Thursday, September 13, 2007

Clip from Danny Ledonne's Playing Columbine

A clip from the rough cut of Danny Ledonne's documentary Playing Columbine: a true story of video game controversy, has been released today to mark the anniversary of the Dawson College shooting this day, last year. The 13-minute preview sheds more light on the the film and the direction Ledonne is taking, focusing not only on Columbine, and the game itself, but on trying to understand the psychology behind school shootings. Joel Kornek a Dawson College shooting survivor contributes his thoughts among authors, professors, serious game developers and advocates. Kornek who previously contacted Ledonne after the shootings, has established a website called Kill Thinking, an online resource with information on school violence and bullying, featuring a forum that offers support on various topics youth may be dealing with.

Whatever you may think of Ledonne, or his game, one thing is certain, it has sparked much conversation and debate on all sorts of issues in today's society. I've interviewed Ledonne, I've also met the man himself and he's genuinely concerned for troubled youth who may be dealing with issues, and he's passionate about his cause. The film shows that video games can be viewed as an art form, and a tool to explore serious topics. As well it shines light on those who would blame video games for the root cause of violence in society, when the problem runs deeper than that, beginning with families, and parents. True, Ledonne may be riding the wave caused by his game, but it's something that is unavoidable. He's using it to further discussion on topics that haven't been studied, and that need to be discussed.

If you're a video game enthusiast, you should be able to appreciate a wide range of game genres. From the mainstream to indie and obscure. Video games should be able to explore any subject, and theme without fear of censorship. Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, though imperfect in design has been called many names, positive and negative. The reaction it gets from House Moms and University professors, game designers, and game players, says a lot about us, people in general.

No comments: