Saturday, May 20, 2006

And we wonder why our world is so messed up???

Shock, Anger Over Columbine Video Game

Some exerpts from the article ...
Ledonne [the game's creator] admits that the site is not "a very good game." Harris and Klebold, fans of the gory game "Doom," probably wouldn't think much of it. It's a 2-D game with tiny, cartoonish pixies and the look of a 1980s Nintendo title. It's not especially bloody. ("Not what gamers are expecting," he said.)

His reasoning for making the game?
"I'm not advocating shooting up your school, and I don't know how many times I can say that and no one will listen. This game does not glorify school shootings. If you make it far enough in the game, you see very graphic photos of Eric and Dylan lying dead." Ledonne said. "I can't think of a more effective way to confront their actions and the consequences those actions had."

Other games out there?
Games that many would find tasteless and insensitive have sprouted up in recent years. Two years ago, you could play as Lee Harvey Oswald in a game based on the assassination of John F. Kennedy. Another game that, according to its Web site, allows players to "shoot Mexicans crossing the United States border," has been making the rounds.

I'm no expert, but I would guess that playing these games over and over wouldn't pass along the message of "Look at the consequences of these actions." Cuz you know what? After you've pretended to be Eric & Dylan and shot up the school and then died yourself ... you can just click "Restart" and play all over again. Is that, too, representative of the consequences of those actions?

Now I'm not one who wants to blame the entire downfall of western civilization on a single video game, as some wanted to blame the Columbine massacre on the Internet. But .... games don't do the best job of getting across the concept of the rather permanent nature of death.

And my issue isn't necessarily with this specific game in particular. But with the dismissing-it-away by saying that it's not really that bloody and the people are cartoony instead of realistic .... and there are other games to shoot people crossing the border .... and yet we still wonder why our culture is so throughly steeped in violence?

Somehow, I don't think more prisons and more executions are the best way to remedy the situation. But a blanket condemnation of all video games is also not the solution. It'd take something of an attitude shift .... and that's why our violence is so hard to resolve.

Violence, unfortunately, is so much more than just guns.

UPDATE:
I just found the game's website (not very hard to do), and it makes me wonder if the creator's intentions were truly as pure as he proposed to the Washington Post in his interview. The main page states the following:
CONTENTS: A FREE Role Playing Game (RPG) for your PC devoid of malware, spyware or other junk not related to "killing as many fuckheads as possible!" Preview pics below.
MINIMUM SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS: Windows 98SE/2000/ME/XP, 233mhz processor, 128mb RAM, 50mb disk space, soundcard (optional), and killer instinct (mandatory).
A WORD TO THE WISE: Save your game whenever possible and explore! A multitude of surprises await players who destroy thoroughly.
FINALLY, remember Reb's words: "Don't follow your dreams or goals or any of that shit, follow your fucking animal instincts: if it moves kill it, if it doesn't, burn it. Kein Mitleid!"
Yeah, sure. Does that really seem like something that would achieve the goal of "an indictment of society"? That won't in any way be construed as a glorification of school shootings?

2 Comments:

Anonymous jeana said...

If you ask me, that people are allowed to promote such murderous attitudes and behavior is not only vulgar but (at minimum pre-)criminal. I imagine that in the big scheme of things, those who prepare the minds of those who will kill in reality are just as culpable. Talk about demonic forces at work. Ugh.

5/20/2006 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Fandel said...

So, by your logic, we should arrest every member of the Television and Newspaper media for glorifying tragedies such as columbine, of other violent moments like the war with Iraq for ratings and profit?

I find it ironic that no one ever condemns the news media for constantly sensationalizing violent tragedy for ratings and profit. But when some 20 year old kid makes some 8-bit game, with no financial motivation, they want to rake him over the coals.

In my opinion, while I do think some parts of this game are very insensitive and crass, I wonder why no one is as outraged when the news media exploits tragedy's like this for ratings and profits.

Or when Hollywood(ie the movie industry) exploits violent events like 9-11, I see a double standard.

5/20/2006 7:47 PM  

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