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    Feb 23rd, 2009 at 00:01:09     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Super Columbine Massacre Ė Day 3

    Today I pick up where I left off yesterday. I run through the school, battling a few more students while trying to find where Iím supposed to go; I also run into a flashback sequence where we put on a play of Frankenstein, and some parallels were created between us and Frankensteinís monster. Finally a showdown occurs through the library windows between us and the cops. Itís a cutscene battle, though, so I donít do anything. Finally, after some shooting, Eric and Dylan decide to end everything and commit suicide.

    In those last moments, Eric reflects that maybe things could have been different, that maybe they could have ran away instead of pursuing revenge. But he figures everything would still suck, and then quite possibly the stupidest bit of dialog occurs. He wonders if maybe instead they could have hijacked some planes and crash them into New York City (gee, I wonder what heís referring to). This completely knocked me out of the moment; there was absolutely no reason to include a 9/11 reference, other than cheap shock value and maybe some terrorism connections. Stupid.

    After the game ends, pictures roll of the aftermath of the shooting. I then realize I could have made my way through the game without killing anyone other than myself. Huh. That thought didnít even remotely occur to me; instead I was too busy thinking like an RPG player and hunting down everyone. That definitely doesnít help the ďvideo games donít cause violenceĒ argument.

    After the pictures roll, and youíre left contemplating Eric and Dylanís motivations and if this could have all been avoided, the game fades back in to Dylan. And heís in Hell. So you set off to find Eric, all the while fighting off various demons. I got killed along the way because I was left with only a pistol, and I respawned all the way back to my last save point (in the parking lot before the attack began). I didnít want to do all that again, so I turned it off.

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    Feb 22nd, 2009 at 23:59:17     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Super Columbine Massacre Ė Day 2

    So my second session begins with all of the bombs failing to go off. We decide to wing it and plow through everyone anyway. The parking lot fills up with people after the bell rings. Now here is where my RPG instincts kick in. I stop seeing everyone as victims, and instead I see them as experience mines; I fight everyone in the parking lot so I can grow a few levels.

    Indeed, my mindset is now that of a gamer. I run through the level, fighting as many enemies as I can so I can get stronger. I figure thereíll be a boss character or something at the end of the level, so I conserve my ammo when I can. Iím not even thinking of the real Columbine massacre anymore; only about level grinding. Does that say anything about the effect of video games? My view is that this shows that games are just that; in real life just the thought of a school shooting makes me sick, but here Iím plowing through because itís a fun RPG. Same reason why I never ever want to go to war, yet still enjoy playing Call of Duty. Of course, others can probably link that to some sort of adverse effect on my conscience or something, but whatever.

    Of course, Iím not the biggest RPG fan in the world. By the time I get to the cafeteria, all of the repetitive turn-based battles have become really boring. I then decide to just run through the rest of the level to wherever the final area is. I do encounter a boy being bullied in the bathroom, so I kill the bullies and help the boy. Hypocritical, yes, but I couldnít help it. Plus the boy gives us some health packs, which rocks. I also think that itís funny how the boy wasnít freaking out that we just blew away four kids, but I digress.

    Iím pretty tired of all of the battling, so I decide to call it quits for now and finish it tomorrow.

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    Feb 21st, 2009 at 23:23:31     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Super Columbine Massacre RPG Ė Day 1

    I havenít even downloaded the game before I already figure what it will be. I mean, with a name like that, what else could it be but an extremely obvious and over-the-top attempt to shock people and create controversy? I only hope Iím wrong and that it was made with some sort of message in mind. Well, I suppose weíll find out soon enough.

    The game opens with Eric waking up on what I assume is the big day. Snooping around the room, I find Doom for the PS2, and this little nugget of a message pops up: ďYou scored Doom for the PS2! Let the desensitization to violence begin!Ē Ugh, not 5 seconds into the game and itís already blatantly throwing controversy into my face. Blaming video games for violence, what a totally original thing to do! Before I leave, I call up Dylan and we talk about the plan for today. Weíre feeling nervous, but committed.

    I go down to the basement and gather up all of the gear for the big event. Dylan comes over and we prepare to go. While down there, I check out some of the objects in the room. A pizza box initiates a flash back to when we were in the planning stages; I also see a recorder, on which we tape one last message. This managed to get to me; Eric spends his time apologizing to everyone and knowing how broken his parents will be. That hits pretty hard. WHY did they do this? Iíll never fully understand, and it frustrates me to no end. Seriously, they were so close to the end of high school, they could have just moved on to better things. High school sucks for everyone; itís a terrible time for a teenager. But itís also very insignificant in the grand scheme of things, and certainly not worth throwing your life away for some damn revenge. Good job game, you got me thinking.

    Iím apprehensive about continuing on; Iím afraid at what the game might make me do. Yes, itís just like any other shooting game out there, but something about knowing how real this is makes all the difference. I know the outcome, and there is no way I can change it. If it were up to me, Iíd stop playing right now. But I have to keep going, so I do. Du Hast starts playing on their car radio as they drive to school, which lightens the mood a bit and reminds me that itís just a game.

    We get to school, and the first thing we need to do is get to the cafeteria. We have to sneak through the halls without being detected. Normally Iím pretty good at sneaking missionsÖexcept when the people FOLLOW YOU. So itís not as simple as avoiding their eyesight. You have to sprint away from them as they inexplicably try and talk to you whilst avoiding the security cameras, inevitably racking up followers until you have a mob rushing you. It is very frustrating. Finally I manage to shake off my instinct to time their movements and jump to different hiding places, and just sprint down the hallway. Yippee, hereís the cafeteria.

    And what do I do when I get there? I PULL THE FRIGGINí FIRE ALARM. It was put in the level design, so naturally I thought ďHuh, I wonder what happens when I choose this?Ē Damn my RPG instincts. Anyway, after maybe 20 minutes of wandering around the cafeteria frustrated beyond belief and being ďbustedĒ numerous times, I finally figure out that I was supposed to get the bombs out of the trunk of our car. Ugh, that hurts.

    So finally I set the bombs, we get all of our weapons together, and set the timer on the bomb in our car. I figure this is a good place to stop, right before all the action begins. Just got to keep reminding myself that itís just a gameÖ

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    Jan 20th, 2009 at 22:01:24     -    Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (XBX)

    San Andreas Ė Day 3
    Final day of my little GTA assignment. I donít want to waste any more space, so Iím going to skip ahead like 20 minutes to when I finally complete that graffiti mission. Frigginí turf wars. I get a phone call from a cop who threatens me about something, I dunno. Anyway, I find some brass knuckles underneath a bridge, which is pretty cool. My next mission involves confronting some dude, and that Ryder guy tags along. We learn that drugs are messing up the Ďhood (drugs can do that?! NO WAY), so we decide to beat up a crack dealer. Thatíll surely solve our problem.
    After that, we have to go killÖsomeone else. Maybe the leader of the area? I donít know; all I know is that it takes like twice as long to get there because Ryderís a little bitch and runs slowly. I canít believe GTA has a freakiní escort mission. Anyway, we take out some more drug dealers, and the mission ends. Who knew cleaning up the streets would be so easy?
    Iím getting bored of the story AGAIN, so I decide to, once more, terrorize the streets. I take the baseball bat I got last mission and pummel a bunch of random dudes. The cops naturally arrive, so I take them out and steal their guns. I shoot the driver of the ambulance that arrives and ride off into the streets, running down everyone I see. Eventually I ditch it and hijack a cop car; maybe I can disguise myself. They still seem to recognize me, though (probably due to the fact that Iím running people over), and still give chase. The car eventually gets too damaged, so I ditch it and take one of the copsí motorcycles.
    Anyway, they finally manage to kill me after a climactic shootout where I take out like 8 cops with a shotgun. It was pretty cool and a lot more fun than any of the missions so far. Well, I think Iím pretty finished with this game. Time for my final thoughts:


    The game is a decent waste of time, I can see how people spend hours just causing as much mayhem as possible. However, the actual Ďstoryí part is contrived, stereotypical, and feels tacked on. But hey, not a whole lot of people buy these games for the missions. I think itís funny how the game got so boring for me that I decided to be as evil and morally abysmal as I could possibly be. Yes, the game stereotypes blacks, Mexicans, and pretty much anyone who lives in the ghetto. But honestly, it seems so purposefully hurtful that it just comes out as harmless, like an affectionate parody or something.
    Society hates these games because it seemingly encourages people to go out and do terrible things, but really itís just offering people an escape to act out these urges without any repercussions. Itís not like parents ever complain when kids play cops and robbers; I think the only reason this game has been such a target is because itís one of the most Ďrealí fantasies out there. Eventually something much worse and more realistic will come out, and then everyone will shrug off GTA and focus on this new thing. A similar thing happened with The Simpsons. When it first came out, Bart was like the epitome of mischief, and people thought he was a terrible role model. Nowadays, with characters like Cartman walking around, Bart seems pretty tame.
    So yes, this game encourages moral indifference during gameplay, but I honestly donít think it deserves the amount of attention and scrutiny that it receives. On a more personal note, this game bored me and I wonít be playing it again. Frigginí graffiti.

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    1Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas (XBX)Stopped playing - Got Bored
    2Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)Finished playing

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