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    Nov 4th, 2008 at 22:44:41     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    My final session with Super Columbine RPG! was disappointing. The characters (using I makes me a little uneasy) finished massacring people in the school and the characters shot themselves in the library. I thought the game was over, but it was not. There was a short montage of pictures of mourning students. There was a very strange dream sequence where the boys lived alone on an island. I found this odd. Was the other implying that the boys were gay? I am not sure. The game took a turn for ridiculous, when they awaken in hell. After five attempts to survive I gave up. I suppose it is quite difficult to survive hell.
    The hell section just seemed bizarre and unnecessary. I thought the point of the game was to offer a very different view of a tragedy, but the addition of the hell level negated that. Before the hell section began I thought the game was over. The killers committed suicide and no one was happy. I though SCMRPG had an ending showing how terrible the violence was. It was not so. The boys wake up in this ridiculous cartoony “hell” full of demons for them blast away. What is the message? If you kill a bunch of people you can keep on fighting with your buddy in a goofy afterlife? This game made me uncomfortable. It was not fun to play, and I do not think it was intended to be. However, it really pushes the idea that games can be used to portray any variety of experiences and events, however appalling they can be.

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    Nov 4th, 2008 at 17:02:21     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    I started my second foray in SCMRPG right before Eric and Dylan enter the school. The bombs failed to go off and I stormed on in. During the following the portion of the game I felt a little uncomfortable. It was because the game felt so real. It was not because of the violence; the violence did not look real at all. The quality of the visuals is on par with that of games from the Super Nintendo era. The game felt real first of all because it was based entirely on real events and real people. I was reenacting a terrible tragedy. It did not matter that the violence was cartoony, but that it actually happened. Also the characters and dialogue were very creepy. It forces the player to experience the tragedy from the killer’s perspective. It was unsettling to play from the boys’ perspective. How often do you play a game where the main characters are ostracized, disturbed, murderous teens? Aside from SCMRPG, probably never. I have not heard of a film about 9/11 that tries to convey the perspective of hijackers. SCMRPG did something I have never seen in any form of media. It took an actual tragedy and retold it from the perspective of the killers. It is frightening, but we cannot dismiss something because it scares us or makes us uncomfortable.

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    Nov 4th, 2008 at 14:58:09     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    I finished playing my first round of Super Columbine Massacre RPG and I have to say that I am not sure how I feel about the game. It's very creepy to play as a disenfranchised, depressed youth plotting the murder and destruction of his peers. The creator of SCMRPG was very bold to use a videogame as his medium of portraying the story of the columbine massacre. Of course many people would say, with outrage, "How could you possibly make a videogame about that?" I think that the real reason people get upset is because of the relatively short time between the actual event and the medium through which it is portrayed. The farther in the past some disaster or tragedy is, the less scorn some recreation of something receives. It would have been deemed extremely innappropirate for someone to make a film about Kennedy's assassination soon after it happened; it would be near impossible to get it produced or distributed. However, today, there would be no fuss over a documentary or even a dramatization of it. SCMRPG was released only six years after the actual tragedy at columbine high school. Also the fact that it is a video game makes people extremely uncomfortable. I was actually controlling Eric and Dylan. It was very unnerving to control a character planingt bombs in the school cafeteria knowing that this event actually happened almost ten years ago.

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    Oct 6th, 2008 at 04:45:17     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (PC)

    My third session of living the “thug” life in San Andreas did not vary much from the previous two. CJ rescued his brother from a gun fight by running over and shooting other gang members, stole firearms from a house, and participated in a low rider competition. I feel that yet again CJ justifies his actions by doing what he thinks is best for his family.

    For CJ family is everything so he doesn’t think twice about killing a few gang members to save his brother. Most people would probably rely on the police in a situation like this, but in CJ’s world he can’t trust the law to help him. His loyalty keeps him from thinking twice about killing some other people in order to save his brother. CJ doesn’t have a problem with burglary, despite the lack of direct benefit to his family. However, the guns that he steals would be necessary for him and his friends to defend themselves from their enemies. There are no moral decisions in the low rider competition, but the game does again reinforce racial stereotypes, but this time of Latinos instead of African Americans. This third session did support the idea that CJ is not without something guiding his actions. If there is a moral theory that would fit best with CJ it would be the virtue theory. CJ makes almost all of his decisions based on one virtue: loyalty. He is extremely loyal to his family and friends. CJ has no regard for the laws of society, but he does have regard for his family and friends. His small community is his own little society, and he respects the people in that community.

    After a mission, one of the characters speaks a very powerful quote to CJ: “…you got to get it in your head that this is everyday shit homie”. The character is referring to casual way that these people encounter violence. Death and violence are a huge part of their lives. CJ returns home because of his mother’s death only to be lectured by his brother about other members of their community that had died. I think that the violent nature of CJ’s surroundings makes it easier to understand why the characters make the decisions they do. They answer violence with violence. The characters in San Andreas do not expect help from the authorities. Because of the support the characters receive from their communities they are loyal to them above the law.

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