4-6-10 Class (today, just thought that looked official)

So I would say that the discussions in today’s class were among the more heated, stimulating and thought provoking we have had throughout the semester.  Although the games we discussed Killing JFk or whatever its called and the Columbine Massive Rpg were comparatively primitive or small compared to others like WOW or Half life etc, we did have some major divisions in the class.  This being said I wanted to respond to one argument that was made concerning the Columbine game.

  Some people were arguing that the game was showing the actions as satire and consequently should not warrant such a negative reaction from media etc.  I looked for some definitions of satire and found satire is “the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.”  While this seems appropriate for this kind of game I do not think that the majority of people view the game as necessary.  I think we pretty much ruled out this being a function of the graphics, but a game like Columbine is such a sensitive subject that I think professor Sample’s point on capitalizing on the work comes into play.  I dont think that a game is necessary to point out subtle satirical aspects when the vast majority of people clearly see the evil that was behind the actions in real life.  Because every sane person sees these actions as terrible the credibility of the designer saying he made it to “get into the minds of the two boys” comes into question.  Why make the game when everyone already knows how wrong they were?  It seems like it is simply rehashing old wounds in people who were really involved.

Any thoughts on this or corrections to what I was saying? I think this is a really interesting topic btw.

2 thoughts on “4-6-10 Class (today, just thought that looked official)

  1. laurendubya

    Unfortunately I wasn’t in class on Tuesday, because I’ve heard so much about how heated the discussion was, and I probably could have contributed something for once, since I’ve done a lot of research on the Columbine massacre (my HNRS 110 paper was actually on the shooting and the motive behind the killers).

    But anyway, I agree with what Anthony said about how the game designer’s intent to show the perspective of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold is a little odd. I think this is demonstrated by how unpopular this game is, not necessarily because of how controversial it is, but because nobody is actually THAT interested to see things from these boys’ perspective. We all played the game for class and educational purposes, and certainly some people play it out of curiosity after hearing about its touchy subject matter, but how many people have actually thought “wow, a Columbine game! Sounds interesting, I’d really like to experience what it’s like to kill my innocent classmates and then kill myself afterward.” If you were that interested in the psychology behind serial killers, you could watch plenty of movies, read a book, or take a psychology class…it’s doubtful that you’d really feel the need to seek out a video game on the subject. And did any of us play this game and come out with some new insight on the shooting?

    Danny Ledonne’s intent is certainly questionable…I don’t think he meant any harm by the game, but I don’t think he had some big introspective goal for it either. I think his whole “getting into the minds of the two boys” excuse is really just to cover up the fact that he probably thought “Hey, the Columbine shooting. This might make a pretty cool game. You get to shoot people and stuff. And modeling it after a tragedy might make it kinda popular”.

  2. Professor Sample

    I agree that it’s debatable whether this particular videogame gives us insight into the Columbine killers, but I do think that a videogame in general isn’t necessarily a worse form to turn to for understanding than the other examples you give (books, movies, even a psychology class). If not SCMRPG, then eventually some game will come along that will teach multiple perspectives and give us critical insights into tragedies like Columbine.

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