Super Columbine Massacre

With the premiere of Get Lamp at the upcoming Pax East , and a recent article on Indie Game documentaries on Play This Thing, I’ve been thinking about the 2006 game Super Columbine Massacre RPG, about which the only serious gaming documentary I know of was made. (I’m not counting A Fistful of Quarters )

Super Columbine Massacre RPG is a game centered on the facts and accounts surrounding the Columbine tragedy. The game combines the feel of a SNES-era RPG with real images, diary excerpts, witness accounts, and media outcries from the incident. The player takes control of one of the killers and must then carry out their plans to murder their classmates.

Though the game received enormous criticism from mainstream outlets , the artist notes that balancing respect for the deceased with truth to the shooters’ thoughts was challenging and took a careful moral balancing act. However, he was looking for a game that would challenge players to feel uncomfortable emotions, something video games really hadn’t done before , and mainstream games are only starting to do.

The game is powerful, and at the time the documentary came out, I wasn’t emotionally willing to dive back into the Columbine shootings. Though now that I have a more pronounced respect for the game itself—and don’t get me wrong, I understood at the time how import and powerful it was—and have a bit of distance, I think I’m willing to give it a shot.If I miraculously have time this weekend, maybe I’ll make it a double-feature weekend and watch it following Get Lamp.