The School Shooter Mod, Part 2

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mikespoff:

Fiz_The_Toaster:

mikespoff:
Jim: "However, let's say a more talented developer with a lot more time creates a School Shooter game from the ground up. Not like Super Columbine Massacre -- which comes with lengthy essays justifying the game and its message -- but exactly like School Shooter. No deep meaning, no morality, just a sandbox school environment in which you shoot up classmates and teachers for no reason. Would you still say it's bad?"

um... YES!

Because then you're taking an (apparently) talented developer and doing something pointlessly destructive. It's like taking a baseball bat and going around smashing people's car windows instead of hitting balls. There is never any redeeming value in killing random school children, so how could there possibly be anything good in this "sandbox" game?

Yes, I'm aware that most COD players don't really care about the military justifications and just want to murder each other's virtual avatars, but there is still a setting in which (under specific circumstances) their actions could be justified. Dead Space 2, for all its claimed shock value, is at least giving you the justification of "your survival depends on slaughtering everything you see".

Without those frameworks the games would have zero value.

Well in his defense that term "bad" has a two-folded answer, which he did answer, if I remember correctly. If everything involved, mechanically wise, in that game works as it should be and what makes a game a game, then no, it's not a "bad" game. However, fundamentally it's bad, horrible even, use any word you want to use to describe it, but the mechanics don't make it "bad" assuming that it's polished perfectly.

I say "bad" because it's such an ambiguous term since it gets thrown around without a real discussion on why it's bad, it's the same reason "good" is in the same boat.

Yeah, I read his argument and I disagree. They're supposed to be making a game. Games can be fun, they can be educational, they can cause deep self-analysis, but they need to have SOME point to them. What he's describing may be a competently executed piece of software, but it still has no point and cannot thus be described as a good game.

If I place a perfect dog turd on a plate and serve it up for dinner, it is not a good meal. It fails in all the important functions of a meal, regardless of how well it was pooped out.

And I agree with you. However, you can only defend something so far, and I believe that's what he's doing. There's the notion of intent, and that developer really didn't have a decent enough intention to justify that "game". All he wanted was a super violent and insensitive "game" to make, and mission accomplished. He acknowledged the criticism and didn't care, so to me, what he was doing was horrifying.

I will argue that some games have no point at times, GTA where you can do whatever you want, to me, it's pointless, but when you go back to the story and objectives you go back to the point. But that's a minute point, and I will admit you bring up a good point about what makes a "good" game. I still say it all goes back to intent at that point, and to use your example, if you served a turd as a meal and called it such, I would question your intent. Yes it's a meal, but what was the point in that?

Last week, I pointed out that, despite employing some of the most intelligent and opinionated writers on the website, Extra Consideration fails as a feature simply because no subject -that they've yet discussed- has possessed any real depth, and each column so far has fallen on its face when they figure out on the second page that they all feel the same way. Yet every topic so far has 'merited' two three-page columns.

This time, they admit on the first page that they have run out of things to talk about. I'd say they actually hit that point on this subject halfway through the last column, but either way, this entire three-page edition of Extra Consideration boiled down to a flaccid consideration of what exactly James Portnow meant by 'good.'

Gaming produces as much controversy and disagreement as it does solely for the fact that the people doing the bulk of the arguing are biased, stupid, bored, trolling, ignorant, or all five. I think it's a brilliant commentary in itself that three people with even basic insight can inadvertently expose how overblown and shallow gaming's 'controversies' really are. Otherwise, this is not a good use of the creators' time. Give them something worthwhile to do.

I've always thought the "survive a warzone/shoot-out as a civilian" would be a great idea.
After this column, I can only say one thing:
Jim Sterling vs. Yahtzee. Make it happen.

Fox news will have a field day with this...

Mr.K.:
Why is Jim included in this... I understand what hes trying to say but it just so completely misses the point.

He's included because he has a different point of view. Which you kind of need for a debate, otherwise you'd just get a bunch of people spouting off that its bad and then everyone does it and its boring as hell.

Sylocat:
Jim Sterling seems to be buying into his own persona, which is sad. I reiterate that he's capable of being clever and insightful when he's not trying way way way way WAAAYYYYY too hard to be funny. He actually had something to contribute, even last week.

But now he just ruins it by pretending that the sex in Mass Effect and Dragon Age added nothing and were just there for shock value (projecting much, Jim?).

You seriously thought they added anything? As deep as Bioware tried to make the sex scenes, in mass effect they were cheesy as hell, and in dragon age they were both cheesy and easy to get. Like pathetically easy. It doesn't even affect your party much aside from the other person who wants the bang you is a little bit miffed.

TwistedEllipses:

Uriel-238:
So, one of the easiest ways to raise the questions that come up with school shooting would be to create a Left 4 Dead campaign that includes wading through a school as part of the journey to safety and rescue. Zombies in school uniforms and faculty attire would hit the point home: The players are still shooting up a school, albeit, one in which not too much academic learning is going on anymore.

238U.

The nearest existing thing is in Dead Space 2 where you go through a nursery and school and are attacked by kamikaze necromorphed babies and children. The thing there though is they are so far from appearing and attacking like children that you tend to forget it...

127.60TE

yes, but they're zombie babies which technically aren't human anymore.

"a lazy, cynical media attention-getter dressed up as edgy provocation." Did bob just described Jim?

:D

Sylocat:
But now he just ruins it by pretending that the sex in Mass Effect and Dragon Age added nothing and were just there for shock value (projecting much, Jim?).

That paragraph makes no sense. Firstly, how is it pretending? Maybe that's how he feels, and frankly I'm inclined to agree with him there. Second, "projecting much, Jim?" What?

-Drifter-:

Sylocat:
But now he just ruins it by pretending that the sex in Mass Effect and Dragon Age added nothing and were just there for shock value (projecting much, Jim?).

That paragraph makes no sense. Firstly, how is it pretending? Maybe that's how he feels, and frankly I'm inclined to agree with him there.

Yes, "pretending" may have been a bad choice of words. Still, he makes some pretty baseless assumptions about BioWare's motivations, presents his own opinion as fact, and misses the point besides.

Sylocat:

-Drifter-:

Sylocat:
But now he just ruins it by pretending that the sex in Mass Effect and Dragon Age added nothing and were just there for shock value (projecting much, Jim?).

That paragraph makes no sense. Firstly, how is it pretending? Maybe that's how he feels, and frankly I'm inclined to agree with him there.

Yes, "pretending" may have been a bad choice of words. Still, he makes some pretty baseless assumptions about BioWare's motivations, presents his own opinion as fact, and misses the point besides.

Am I wrong, or aren't you doing the same thing right now?

Delta2501:

Android2137:
This is quickly becoming my favorite article/written debate/thingy/whatever. I may not agree with Jim, but I can understand his thought process and reasoning.

I'm not sure I fully agree. Even if the gameplay is fantastic a game will lose points if its content feels morally objectionable to the players. While games like the horror genre can unsettle by making us do things we'd rather not and RPGs can force us into making tough choices, your standard action game doesn't need that and the unease you get by being forced to do these acts will just get in the way of having fun.

It's like if a game gave all the enemy soldiers the faces of your loved one. It might still have great gameplay, but I don't think you can deny it would be improved by not forcing you to do something unpleasant that you may not want to.

I disagree here. GTA III and its spinoffs do a great job of being an offensive crime-based Tarantinoid B-Movie, and people have a lot of fun playing it. The difference is craft, and the care placed in it. GTA: San Andreas would be far more offensive if it wasn't making allusions to already existing Gangster movies, not to mention the LA Riots.

Bioshock is another example of content that takes a stand and could be morally objectionable - to the point of alienating a specific player base (followers of Objectivist philosophy and/or Libertarians/Conservatives), but because it's so well put together, it works.

Craft can go a long way.

-Drifter-:

Sylocat:

-Drifter-:
snip

Yes, "pretending" may have been a bad choice of words. Still, he makes some pretty baseless assumptions about BioWare's motivations, presents his own opinion as fact, and misses the point besides.

Am I wrong, or aren't you doing the same thing right now?

*sigh* I don't feel like getting into this now. I'll just refer you to Felix Arturo Macias Ibarra's comment a couple posts upthread.

RTR:
I've always thought the "survive a warzone/shoot-out as a civilian" would be a great idea.
After this column, I can only say one thing:
Jim Sterling vs. Yahtzee. Make it happen.

Ben Paddon would should join in just to make things interesting.

Felix Arturo Macias Ibarra:
"a lazy, cynical media attention-getter dressed up as edgy provocation." Did bob just described Jim?

:D

HAHAHAHAHAHA.

Call Bob what you will, he isn't lazy.

Neither is Jim, really. He's one of the most prolific games writers - but I do think he stretches himself out with easy answers.

The Random One:

but because at least it's not being pretentious

Oh, Jim. Just when I think maybe you can talk for three paragraphs without needing to remove your foot from your mouth.

The school shooter mod is the most pretentious work this side of the hipstersphere. It's pretentious because it tries to be a big statement without really offering anything to hold it up, and it's prentiously presented because they guy says 'oh you know it ain't no thang' while putting down his shades and winking at us while the Dinosaur Comics narrator says BUT ACTUALLY IT WAS. It's prententiousness squared, pretentious presentation of a pretentious work, and only a fool would not be able to see through its paper thin veil. Oh hi there Jim.

The comparison with Birth of a Nation, (which I don't know and only infer what it is from this article), may be unfair because it was done in a time in which white people being better than black people was actually their constitutional right. Which is to say, it wasn't supposed to be a shocking expose of the filmmaker's evil theories on race, but rather a reflection of the world. We all like to think we'd hold the same ideals we hold today were we born on an earlier age, and in every simple historical movie the heroes hold morals that wouldn't come around for centuries and look down on things that anyone born that age would find completely normal. I wonder what future societies will find of our culture. In that way, the Birth of a Nation comparison is much closer to RE5, since the perceived hatred comes from a cultural crevice - in one, a temporal gap during which we recognized black people are actually just human beings with a darker skin color, or lighter if they're albino, and in other, a spacial gap that makes Japan see no wrong with a game in which you only kill black people because that's no different from earlier RE games since black Africans and white Americans are lumped in the 'foreigner' category in their culture. Pointing and laughing at their perceived inferiority is pretending that the same thing won't/doesn't happen to us, which is a terrible case of tunnel vision.

Birth of a Nation is one of the most important works in cinematic history. It WAS considered offensive when it came out (not nearly as much as it is now).

Resident Evil V is actually a really good comparison as its offense was unintentional and deeply embedded in the culture. In much the same way that Soul Caliber was unintentionally sexist, it became defined by boobs.

I think its interesting that they don't point out in their comparison between GTA and school shooting, they don't point out that while in GTA many people will go on killing sprees and fight the cops/army, that isn't the full extent of the game. That is the full extent of school shooter.

Or better yet, a "survival" game where you're an innocent student/teacher trying to survive/escape the actual event by evading/resisting the shooters - maybe with a mechanic to lead others to safety (seriously, that JUST crossed my mind and now I'm wondering why it doesn't exist yet?)

Yep. No "survival" games where you're an innocent person trying to survive/escape a horrific event with a mechanic to lead others to safety.

It does exist. The enemies are just zombies instead of guys with guns.

Anyway, I would like to thank Jim for saying exactly what I think about Bioware's sex scenes/romance plots. I never saw the big deal about them in Mass Effect. You talk to all your squadmates anyway and you end up "in love" with a bunch of them just by chatting and have to tell all the ones you don't want "Sorry, but it turns out that just chatting with you doesn't mean I want to have sex." And then you get to watch a brief cutscene that makes the Uncanny Valley look natural with the one you did pick. Why does Bioware make such a huge deal about this?

I'm even more convinced that this "second person shooter" has to happen. Help us James, you're our only hope.

a good topic. the moral problem of "could i call this good based on mechanics without considering plot."

i would say a game that makes a joke about it probably couldn't be proclaimed good, because intended or not, you are trying to lighten up a plausible real life event. this is the type of game that could rationalize the stereotype that games cause violence. all it would take is some dumb kid shooting up his school and saying he got it from this game to throw the whole medium into chaos. whether he really believed the game condoned it or not would be irrelevant as far as prosecution would be concerned. idk how a serious game would go, but it is a slippery slope.

that said, the ideas brought up for a game do sound intriguing. it could involve mental or social problems, and there could be sections involving shooter(s), hostage(s) and police. it could be a stealth/shooter if it was a multiplayer shooter, or a multiple solution novel type, where you could play out various scenarios from all the angles. as i said above though, trivializing anything in this could be hazardous for an already controversial topic. most companies don't have the huevos to even attempt a serious game this sketchy.

TwistedEllipses:

The nearest existing thing is in Dead Space 2 where you go through a nursery and school and are attacked by kamikaze necromorphed babies and children. The thing there though is they are so far from appearing and attacking like children that you tend to forget it...

127.60TE

Though that initial scene where the mother hugs what I can only assume she though was her child, only to be blown into pieces when they do hug; that stopped me for a second, it was sick and sad, yet good at the same time in that it was actually able to make me feel that way. Though when actually fighting them, they just become another necro to kill, and I never felt the same way towards them as that scene.

I think I'm with Bob on this one. While all of what he said was interesting, this jumped out to me in particular, "I'd be REALLY interested to see someone have the stones to make an unironically non-judgmental one; i.e. one that doesn't instantly demonize the shooter(s) and maybe even - gasp! - explores whether or not there's a "point" to whatever they've been driven to... that maybe even says "obviously this is sick and horrible, but high school is HELL for some people and while I [the theoretical game maker] don't condone what they did I sort of understand how they got there." I'd be just as interested in this as you are. I've seen plenty of movies that take something horrible (and in no way supports it) and shows you how the person committing the act may have been driven to it. You see the problems in the system that torture some people, and it always raises the question, "Why do these problems exist?". I've seen this explored plenty in the film industry, but almost never in gaming, which, in my opinion, is a shame.

On a side note, reading one paragraph from Jim on this made me care three times more about what he has to say than all of his videos combined. Jim, i think it's in your best interest to put on your serious face more often.

I dislike the argument that "If the gameplay is still technically good, it cannot be a bad game!" This comes from the thinking that somehow video games must only be about gameplay or that the only thing that matters in a game is gameplay and that everything else is just extra. Yeah, sure, if the gameplay mechanics of School Shooter are okay, that doesn't make the story, presentation, and overall message any less shit or pretentious (as, yes, if you read the interview of the guy you'd see that this guy is trying to make a statement as pretentious as other "statement" people).

So yes, School Shooter could still be considered a bad game. "Good" gameplay doesn't automatically make a game good, it's the product of the whole that makes a game good. By these definitions, BioShock should be a completely average game with its servicable shooting mechanics, yet the presentation, narrative, and overall concept made it shine above the rest.

I also don't buy the "it's hypocritical of the gaming public! They shoot down civilians in GTA!". Just because other games do that doesn't make this one any more right. I'm reminded of MovieBob's "Big Picture" episode on how one of the characters in Thor was black, check it out as it can sort of apply to what I'm saying. Just because other games let you mow down civilians (and do so much better with legitimate social commentary (at least some of the times) does not make the situation in School Shooter any less offensive or disgusting. Sure, free speech n' all, I don't care what the guy makes, but my point stands.

Delta2501:

Android2137:
This is quickly becoming my favorite article/written debate/thingy/whatever. I may not agree with Jim, but I can understand his thought process and reasoning.

I'm not sure I fully agree. Even if the gameplay is fantastic a game will lose points if its content feels morally objectionable to the players. While games like the horror genre can unsettle by making us do things we'd rather not and RPGs can force us into making tough choices, your standard action game doesn't need that and the unease you get by being forced to do these acts will just get in the way of having fun.

It's like if a game gave all the enemy soldiers the faces of your loved one. It might still have great gameplay, but I don't think you can deny it would be improved by not forcing you to do something unpleasant that you may not want to.

I'm with you on this one. One of the classic arguments against "Video games cause violence" is "I know that the people in this game are fake. They mean nothing to me, for they are imaginary." I've seen it used multiple times in various Escapist articles, for example by both Yahtzee and Mikey in the Morality Matters episode of Extra Consideration. What I've found, though, is that the best games I've played were the ones where the characters stopped seeming like imaginary bunches of data and took on a new life in my head. As long as this is true, the mechanics of the game will not be the only thing that matters.

On a completely unrelated note, I wish I could have casual conversations with Crispin Freeman. I sometimes forget that James actually does work in the videogame industry.

Jumplion:
I also don't buy the "it's hypocritical of the gaming public! They shoot down civilians in GTA!". Just because other games do that doesn't make this one any more right. I'm reminded of MovieBob's "Big Picture" episode on how one of the characters in Thor was black, check it out as it can sort of apply to what I'm saying. Just because other games let you mow down civilians (and do so much better with legitimate social commentary (at least some of the times) does not make the situation in School Shooter any less offensive or disgusting. Sure, free speech n' all, I don't care what the guy makes, but my point stands.

On the other hand, why aren't we, collectively, similarly outraged by GTA and games like it? Perhaps you are, and you would have every right to be, but why wasn't the same debate raised within the gaming community when GTA was released? Personally, I think it's for two reasons:
1)The non-gaming community was against it, and so we united against them.
2)Killing civilians was not the main point of the game. A player can go on killing sprees if they want to, but that's not what the game is about. A game like School Shooter shoves the civilian killing right in your face and has nothing else to redeem it. I other words, we are willing to overlook and even participate in some morally questionable things as long as there's something there beyond doing bad stuff because it's bad. However, this does not necessarily excuse this behavior.

What do you think?
Also, I watched the Big Picture episode in question (Skin Deep, yes?) and while it was good, I'm not sure how it was relevant to this issue. Could you clear that up for me?

Also also, Dear Captcha. I cannot type Chinese characters on this keyboard.

I really don't think Jim, who seems mostly interested with the mechanics and gameplay, really belongs in a discussion with people who talk about games as they relate to culture and philosophy. You're not going to get anywhere in a discussion if one person maintains a game is good so long as it's developed enough to hold your attention, while everyone else is talking about actual content. I'd much rather have Yahtzee here.

>I was having a chat with Crispin Freeman this weekend

James, you have no idea how much I envy you that you can just have idle chatter with Crispin Freeman about things like that. D:

Game sounds like mindless fun to me.

I feel like there's a difference between a morally repugnant game and a bad game. That difference is whether or not the game is actually FUN. And the former can be a good game.

It's like the difference between Atlas Shrugged (Part 1 of 3!!!!) and Iron Man 2. They come from the same source material (awful objectivist bull, from my perspective) with the same basic story in mind, but while one is awful one is a lot of fun. I find the source material reprehensible but still enjoyed Iron Man 2 and would call it 'good'.

When you make a 'game' that has any purpose for the player other than entertaining that player, I wonder not only why the player would play that game, but why you would even call it a game in the first place.

This article makes me a little nervous for the platform of entertainment we have here. All throughout, you were trying to get a generalization of the material together of some sort, and that's a terrible way to look at things. It's terrible because each game is different, has its own flaws, weaknesses, strengths, and feats of awesome that make them what they are. Generalization does NOT help in this context, and is only making the matter worse.

Have any of you even played the game in question? If you have not because of the subject material, then you're just as bad as FOX News and other outlets that judge gaming at face value. I, for one, do remember the Imagination is the Only Escape incident. I was outraged that they, the news networks, had the gall to judge something that was barely announced, not even really in the devellopmental stages of being made, and got alten8 to presumably cease making it entirely.

The big problem I had with this article, again, was that you were trying to make a generalization of your view upon games of this nature. It may not be what everyone does, but I urge you to come up with different opinions of every game you play, basing them upon themselves and their own merit rather than their prequels, sequels, or subject material.

Birth of a Nation had this in the opening credits:

"A PLEA FOR THE ART OF THE MOTION PICTURE: We do not fear censorship, for
we have no wish to offend with improprieties or obscenities, but we do
demand, as a right, the liberty to show the dark side of wrong, that we
may illuminate the bright side of virtue - the same liberty that is
conceeded to the art of the written word - that art to which we owe the
Bible and the works of Shakespeare".

ON the point of having a game with good gameplay and bad story, which made it horrific:

*cough* Metroid: Other M *cough*

On the point about a game being good despite its impact on the player, I'm unconvinced. If we take the stand that games in all their forms are art, albeit for the most part really bad art, then surely the effect of the experience on the player is fundamental.

A 'good' game must affect the player in some sense, whether it makes you think deep and meaningful thoughts, or just engages you deeply in its environment. From this perspective, the quality of a game is dependant on the person playing it, a game can be good for one person and bad for another. I think this must be true for all forms of media, though subjective, relative judgements are highly inconvenient for a discussion like this.

There are of course objective measures of quality, from simple graphical fidelity to solid physics, coherent narrative etc. but it seems to me that those measures are distinct from the totality of the experience. (Is there any way to talk about this stuff without sounding horribly pretentious?)

Is the ability of a game to engender discomfort and disgust a strength, I wonder? What about the same ability in a book, film, painting, sculpture?

I like every alternative idea thrown out there i n the discussion (innocent civilian, desperate conspirator, reluctant co conspirator, police force) but the issue might be time. Each individual idea would need to be succinct lest it lose it's message. Maybe it would be a good idea to include one game that bundles each smaller game into a package of bigger games. This way you could make a game that keeps it's message, but contains enough gameplay to stay engaging, without making it a stretch. On top of this, you could represent one terrifying events from several emotional perspectives, containing terror, desperation, selflessness, and rage in one game, without padding gameplay.

mr.mystery:

Sylocat:
Jim Sterling seems to be buying into his own persona, which is sad. I reiterate that he's capable of being clever and insightful when he's not trying way way way way WAAAYYYYY too hard to be funny. He actually had something to contribute, even last week.

But now he just ruins it by pretending that the sex in Mass Effect and Dragon Age added nothing and were just there for shock value (projecting much, Jim?).

Still, it's nice to see Bob and James go back-and-forth at the end, I was fascinated by their points.

I agree with you. This jim guy isnt funny. I think he is trying to hard

He's a bit pretentious, don't you think?

Pot...Kettle...

nah...

He made it his job to be a personality, to bring some controversy into Destructoid. I don't like how this has leaked into the Escapist as they've brought him on as a regular. His writing on this very site has been stellar, and I rather read that than his Jimquisition videos (which he himself has said is a parody of an internet youtube pundit). Being part of the Escapist seems to have increased budget for a set and such, getting away from the amateurish nature of his originals. However, they aren't funny in the way he's intending (I don't think). Parodying it does take away from any points he's trying to make.

I do recommend listening to Podtoid or the Electric Hydra (gaming) podcast. He's much more tame and interesting there.

While I tend to disagree with him, it's in his writing and some of these places where he makes some interesting and valid points.

Chirez:
On the point about a game being good despite its impact on the player, I'm unconvinced. If we take the stand that games in all their forms are art, albeit for the most part really bad art, then surely the effect of the experience on the player is fundamental.

A 'good' game must affect the player in some sense, whether it makes you think deep and meaningful thoughts, or just engages you deeply in its environment. From this perspective, the quality of a game is dependant on the person playing it, a game can be good for one person and bad for another. I think this must be true for all forms of media, though subjective, relative judgements are highly inconvenient for a discussion like this.

There are of course objective measures of quality, from simple graphical fidelity to solid physics, coherent narrative etc. but it seems to me that those measures are distinct from the totality of the experience. (Is there any way to talk about this stuff without sounding horribly pretentious?)

Is the ability of a game to engender discomfort and disgust a strength, I wonder? What about the same ability in a book, film, painting, sculpture?

Yep. There's a difference between "craft" and "enjoyment". Craft is the objective measure of quality by all those things you mentioned. This is used in Art all of the time. If games ARE art than this is certainly a component.

They already gave a great example of a film that's well crafted, so much so that it changed the industry, but incredibly racist (even for its time). There are entire movements of film and visual art based on the concept of making the viewer uncomfortable, and it's usually applauded. But then, it has to be a) well crafted, b) state an intent, and c) successfully communicate that intent. Shock art such as a Madonna made out of elephant feces is still art, and it's meant to shock the viewer into a reaction rather than have them enjoy the aesthetics of it all. This sort of thing still manages to end up in a museum.

School Shooter does not do this. It starts in bad taste, and ends in bad taste. It DOES provoke discussion, but it does nothing to justify its existence. While Super Columbine Massacre contains several essays and specific references (and therefore not "fun", but still thought provoking), it has a solid design for its very point. The media made unfair comparisons to other media - from video games to Marilyn Manson, so the artist decided to actually make a video game based on these ideas. Characters level up by "grinding" through the school until they go to an impossible final boss in hell. There is even a morality choice. You could choose not to kill anyone, but you wouldn't have the level necessary to beat said final boss. You have to do an extreme amount of mass murder to do this, in fact. Along the way, you find references to false accusations the media made about the kind of media the killers consumed. This is sound and cohesive design in that it makes a premise, and follows through with it. It is also extremely uncomfortable since it's based on a real world event, and I would even argue it is still in poor taste. This is all in service of the larger point about two different violences in media - the actual violence vs. the sensationalism and misinformation of "action" news.

School shooter presents a shooting gallery of innocents, and doesn't even do it well.

James and Bob have made some interesting suggestions on how to explore the violence of a school shooter better.

I get what the School Shooter mod was trying to do, but it doesn't succeed.

The reason Doom, GTA, Halo, Just Cause 2, etc. get away with some mindless violence involves a loosely held narrative that put you in the right position to do what you do. They also present clear antagonists on top of that. The violence sandbox that the SS author refers to are all right there (and I even get the point that the only difference is narrative). There's a reason for that Narrative, obviously, it justifies the actions and allows us to see past it to do violence against pixels.

SS doesn't make that point well.

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