86: Be Men, Not Destroyers

"It's cold. It's really cold. As cold as what the pair of them did to the people in that school, and you're struck at a profound level of how sad it is. Not just that people would die like that, but more because the horror of the mindset you'd have to enter to treat real human beings as nothing more import than two-dimensional sprites. Why would someone go and do something so pointless?"

Kieron Gillen breaks his silence about Super Columbine Massacre.

Be Men, Not Destroyers

Hail. Long time reader, first time really needing to comment.
Regarding SCM's second point...
I find I have a need I have a hard time defending. I like gore in my games. I'm not a slaughter flick fan, never had a taste for the lure of disemboweled teenagers. But in gaming I want gore.
I want the mess because it reminds me of what's really going on.
I love fighting games. Tekken, Soul Calibur, Virtua Fighter, Guilty Gear, King of Fighters -it's all good on one level or another. But sometimes the hyperkinetic violence is just too...fake. Too sterile.
I like to be occasionally reminded hacking at a mostly unarmored, and frequently nearly-naked, human body would result in horrific wounds. We, myself and the game's own developers, need to be reminded on occasion that underlying the pursuit of perfected violence is _death_. It's not a spiritual evolution or philosophical abstract, it's perfecting the conversion of some cheeky leathervixen into a steaming pile of sundered anatomy.
I love Soul Calibur, but whipping a 25lbs razor-edged slab of steel into someone doesn't make them _bounce_.
Same with shooters.
Black was excellent, Quake and Doom and all the rest are quite dear to me -but I hold the most respect for the first Soldier of Fortune. Enemies you could disassemble via machinegun, targets that screamed and howled as they died less the leg and the arm I caught dangling into view from behind their otherwise effective cover. Enough of that and I just was sad and nauseous. And that's _good_. That's a unpleasant but necessary reaffirmation of my own humanity. I understand I am pantomiming murder for my own entertainment. And I say yay, cuz it's fun.
I haven't killed anyone in real life, and despite the occasional vitrolic diatribe driven by some new political shennigan I have no real drive to do so. But every so often I need to be back in touch with what the violence really creates, to be forced to face that I'm tearing at the canvas of humanity's own image with my brutally quick reticle and snap head-shots.
For all the escapism involved I want to sometimes face what a rifle bullet through the skull really does look like, so I can be sick and glad and move on to the next episode.

PS: Reminds me of Manhunt, a title very much about blurring the pleasure of stalking and killing "people" with the satisfaction of gaming. Also deserving of a mention is The Warriors. Probably the only title I can think of that dared propose that constant brawling would result in torn clothes and blood leaking from every visible orifice -as opposed to a lamb white karate gi.

I certainly got the first half of SCMRPG. I mean, what's not to get? Using a game to make the player feel uncomfortable. That's simple.

The second half, though.... It didn't make any sense to me. Oh, I understood what was going on well enough. I just don't see why it's there. It's an entirely different game, an entirely different satire of an entirely different farce (aside from the single obvious relation). There's the part of the game that talkes about The Event, and this really does a good job. There's a part of the game that talkes about The Reaction, and while it's really kind of campy at times, it's not awful. It seems like they'd be natural to go together, right? Well, for me, they weren't exactly chocolate and peanut butter.

If the second half had been a sequel, rather than a second chapter, and if in order to play it you had to unlock it by beating the first one, then it would have been exactly the same. Somehow, though, even this completely illusory separation would be enough to improve the whole experience, I think.

Kieron, this is the first meaningful, critical review that I have read about this game. Thank you for writing.

Kieron, this is the first meaningful, critical review that I have read about this game. Thank you for writing.

My thoughts exactly. I can't play it, because there's no Mac version, so given the furor I was very interested to read more about its content and effectiveness.

I managed to play through the first half of SCMRPG and found it rather....enjoyable, er, informative. I believe that the game does a great job at providing human motivations to the killers' actions, and I think that by playing them, we even get a better image. Some of the gameplay mechanics were extremely annoying though such as avoiding hall monitors to go plant the bombs in the cafeteria. I also feel that the violence continued on for too long, and I had trouble finding a trigger to end it.

When I got to the second part of the game, I just turned the game off immediately as from the first few minutes of playing in it, I felt it lost all value worth playing.

Thanks for the article! This was one of the best critiques of a video game that I've read. I've actually forwarded the article to non-video gamers.

As a forum for games-as-art, no one will take Slamdance's selections seriously for the foreseeable future. The only moral here is: Be sure of your list of finalists before going public.

SCMRPG is the only game I have heard was up for Slamdance's award. Their disqualification of this game greatly overshadowed anything else they had planned. Case in point: I have NO idea what their other finalists are or who the winner was, not to mention I have not heard of Slamdance before their disqualification of SCMRPG.

Good article though, well written.


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