reason contributor Henry Jenkins has posted a three-part interview [1, 2, 3] with Danny Ledonne, the creator of the controversial Columbine video game Super Columbine Massacre RPG! The whole thing is worth reading; I'll quote just one of Ledonne's comments:
The controversy around SCMRPG is largely one of the subject matter and not its execution. Only when I give talks at game design schools am I taken to task for my design choices. For example, the Associated Press, Christian Science Monitor, or Parents Television Council were not complaining with:
"Why did you hide a book in the upstairs classroom that you need to complete the last part of the game? I had to start over!"
"The hallway is really hard to sneak through. I couldn't even tell those were security cameras until my friend showed me!"
"The graphics suck, noob."
Instead, the mainstream press attacked the very notion that a game like SCMRPG could exist! Heavens, we can have a film or book or magazine article about Columbine but a VIDEO GAME? This was the tone of much of the initial reporting.
The newshook for the interview is Ledonne's film Playing Columbine, a documentary about the controversy. I haven't seen the movie. Nor, for that matter, have I played the game: It's only available for Windows and I use a Mac. But those of you with the appropriate OS can download the game for free and decide for yourself whether it's exploitative trash, a compelling work of art, or an ambitious artistic failure.