Super Columbine Massacre RPG! Dreamed 4389 days ago | | 1147 words

I was vaguely aware that such a game had been made by an amateur gamer with software called RPG Maker, which I toyed with at one point, as I was going to create an Arctic Palace RPG with a friend in college. This, like most of our other ideas, never went anywhere.

However, this game has been made and is freely available for download at the developer’s site. Mature audiences only.

Super Columbine Massacre RPG! The name itself is a parody on Super Mario RPG. The name and point of the game is a commentary on the video game industry. An industry that glorifies violence as much as any other. He developer points out that he’s just bringing to light the gaming culture that already exists in America today. There is nothing new in this game. No atrocity that gamers have not already commited in another first person shooter title.

In a culture where violence and murder is preferred over sex and love in media across the board, is it any wonder that some people are affected by it? I’m not saying media is to blame for the acts of Dylan and Eric. I am however saying there is a link to be made between violence in fantasy and violence in reality and knowing where that line is, and that there is a line there at all is very important. It’s what keeps those of us of sane mind and thought from opening up on their school mates with automatic weapons and explosives.

This game has recently come under fire when it was pulled from a game creation contest for unknown reasons (as of this writing). And as a result, many other finalists have withdrawn their games in protest and sponsorship has been pulled from the event. All over a silly little game with Super NES era graphics.

I bring this up to touch upon a point I made back in 1999 when Columbine happened. We, as a society, as a media-nation looked to medis as the answer to why.

We looked to music and books and video games. We looked to which witch put this terrible idea into the heads of these two young men.

We looked, not very hard or far, then we blamed. Oh, how we blamed. We railed against Marilyn Manson and Rammstein. We hated them for the evil satanic messages that must have caused these two youths to open fire on their classmates.

By we, I mean they.

They, the religious right. They, media who needed answers for parents. Parents, who meeded a scapegoat. Since leaving your kids with electronic babysitters seemed like such a good idea at the time.

I’ve listened to Marilyn Manson since at least ‘94. My favorite band on earth is Nine Inch Nails. I love SE7EN, Saw and have seen NIN’s Broken Movie more than once.

I enjoy the works of Edgar Allan Poe. I enjoy gothic culture, music and art. I live in the night, in the darkness. In the depths of my own specially-branded deranged mind.

I also went to public school. I also got labeled as a freak. An outsider. Was once said to be in the top 3 people likeliest to blow up the school (#1 was my best friend, and #2 was another acquaintence of mine) and rumors floated around about everything from my sexuality to how many drugs I sold all through high school.

For the record, I am heterosexual and I’ve never touched drugs, and am strongly anti-drug. This made the tales even more amusing for those who knew me.

The point is I never killed anyone. I never walked into school and opened fire with an automatic weapon. I never walked in and threw student against walls or out of my way. I never lost it and let loose on a helpless student body.

When Columbine happened in 1999, people were scared. Scared because they did not understand what was happening. This was a sign. A huge, red-text-neon-18-foot-tall sign saying Look, it’s high time that we address how our schools are run and how students are treated by their classmates.

The sign also read another message, on the back, encrypted so no one would see it. And that part read something like this.

Parents, stop leaving your kids to raise themselves. Stop working 90 hours a week and leaving little Bobby and Sally with TV, movies, video games and the Internet as a replacement.

The world was so quick to find an easy answer, and someone to blame they overlooked the root of the problem.

These boys were hurting. It takes a lot more than a few angry songs and a copy of DOOM! to make someone shoot up a school. These boys needed help.

They needed friends who would listen and talk to them. They needed parents who cared and took interest in their lives. They needed a support network.

And this network either broke down completely, or was simply not there at all. And what good is a network that’s nonexistant. None.

The same thing is happening now that happened those 8 years ago. Someone has taken this event and heavily-researched it. Pulling most of the games dialogue from actual transcripts of what Fylan and Eric said on the day of the attack.

The developer put in many hours of research to recreate the days leading up to the attack. The attention to detail is commendable and supports the developer’s idea that this is a glimpse into an event that we never wish to relive. A look into the motivation behind the actions that scramed across our television screens and into newspapers.

Maybe something can be gained from this game. Since the “Tenchcoar Mafia” is no longer around to answer questions for us. Perhaps we can look at their lives and external influences and see what drove them to this course.

Wired is running a great article by someome who actually sat down and played the game and talked to the developer about it. In order to understand what it was about, and not just condemn it as evil, bad and wrong.

We will never know what was going through their heads on the say of the attack but perhaps learning about their lives and their environment will allow us, as a society to change our ways so we avoid something like this happening in the future.

In an unsound mind, it may have taken very little to push them over the edge. In that way, it might have been a lyric, a book, or a game that was the final nail in their coffins. However, it is not the whole story. Far from it.

It is my hope that this game and this event are looked at as a teaching tool. A lesson in abuse and solitude taken to extremes. No one makes such rash and extreme actions unless they are pushed towards it by internal and external forces.

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  1. Saru · Jan 17, 09:08 AM · #

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