Fri 15 Sep 2006
This one really hits close to home. When I first read the headline about the school shooting at Dawson College, there was a wave of shock (and of course a concern for those hurt). Growing up in Montreal, I have many friends/family who went to Dawson and still know a few teachers there.
Then as a read the ongoing coverage — and the usual link toward game playing, music tastes and Goth culture were starting to be made — I knew my phone would be ringing… Sure enough, (among others) the Canadian national station CTV called me in for a live interview on game ratings and violence.
Prepping for this one was tough, given my personal proximity. I wanted to come across as respectful while also dissuading folks from finding a false sense of security in pointing to games as the easy scapegoat.
The video of the interview has already been posted to the CTV site.
Danny Ledonne, the creator of Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, was interviewed via phone right before me - I was able to listen in. He was refreshingly articulate and was able to put forth the challenge that games are an expressive medium capable for exploring sensitive topics and issues. In the end, most folks are just being put off by the sensationalistic name without any sense of the artistic merit of the work or what Danny tried to express via the game…
Also, later in the broadcast, CTV did an interview with Katherine Newman, author of Rampage: The Social Roots of School Shootings. Unfortunately, I can’t find the link to her video clip. She was quite insightful and informative. I’m gonna pick up her book.
As an aside, actress Sharon Stone, who was in Canada for the Toronto International Film Festival commented that it was a “lack of love” that caused the shooting, not watching a movie. Sadly, on the car ride home, the radio host scoffed at that remark, almost suggesting that Stone was out of line and couldn’t she just see that it was all those crazy video games and movies that corrupted him.