Columbine Game Author Outed:
Just another article about mutant gamemaker..excuse me…”filmmaker” Danny Ledonne being outed by one of his detractors. Nothing I haven’t covered before. However, I keep seeing in the media that Columbine survivor Richard Castaldo says he supports the game. That’s not entirely true…
Various media reports have featured condemnations of the game from relatives of the victims. However, Richard Castaldo, paralyzed from the waist down as a result of the shooting played the game and welcomed it as an addition to the books, films and articles that have focused on the tragedy.
Here are the original quotes from the Kotaku interview…
Q. What did you think of it?
A. It probably sounds a bit odd for someone like me to say, but I appreciate the fact at least to some degree that something like this was made. I think that at least it gets people talikng about Columbine in a unique perspective, which is probably a good thing. But that being said there are a lot of things that are har to play or watch. And it seems to partially glamorize what happened. It shows a stark-contrast between fantasy and real life in an interesting way.
I like the part in the game where if you go up to the water fountain theres a thing that comes up that explains that the water in denver is a little bit hard because it contains calcium and magnesium but is harmless. Answering the hypothetical question of “Was there something in the water, that caused this?” Clearly not, and the causes for this are not easily apparent.
Q. Did the idea that you were playing as Klebold and Harris upset you?
A. It’s all third person, so your kind of looking down on this thing as all of this horrible stuff is going on. It reminded me of the movie ‘Elephant”, because it showed a lot of stuff in cutscenes that they were doing that led up to that fateful day. It showed them doing a lot of stuff that supposedly influenced thei actions. TherLike it showed them being bullied, and how much they hated it. But, then the people they actually killed had nothing to do with that.
And the part they leave out is…
But, at the same time there are some dialogue in the game that comes up after you kill the students that refers to you as being “brave boys”, which i would hope was supposed to be ironic, because clearly what they did was not brave or heroic in anyway, it was quite the opposite. It has you killing students with absolutely no protection whatsoever. Which is what actually happened. So if the killers (or anyone else for that matter) thought that what they were doing was heroic in any way they were deeply fooling themselves. People ask me all the time, “Did you know them?” And my answer is of course no, i didn’t. And, I didn’t do a damn thing to either one of them. So, I think the game kinda highlights that. That there was no real rhyme or reason why specific people got killed.
So I think they’re unfairly giving the game his seal of approval.
Richard, if I’m wrong please correct me.
UPDATE: I e-mailed Richard to ask him what he thought of the media’s portrayal of him as somewhat of a supporter of the game. This is what he had to say…
yeah that story got way more attention than i thought. i figured the gaming community would pick it up but not everyone. Anyway, I don’t think i said i supported it really, i just said i had played it out of curiosity. I even got hatemai from one guy who said i was an asshole, which i found kind of amusing and puzzling at the same time. Somehow i think he got the impression that I suppported school shootings or something. That is obviously the last thing i want to happen. I reminded him that i was actually shot at the thing. I definatley don’t support real violence, but this is a game. But, i said i had ambiguous feelings about the game and i still do. I think if you’re trrying to learn more backgrond detail by playing this game, why not? But also i guess there are people out there who think maybe there might be a fringe audience out there that would play this game and it would somehow inspire them. I don’t really think thats the case. But, if that was even remotely true than that would be the disgusting part. I’m stil a little disturbed, however, about the “Brave Boys” thing though, that was going a little too far. i would hope that nobody really thinks that, that woudl be upsetting. But, im not going to say the guy should burn in hell for it or whatever.
I dont know why media types acted like i gave it a thumbs up, i guess thats the media for you.
I couldn’t have said it better myself.