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    Mar 10th, 2009 at 11:55:04     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    I just finishing playing the game Super Columbine Massacre for the third time this morning. I am shamed to admit that this time I played for about two hours. I had to view the first few minutes of the walkthrough to realize I left the propane bombs in the trunk of the car, which is why I could not advance the story. I wanted to play to the end, and I probably will, but not before the assignment is due.

    My only complaint about this game is the lack of instructions and clues to get players back on track when they are lost. If it had not been for the walk-through I found online (http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=2179150900926491833 ) Iíd still be running around the cafeteria.

    The game is quite fun, much better than Grand Theft Auto, but I am biased. I did get to do dome killing this time. I think, in hindsight, that is why I played so long.

    Graphics and the quality of graphics seem to be my greatest argument for this game. I think that the poor quality of the images negates any negative effect on players. The poor graphics, regardless of the content of the game make it less realistic. In fact so far from reality, that how can anyone connect this game to violence? The game is made in poor taste the Columbine incident was tragic.

    Ethically the creators have implemented some aspects of game play that tell me they were not in anyway desensitized to the incident in Columbine. First, the game is comedic. I find myself humored by Eric and Dylanís logic and dialogue. They sound ridiculous and contradictory to there actions at times.

    Second, I find the Taunt and Yell options under weapons in the battle screen to be interesting attributes to the game. For instance, if the player chooses to Taunt a victim heís engage in battle with the victimís status changes for the positive. I believe this is to show players that even though you are going to murder the victim during battle, Taunting is unnecessarily cruel. The main characters Dylan and Eric were victims of Bullying and Taunting by their peers and to do so before you kill them would be wrong. Not to dismiss that the killing is wrong, but they act in a manner in which they feel justified for their actions. They acted in reaction to the constant ridicule and to do that to others would lower you to your victimís status. For example if you Taunt the holy girl, she will pray and heal herself. I believe the game creators placed this feature within the game to tempt players who would make use of the weapon and receive a negative consequence. By doing this the game creators ensure that players associate the concept of Taunting as a bad action, an unethical action. When Eric and Dylan Taunt their victims they empower them. Ironically, Eric and Dylan where empowered to commit their heinous crimes by the Taunting of the same peers they murdered.

    Finally I was torn by one of the item choices a player can use in the game to heal Eric and Dylan. That was the Lovax, the anti-depressant. Why was that a healing item? I asked myself. Then it made sense, these young men had some emotional problems and the fact that they obviously did not fit in and were mistreated by their peers didnít help. Then we all must ask, do anti-depressants make you happy? Do they help you cope with unpleasant situations and periods in your life? Maybe, but anti-depressants also make you Manic similar to the word Maniac. Maybe too much of these mood altering drugs can make you a MANIAC.

    Ethically I donít find anything significantly wrong or immoral with the game. The violence is cartoonish at best. The dialogue is weak and mimics the rambling of an insane person, but the characters are insane. The appeal for me was the shooting and stabbing people death to get to the end of the game. Players can choose to avoid students and teachers and run around, but then the game is not fun. Your victims are grouped in stereotypical categories: Jock, Popular, Preppy, Nerdy, Black, Gay, and Bumpkin. Iím not sure why they used Black, Gay, and Bumpkin as character types because people probably found that offensive. I may have used something less centered on race and sexual orientation to label them.

    I still can't explain why I found the game so appealing once I was able to engage in more exciting game play (murder instead of running around). I believe it is because I know that if this game was not based on the Columbine massacre it would not be controversial or as possible.

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    Mar 10th, 2009 at 09:37:17     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    Now Iíve played the game for a second run. I am happy we finally made it to the cafeteria, but I donít know what to do next. The game is still very cute but poorly designed. I finally realized that I can equip the Marilyn Manson CD and the Doom game to Eric Dylan to raise their stats. My sister helped me navigate the hallway (sheís into games and studied animation and gaming) which finally allowed me to get to the cafeteria. You have to avoid the hall monitor girls and security cameras. I stopped at the water fountain and got a lot of information about Denverís water and the difference between hard and soft water.

    Once I found the menu screen the game became even more like a typical RPG. I have been unable to get into any of the classroom. I am going to probably watch the walk through I found online before I play the last time. I know this is spoiling the game, but Iíd like get a weapon and advance past level one.

    Itís hard to comment on the violence of the game if you havenít engaged in any. Although, because of the mediocre graphics and cartoon like nature of the game I doubt the violence would be offense.

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    Mar 9th, 2009 at 22:09:06     -    Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)

    First and foremost let me start by saying all three of my entries will be posted tonight. I own a MAC and so I had to convince someone to let me download a potentially virus laden game to their computer and let me play the game for a few hours. So, with that said here is my commentary.

    First Iíd like to say for a 2-D side is really OK. I like the look of the game it is cute, probably because I am in love with the Final Fantasy series and the layout reminds me of the older games in that series. I was not happy with the controls but I canít hold it against the creators because I am not familiar with PC games. I was annoying having to use the arrow keys to move the characters. The dialogue is a little cheesy and maybe I am desensitized to the incident in Columbine or I just have not progressed far enough in the game, but I donít find it offense. This may be from my own views on Bullying. If I remember correctly these young men were victims of ridicule by their peers. The game is a most cheesy and in poor taste, but on no level thus far as offense as Grand Theft Auto.

    I am trying to make my way to the cafeteria, so I must return to playing. I hope to see something more awe inspiring or disturbing, because at this point the game is cartoon violence. I liken the game to Tom and Jerry and if it had not been based on a real-life event I doubt it would have caused a outrage or pose any ethical issue for anyone.

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    Feb 15th, 2009 at 17:35:45     -    Grand Theft Auto - San Andreas (PS2)

    After playing the game this last time, I realized that even the controls are configured in a manner that forces the payer to make the character act in a less than virtuous manner. I am happy to say I finally got a firearm, not because I located the gun store, but because I just so happen to be leaving the hospital after being shot again. The police had just killed a Hispanic gang member.

    My issues with this game lie in several places. First being the ignorance or negation of the universal rule of stealing is bad. It seems this game presses the users to ignore this universal rule in a world where stealing is ok, so that CJ can progress. I wasnít so heated by the fact that the rule is ignored. Yet, it is the fact that if everyone stole what he or she needed, commerce would suffer. There would be no need to manufacture anything in a world were everyone stole. What would be the profit? Why create goods when you can take what you need. Business would fail and the economy ruined. From a Utilitarian and Kantian prospective the ideology of this game is ethically wrong. Kant would feel stealing is bad regardless of CJ dire circumstances to avoid serious bodily injury or death from rival gang members. The utilitarian would have to concede that CJís immediate happiness and well being does not rise above the greater displeasure of the victims of his car-jackings and robberies.

    My other issue is again with the stereotypes and the implications it has is shaping negative perceptions of minorities. I read through a few of the game logs and was surprised that some class seem to broach the world of Grand Theft Auto as a reflection on the lives, mannerisms, and dialogue of African-American and Hispanics. The excessive vulgarity is not common within the African-American or Hispanic community. The comments posted by others prove that media sends messages but must be held accountable for the messages they send. The message sent by GTA is that all urban black and Hispanic people communicate through profanity. It depicts these groups as deficient in language skills or even worse as ignorant. Also the activities these groups are engaged in within the game are not positive. The women are either prostitutes or dressed in bikinis (with the exception of the female gang members CJ comes across) and the men from these groups are all aggressive. The game seems to emphasize white peoples negative and incorrect perceptions of blacks and Hispanics while playing to the unfounded fears of whites about these groups. Some may argue that it is just a game, but then I ask why is CJ not white? Some will respond it would seem realistic. My point being is that, the game is not realistic yet people outside the misrepresented ethnic groups seem to believe there is a touch of fact in the depictions.

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