What?

September 15, 2006 at 6:00 am (Uncategorized)

Add this to the things that blow my mind….

You’ve heard about the man who opened fire at a college in Montreal, killing one and wounding 19 people. I was reading a story on MSNBC and it says…

"He said he liked to play “Super Columbine Massacre,” an Internet-based
computer game that simulates the April 20, 1999, shootings at the
Colorado high school when Klebold and Harris killed 13 people and then
themselves."

I had to reread it twice. You’re telling me that someone actually created a computer game that recreates the Columbine killings? I find this completely unfathomable. Maybe I shouldn’t be surprised when I consider the things that go on in our world. But what kind of person makes a game of it for other people to play. But it gets worse, 2 paragraphs down it says…

"Danny Ledonne, the creator of “Super Columbine Massacre,” posted a message of sympathy on his site."

A little research led me to some talk of the game and it’s supposed "indictment of our society at large." The guy (he was 24) spent 6 months of his life creating this game that has been downloaded and is now corrupting the minds of at least 40,000 people.

If you want to read more go here, here

On the game web site  Danny has an "Artist Statement" You could go read the whole thing, but here are a few of my favorite excerpts with my thoughts…

"I knew I had to be true to the events of the Columbine school shooting—as true as I could be while maintaining respect for the tragically deceased…"

I don’t think this is possible. How do you maintain respect for the victims while creating a "GAME", no matter what your intentions are.

"The game had to be told from the perspective of the shooting’s greatest enigmas of all: Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. They left behind many of their thoughts—some frightening, some deplorable, some comical, and some deeply enraged. I collected all of them and assembled them into a role-playing game aesthetically reminiscent of those I would play in my own youth."

Great, let’s glorify them some more. Okay, maybe Danny didn’t intend to glorify Eric & Dylan but he’s made them his stars, the center of his game. For the players does he realize that most of them will be "rooting for" Eric and Dylan. They’ve taken on their role, whether for minutes or for hours. Danny upholds the game for the intellectual thought provoking it is doing. But has he considered the way our minds work. The time those players spend in that game, in a "fantasy" world (whether they think it’s right or not) influence them to a great deal. If we are honest with ourselves we all would realize and admit the great influence negative thoughts have on our lives.

"The game’s success comes not from its technical accomplishments or engaging gameplay but rather the provocative polarization it elicits from audiences."

So because everyone’s talking about it and disagreeing, it’s successful. I can think of a dozen ways we could encourage converation about this event that would not "mock" the killings.

"Beyond the simple platitudes and panaceas of gun control, media ratings/censorship, bully prevention programs, and parental supervision remains a glaring possibility: that the society we have created is deeply moribund."

Okay, I admit it. I had to look that one up. "Moribund – being in the state of dying : approaching death". Hmmmmmm, could the prevalance of gratitous violence in the media and gaming industries have ANYTHING to do with this??????? I’m not saying it’s all their fault but does you realize the hypocrisy here?

"Through it, people from six continents and all walks of life are discussing the game itself and the incident it is based on. Some of them confess childhood pain or share personal feelings on the shooting. Some of them sustain vulgar diatribes or accuse the creator of wrongdoing. Some of them discuss the game’s social implications in a broader context. At the end of the day, the understanding of the Columbine school shooting is deepened and redefined. That is the real object of the game."

Oh, let’s all feel good because people are talking about their troubled adolescence. They were alreadying doing that. How many of you had conversations after the massacres about what it was like to be made fun of in school? How many media reports have come out since then about the effect of bullying on kids? We don’t need a game to do that!

Whew, I am really worked up on this one. Sorry! Okay, really I’m not. When I see stuff like this it just makes my heart hurt – for the victims families (can you imagine loosing a child in an event like this and then 6 years later finding out someone made a game about it), for our society, for our children.

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2 Comments

  1. Kelley said,

    Wow – I had no idea there was such a “game”! I’m completely baffled. And there’s no way anyone can actually believe half of the rationalizations they wrote in that artist statement. Total crock. This world is utterly insane sometimes, isn’t it?!

  2. Stacey said,

    That is just sick! I can’t believe someone would want to even think of recreating such a horrible day!!

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