Title

Super Columbine Massacre RPG!: The Procedural Rhetoric of Critical (Gun) Play

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

4-1-2017

Abstract

This essay offers a counter-reading of Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, a controversial video game about the infamous school shooting at Columbine High School in 1999 in which players adopt the roles of the shooters Eric Harris and Dylan Klebod. Focusing on the game's unique procedural rhetoric, we argue that SCMRPG! juxtaposes interactive, non-realistic violence-reflected in a campy nineties video game aesthetic-with photographic evidence, extant dialogue, and a detailed narrative of the tragic events at Columbine to promote critical thought about gun violence generally and school shootings in particular. The essay concludes with a brief reflection on the vital that role video games can play in critical pedagogy.

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