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    Mar 10th, 2009 at 15:07:22     -    Columbine Massacre (Other)

    Okay, so I woke up this morning and thought I would have a fresh start and an open mindset. I was so tired last night and knew it was the reason for my frustration. I started in the parking lot because I remembered to save my game. I entered the school ready to dodge the hall monitors and security cameras. After countless attempts to find the cafeteria, I finally did it. However as soon as I entered, a janitor spotted me and I was busted. Again I made it to the cafeteria, but a security camera saw me. My frustration was beginning to climb yet again.

    I sat and thought of a strategy before I entered the school again. I would have to hide behind tables and wait until the janitors were looking the other way before I tried to get past them. On one attempt I made it to the back of the cafeteria and tried to plant one of the bombs underneath the snack machine but it wouldnít let me. I began to get confused because Dylan told me to put the bombs in that exact location. I decided that there were probably other vending machines in the cafeteria. I searched every corner until I found more snack machines. I was able to plant a single bomb, but not the other one. Confusion yet again! I wandered around aimlessly trying to plant the other bomb somewhere, but I had no luck. I

    I left the cafeteria in search of a possible vending machine in the hallways, but still no luck. I had been playing for almost an hour and decided that I was stuck and could not continue. In fact, Iíd rather not have to see all of the violence that some of my other classmates encountered. I have no idea how they got that far because I was definitely stumped.

    When I finished playing and reflected on the game I decided to go to the gameís main web page. I discovered that there are many arguments on the side of the game. Many say that itís an inside look to what really went on in Eric and Dylanís mind the day of the shooting. Itís also just another piece of media, similar to that of a documentary on the massacre. I would have to completely disagree that it is the same thing. The creator of the game, Danny Ledonne argues that he was being completely respectful of the deceased when he made this game. His purpose was to enlighten America and urge us to take a look in the mirror and see what has happened to us as a country. I argue that his point is valid and acceptable, but I donít believe that you need a video game entitled Columbine Massacre to help us understand the amount of violence occurring in our nation. In fact, some may argue that this game will cause even more violence with kids wanting to imitate what they see on the screen. Overall, I think this game was a terrible creation and I pray that less and less people are playing it or creating anything else like it.

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    Mar 10th, 2009 at 15:06:58     -    Columbine Massacre (Other)

    An hour later, I decided to play again. Unfortunately, I had to start over since I hadnít saved the game before it froze. As I started the game, I started to think about how young these boys were when Columbine happened. I remember feeling so old and powerful in high school, but now that I am well out of my high school days, I realize how young and naÔve teenagers are. I donít understand how two young boys would have the mental capacity to choose to kill innocent classmates and then themselves.

    I started off in Ericís bedroom again, making my way through the room trying to remember where the ďDoomĒ magazine was located. After I got through the call with Dylan, I headed to the basement. The game doesnít specifically tell you how to use controls or what you are supposed to do exactly, so this whole process of playing was a big experiment of trial and error. Dylan came in and told me to get the duffle bags and propane tanks. We each got a bag and were ready to head out to the school.

    The next thing I knew I was in the school parking lot, standing next to Dylanís car. He told me to get the bombs out of the trunk and plant them in the school cafeteria underneath the vending machines. There were two bombs, so it was expected that I plant two bombs in the cafeteria. I had no idea was to expect so I retrieved the bombs from the car and went on my way. I took a short trip to the park because I thought that the school was down the path, but apparently not! The game doesnít give you any instruction of where to go like in other video games where you have a distinct pathway to follow. This is more like reality television where most of it is not scripted as in a non-reality show where the entire show has a set beginning, middle, and end. In this game, I determine my own fate. Ultimately, I understand what happens in the game, as it is a real life event. But the way I get there is through a lot of trial and error.

    I finally found the doors of the school and went inside. I got nervous because I had no idea what I was doing! And I felt so invasive and secretive. That is not my personality at all, especially because I am a rule follower, and my video game character was about to set bombs in a high school! I immediately blew my cover, according to the screen and had no idea why. I was back outside the school in the courtyard and entered into the school again. Once again, I was immediately ruined! I finally realized that there were security cameras and I had to dodge them by walking underneath them.

    On the third try, I got past one security camera, but then a hall monitor busted me. The stupid hall monitors are wandering around like robots and itís actually really surreal. These are my enemies; the hall monitors are the villains and I have to stop and think about this. Arenít I the enemy?

    I repeat the hall scene more times than I can count and I can never get to the cafeteria. Iíve read other peopleís game logs and they have gotten so much further than me and I donít understand how they do it! I tried getting into each of the classrooms, but Dylan said it wasnít time to go there yet. I got frustrated and gave up. It was time for a break.

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    Mar 10th, 2009 at 15:06:31     -    Columbine Massacre (Other)

    I'm not sure where to begin. I subconsciously put off this assignment for as long as I could. Now, I have realized that the reason I procrastinated was because the thought of playing Columbine Massacre made me feel ill. The tragedy was a real life event and I wondered if this game really existed or not. I really hoped that it wasn't true, but I was most definitely wrong. Personally, I wasn't even directly involved or aware of anyone involved in the Columbine massacre, but it still deeply affected me as I walked the halls of my high school that April day.

    When I finally decided to sit down and play the game, I had my best friend Zac sit with me. I wanted him to experience it with me, and it was definitely an experience. The game was nothing I had originally imagined it to be. The layout, graphics, and colors were so juvenile and "old-school." The music immediately put me in the minds of Dylan and Eric because it was eerie and repetitive. The sound effects when changing scenes were also very effective, such as Ericís mom knocking on his door and the clock ticking reminded me of a bomb ready to explode. Needless to say, the audio components of the game kept me anxious and on my toes. I had no idea what was in store for me.

    Since this was my first time playing the game, I took my time, since I knew there wasnít a time limit. This isnít Mario Brothers or Donkey Kong. I wasnít in some imaginary world. I had very real surroundings because I was in a very real experience. I scored a ďDoomĒ magazine? I have no idea what this means, but it was in Ericís bedroom. After I checked everything, decided to head out the door, but it wouldnít let me until I called Dylan on the phone.

    Calling Dylan disturbed me because of the ease in their conversation. They discussed death, God, excitement, and blowing up the cafeteria all in one short conversation. There had to be something seriously wrong with these two teenage boys, because killing people is not something you laugh about. And if you do, your sanity and normal-ness is definitely questionable.

    The game froze when I got to the basement so I had to restart the game. I decided that this would be a good place to stop. I hadnít mentally prepared myself to continue the game. I knew that bad things were inevitably going to happen, but for now I decided to return to my own life. The violence was impending and the casual talk of Dylan and Eric disturbed me to the core.

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    Feb 15th, 2009 at 23:05:03     -    Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)

    The third time and final time I played Grand Theft Auto I knew I had to be on a mission. I had previously discovered how to steal weapons and a motorcycle, but I thought that this time I had to steal a car. I started by attacking random cars to see if I could steal people's cars. I realized, however, that I had to beat up the driver in order to successfully win the car. Many of the people fought back and I had several failed attempts. I finally stole a car when I seriously hurt the driver and they were unconscious on the ground. It was a terrible feeling, but I realized it was just a game.

    Still, this disturbed me as I drove away in the car. It was mind boggling to me that this game really existed. I was able to hit other cars and drive them off the road. I even hit pedestrians on the sidewalk and people crossing the street. I did it purely because this was a game and didn't know if I would be rewarded for doing these terrible deeds. The entire premise of the game, stealing cars, is terrible, so shouldn't I be rewarded for committing other terrible acts. Beating up people and running over pedestrians helped me achieve my goal of stealing cars, which seems like a positive act and seems fulfilling in order to win the game.

    I started to get really into the game, but stopped to realize that it was ridiculous. I had to stop playing because I started getting too far into it. I guess it's easy to get addicted to these games. I didn't go as far as to feel like I was a real person in the game, but I did enjoy playing for the short time that I did. I have to say, though, that I don't think I'll ever play again. I only enjoyed it for the learning experience. I always wanted to know what it was like, and because I know now, I think I am done. And I do have to say that I won't allow my children to ever play a game with this much violence. I don't believe that they will try to emulate these acts. I just don't think that they should be exposed to it as young children.

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