Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Games Entertainment

Columbine RPG - How Real Is Too Real? 118

Posted by Zonk
from the too-soon dept.
westlake writes "Washington Post columnist Mike Musgrove offers a rare and balanced view from the mainstream press of the Slamdance Competition and Super Columbine Massacre RPG. Surprised by the effective use of flashbacks and the authentic dialogue of the Columbine game, he goes on to say: 'But when it came time to start creating mayhem in the school's halls, I couldn't bring myself to push the buttons to continue. Odd, I suppose, because I have killed thousands of video game characters over the years. And though the game's chunky graphics are primitive...no game has ever made me feel nearly as queasy. I didn't want to be responsible for the real-world violence that happened that day, even in a game.' Ledonne figures that games will either grow into a medium in which it is acceptable to confront and challenge an audience with titles like his, or will devolve into a stagnant, failed format."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Columbine RPG - How Real Is Too Real?

Comments Filter:
  • I guess he's never played world war II games and the like.
    • Re:Historical games? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by FortKnox (169099) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:50PM (#17666324) Homepage Journal
      Too soon, I'm guessing. I thought about it... a Jack The Ripper game wouldn't be horrible to us, because none of us had to deal with it happening in our lifetime. WWII didn't happen in my lifetime, yet I love WWII games, and still study WWII after school.
      • Re:Historical games? (Score:5, Interesting)

        by bigdavex (155746) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:57PM (#17666454)
        I think that's right.

        Consider the Hindenburg on the cover of Led Zeppelin I [wikipedia.org]. That doesn't seem all that shocking now. Imagine 30 years from now a band putting the World Trade Center in flames on a cover.
        • what, like this? (Score:2, Interesting)

          by JeanBaptiste (537955)
          linky [nzghosts.co.nz]

          Okay, they did it several months _before_ 9-11, so the story goes. Just do it before the actual event and you'll really impress people.
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by xappax (876447)
          Imagine 30 years from now a band putting the World Trade Center in flames on a cover.

          You mean like this [snopes.com]?

          Admittedly, though, they had the idea before 9/11.
        • The Hindenburg being a mistake, and WTC being an attack.. very different feelings associated to each event. Then add all of the conspiracy theories, these evens are not even close to comparable.
        • by Enoxice (993945)
          That raises an interesting point...why is Columbine more taboo than 9/11? I mean, people still get all up in arms about this little Columbine game, but 2 9/11 movies didn't raise nearly as much controversy (that I heard anyway); as far as I heard, the media just went around asking people if it was too soon, there was no banning from theaters.

          And, to do what everyone else who has replied to the parent has done:

          Leftover Crack CD [betterpropaganda.com]
          • by Jabrwock (985861)
            I mean, people still get all up in arms about this little Columbine game, but 2 9/11 movies didn't raise nearly as much controversy (that I heard anyway); as far as I heard, the media just went around asking people if it was too soon, there was no banning from theaters.

            No one was up in arms about 2 Columbine-themed movies either. Elephant and Zero Day both won acclaimation and indie film festival awards.
          • by bluemonq (812827) *
            Maybe because the fact that the perpetrators were two *American* *teens* - making people have to realize that their own are capable of committing an act as heinous as this - versus 19 Arabs, who they can simply label as "Other"?
        • Not the trade center, but a disturbing image of something within the last 4 or 5 years: Legacy of Blood by Jedi Mind Tricks [amazon.com]
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Schnapple (262314)
          Actually (and I don't have a source for this other than watching MTV back in the 90's) during an interview with Robert Plant he revealed that, prior to the release of the first album, Led Zeppelin was playing a concert and someone with the last name Zeppelin (descended from Ferdinand von Zeppelin [wikipedia.org], who owned the Zeppelin airship company, wound up backstage. She was an older woman and she was pleased as punch that Led Zeppelin was using their family's name in such a way. Then they showed her what the album co
      • by Xest (935314) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @03:05PM (#17667838)
        I'm from the UK and I personally don't feel that offended by things surrounding the whole columbine situation. If however there were to be a game surrounding for example, the July 2005 bombings it'd bother me a whole lot more. Perhaps it's just me, but I'd guess if it isn't and this in fact extends to other people then how far you are removed geographically or possibly even from a cultural point of view also is a large factor. I'm pretty sure there's plenty of say, Afghans for example who absolutely would not care about this kind of thing.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by rblancarte (213492)
          I have to agree fully with what you say here. I mean, this was a very up close event here in the United States. We saw the events of Columbine over and over and realize, this could have been any school USA. Plus there were a number of other events that took place too, Columbine being the most high profile.

          The very event you talk of doesn't resonate nearly the same for someone on this side of the Atlantic. I am very aware of it, and watched the news very closely that day, but it just doesn't hit the s
      • by elyk (970302)
        It's also the environment of the killing. Killing in a war is still a tragedy, but it's a known consequence. A school shooting is even more tragic because nobody expects it, nobody can defend against it, and the people involved aren't soldiers who have chosen to take that risk. If someone made a game where you're a terrorist flying planes into the twin towers, would you play it? My guess is no.
      • by nagora (177841)
        I thought about it... a Jack The Ripper game wouldn't be horrible to us,

        Err.. actually, a Jack the Ripper game where you played the ripper and have to kill prostitutes does seem fairly horrible. The problem is not the time since the event, it's the motivation of the people you're playing.

        TWW

    • Context (Score:5, Insightful)

      by HappySqurriel (1010623) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:00PM (#17666512)
      I could be wrong, but I imagine that the problem is the context of the Violence/Killing ...

      Few people would have a problem with a World War 2 game, whether you're playing for the American, Canadian, British, Russian, Austrailian, German, or Japaneese armies because in the context of war it's kill or be killed; in other words, society in general does not see a problem with killing an opposing soldier when you're a soldier at war.

      In contrast I suspect that people would be outraged if you produced a game where you're a german soldier at Auschwitz and you're required to kill jewish prisoners.
      • I think the constant "LOL" chatting and ability to respawn are what take the edge off of most FPS games. It's hard to take it seriously when the guy you just killed says "good shot!".
        • by flewp (458359)
          Or more accurately, at least in Counterstrike, the guy you just killed says "OMG HAX"
      • Easy. It's much more satisfying to kill a German Nazi, or a terroist on a battlefield than killing innocent children going to school.
      • by westlake (615356)
        I imagine that the problem is the context of the Violence/Killing

        In the war game, the focus is on grand strategy or the dynamics of small unit combat.

        The stealth shooter (Rogue Spear or SWAT) exposes something of the moral ambiguities of the sniper's role, the discipline needed to maintain rules of engagement.

        The genre demands a realistic treatment of the environment, the player's actions and consequences. It should be a wrenching experience when an innocent dies because you made a rookie's mistake.

        Th

      • I must agree fewer people have a problem with WWII games because it is a war. Rather then a massacre of unarmed students.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by paranode (671698)
      Or maybe he just has the mental capacity to realize soldiers fighting a war is not the same as a couple of punk teens murdering their defenseless classmates.
      • Why exactly is it less reprehensible / offensive to see soldiers die than schoolchildren?

        Some of the people who died at columbine are old enough to go to war. Some soldiers, due to financial stresses / family traditions are just as compelled to be at war as students are to be at school. Soldiers routinely die horrible deaths because some asshole two-bit third-world dictator is feeling too big for his britches, or some enemy soldier has a bad day, or some army bureaucrat screws up...I don't see how that is
        • In a typical FPS the enemy characters are trying to kill your character. Even though this is simulated, it still triggers your survival instincts to some degree. In the Columbine inspired game, you're not in a 'kill or be killed' situation at all. This makes a tremendous difference.

          Reaction by those characters is a big factor as well. In a typical FPS stuff bleed and dies. They don't have an emotional response to what you do to them. I would imagine in this case you witness your victims running in fe
    • History is history, not "reality." The events of WWII are distant and abstracted enough that we can participate in a simulation of that violence in a more or less detached manner. Even games based on more modern wars are distant enough from the typical gaming audience. i refer you to the article on /. not too long ago about Iraqi gamers who no longer play war games, as it reminds them too much of the real world; American gamers, for the most part, don't know what war is like, and i imagine more than a fe
      • There was Splatterhouse, an older game for TurboGrafix 16 and Genesis (I think). You played a generic killer in a hockey mask killing things in a very Friday the 13th type setting. For the life of me though, I can't remember if you were killing campers or demons or what. The only thing I really remember is the sloshing, mucky sounds you made when walking anywhere and the bloddy footprints left behind you. Now THAT's gory!
    • by Chris Burke (6130) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:19PM (#17666876) Homepage
      Well, then there's maybe the fact that the vast majority of WWII games are about as close to "reality" as Doom with Ally/Axis player skins. Both the people you kill and the people you are fighting beside are anonymous and disposable with no connection outside of whatever you brought to the game with you. And they respawn 30 seconds later anyway.

      Personally, his reaction makes sense to me. Like he says, he's killed thousands of video game characters. Yet rarely do they attempt to draw you into understanding your character as the killer, and understanding your victims, the whole scenario surrounding the killing. Rarely do they cover historical events, real murders, with any attempt at accuracy. So when he plays a game that does, it is as disturbing to him as watching a documentary about Columbine that then asks the viewer "So given you were them, would you have shot your schoolmates?" That's bound to create an emotional reaction that no FPS tries to.

      Basically it supports what I've been saying all along -- despite all the "conditioning" he's received from playing video games, when the situation even got close to real violence, his natural reactions kicked in. Conditioning only works if you believe you are experiencing real consequences or rewards. The "real" rewards and consequences of an FPS are completely divorced from those of a real life murder spree, and no amount of Doom/BF1942 will forge an artificial connection in a normal person.

      Normal people have no problem separating reality from fantasy, and thus no amount of "fantasy" killing will actually train them to kill in real life or be desensitized to real life killing. Only insane people who are incapable of this separation will directly transfer simulated killings into the real world, because for them the difference is blurry or non-existant to begin with.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Fozzyuw (950608)

      Odd, I suppose, because I have killed thousands of video game characters over the years. And though the game's chunky graphics are primitive...no game has ever made me feel nearly as queasy. I didn't want to be responsible for the real-world violence that happened that day, even in a game.'

      I assume he's saying he has played WWII games 'and the like', in this part of his story, but the point he was making is he's too connected to the Columbine murders to be able to enjoy the game experience. Someone else

      • by soft_guy (534437)
        I think a big difference between a WWII game and a columbine game is that in Columbine there were 34 victims killed or injured and these people were defenseless. Each of these people have names that you can easily look up. You've probably seen pictures of them and their parents. When you are playing the game, you are shooting one of these thirty four people. You could meet some of them - you could talk to their parents. You can read a list of their names [wikipedia.org].

        There were a very large number of people involved in
        • I do recall that some of these games are based off the heroics of a soldier who's name is given in the game.
    • by Twixter (662877)
      Come on. Everyone loves killing Nazis!There is nothing wrong with shooting Nazi, aliens, mutants, and "bad guys". But the innocent....and especially the already victmized, well that just makes you blink. It reminds me of an Arnie quote in response to the question..."You've killed people?" "Yes, but they were all bad."
  • Real people scream.

    You have your answer.
  • Ahh, finally (Score:4, Insightful)

    by ObiWanStevobi (1030352) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:54PM (#17666398) Journal
    A discussion over whether it is playable as opposed to wether or not it should be legal to play. The game is simply one big shock value gimic. Due to its subject matter, it has recieved far more attention than a game of it's technical capability merits. It's a game everyone loves to talk about and use as political hay, but a game few really enjoys playing. After the shock wears off, it's not that enticing. Why have Vietnam games tanked? People just can't be compelled to play them, no matter how much curiousity is generated by the subject matter and media mudslinging surrounding the game. As a free sppech battleground, the game is valuable. As a game, it's a loser.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by flonker (526111)
      I haven't played it, but in my uninformed opinion, if it can evoke such strong emotions, ie. "I couldn't bring myself to push the buttons to continue", it has something to it. I can't bring myself to play it, but for the same reason as I can't bring myself to watch movies or documentaries about concentration camps and similar horrors.

      I suppose in one sense, the designers of the game failed, in that they didn't evoke enough empathy with the characters to get the player to react in the same way as the people
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Jabrwock (985861)
      A discussion over whether it is playable as opposed to wether or not it should be legal to play.

      Wired beat them to it [wired.com]. But it is a welcome addition to the ranks of reviews that actually try to tackle the game on it's own, without dismissing it outright just because it touches on a sensitive subject.

      I always assumed that the Vietnam games failed because they sucked. I've talked to WWII vets who were quite comfortable playing WWII games, it was kinda nostalgic for them. All the excitement without the ho
    • Re:Ahh, finally (Score:5, Interesting)

      by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:48PM (#17667482) Homepage Journal
      I played through the game. The gameplay is simplistic, but the developers took the time to incorporate as much media and historical footage into the game as possible. The end result is a fairly well crafted game IMHO. Some aspects of it could use a little work--it follows the tried and true RPG "grind" of leveling up your characters. However, just like the real life version, the good guys aren't really a threat. It's possible to die if you're really sloppy right in the beginning of the attack, but after that you're doing the equivalent of killing rats in the forest for a couple of hours just to level up.

      The second half of the game gets a bit more interesting gameplay wise, but the storyline really peters out. There's an island where you can talk to other characters for viewpoints on god and a final boss battle that still isn't very difficult. I have to admit that the second half of the game felt a bit tacked on.
  • I don't believe there should be a ban on this game, but I do believe that it's one of the worst ideas of a video game. One can only imagine the reaction (and thus consequencly the publicity) a game would provoke and receive if it was about the ascention of Hitler or Mussolini through the eyes of a supporter. Like I said before, I don't think there should be a de jure ban on the game, but there is definately going to be a de facto ban on the game.
    • Actually, and this isn't flame bait, I think it'd be cool if they made a game about Hitler's rise to power from the eyes of a supporter. It might help people understand what the environment was like for people and how they were deceived.

      The vast majority of people had no idea of what was going on and what Hitler was doing. Even when everything was revealed many people didn't believe it because, for them, Hitler was a moral hero.

      Though, I still wouldn't want the character acting as an executioner in a death
      • by Knuckles (8964)
        they were deceived. The vast majority of people had no idea of what was going on and what Hitler was doing

        Utter bullshit that was mostly debunked by historians since. I can very much understand that the truth of having known and done nothing was so horrific that people couldn't really accept it, but that doesn't mean I have to believe it.

        Didn't know, huh? Let's see:

        November pogrome [wikipedia.org]
        "Don't buy from jews" campaign [wikipedia.org]
        Death march of the Hungarian jews (in German) [mkoe-steyr.net] who had to march through half of Austria from Burgen
  • by kabdib (81955) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @01:56PM (#17666434) Homepage

    It probably gets out of line when you mash up a Columbine-type game with Remote Control Hunting [outdoorlife.com].

    I'm just sayin'.

  • I played this game, and while I didn't find any problems with the violence, I couldn't get past how boring the game was. My character had all the guns and my enemies were unarmed. The "real-world violence" that day was, well, not challenging. I'm not sure why this game is up for awards. To me, it was a boring RPG grinder. Gaming should be challenging, not an excuse to make the gamer read dialogue and look at pictures.
    • The thing isn't meant to be a challenging shooter, it was meant to tell a fictionalized first-person account of the event. If anything it's classifiable as graphics-enhanced interactive fiction. [wikipedia.org]
  • by bogie (31020)
    How does everyone think a WWII vet would react if you strapped some headphones on to him and made him relive the D-day landing ala Medal of Honor?

    Either we accept violent games as a legitmate pastime or we don't. Selectively barring certain game titles because they "hit too close to home" is about the worse solution possible.
  • this is a conceptual game, in the same way that there is conceptual art. It makes it's point but is often only appealing in that sense, not in a greater aesthetic one.

    Certainly I don't think it should have been pulled from slamdance and I'm with any independent game developer who pulls out of slam to protest this. Censorship is never the answer. Arguably it shows a lack of concern for all those involved in what happened in columbine (I stop short of using the word tragedy, i hate the word).

    However having be
    • by Jabrwock (985861)
      The game also makes the point that people are willing to stereotype the game and refuse to look at the issues it discusses (mainly the motivations behind the killers). Which is reflected in the fact that people just assumed they were evil incarnate, and left it at that. Instead of examining all the cues/influences in their lives up to that point. I'm still finding people who just assume they were brainwashed by Doom and M-Manson, and leave it at that, and pretend that if they just ban both, then this will n
      • by soft_guy (534437)

        The game also makes the point that people are willing to stereotype the game and refuse to look at the issues it discusses (mainly the motivations behind the killers). Which is reflected in the fact that people just assumed they were evil incarnate, and left it at that. Instead of examining all the cues/influences in their lives up to that point. I'm still finding people who just assume they were brainwashed by Doom and M-Manson, and leave it at that, and pretend that if they just ban both, then this will never happen again...

        So if we carefully examine the clues we can be sure it won't happen again? No, there will always be mentally unbalanced people. At best we can perhaps learn some warning signs to watch for, although I don't think video games or music are going to be it.

        • by Jabrwock (985861)
          So if we carefully examine the clues we can be sure it won't happen again? At best we can perhaps learn some warning signs to watch for, although I don't think video games or music are going to be it.

          Having a better understanding of them can certainly help us to spot potential warning signs. Better than being completely ignorant of the problem, or attributing false causes.

          I agree that there will always be people who will be unbalanced. But at least if we know the flags, we can get help to those who ar
          • by soft_guy (534437)

            The point was that no-one paid attention AT ALL to these boys
            If I recall correctly, they were in trouble with the law and were on probation. So, obviously the police, judge, probation officer, etc. had to have paid SOME attention to them. In fact, I recall that there was some sort of talk of them telling the probation officer what he or she wanted to hear - I don't remember where I read this, though.
            • by Jabrwock (985861)
              Hmm, I did not know that. Doesn't surprise me though. Any idea what they were on probation for? Something minor? Or something more serious?
              • by soft_guy (534437)

                Hmm, I did not know that. Doesn't surprise me though. Any idea what they were on probation for? Something minor? Or something more serious?
                In the Wikipedia article about them, it states that they were on probation for breaking into a van and stealing tools. They both went into juvenille detention and probation. Eric Harris went to anger management therapy. They had successfully completed the programs they were in for this.
  • If the game makes you sick to your stomach, you crap your pants, and your moral compass is screwy as a real compass in the Bermuda Triangle, then the game is too real. You should stop playing that game and go back to playing mine sweeper.
  • Maybe this game has a more "profound" effect on people that one would think. if certain people have to stop and think whether they can push "that" button and go on with a re-enacted set of killings (albeit very SNES/16-bit like)... maybe the game has pulled off the intended effect the author was looking for? (that is besides, getting some sort of media attention... pre-meditated or not)
  • I was browsing for some new Rainbow Six maps a while ago and came across a forum post that claimed that somebody made a hostage rescue map based on the Beslan school. My first reaction, without reading (or even opening) the thread was that it could be interesting to see. So I clicked the thread in hope of a link, but there was none! The original poster provided no links, screenshots, or anything else besides the baseless claim.

    Nevertheless, it was enough to get everybody pissed off and write a few pages of
    • by gknoy (899301)
      Excellent point. Rainbow Six is one of the games which I most like, in terms of immersion. (well, the series. ;)) It has an amazing balance between the value placed on hostage lives (do NOT let them die!), but still isa great combat shooter.

      In Half-Life, you can shoot scientists, and nothing happens. There's no accountability if you kill friendlies (if they even allow it). In Rainbow Six, it's possible to do -- but there are consequences (failed mission) for killing teammates or hostages. One of my MO
  • There are a lot of people who have already done this soul-searching in the literary world. One fictional example is that of the book, Lolita. The movie adaptations are a pale shadow of the psychology involved, but if you've seen any of them, you can probably understand my point.

    Even if you're in no way a pedophile or pederast, it can be a very challenging read. In that story, you are in the mind of a fictional character who IS a pedophile. The first half of the book is just his anticipation in his des

  • by Captain Sarcastic (109765) * on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:17PM (#17666812)
    I haven't played it. I don't want to play it. I don't feel any desire to emulate Klebold and Harris, and I have no particular desire to find out what it's like to gun down children in the halls. (Mind you, there was a time or seven hundred in my youth that I might have, but not any more.)

    Having said that, I agree that censorship is the absolute wrong thing to do. I can deal with unpalatable games far better than I can deal with someone saying, "This is taboo, you may not show it."

    It's a case of the cure being worse than the malady.
  • Clive Thompson has an artical in Wired on this game. He has a permanent link to it http://www.collisiondetection.net/mt/archives/2007 /01/i_barrel_into_t.html#001615 [collisiondetection.net] in his blog that I found quite interesting.

    I am not AT ALL interested in playing the game but I like his write up on it.

  • Call me sick... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Pojut (1027544) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:20PM (#17666908) Homepage
    But I enjoy games like the one in TFA...not because I want to go on a murderous rampage, good lord no. I am quite sane and can differentiate between "right and wrong" and "real and fantasy" I think it is because I accept and acknowledge that I have a sadistic side. I enjoy seeing people in pain. ::shrug:: I can't help it, I do. I love gore for the sake of gore movies, the whole "torture horror movie" movement going on...hell, Men Behind the Sun is one of my favorite movies despite the appaling part of history that it covers.

    I love games like manhunt, where you stalk your prey. Games like The Warriors where you can beat someone until they puke. I love ultra-violence, the more realistic the better. I have been watching Faces of Death since I was 8. I have perused ogrish.com (before it changed to an "uncensored media resource") for countless hours. I love watching videos of real death, destruction, and violence.

    In real life? I would never hurt a fly. I hate hurting people, either physically or mentally; purposly, or accidently. I don't like being mean to people. I like helping people. I like helping people recover from trauma, be it physical or mental. In my every day "real life" persona, I am a great guy that will give 20 bucks to a stranger so he can eat a nice meal.

    But I also have a dark side to me. Thankfully I have a playground for those dark desires. A place where I can go without harming anyone or anything. Now, I'm not saying that if I didn't have video games that I would harm people; All I need is my imagination and I'm fine...ever read JTHM from Jhonnen Vasquez? In interviews with him, he says that he draws the things he always wishes he could do to people but never personally could.

    I have a sick and twisted mind. I know this. I do not deny it. But I also do not supress it; I allow it to come out in a controlled, harmless, and entertaining manner. Don't get upset reading this; deep down inside you is the same dark little monster inside everyone else.

    The question is, are you able to accept that and move on, or do you continue to deny it until one day you actually do something stupid and kill a bunch of people like at columbine?
    • Is that you Dexter?
      • by Pojut (1027544)
        Not quite...he likes to act on his impulses...I enjoy imagining them. After all, I can keep someone alive in my imagination a lot longer than in real life
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Where the heck is Jack Thompson now? The guy was screaming to ban Bully from his state (if not the world) because in his mind it was a Columbine simulator (which it isn't, hell it's T for Teen), harassed the judge when he didn't get his way and got himself a contempt charge, and pissed on the gaming industry as a whole in an attempt to kill the first amendment. Now we actually HAVE a Columbine simulator and he's gonna sit there and thumb his ass?

    Oh wait, that's right, it's not a Rockstar game. Doesn't matte
    • by westlake (615356)
      Now we actually HAVE a Columbine simulator and he's gonna sit there and thumb his ass?
      Oh wait, that's right, it's not a Rockstar game. Doesn't matter if the hot coffee company isn't involved.

      Thompson doesn't have to do anything. He can simply let the Washington Post and the title "Super Columbine RPG" do the job for him.

      I think it is fair to suggest that "Bully" is not the same game it would have been had Take Two and Rockstar had not been badly burnt by Hot Coffee.

    • Rockstar don't pay him to promote other people's games.
  • I'm waiting for an RPG game where the player, a jock, racks up points for killing, maiming, and otherwise torturing nerds... maybe even Slashdot readers specifically. Get points by shoving the nerd's keyboard up his rectum or overwriting his Linux laptop with the ProJock version of Windows -- maybe shaking nerds down to pay off the principle to look the other way? The end game ought to be piling the dead nerd bodies on the football field and setting them on fire, with cheerleaders egging you on the whole
    • by drinkypoo (153816)

      That would be a *really* good way of finding out how open-minded the /. community is.

      Just like with this game you would have a mix of people. I for one, and many others, would be on the side of freedom of expression. There are already games out there where you manage a concentration camp. I find those to be absolutely abhorrent but I wouldn't ban them either. Even a game like that can make a point, intentional or not, about what went on. The idea of the game might or might not be to have fun but either

  • by goldcd (587052) on Thursday January 18, 2007 @02:38PM (#17667264) Homepage
    Most games are sold as pure entertainment, they may have a historical theme, but usually that's just to add colour and to bring with it an implied back-story.
    When somebody sits down to write a game called Columbine RPG, they're doing something different - they're provoking people. Provocation isn't good or bad though, basically just makes people think.
    Now I don't know if this was the intention of the games author, but is has made people think a lot more about the content of their games. Germany bans a game for blood and we ridicule them. We spend an evening slaughtering thousands of 'space aliens' or 'WW2 germans' and we shrug it off, it doesn't register what we're doing represents. We are jaded by it all
    A game like this gives us a kick up the back-side and makes people feel uncomfortable. We have to explain why we think one thing is right and the other isn't (and people seem to be having difficulty with this). This is a good thing. This is art.
    Games whatever people might wish to think aren't even touching emotional depth. Oh we may all post about how we felt when Aeris died, but ffs, compare this to literature and it's nothing. The emotional peaks in games are so few, that we trumpet every single mediocre one of them. Well here's another one, just as valid, just a different type.
    • I basically agree that it's provocation to name the game as such. Having played the game, however, I find nothing really appealing about it. The graphics are about as good as tetris in my opinion and I'm into high fidelity games, so this one is a thumbs down IMHO. I have to wonder, in light of a recent politician's remarks (who shall be nameless in this post to avoid off-topic flame wars), would a game titled "Super Slave Trader RPG 2007" (lemmings, anyone?) or "Jesus de Nazareth: El Crucifixio" (el diab
      • I'm completely agree that the game itself isn't a technical masterpiece - but that's how we used to look at paintings. High art used to be photorealistic, then impressionistic, then abstract - painters (and their reviewers) no longer rank based on technical ability. Jeff Koons has an idea, somebody makes it reality and that's credited as his 'art' and has a price-tag to match.
        Literature, if you look at Irvine Welsh, it's not 'Queen's English' it's like impressionism, it's thousands of words sprayed to conv
  • Too many people were complaining in multi-player mode that the shotguns were "gay". That and the pipe bombs didn't work. Basically the game sucks.
  • Our wars are fought far away by those that have, at least temporarily, been removed from society. What happens in war has come to be viewed as a grim necessity however the war itself might be viewed. When the violent deaths of people much like those we know happen so close to home there is much greater emotional charge. We are separated from the horrors of war but not those tragedies that happen to those much like ourselves so the response is understandably greater. While I support the right for these g
    • by goathens (924972)
      but, if we fear that this game will provoke freedom-limiting legislation, doesn't that mean that we don't really have the freedom to create/say/play what we want in the first place?
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Contrast the Washington Post's review with this very positive one [wired.com] from earlier this week. Looking at it as art, Wired suggests that it is a well-researched game that explores issues of bullying, responsibility, blame, and video games themselves.

    I found this very telling from the WP article:

    Ledonne, who turns 25 today, says he was bullied as a kid and might have headed down a road in life similar to Harris and Klebold's had he not found other outlets. "I wanted to explore who they really were, and I didn't
  • it's about if people can distinguish reality from virtual reality. If people can't then they have a problem and they should be helped.
  • Censorship is pointless, if something is horrible and no one likes it, no one will buy or play it. Free market is self governing.
  • My hope is that games like this will help legitimize video games as an art.

    Yeah maybe that's a bit far fetched, but think about it: if every movie created was a simple action film ("Snakes of a Plane") or low-budget porno, nobody would consider movies an art form. It took films like "Birth of a Nation" (a highly controversial film, for good reason) before people took film seriously.

  • We all knows how the recipe works:

    1. Create a sub-par work of "art" that is intended to promote outrage from the general public.

    2. Paint yourself as a victim of censorship or intolerance when the art flops, or when people find it in bad taste.

    3. Watch people rally around your otherwise unremarkable work as a counter-reaction.

    This game is crap. It is not a very good game. It is not very compelling as art. I am not offended by the game because of its "controversial" subject matter (I would have no problem wit

Whenever a system becomes completely defined, some damn fool discovers something which either abolishes the system or expands it beyond recognition.

Working...