abp1217's Super Columbine Massacre RPG (PC)
| [February 23, 2009 09:46:37 AM]
| So though the hell part of the game has left me questioning the games true purpose, overall the game has given me some things to think about. The big question I have right now is what makes some violence okay and other violence bad. Violence and video games, at least big time hits, go hand in hand so why did I find it a little harder to stomach the violence going on in Super Columbine Massacre RPG? The easy answer is to say that it is because the game represents a real tragedy and even real deaths and killings that occurred. But a movie documentary on the subject, though it might have an emotional impact, would not seem so taboo. The answer to this then is probably that no one would want to make themselves responsible for the tragedy at Columbine, but playing this game sort of makes you feel like you are since you control the characters that cause it. But then I have to wonder about games like the Call of Duty series that are World War II shooters. When I play these games I don't really feel guiltily or morally troubled when I have to shoot Nazis or Japanese forces. But shouldn't I since these are representations of actual events and actual people who were killed. The killings and violence in a war context seem justified as long as we are playing as the side that is considered good. But surely at the time the Nazis and the Japanese thought they were justified in the war that they raged and surely Eric and Dylan felt justified in what they did as well? So by whose opinion are we to base what is justifiable and what is not? What if we made an Iraq war video game? How would we feel about the violence depicted in that game where half the country feels that the war is wrong. Pressing the trigger button on the x-box might be a little harder when your not so sure that the person your about to kill needs to or deserves to die.
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| [February 23, 2009 09:25:52 AM]
| So up to this point I would have considered the game close to being a ďdocumentaryĒ video game. Obviously a lot of the holes are filled in with the game makerís views and opinions, but it is still an account of an actual real life event that is based off of facts. Suddenly though I find myself completely questioning the point of the game as I move Dylan through what I can only assume to be the depths of hell. So this portion of the game is obviously a complete fabrication and it seems really anti-climatic. I had just played through a horrific event as these two troubled teens and felt a type of connection to them and their victims, and now I have completely lost it. Itís just a silly game now, especially since all the demons that I have to fight are straight out of Doom. The worst part is that I essentially spent a half hour watching Dylan get killed by the same three or four demons because I didnít take the time to level him up previously since I didnít want to kill anyone. Suddenly the game has begun to reward the player for being a killer and that does not seem like the message that was initially intended. So now I have no idea what the game maker is trying to get across to the player. Also, I canít attempt to figure out what the point of this sequence is because I cannot survive long enough to get the end, and I do not want to go back a kill a bunch of people so I can.
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| [February 22, 2009 03:59:22 PM]
| So I begin today with actually stepping into the school with guns locked and loaded. Honestly I had no desire to start firing at any of the people running through out the school. I wanted to find my way to the end of the game as quickly as possible. As I walked through the parking lot and the hallway I avoided running into anyone and got to the cafeteria when someone finally bumped into me and the game took me to the fight screen. My first reaction was to find the leave combat or runaway command and found that there was none. I suppose the game was trying to make the point that once the two started, there was no turning back, but I had not actually fought anyone yet and felt that the game at that point was completely taking the decision of whether to go through with it or not out of the hands of the player. I was not trying to run into this math teacher, but it happened and now I was stuck. I was at least a little relieved to find that I could just hit auto play and didnít have to consciously choose to attack the teacher. After the fight I noticed that the body of the math teacher remained on the floor of the cafeteria and did not disappear like standard video game protocol. Even when I left the room and came back it was still there. Some might say that this element of the game is in bad taste and is just trying to add an unnecessary gore to the game, but I think that the bodies remain to remind the player that someone is actually dead now. Often in video games a defeated enemy is forgotten as soon as the final blow is dealt, but that does not accurately represent real life. When someone dies for real, that has a huge effect and they are not so easily forgotten.
So after this occurred I continued to explore the school to find a way out of all of this. Eventually I found my way to the library and chose to end the lives of Eric and Dylan. At this point the most shocking event of the game occurred and that was that an actual picture of the dead boys was displayed on the screen. Such real graphic material is usually not shown in any type of American media. Culturally we are quite use to and okay with seeing acts of physical violence as long as they are not real, but any footage of actual violence is labeled as offensive and inappropriate. So when I saw this picture I had to question the game makerís motives. What was the point of this material? Was there meaning behind it or was it simply for shock value? After some careful consideration I decided that there was indeed some value to it and it is similar to the reason as to why the dead bodies of the faculty and students remained in the game world. These two boys were actually people and even their deaths mattered. More importantly their lives mattered, or at least that is what the game maker is trying to portray.
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 23rd, 2009 at 09:24:27.
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| [February 21, 2009 07:54:44 PM]
| So today I started playing Super Columbine Massacre RPG. The first thing that I noticed about it was the use of or reference of other popular media, like Doom for the PC and a Marilyn Manson CD, lying around Ericís house. In the game it is implied that these items had an effect or were part of the inspiration that led the two boys to plan the shooting. In fact, the two boys can pick up and equip these items as accessories in order to increase their stats. I found it kind of hard to tell whether the game was being satirical or sarcastic by doing this, or whether it was agreeing with much of the news media of the time that music and videogames are to blame for violent youth. I find it to be slightly satirical because of the way Eric blatantly states that everyone is going to blame Marilyn Manson for what happened. I definitely feel that the influence of these materials on the two boys was way over stated. Thatís not to say that Doom didnít influence them at all but it is not because of Doom that the tragedy occurred.
By the time I got to the school and got the two kids prepped for their planned event, I felt that the game was trying to portray the two kids in a sympathetic light. I did not suddenly feel okay about what they were intending to do, but I started to feel sorry for the two. The dialogue that they have between themselves definitely shows them as being outcasts. They do not have any friends outside of themselves and feel abandoned by the world. I must say that this is not the portrayal of the incident that I had expected from the title of the game, which makes it sound like an extremely insensitive and exploitive game.
This entry has been edited 1 time. It was last edited on Feb 23rd, 2009 at 09:23:38.
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