Editorial on V-Tech Rampage

32 slain, and it’s just an online game to him:

Here’s a Virginia reporter’s take on the V-Tech Massacre game…

My urge was to buy a ticket bound for the land Down Under, to kick some Aussie.

Ryan Lambourn, a 21 -year-old Australian man, has designed an online game. Players walk a gunman through a college-campus bloodbath.

“V-Tech Rampage” begins with a murder designed to occupy police. You stop to mail a message to NBC after evading cops. Next up, “To Norris Hall so the real fun can begin.”

“I understand people’s objections… and don’t care,” Lambourn wrote in a posting online, using the online alias PigPEN.

His online name fits. It’s tough to say what art is, but this slop is hateful porn.

I played the game to see if Lambourn had anything to say about the tragedy I covered for a terrible week last month. There was no moral, just a path where progress equaled easy murder.

“I was kinda trying to prove a point with how easy it was,” Lambourn wrote online.

I’m kinda not buying that.

The Aussie’s game isn’t the first to make sport of the Blacksburg slayings. A website hosting the game has drawn more than 125,000 visits.

The same site also features other pieces of Flash animation about Virginia Tech. One is a graphic cartoon of the killings that was posted on April 18 – two days after the massacre.

That animation, “Virginia Tech Shootout! ” was the work of Karri Esala, 20, of Finland. I asked him what he thought of Lambourn’s game.

“I think making a game of the shootings this early is in very bad taste,” Esala said, “but that’s how it’s intended to be…. Let’s wait a couple of years and there will be a major movie studio making money on the V-Tech shootings, too.”

Other offerings at the site include “The Suicide Bomber,” where you play the title character; “Oklahoma City Escapades,” where you play Timothy McVeigh, and “Sniper’s Revenge,” starring you as John Allen Muhammad.

In Lambourn’s game, it’s easy to spot the reference to Liviu Librescu, the heroic Tech professor who blocked a door from the killer to shield his students while they escaped through second-story windows.

Librescu was shot and killed. He was 76, a Holocaust survivor. Last month in Blacksburg, I read messages to him at memorials, including: “You saved my best friends…. I will never forget.”

Lambourn memorializes him with an anti-Semitic remark.

Curiously, I’ve yet to find a game about the 1996 Port Arthur rampage that left 35 people dead in Australia.

Too close to home, mate?

Word.

I haven’t played the game yet because I wasted most of my tasteless game outrage on SCMRPG. But now after reading this editorial I’m definitely going to give it a try over the weekend.

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