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Saturday, May 19, 2007

Destructoid Interviews SCRPG! and VTech Creators

Destructiod got interviews with Danny Ledonne and Ryan Lambourn, creators of the Super Columbine Role Playing Game and V-Tech Shooting respectively. It calls them the "most hated game creators alive". [Via TIGSource]

Ledonne comes off as thoughtful as usual. It's very clear that despite what some people think, Danny has put a lot of thought into the whole debate which has raged around his game:

Regarding the bigger question of whether a SCMRPG player won't "get it," I wonder if Shakespeare had the same question asked of him when he wrote a play like 'Titus Andronicus.' How does Oliver Stone feel about the fact that countless criminals regard "Natural Born Killers" as their favorite film (including Eric and Dylan)? I'm not sure I know the answer to this, per se, but I know the rhetorical question is worth asking. Should artists think twice before picking up a microphone, a brush, a pen, a mouse, or a camera because there's a possibility that their message (if there is one) may be misconstrued? I believe the answer is "absolutely not." Art is often about impulse; when I saw RPG Maker I had the impulse to create something. I followed it.
-- Virtual school shootings: interviewing two of the most hated game creators alive

Ryan, on the other hand, seems to have thrown this together largely for shock value and attention whoring. Granted, his interview is over IM and hence is more slapshot and informal from the get go - but I've done interviews over IM from both sides and it didn't come across this bad. For instance, when asked why he did it:

Ryan Lambourn: i just made the game as a recreation of the events as i knew it as best detailed as i could in the short game form.....and added jokes of course for lulz factor

RL: it was meant to be offensive so me and my friends and people like me and my friends could have a laugh

RL: a laugh at the other pissed off people....and the game of course

RL: making so many angry has won me enough points for the rest of my life :d

And then down the way:

RL: i dont support being angry over a game

So, you know, whatever. I'm not sure you should expect much from some who doesn't even support his own stated goal.

So Ryan comes off as a bit a jerk. Should we care? Should we attach much to a game based on the developer's attitude. In a case like this - where a game is almost as much, if not more, of a statement than actual entertainment, we probably should.

At the same time we should also probably just accept games as media and either use them as a starting point for reasonable conversation or leave them behind. SCRPG! has incensed many, many people - but it's also given rise to some interesting commentary from both sides of the industry on the role of violence in culture and media.

It doesn't seem likely that Ryan's work will follow.

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