Sooner or later it was going to happen.
Unfortunately it happened sooner.
A flash game about the V-Tech rampage was uploaded on Newgrounds. As GamePolitics points out, the game is rendered in a documentary style, similar to that of the highly controversial Super Columbine Massacre RPG.
There’s one difference though: As controversial Super Columbine Massacre RPG might have been, its creator at least tried to make a thoughtful attempt and had the decency to wait six years with the release – and he didn’t give in to the increasing industrialization of all art but tried to convey his viewpoint. It was dangerous in a thought provoking way. I can comprehend where the (often ill-informed) critics are coming from: Inherently, games have always been about the trivialization of human life, since the survival of one’s avatar depends on the player’s ability (that’s why there never was – and hopefully never will be – a game about Anne Frank) and due to their save function they won’t let the player feel all the consequences of their action. That said: A mature medium should be allowed to make comments on serious issues (it should not only be allowed to but see this as a pressing duty). But not only is the game industry notoriously insecure about itself, perpetuating the same juvenile concepts again and again, but there is also the sensationalist mainstream media, which can’t tell independently developed games and industry-produced software apart (yet to speak of politicians who use them as an excuse for strikter legislation) – with often unfavorable consequences for the industry. Still: Should this stop people from trying to critically comment serious events through the medium of a digital game? It would be giving up before trying and giving in to the political economy of the contemporary mainstream mediasphere.
The V-Tech game though is just plain, idiotic provocation. It’s evacuated of any thought, any reflection, any common sense. A fact that is underlined by the fact that its creator started to hold the public hostage and offered to take it offline if people pay him $1000 US – an apology can be expected for $3000 US. As Kotaku put it: “Free speech and free expression are great. Just make sure you’ve got something to say.”

-Jens

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