Columbine game is all about art!


It’s funny how certain tragic events can spawn new luscious things!

There’s been a whole lotta uproar these past few weeks because Super Columbine Massacre RPG was pulled as a finalist from the Slamdance Guerilla Gamemaker Competition.

Personally, I can’t believe they waited for it to get so far only to pull it off the list – which makes me rather suspicious. They write that:

“There are always legal checks and balances with any Slamdance program. Specifically with the subject matter of Super Columbine Massacre Role Playing Game Slamdance does not have the resources to defend any drawn out civil action that our legal council has stated can easily arise from publicly showing it.”

Man! Capitalist society can be such a ruthless freedom-of-speech stomping evil dictatorship!

Then, other game developers start pulling their games from the festival in an act of solidarity. TGC (thatgamecompany) explained it very nicely:

“As game designers, each project we have done so far, and plan on doing in the future, aims at showing games as a serious and expressive medium. We cannot help but wonder, if SCMRPG were a film, if the reaction by the Slamdance organizers would have been the same. Removing it from the festival is discouraging, because it implies that games are still not to be taken seriously, that games are only for mindless fun. If we are trying to work against this stigma as artists, then we also have to fight against this stigma as entrants in the festival as well.”

So this incident has really triggered an inspirational discussion about games as art! Which I think is really exciting! And my heart pounded even more when I read Clive Thompson‘s excellent piece, ‘I,Columbine’ in Wired this week! I don’t think I’m exaggerating by saying it’s the best artistic critical analysis of a game I have ever read!

You’re constantly reminded of how creepily unbalanced Harris and Klebold were. One minute they’re tossing off nihilistic riffs: “When I’m in my human form, knowing I’m going to die, everything has a touch of triviality to it,” Klebold muses. The next minute they’re quoting Shakespeare: “Good wombs hath borne bad sons.

I’m having a hard time pulling out quotes because it’s all so relevant and good – but I’ll paste this one in just in case you don’t read the whole thing – but you really should! It’s a beautiful beginning of art criticism in games!

“It uses the language of games as a way to think about the massacre. Ledonne, like all creators of “serious games”, uses gameplay as a rhetorical technique.”

Gameplay as rhetorical technique! I love it!!!

It’s tragic that Slamdance felt they had to pull it from the competition – but I’m loving the discussions that have spawned from it!

"That’s sooooooooo gay!"

Ok….I’m just curious. Has anyone or does anyone know of anyone in an MMORPG who’s ever been reprimanded for saying “….so gay!” or “fag”? I’ve never heard of anyone – and just thought I would throw the question out there to see if anyone had any tales of the unexpected!

Games as Art Discussion

Oooh! Almost forgot!!! The Ludologist reports:

“Join us on Wednesday, November 1st for a chat with on the subject of games and art with Henry Jenkins, Jesper Juul, Marc LeBlanc, and Eric Zimmerman.

Are games art? If not, why not? And if so, why? Is thinking of games as art useful or actually a hindrance for game developers? If games are art, what should our aspirations for the form be?”

Network: irc.freenode.net
Channel: #gamesandart
Time: 6 PM PST, 9PM EST, 2 AM GMT

There’s a link on how to get on the IRC (which I honestly don’t even know what is yet).

Doubtful that I’ll be awake – but you might! Great minds talking about an interesting subject!

Bully

You can’t really surf through the web, like I do, and not have heard of Rockstar’s new Bully! I’m certain most households are aware of it’s existence and that it’s coming out October 17th. There have been protests and court cases. All of these, include Jack Thompson, ofcourse! I mean…how irresponsible to come with comments like “Columbine Simulator” – that’s just tearing up wounds and fears that should be left to heal.
I haven’t played it yet, but I really can’t wait! And after watching the trailer, bellow, I can’t help thinking that this game is really a social commentary! An investigation into school politics from the kids perspective, if you will! But ofcourse I may be wrong! I just seems to me that the game is trying to mediate something, actually using game as media! Oh how I love that!