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Too Soon For A Columbine Videogame? 319

Posted by Zonk
from the touchy-subject dept.
neutralino writes "Rocky Mountain News has a story about a computer game based on the Columbine massacre. From the article: 'Called Super Columbine Massacre RPG, the game mixes cartoonish scenes with photographs of Harris and Klebold, pictures taken from newspapers and television stations and excerpts from their writings... [The game's creator] said he wanted to create something profoundly unique and confrontational that would promote a real dialogue on the subject of school shootings.'"
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Too Soon For A Columbine Videogame?

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  • Are you kidding??? (Score:5, Informative)

    by DougLorenz (964249) * on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:37PM (#15345036)
    Well, I have a couple of things to say...

    First of all, someone is going to bring it up eventually, so I might as well be helpful and give everyone the link to the website that has the actual game...

    http://www.columbinegame.com/ [columbinegame.com]

    By the way, it appears that the game was designed using a program called "RPG Maker 2000" [chello.at]

    Hopefully their website charges them for bandwidth, and once they get Slashdotted the server hosting bill will bankrupt the authors...

    Secondly, I think that most people would feel some concern about copycats, and being that I haven't played the game myself, I don't know whether the perspective in the game glorifies the actions of Harris and Klebold. If it does, this can be pretty dangerous for some kids... Some of the comments in the news story tend to suggest that they are glorifying the murders. For example, the article stated that when someone is killed in the game, a dialogue box pops up stating "Another victory for the Trench Coat Mafia".

    I would be against any effort to impose government censorship on this kind of thing, but the authors should have really thought about whether this was a good idea.

    If you are going to download this game, you may want to do it soon. The article indicated that some of the content within the game may be in violation of a copyright.

    • OK, this game is flamefest material. It will put people's belief in Free Speech to test.
      • by LWATCDR (28044) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:50PM (#15345202) Homepage Journal
        "It will put people's belief in Free Speech to test."
        Should the game be banned?
        No.
        Should anybody buy it?
        No.
        Should every living person on the face of the earth tell the company that published this game that this is a bad idea!
        Yes.

        Freedom of speech means you can have the right to say anything and not go to jail.
        It doesn't mean that every person on the planet doesn't have the right to hate your guts for saying it.
        • by vertinox (846076) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:37PM (#15346179)
          "Should every living person on the face of the earth tell the company that published this game that this is a bad idea!"

          No. Ignoring and going about our lives is the better solution.

          What irks me about society is that it makes problems of non-problems.

          Will "Columbine The Game" make anyone go out and do a copy cat? Only if they were going to go postal anyways.

          These are one of those situations where making a fuss will just get it more attention.

          Secondly, everyone just needs to get over it and get on with their lives. Digg had a story a week or two ago about one of the Columnbine victims who was paralyzed giving a subjective review of the game. That is an extreme thing that happened to him and logically reviewed the game without any sensitivity of his own plight.

          From the interview [kotaku.com]:

          What did you think of it?
          It probably sounds a bit odd for someone like me to say, but I appreciate the fact at least to some degree that something like this was made. I think that at least it gets people talikng about Columbine in a unique perspective, which is probably a good thing. But that being said there are a lot of things that are har to play or watch. And it seems to partially glamorize what happened. It shows a stark-contrast between fantasy and real life in an interesting way.

          That guy is stronger than any of us.
        • by Alaren (682568) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:40PM (#15346196)

          I'm intrigued by your response, because while you rightly support the free speech involved in this creation, you suggest we should hate people who express things we don't like.

          I'm frankly shocked by the amount of outrage I'm reading in highly-moderated comments. This from a community that is usually quite happy to defend Grand Theft Auto or whatever game the media is attacking at the moment.

          Is it because this game reflects real events? Does the fact of reflecting actual events somehow make this more or less real than a game of GTA? Because it seems to make it a lot more offensive to everyone.

          And yet we have WW2 and Vietnam simulators out there. They're some of the hottest selling games on the market, in fact. Not a lot of outrage on that front. And when it comes to being evil in games, there seems to some interest [slashdot.org] in it. What a way to explore our humanity, eh?

          Are we just trying to "think of the children?" We Slashdotters like to condemn people for using that line, too.

          Personally I don't see how this game is any more or less offensive than any other violent video game--but much the way the holocaust or 9/11 hit sore spots for a lot of people, Columbine has become a bit of a sacred cow as well. Personally, I think the sooner our culture learns to let go of its sacred cows, the better. Because these sacred cows kill our perspective and inspire us to say and do things that are inconsistent with what are generally accepted as our principles.

          Like, for instance, embracing hatred as a positive response to people who scarcely deserve our attention, let alone our hate.

          • And yet we have WW2 and Vietnam simulators out there. They're some of the hottest selling games on the market, in fact. Not a lot of outrage on that front. And when it comes to being evil in games, there seems to some interest in it. What a way to explore our humanity, eh?

            No offense but if you consider games like Call of Duty, Medal of Honor or Vietcong to be WW2 and Vietnam "simulators" you've got a very rosy view of war.

            I have yet to play a WW2 game where you fight against Vichy French troops, to libera

    • by OS24Ever (245667) *
      Other than WW 2 simulations I really don't like the idea of making a game based off of a real tragedy. That'd be like creating a '911 simulator' where you try and fly 757s into the world trade center. It's just stupid, and it riles up the anti-gaming crowd rather quickly
      • I really don't want to start a flame war here, but it needs to be said.

        As pertains to your example of the 911 game, do you mean in the same way you can take GTAIII SA and crash planes into buildings or people, or go into any crowd and level them with a gun because it's fun? I'm all for making the author of this game realize that it will never be time to remember Columbine or any other shooting with some sort of game. I also understand that GTA doesn't simulate particular situations, but the ides can be th

        • This is my personal preference speaking, I'd not want to stop anyone from doing anything because I believe that is what made the US a great place.

          I don't play GTA in any form, I didn't like the idea. I voted with my $, but lots of people voted the other way, that is life. However, GTA doesn't say the goal of the game is to fly 757s in the the WTC. The game is to be a criminal. To me there is a subtle, but important, difference.

          I was just commenting on what I thought was an interesting issue for us, I d
          • However, GTA doesn't say the goal of the game is to fly 757s in the the WTC. The game is to be a criminal. To me there is a subtle, but important, difference.

            The subtle difference between killing 1000 people at once, and walking up to each individually and shooting them in the face/stabbing them/beating them to death?
        • by Fallingcow (213461) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:29PM (#15345611) Homepage
          I do believe that the WWII and other war simulators are a good way to remember the wars because, as it should, the games tend to glorify the heroes. I'm not sure I can think of a WWII or other war game where you play the definative "bad guys." I could, however, easily be wrong.

          WWII makes a good setting for a game for a number of reasons.

          It fits a basic good v. bad story model, as it's hard for there to be much of a grey area when one side is shoving people into furnaces and gas chambers.

          The combat was very mobile and the weapons are interesting--no boring trench warfare (I imagine a WWI game as playing more like Oregon Trail than an FPS; "Billy has trenchfoot!") and no fire-then-reload-for-a-minute (the ONLY reason a Revolutionary War FPS hasn't come out, and the community total conversion mods that have tried it were never very popular).

          There's machinery like tanks and aircraft, but it's not fire-and-forget yet. You still have to see the enemy, dogfight, etc. Fast-paced and up-close action.

          Luckily, the WWII setting also makes for some great experiences for the player. One can experience just a little bit of the horror of infantry combat in the mechanized age. It's hard to get across some of the horrors of other wars in the medium of the video game--again, trench warfare would be silly (It's the WWI choose-your-own-adventure game! *you are being shelled AGAIN. Do you a) wait it out or b) go 'over the top' and get mowed down by a machine gun?*), while much of the horror of wars like Vietnam weren't the *action*, but rather the way that day upon day of tension might play out after a close call that lasted maybe a minute.

          I really do feel like a have a better handle on what that war was like after playing several WWII games. I'm NOT trying to compare it to the real thing at all, but I know that the first time I played the crossing-the-river scene in Call of Duty and "our side" (the Russians) called in a massive artillery strike less than 100 yards from where I was sitting, I was physically shaken afterwards. It's 1/2 of 1% of what the real thing is like, but it's more than you'd get anywhere else (outside of actual war, I mean). It gives a person a new respect for what a bunch of ordinary people went through over there, and what they accomplished in spite of it all.

          Just expanding on what you said, not disagreeing--or at least, I don't think I am.
      • But where do you draw the line? WW2 is ok, so what about Korea? Vietnam? Iraq in the early 90s? Iraq now?

        This question is the same one that came up when the recent 9/11 movie was released. How soon is too soon?

        (I'm presuming that older wars you have no issue with; the Civil War has been featured in more than a few games.)

        The game is Windows-only, or I'd have tried it and been able to give a more educated position.
        • After I hit the submit button I thought 'doh!' I had Battle of Britain on the brain and how interesting a game that was. I did not mean to draw the line in 1941 - 1943 but to say War Games are interesting, and don't seem to exploit the situation near as much as a 'Flight 98' or 'Massacre at Columbine' type of game.

          I'd love to see a 'Duck Hunt' type game where you pop terrorists in the head when they pop up. We can call it Whac-A-Terrorist or whatever. Personally in games where I get the most uncomfor
          • I thought the terrorists in C&C Generals were kinda fun, since they were like caricatures. Especially the line "AK-47's.. for evvvryone!!", when you upgrade the angry mob. Basically it's just some good ol' senseless violence, not deliberate and evil violence.

            On the other hand, I'm not american, so perhaps it just doesn't concern me that much.

            What I do find somewhat uncomfortable is that you're always the "good guys" in America's Army, the enemy is always the terrorists no matter which side you're on.

        • by donscarletti (569232) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:14PM (#15345988)
          But where do you draw the line? WW2 is ok, so what about Korea? Vietnam? Iraq in the early 90s? Iraq now?

          Compared to WWII, all those other wars (plus Columbine and 2001/9/11 for that matter) were about as tragic as a guy stubbing his toe. No disrespect intended for the veterens of these events, but compared to 62 Million deaths from combat, bombing, starving, nuking and mass genocide, every other nasty event in the four thousand odd years of written history of violence seems like a jolly piece of fun.

      • by grub (11606)

        Other than WW 2 simulations I really don't like the idea of making a game based off of a real tragedy.

        WW2 games are OK? I'll start work on SimAuschwitz(tm) tonight!
    • So everyone should download the game, delete it, download again, repeat until bankrupt?
      Nasty, but some how tempting.
    • Outside of being tasteless to the point of obscenity, the big question is, will it be ready for PS3 in time for the fall rollout? Sony executives might as well add yet another disaster to high pricing, Blu-Ray, and slow-to-market. Mass murder would fit right in.
    • by Castar (67188)
      This is interesting, particularly the "too soon" idea. If it's wrong to talk about something horrible, then it's wrong to talk about it at any time, surely?

      But World War II killed a lot more people than Columbine. And there are WWII games falling out of every tree lately. No one is talking about how horrible it is to glorify all that violence (well, a few people, but they're in the minority). Why is Columbine more offensive? Is it really just a matter of time?

      Personally, I have no problems with this game
    • being that I haven't played the game myself,

      I have.

      I don't know whether the perspective in the game glorifies the actions of Harris and Klebold.

      It doesn't.

      The game tries to put the player into the place of Klebold and Harris. It's not exactly a "great" game, but I've definately played worse.

      If you are going to download this game, you may want to do it soon. The article indicated that some of the content within the game may be in violation of a copyright.

      I and thousands of others have it. This game will not
    • There's an excellent and thoughtful interview [rockymountainnews.com] with the game's creator available online. Before dismissing the game out of hand, one should read it.
    • Ta for the link. Was playing Eve Online with my headphones on, and the volume up when the website started playing gunshot noises at me. I'm sending you the bill for the repair of my ruptured eardrums
  • by Anonymous Crowhead (577505) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:40PM (#15345071)
    Is it too soon for a Haulocaust video game? Seriously, it would promote dialogue and what-not...
  • Never is too soon. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kaessa (924806) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:40PM (#15345073)
    I have NO idea what these people were thinking. Mass murder of children is NOT entertainment. Sheesh.
  • by Godai (104143) *
    That is pretty much the textbook definition of tasteless.
  • I smell BS (Score:5, Insightful)

    by faloi (738831) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:41PM (#15345083)
    he wanted to create something profoundly unique and confrontational that would promote a real dialogue on the subject of school shootings.

    I think what he wanted to do was generate some free promotion for himself, and he figured that school shootings would be a great way to get people to take a look at him. Instant noteriety.
    • Better this than him trying to get it by going to school and shooting a bunch of kids.
    • However, the graphics are amazingly crude (think: 1980-1982 quality) and is Windows only. This means that the only people downloading it are (almost by definition) severely mentally disturbed. Fron what I can see from the webpage, the game is designed for a cheap thrill - with such limited content, it is clear that the developer has no real programming skill, no understanding of wargames, no skill at coding AIs... No taste and no sense would seem to be the least of their problems.

      A "Columbine" tactical game

    • Disclaimer: I haven't tried the program but I did read the article. All italicize text is from that article.

      There's definitely some BS in the form of PR: the topic is very sensitive for a lot of people and anyone seriously discussing the matter should be careful not to mis-speak. Given that, there are some statements within the game that sound callous so I assume that the designer is performing an attempt at damage control.

      As for the question of why even release this game...

      It's quite probable that he was
  • I will give my personal guarantee that Jack will be all over this shit.
    • He'll be spinning in his grave.
  • Jew Roundup? An RTS where you are a Nazi trying to gather up those pesky jews and get them to extermination camps before being over run?

    Master. You are running a plantation before in the old south. You must get as much work out of your slaves and through selective breeding improve the quality of your stock?

    The answer is YES it is too soon!!!!
    I think right after our sun goes red giant would be a just about enough time.
    • It's not "too soon," this isn't about the amount of time that has passed. "Too soon" implies there will be a day when this is acceptable. This (and the other fictional games you speculate about) are just plain tasteless, regardless of the amount of time that has passed.

      For example, even though it's been 2000 years, and I'm not a Christian, I would find a "Crucify Jesus" game tasteless.
    • "Jew Roundup? An RTS where you are a Nazi trying to gather up those pesky jews and get them to extermination camps before being over run?"


      While you may be joking. I think this game would go over well with muslims in the middle east, particualrly Iran [bbc.co.uk]. Even here in the western hemisphere, there are countries [wiesenthal.com] where this would be quite popular. I'd be very surprised if it hasnt been made yet.

      "Master. You are running a plantation before in the old south. You must get as much work out of your slaves and thr
    • I actually wouldn't mind seeing games like that. Simply telling people that racism is bad isn't nearly as effective as showing them why it's bad. I'm not talking about making a game where Nazis and slavers are genericly evil and cackle madly as they go about their (no doubt nefarious) business, I'm talking about something where they're just people doing what they believe is right... and ignoring the suffering around them that is obvious to the player of the game.

      If we're going to address painful issues
  • Too soon? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by EggyToast (858951) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:44PM (#15345129) Homepage
    This is just someone cashing in on a recent event in a rather crude way, in an attempt to "address school shootings." You need to address things that happen often and repeatedly, such as a drug or crime problem. You can't address something that rarely happens; it's like addressing "shark attacks" or "mountain lion maulings."

    It's in the same boat as that "suicide bomber" flash game and the JFK game. The only thing that's interesting about any of these things is that the internet allows most anyone to create something and publish it. That's not a function of the games, but the ability for the creator to distribute. It's no different from someone's manifesto making it online, compared to the earlier method of sitting in a shoebox under the bed.

  • I don't personally think there will ever be a time when it's "right" to make such a game.

    But, free speech rights trump my personal sense of morality, dignity, whatever; so if they
    want to make it, more power to 'em. I won't be buying it though, and I hope nobody else
    does either.

  • by Johnny5000 (451029) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:46PM (#15345153) Homepage Journal
    If the designer came out and said "I just thought it would be cool to shoot a bunch of kids at school" or "I just wanted to be famous and here's an easy way to do it" I'd respect that more than claiming it's only to promote dialogue.
    That's horseshit, and if that's what he claims, then he's got no sack.
  • by Anonymous Coward
    Gaming site Kotaku "spoke" with Richard Castaldo, who was paralyzed from the chest down from the attack on Columbine, after he played the game in question. Link for the article [kotaku.com].

    The kotaku article will give you way more insight than any MSM report on the game (most of which won't even bother to d/l the thing).
  • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:50PM (#15345206) Homepage Journal

    Since each and every one of the comments posted as of this moment is against the idea, I thought that someone should defend the author. At the moment, that someone is me.

    First of all, please put aside the idea that there is such thing as a universal sense of taste that this guy is violating. There is no such thing. For example someone might tell you that a joke about rape is never funny, while George Carlin has a joke he provides as a counterexample that gets good laughs: "I'll prove to you that rape is funny. Picture porky pig raping elmer fudd. Why do you think they call him porky?"

    By the same token, I remember laughing about the joke about NASA meaning "need another seven astronauts". I was a kid at the time, and I know that doesn't necessarily prove anything because kids lack refinement, but I guess what I'm saying is that refinement is not necessarily a virtue.

    Human often deal with difficult situations with humor. Have you ever been in such dire straits (whether physically or emotionally) that it made you laugh, albeit hysterically? Laughter can be a coping mechanism. Of course, from the screen shots, it doesn't appear that they were shooting for humor (pardon the pun, or not. It was unintentional.

    The claim is that this game was intended to provoke thought and dialogue. The screenshots seem to back that up, although my primary thought was wondering if the author really believed that access to guns was the problem, since if you believe that, you're a bozo. Any asshole can steal a gun, and there are other weapons available... But let's look at this story. Even without people playing the game, the very issue is causing serious dialogue. This comment is proof.

    Is it acceptable to write a book or make a movie about the events of Columbine, discussing the ramifications? If so, then making a video game is every bit as legitimate. It's just another kind of artwork.

    Those of you who are not bothered by books and movies about it existing, yet are still claiming that the video game is inappropriate, should go drive off a cliff with any progeny of yours in the vehicle at the same time. You'll do the rest of us a favor by helping to clean the gene pool.

    • Those of you who are not bothered by books and movies about it existing, yet are still claiming that the video game is inappropriate, should go drive off a cliff with any progeny of yours in the vehicle at the same time. You'll do the rest of us a favor by helping to clean the gene pool.

      Jeez. That's a little extreme.

      I think there is a legitimate distinction between video games and books/movies. Books and movies can be documentary or nonfiction in nature, whose purpose is to educate instead of entertain

      • Jeez. That's a little extreme.

        Maybe I've had too much mountain dew :P

        I think there is a legitimate distinction between video games and books/movies.

        Me too. Video games are interactive. However, that's it.

        Video games -- except for the ugly duckling "edutainment" genre -- exist purely to entertain.

        That's a bunch of crap and if you had put more than two seconds of thought into this you would have realized it. There have been video games all along that try to impart a message. It may actua

  • by the_demiurge (26115) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:51PM (#15345214) Homepage
    You can read the full interview [kotaku.com]with someone who asurvived that day at kotaku. His responses are quite interesting, and he says he has mixed feelings about the game.

    I don't think the idea behind the game was to trivialize the shootings, but to comment on them. In other words, it's not trying to be entertainment, it's trying to be art.
  • I mean, come on. Has there ever been a video game made after a tragedy?

    'Can you bomb Hiroshima and end the war?'

    That's not fun unless you're sick.
    • 'Can you bomb Hiroshima and end the war?' That's not fun unless you're sick.

      Or unless you believe, as many do, that it was the only way to end the war.

      I'm not saying I believe that (I don't really know enough to form an educated opinion on this issue, so I don't believe anything in particular, but do accept that it's possible for it to be true, or not) but many people do. Your opinion is not universal. Neither is anyone else's.

    • Unfortunate example. There are hundreds if not thousands of WWII games. Nobody is bitching about them.
  • No matter how [un]violent or [un]sexual you make a game, there will still be the same number of idiots out there who think it'd be cool to do what's in the game.
    Also, there will be the same idiots no matter how much time has passed.

    People who are disgusted by the idea of a game about mass murder probably won't buy it! ...Along with Halo, Ghost Recon, C&C Generals, or any other game where the point is to kill.
    People who are alright with it will buy it, obviously.

    Wouldn't it be nice if some kid who wanted
  • by mobby_6kl (668092)
    But then, Jack + Hillary + Joe_L = 1st Amendment Annihilation
    so I don't think it's a good idea to create a lot of publicity for it when there's a real possibility for them to ban (or restrict to require background check) "insensitive", "hate", or "violent" games.

    Still, I wouldn't play it. Mainly because it's an RPG, and I find them boring. An FPS, maybe, but I don't see how could they make it long enough to be interesting. Maybe create some alternative reality where they go on a worldwide rampage tour...
  • Assassin (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Nightspirit (846159) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @03:58PM (#15345297)
    It would never be made, but I would like an current, realistic political assassin game. First, let me make it perfectly clear that I have no intentions of killing or hurting anyone. But it would be sweet to (in a game) choose a goverment you work under (or free-lance) and have a choice of current government officials under opposing goverments that are your targets. You could go over and start grass roots movements or start a coup, or eventually sniper (or use various other methods) your target. Yearly you could download updates to make the government official list from multiple countries current.
  • Too soon? (Score:2, Flamebait)

    by Chazmati (214538)
    Yes.

    Oh, was this not a poll?
  • He said he wanted to create something profoundly unique and confrontational that would "promote a real dialogue on the subject of school shootings."

    In other words, he's just a troll. We'd recognize him instantly if he posted here. (And mod his losing butt into the ground.)

    Too bad internet gaming doesn't have /. moderation.

  • Hookers (Score:3, Insightful)

    by moberry (756963) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:10PM (#15345421)
    I find it pretty entertaining to get your d**k sucked to improve your health then cap the bitch in the head afterwards (Grand theft auto) but this.... sick, i mean sick.
  • I find it totally shocking that the game author would use copyrighted images without seeking proper permission. Doesn't anyone take copyright seriously anymore?

    (how to miss the point, #47)
  • by Pluvius (734915) <pluvius3@gmail.WELTYcom minus author> on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:17PM (#15345502) Journal
    It's gotten a bunch of people here to equate Columbine to 9/11, slavery, and the fucking Holocaust. Exaggerate much?

    For the record, I'm intrigued by the idea of a Holocaust simulator. As long as you don't glorify the proceedings, it would be a great way to teach people about the banality of evil.

    Rob
  • It's just kind of stupid to make a game based on a real-life massacre. This topic has already been exhausted in the year or 2 following the shootings. Remember Jon Katz with his daily updates on what he thought, and how nerds everywhere are now being harrassed? Yeah, me too. Right now it's just gratuitous, and he's getting the same response as he would be getting if he made a game where you're Hitler and you have to go around killing Jews. No more talking is going to go out about it. The creator is just vie
  • by Malk-a-mite (134774) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:17PM (#15345511) Journal
    Since we'll have a bunch of ./ers spouting off... might as well make room for someone who lived through the events the RPG depicts:
    " What did you think of it?
    It probably sounds a bit odd for someone like me to say, but I appreciate the fact at least to some degree that something like this was made. I think that at least it gets people talikng about Columbine in a unique perspective, which is probably a good thing. But that being said there are a lot of things that are har to play or watch. And it seems to partially glamorize what happened. It shows a stark-contrast between fantasy and real life in an interesting way.
    "

    There is more of the interview at this site:
    http://www.kotaku.com/gaming/feature/columbine-sur vivor-talks-about-columbine-rpg-171966.php [kotaku.com]

  • by pinqkandi (189618) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:17PM (#15345512) Journal
    That's what we learned on South Park... you can't joke about something until it's been 23 years!
  • While I do find the whole idea distrubing, I don't see a reason to stop it.
    What happened at Columbine was a sad tragedy, though mostly a symptom of the underlying problems with our society. However, no matter how sad an occurance, I still can't see why we would need censorship about it. If the author of this game really wants to make such a game, he is free to do so. If someone wants to stand up and call the two kids, who commited these acts, heroes, so be it. Now, there may be some backlash, e.g. ever
  • The game is made by a free program which basicly works like a HTML What-you-see-is-what-you-get editor. You rip some sprites (or make them, most don't make them) and basicly slap them onto the screen and add minor events. Any kid can make them and they're little more than basic Gameboy (original) quality.

    So basicly this is a news story about some slag for 4chan or something awful making a crappy little game on free software. If this is news then I demand Slashdot covers a game a bully made of me 5-6 years a
  • People seem to be assuming that if a video game is made about the incident, then it is necessarily glamorizing it. Why is it that video games have this distinction, and not (for example) books or movies? It's certainly not too soon to write a book or movie about Columbine. What makes it too soon to make a video game about it? Are video games really so much different? And, if they are so different, why should they be protected?
  • Reactionist (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Lord_Dweomer (648696) on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @04:51PM (#15345801) Homepage
    This is an interesting story. I haven't played the game so I'm not sure how it portrays things, but I say WHY NOT! In fact, I wouldn't mind a couple other simulators....like one of shooting jews in a concentration camp or flying planes into a building.

    Why on earth would I be interested in those? Because its fascinating in a very morbid way. Hell....I'm Jewish, almost lost relatives in 9/11, and went through many of the torturous highschool situations that the columbine kids did. I would never do any of these things, but I think games based on them can be an interesting way of exploring the emotions involved in the events....on BOTH sides.

    Everybody knows how horrible it must have felt for the families of victims...but I have to say I'd be interested in getting into the heads of the people who actually committed these atrocities.

    It reminds me of a class I took in highschool called Nazi Mind. The class was a psychology class looking not at the victims of WWII, but of the Nazis, and what could lead people to do the horrible things they did. BTW over half the class was Jewish. The first day we were asked what we thought of the Nazis and people gave their standard responses about how they were evil and they should die. Then at the last day they repeated the question and most people said they understood why some of them did what they did and that they themselves might do the same thing.

    Yeah....this game might touch a lot of nerves and might cause some emotional stress for the families of victims, but I say more power to the creator for making people talk about this. Could the game be a bit more tasteful? Perhaps. But would we be discussing it as much then?

    Its funny...for my final project in a history class I did a presentation on why kids need to learn to respect each other to prevent something like Columbine from happening. I made 3 people in the class cry and one had to leave she was so upset because of how sad my presentation was. At the end of the class we had a discussion and one of the "popular jocks" said he just didn't get why they did what they did...even after I had explained everything. His girlfriend called him a heartless loser and proceeded to explain how years of tormet can drive a person to do that sort of thing. Then basically every other person in the class chimed in. The guy, to his credit then realized the truth of it and apologized for his comment and talked a bit about why he had been one of the people in the past tormenting "geeks" etc. So in essence, he was "converted".

    And of course for all of this I got brought down to the school psychologist because they were concerned about the report I gave...even though I had gotten approval on the topic before I had even started on it, had said nothing but positive things etc. Yeah, I hit the roof when that happened....

  • I think the guys who did this game are only attention whores who, as any self-respecting attention whore does, tried to get attention. They get a great attention/effort-put-into-the-dev.-of-the-game ratio.

    By featuring them on Slashdot we're only giving them more of that precious attention, IMHO.

  • Rather than creating a freely downloadable game that tries to provoke insight into the tragedy at Columbine, the author should have sat on the couch and watched "Family Guy" reruns. As most of you know, that is such teh funney show. He wasted productive couch-sitting time, and I think that is the biggest tragedy yet. I'm glad most of you don't fall victim to creative urges like he did.
  • by 9mm Censor (705379) * on Tuesday May 16, 2006 @05:55PM (#15346335) Homepage
    Mod me down, call me whatever, or slander my nation for fostering freedom of speach in my pointy little head (Canada, FYI)... If you dont like a creative work, wheather it be a game, a movie, a book or what have you, please feel free not to play, watch or read it, but what right do you have to prevent people from consuming that media for themselves (hint: none imo), so dont go DoSing websites, or burning books. However, you have rights to, and I encourage you to exercise them. If you feel that playing a Columbine game, or reading/ watch Micheal Moore, is bad, PLEASE PROTEST IT. However do so in a manner that does not hurt other people, try to be constructive while you bring your opinion to the attention of others. Playing as a bad guy, does not make you evil. Being evil makes you evil.

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