who’s image is stolen from south park) gives you a dragon. At which point the game attempts to come back to the idea that violence in video games has not been proven to cause violence in real life and the same with music. It does this by having the characters look down on earth and seeing a news conference about how Marolyn Manson caused all this, or gun laws, or other things. I thought this was a bit pathetic, and a poor way of trying to bring the game back to having a ‘moral plotline’
    The idea that this was just for recognition and attention is furthered by the fact that the creator Danny Ledonne has since created a movie all about the reactions to Super Columbine Massacre RPG.

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    Nov 5th, 2008 at 16:49:33     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    I have reached the end of the ‘first part’ of the game, and have committed ‘suicide’. I thought that it was interesting that the creators allowed you to do this without forcing you to kill anyone, making it possible for you to kill as many or as few people as you liked while you played. For myself I tried to kill as few people as possible but in order to get the full experience of the game did spend a decent amount of time doing so. I thought this was a great way for them to design it, in class we had talked about how in ‘Fire Emblem’ Stephen Totilo had become attached to his characters and was then asked to kill or fight them later in the game, only avoiding doing so by going online and finding a work around to it. In the case of this game I felt that the creators realized that there might be people playing this game who were close to someone who was shot or killed during the actual massacre and would not necessarily want to go through the game and shoot or kill people. By providing them with an ‘out’ they would be able to get through the game and use it to stimulate dialogue.

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    Nov 5th, 2008 at 16:36:12     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Super Columbine Massacre RPG. This game turned out to be almost exactly what I expected it to be. It was in fact a game that I believe was quite boring and unoriginal except for the fact that the story line followed very closely to an event which had an enormous impact on a huge amount of people. It was a game that could have been made by anyone with basic computer knowledge and a little patience. In fact I had a friend in high-school who made a game using the exact same software.
    When I’m playing a game I tend to focus on the game play first and the story is just background information used to present me with increasingly difficult challenges. With this game however the game play was so basic that I tended to focus more on the plot, which I believe was the intent of the creators.

    After playing the game for a while I decided to look up some news article about it online. I found that many claimed that brought up bad memories and reopened the wounds of what had happened. During game play however I felt that due to the platform used and way in which it was made didn’t really have a horrible disturbing affect to it. It really felt like it was a walkthrough documentary, giving quite detailed information about what happened and how. Details like when you first start the game and explore his house, you find music by Marolyn Manson, which in the media was blamed for the attack. It also has them plant propane bombs that don’t go off properly just like what happened. As I kept reading these articles and comparing them to my experience of playing the game I started to remember back to when Columbine occurred and the media coverage of it. I couldn’t help but wonder what the difference between this game and the media coverage at the time was, besides the interactivity of it. Many claimed that Super Columbine Massacre RPG was unethical for its portrayal of these acts and for making a game out of this tragedy. But what about the news which put out still frames from the surveillance tapes and wrought out every little detail that was incorporated into this game. Where do you think the creators got their material? They aren’t reporters, interviewing people and looking over the footage themselves, they just watched the news.
    So far I’m only roughly halfway through the game but so far see no moral problem with what the creators of this game have done, and in fact believe that the game was intentionally made in order to create a new dialog about the massacre that occurred. (in which case, the game was a success with this assignment being point and case)

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    Oct 6th, 2008 at 00:22:28     -    Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)

    3rd round:
    For my third session I decided that I would check out the cheats that San Andreas had to offer. Many gamers look down on cheating but I find it to be a lot of fun and a great way for games to provide better game-play for people. Most people play a game till they either beat it or get stuck, by offering cheat codes a game offers extended play to those that beat it, and allows those who are stuck to get around a particularly difficult mission that would have otherwise prevented them from playing anymore. While normally I like to beat a game without them first, and then go back and use them, I decided that since I was only playing for class, and probably wouldn't have time to play the game for real, cheating would be acceptable.
    San Andreas includes a long list of cheats affecting many different aspects of the game. It has the basic cheats of all games such as getting weapons, money, health, armor and ammo, the game specific cheats such as losing/raising wanted levels, recruiting anyone into your gang and automatically giving them a rocket launcher (one of my favorites), and the ability to change your physical attributes, such as being skinny, fat, or muscular. It also has the GTA standard spawning of different popular vehicles, as well as the ability to make cars fly, have nitrous, etc. Some of the most unique cheats that San Andreas has are its weather and time cheats; allowing you to make it clear and sunny, stormy, or foggy; it also can lock the clock at midnight, or at 21:00 hours.
    Naturally I turned on the best weapons package, infinite health and ammo, and full skill with weapons, as well as really muscular physique, spawning a monster truck adding nitrous, and faster cars, and turning on the 'Vehicle of Death' which makes my vehicle invincible and able to destroy everything it touches. After all this I turn my wanted level up to 6 and try them all out. :) After a good 15-20 minutes of destroying everything and everyone, I use the no wanted level cheat and try out some of the more odd cheats. Such as making all the pedestrians go crazy, looting and burning houses, or turning them all into Elvis. I noticed that changing the appearance of CJ also changed how the pedestrians on the street reacted to him. Using the cheat to make him fat lead to them pointing and making rude remarks.
    Overall the game was very good, great pedestrian AI, the cop AI left something to be desired, but I have yet to play a game that really gets that right balance between being realistic and still playable. I almost felt that there was too much emphasis on the small things. It was annoying having to go and eat when CJ was hungry, or going to workout all the time to stay in shape. Video games are supposed to be an escape so why make us do tedious things? The missions themselves were pretty standard with only 2 or three of the few I played really standing out.

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