An Internet-based computer game that puts players in the army boots and black trench coats of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold as they kill Columbine High School classmates is attracting attention and sparking controversy, reports the Rocky Mountain News. Called Super Columbine Massacre RPG, the game mixes cartoonish scenes with photographs of Harris and Klebold, pictures taken from newspapers and television stations, and excerpts from their writings. The game’s creator, who refused to identify himself to the Rocky Mountain News, said in an online interview that he wanted to create something unique and confrontational to “promote a real dialogue on the subject of school shootings.”
Several Columbine families were critical. “We live in a culture of death,” said Brian Rohrbough, whose son, Dan, was gunned down on a sidewalk outside the school, “so it doesn’t surprise me that this stuff has become so commonplace. It disgusts me. You trivialize the actions of two murderers and the lives of the innocent.” The game’s creator said he used sheriff’s documents and photos and newspaper and television coverage to try to craft a narrative that is meant to explain what might have led Klebold and Harris to attack their school. The creator, who goes by the name Columbin on his Web site, said he was inspired to make the game because he was in another Colorado high school when the shooting occurred. “Columbine marked me deeply,” he told the News. “I was in a Colorado high school then. I was a bullied kid. I didn’t fit in, and I was surrounded by a culture of elitism as espoused by our school’s athletes.” More than 10,000 people have downloaded the free computer game.