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    Nov 30th, 2008 at 14:31:07     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    I restarted my game since I last played. I wanted to do more interaction before entering the school. This was a good choice.

    Starting from the call, i walked around the beginning room wildly hitting the enter button. Nothing of interest happened in the first room. However, in the basement, there is a veritable cornucopia of possibilities. Not only the Marylin Manson CD in the corner by the stairs, but all over. By far the creepiest was the video of them testing out their bomb when they are (seemingly) a lot younger. It gave me the feeling that they were planning the attack for years before it actually happened. The scariest part about it was the joy they found at maing something with the intention of using it to kill. Joy at a working invention, regardless of its design i can understand, but if you invent it with the express pourpose of killing innocents? I can't to go that level.

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    Nov 30th, 2008 at 13:52:27     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Being the "gamer" type, i tend to try not to judge a game by its title. However Super Columbine Massacre RPG!(SCMRPG)is a hard name to get around. Not only is it long, but it is, on the surface extremely irreverent.

    I do not have a very personal connection to the Columbine tragedy. I was in grade school and generally didn't care about the news. I remember heaing about it by proxy, mostly though other people, but it never really touched me. I was simply too young and too removed from the situation to really care.

    So, along comes this game, SCMRPG!, and a lot of people have a problem with "reenacting" (with liberties) the events of the columbine massacre. Also, the game makes the situation extremely personal. I did feel a bit uncomfortable because I wasn't playing a game that detached me from the characters, I was playing a game the did just the opposite. This was strange for me because usually I feel a distance between my self and the game, a healthy separation. This game started to blur that line.

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    Oct 6th, 2008 at 10:05:38     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    Played Twice Yesterday, Will separate the play-times.

    Play 1:

    In short, I started doing errands for my old "friends" on grove street. And needless to say various hijinks ensued. But this assignment is not about the "plot" of my gameplay.

    To construct a more complete notion of the "lose - lose " situation i mentioned before, I have to explain how this game comes across to players. When gamers sit down to play a GTA game, they think "open world, do whatever you want or do the story". However doing whatever you want leads to unshakable police, at least in my limited experience you can't shake anything above a 2-star and that is really hard to get rid of, and death. These two mechanics almost force you to go through the storyline and practice your way into free-roaming. This is not very open. Therefore we are "stuck" with the story (in the beginning). There are, honestly, very few ethical choices to make. I call it lose-lose because you can't really decide what you do, in order to progress. So does this lead to a lot of ethical dilemmas for the player? No, it leads to the player "choosing" to do that the storyline tells him/her to in order to play more of the game. You can't choose to make the situation for your character better.

    Play 2:

    I decided, based on my last play, to only try freeroaming for this play. And it turned out...interesting. My point about the lose-lose situation i feel still holds. When freeroaming you can't choose anything that will improve your characters standing (like, get a better house or help his neighborhood by not being a gangster). to start off, I steal a car. Immediately there are cops on me because, well I guess I missed them when I checked for cops. So i end up dying because when i turned the car around i ran over one of the cops, got a two star and couldn't shake it. Starting over from the last save point, i thought I would be trixxy. I run/Swim/Bike all the way to the docks, which by the way have ridiculously heavy traffic and check for cops. None....good. I jack a car and BAM, one star. This I manage to evade by driving out into the countryside. And, because I was freeroaming, then decide to give myself the "Professional" weapon pack. Sweet, I have satchel charges. so, in the middle of the country with tractors rolling by i start putting satchel charges on the road. The next car to come over the hill is a police SUV, followed by a lot more. I realize I have a 4-star wanted level. I started to get the impression that the game only wanted me to do cool stuff during the storyline, and didn't want me to make my own decisions about what I can and can't do. I therefore shut off the game in frustration.

    GTA has always been seen as a game where players could make their own choices and do their own thing, but this simply, from my mind, is not true. Sure, you can make your own choices, as long as they are illegal, and you can do your own thing, as long as that is the storyline. Where is the ethical dilemma in that? It is nothing more than following orders. If you want ethical choices, go see Bioshock. K THX BAI.

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    Oct 1st, 2008 at 23:19:15     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    After installing GTA:SA I started a new game. Having no real experience with San Andreas before, But having prior GTA Experience I knew generally what to expect. I would be dropped into a lose-lose situation where, in order to progress with the game I would have to "Make My own law" so to speak and work against the established authority (mainly cops) to further my own ends. With that knowledge I set off in my adventure.

    While not really part of this assignment i immediately was amazed by the lack of "eye candy" that San Andreas has. It got a pretty "average" rating on visuals when it was released in 2005. I found the graphics average enough to be distracting.

    Immediately you are shown that life isn't fair. You play as a character who is coming "west" for the first time in five years, and obviously you had a falling out with everyone from home. You get picked up by the cops immediately after landing and they steal your money and drop you off in a terrible part of town. You are shown very quickly that you can not take a "legitimate" path through the game. The game then follows as you meet up with old friends, and must escape a rival gang's drive-by attempt.

    As Freeroaming as the game says it is, and how it allows you to make a lot of ethical choices, they really bottleneck you into the role of a criminal who you should feel sorry for because for him, life just isn't fair. I guess this doesn't endear me very much, because i was always taught that life isn't fair, regardless of who you are.

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