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    Feb 21st, 2009 at 18:46:38     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    My third session playing Super Columbine Massacre RPG was spent walking through the school, trying to end the game. I made my way through all the rooms, encountering the same five or six various characters and attacking them. This got extremely repetitive, as it was exactly the same thing is did for my second session as well. This made me want to get through the game even faster. After about twenty minutes of making my way from classrooms to the cafeteria, I eventually made it to the library. At this point I was so sick of attacking people that I was taking more time trying to avoid people than I was trying to get through the game.

    Eventually I made it to the back of the library where a shoot out with the cops takes place. I’m then given a choice to continue killing people or ending it. I can’t image why any one would want to keep killing, because I couldn’t find anything enjoyable about it. The game play was just extremely simple and repetitive, and just helped to confirm my original thought that this game was made to shock people.

    After the shooters took their lives, I was shown a series of photographs of the aftermath of the shootings. Seeing all this was extremely sad, and it just made the game seem even more trivial and ridiculous. When placed next to the reality of the shootings, the game just seemed even more pointless.

    I thought the game was over, but then Dylan shows up in hell. I think this was a pretty obvious was of saying that the developer did no condone what the shooters did and he thought they were supposed to go to hell. It seemed like an easy way of getting himself off the hook for making a game that exploited a terrible event just to shock people. I didn’t make it to the end of the level, but I’m sure I wasn’t missing out on much. After finishing my last session, I was glad that I was finally done with this game.


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    Feb 21st, 2009 at 10:34:29     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    My second half hour started with Eric and Dylan waiting for the bombs to go off. When the bombs fail to do so, the shooting spree starts. Kids appear in the parking lot, and whenever you bump into one, a “battle” begins. Each kid you attack is a high school stereotype, including pretty girls, jocks, nerds, and religious kids. This is probably meant to show how the two shooters didn’t single any group out, they just decided to kill everyone. The interesting part is that you encounter one kid in the parking lot who Eric tells to go home because he likes him. I think there could have been a chance here to expand on this, but its over with one line of dialogue.

    I moved from the parking lot to the school, where you can attack more of the same kids in the hallway and the classrooms. The fighting is turn based, but you have weapons and the kids don’t, so its pretty one sided. You can choose to manually select your weapons, or just go through automatically. The fighting gets pretty repetitive, so I just kept using the auto button to move through the fights faster.

    At this point in the game there really isn’t anything to do besides move around the school killing people. There is no dialogue with any of the other characters, which is another missed opportunity to explore some of the reasons for the shooters actions. After playing this far in the game, I’m starting to feel like all this game was meant to do was shock people. The game really doesn’t delve to deep into the shooters motives, it just portrays them as two decided to kill people because “life is war.” Maybe that’s the point, but I don’t think that is saying too much. I still have one more session left, so hopefully I can find out if there is more to this game than just shock factor.


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    Feb 20th, 2009 at 00:47:09     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    When I discovered that there was a video game based the Columbine massacre, I was surprised at first, by when I thought about it for a second, it seemed obvious that someone would exploit a major event in our society like Columbine to gain attention. Basing a video game off of Columbine is an easy way to gain attention as a developer, but really all its there to do is cause controversy. On the games website, the developer says that the point of the game is to put yourself in the shooters shoes, to try and discover what motivated them to do what they did. So as I started the game, I tried to do just that.

    You play as Eric, one of the two gunmen in Columbine. I spent the first half hour of game play gearing up for the shooting, collecting various items from Eric’s house. I collected a Marilyn Manson CD, an antidepressant prescription, two large duffel bags, and some bombs. After meeting up with Dylan, the other shooter, I headed off to the school. Before I left there was an interesting cut scene where the two shooters make their last videotape. In the scene, I thought it was pretty obvious that Eric was supposed to be made out to be more remorseful because he keeps apologizing to his parents, while Dylan just talks about how everyone deserves to die. I don’t remember if this was really the case, but it seems the developer is putting more of the blame on Dylan.

    I spent the rest of the time sneaking through the hallways to plant the bombs in the cafeteria. This was actually harder than I thought it would be, and I kept getting caught by various hall monitors. Eventually I got all the bombs planted, got my weapons, and made it back to the parking lot to save my game.

    So far, the game has not done much to impress me. Obviously the game play itself is not going to be to in depth, but I thought the game would at least try and raise some more questions on the shooters motives. All it does it spit out quotes about “life being war” and “everyone must die.” It was all pretty obvious to me, just the same stuff that we heard in the news coverage after the massacre took place. For my next half hour I should be getting into the actual shooting, so we’ll see where it goes from there.


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    Jan 21st, 2009 at 07:58:41     -    Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)

    San Andreas round 3:

    For my third session, I chose to play past the first couple missions in order to open up the game a little more. The farther you play in a GTA game, more and more features are made available to you. Having progressed a little farther in the story at this point, I was able to access some of the newer features that were added to San Andreas

    Some of things I was encouraged to do were go to the gym and work out, eat food to gain health (but not too much or I'd gain weight), and find a girl to date. I did not like the addition of these features because I saw it as an attempt to make the game more realistic, which is not what GTA is all about to me. This game is meant to be anything but reality, because in real life I would never drive my car onto the sidewalk to smash a group of rival gang bangers, or run around trying to kill as many people as I can before the cops get me. I don't want to play a game that lets me do so many bad things, things that are frowned upon by any contributing member of society, and then have to go work out in the gym in order to impress a girl. This game is not meant to be reality, and these features are an attempt by the developers to blur the line between video game and reality, and for a game like San Andreas, I just think that is a bad idea.

    All in all I don't think much creative effort was put into this game. Like I said before the story and dialogue is uninspired, and it seems like it was done to piss people off. The game play is almost identical to the previous games in the series, with the setting being transplanted to a west coast city filled with stereotypical gang banger characters. The developers tried to add a few new features to the game, but in the end I think they took away from being able to just have fun playing the game.

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