Lately, the Super Columbine Massacre RPG! has been up on the desk again - most recently because it was kicked out of an independent game competition.
I could have sworn I wrote something about this earlier, but it appears I didn't. So, here's a few words.
I played about half of the game (up to the point it became actually hard), and all I can say it is that it's not a great game technically... but it's the thought that counts, and that's definitely what makes it tick.
I'm not objecting to the subject matter. A "proper" game about Columbine massacre would be interesting. The only thing that made me squeamish was the fact that the player characters were the two killers. If this would have been a game about some innocent bystanders with the same recounting of what happened in the fateful day, it would be a real big praised classic by now.
People objected to be placed to the role of the killers. My "Ordinary Human Being" verdict is that I didn't enjoy the school shooting part - I found the technical execution amusing, the combat system was funny when applied the way it was applied, but the actual massacre part of it was just grotesque - and it didn't really work as far as gameplay was concerned either.
However, it proved that Columbine massacre could be treated in a medium. It also proved that such a difficult subject matter could be discussed in a game.
It was also an extremely touching game. It was an odd thing to see those cartoony people killing or getting killed... and then, all of sudden, the two killers kill themselves and the game goes photographic. You could almost say "So, you thought those two were cutesy pixely manga characters who were killing other cutesy pixely manga characters? Nope, they were real people. I'm telling a tale about real events. Horrific real events."
The game made a great point, right then and there.
Games are a serious medium. This game proves that games can be thought-provoking one way or another.
And, of course, it also proves that people are uncomfortable with fiction where the protagonist is the villain. I've been irked by that for a long time. This game was not weird in that respect.
Perhaps one day people are making a game that tells another side of the story, from the point of view of the victims and how they overcame the situation. I'm sure people would have less problems with that sort of treatment of this difficult subject - after all, that's how the issue has frequently been discussed of...