pmurray's Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)
| [November 5, 2008 04:04:49 PM]
| Today I finished the game, but lost when it came to the Doom bonus level. |
I wanted to wait to put my final entry in until after I had both finished the game and seen the documentary. After doing so, I have a new understanding and respect for both the creator and the game. In making this game and exercising his constitutional right to free speech, the creator put himself out on a very thin limb and was in a position to, and did, receive a lot of fire for this. While many people said that he had a responsibility to take the game down, to not distrubute it. However, he felt the opposite. He felt that it was his duty to release this game, to make it accurately depict the events that he was apart of, that had changed the lives of so many.
The creator also came under fire from the media, saying that he was perpetuating violence, that the killers at other schools were getting their ideas from his game and the details within. The media has always used video games as a scapegoat for violence among teenagers, however, in reality this is a terribly misguided and unfair viewpoint. Most of the reporters have never played most of the game that they’re commenting on and it shows; their descriptions and reports are laughable and most of the details concerning the game are sparse (the Night Trap example comes to mind). I think what the media has to realize is that being a teenager in today’s day and age is eons different than it was when our elders were going through it. There are stringent social requirements to “fit in” these days in high school, most of which are perpetuated and reinforced by popular media itself. Those who don’t meet these requirements are shunned and tossed aside, making it incredibly hard to be a teenager these days. We can see the end result of this, albeit in an extreme case, with the Columbine incident. As the creator said in the documentary, perhaps Columbine is the “canary in the coal mine” as far as teenage society goes.
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| [November 5, 2008 12:47:37 AM]
| Today I played the game some more, however, I had to start from the beginning again because of the rookie mistake I made of not saving!|
I must say, this time around the game was a little more bearable. Given that I had played through most of it already, I kind of knew what I was doing and could concentrate on what was happening.
I find it interesting that this game was even made in the first place. On one hand, it is certainly the creator's right to make a game (especially given the medium he used to make it) and distribute it freely under the first amendment. However, you also have to take into consideration who else this game is effecting. There were 12 people killed in the columbine shootings, with almost two dozen more injured. All of those people, and all of the people who know those people, were affected by this tragedy and could very well see this game as a mockery of their situation.
Its interesting to consider the thought process of Eric and Dylan. In the game, they seem to be taking the whole matter rather lightheartedly in a sense. Although it is possible that this is simply because of how the game is made. Some of the most interesting scenes are the flashback scenes. It is here that we can actually gain insight into Eric and Dylan. We see them being isolated, beat up, made fun of, things that a lot of people have experienced. However, it seems in this case that it was taken to the extreme on their part. Like I said, there are a ton of kids who are picked on mercilessly in high school, but they hold out and after graduation they never look back and chalk it up as a necessary loss.
Obviously violence is a key issue here in the game and is over exaggerated for the sake of the game; in the actual tragedy, no more than 35 people total were hurt or killed, but in the game the bodies just pile up. The bodies also stay where you killed them as a kind of reminder.
I was thinking about my last post, where I said that the game was too simple and cartoony to depict what had actually occurred accurately. I think I now understand why the creator decided to use RPG Maker 2000 instead of another (say Doom or Quake 2) engine. Programming ability aside, this game, when taken as a game, is harmless. The violence is in no way realistic and neither are the characters. The only thing that ties it to the real events is the narrative itself.
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| [November 4, 2008 12:19:35 AM]
| When I started to play this game, I recognized the format right away. It was created using RPG Maker 2000, a program that I used to use in high school all the time to make and trade RPGs with my friends. However, we had never thought of using it like the creator has. |
First off, from an objective perspective, were this game not associated with a tragedy that actually happened, I can almost guarantee that it would have never been talked about. As far as games go, even ones made with RPG Maker, the construction is poor, and the game is monotonous.
That aside, the game is actually rather hard to play because of the fact that it actually happened. The kids that were involved in this tragedy were very psychologically disturbed and I think that the game accurately depicts this. While there may be a large amount of controversy surrounding the game, I feel as though the creator was justified in his creation. A lot of the media hype surrounding this incident placed the blame on either violent video games or violent music. But in the game, you can see that it goes deeper than that. One of the kids was even making mods for Doom! The game, I believe, was made in this format for a few reasons, first off, to bring the public as close to the events that actually occurred, while still keeping at an arms length by means of the game's cartoon-ish design and nature; the characters jump up and down to convey emotion, the character models are fantasy themed, etc.
I'm about three quarters through the game right now and, I must say, its starting to get to me. I originally went around and played it like a traditional RPG and went room by room to level up my characters (they're 22 now) but, after a while, The fact that you're killing these people starts to sink in. Its possible that the satyric names for the "enemies" (jock, popular girl, church girl) are relatively close to what the two gunmen actually saw the students they killed as. Perhaps they just considered them part of the cliques they "belonged" to and judged them as such; all guilty of making their lives worse.
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