Each week Dennis McCauley contributes The Political Game, a column on the collision of politics and video games:
Super Columbine Massacre creeps me out.
Maybe that's what designer Danny Ledonne had in mind. If so, mission accomplished. Ledonne clearly wanted to use the game medium to explore the motivations of killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold. Whether you like his methodology or not, there's a famous piece of yellowed paper resting under glass in the National Archives that says he's free to express himself however he pleases. But whatever Ledonne's purpose in creating SCMRPG, the negative mainstream publicity surrounding the controversial game is not good for the video game industry. Game publishers ought to be proactively making it clear that Super Columbine Massacre isn't a product of their tribe.
Because the idea that a game company might be so craven as to profit from the Columbine massacre is hurting the industry. Because non-gaming types simply don't understand the difference between LeDonne's self-made art project and a multimillion dollar commercial game product like, say, Rockstar's Bully.
That was never more clear than during last week's hearing of the Public Utilities and Technology Committee of the Utah House of Representatives. There, confusion reigned as one legislator asked what Bully, "the Columbine game," was rated. A second legislator, the sponsor of a video game bill before the committee responded, "The Columbine game's rated Teen."