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Playing Columbine (2008)

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Chronicles the history of the game "Super Columbine Massacre RPG!." The film traces back the 16-bit role-playing game to its inception, through the 2006 shooting at Dawson College in which ... See full summary »


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Credited cast:
Albert Art ...
Himself - Games Journalist
Peter Baxter ...
Ian Bernard ...
Himself - Free Talk Live Radio Host
Ian Bogost ...
Himself - Game Designer / Professor
Richard Castaldo ...
Himself - Columbine High School Graduate
Jenova Chen ...
Himself - Game Designer
Himself (archive footage)
Greg Costikyan ...
Himself - Games Publisher
Kevin DiNovis ...
Himself - Filmmaker and Slamdance Alum
Patrick Dugan ...
Himself - Game Designer
Alex Dwyer ...
Himself - LMU Student
Mark Edge ...
Himself - Free Talk Live Radio Host
Himself - Filmmaker and Slamdance Juror
Colin Fletcher ...
Himself - Game Designer
Melissa Fuller ...
Herself - Dawson College Student


Chronicles the history of the game "Super Columbine Massacre RPG!." The film traces back the 16-bit role-playing game to its inception, through the 2006 shooting at Dawson College in which the game was singled out by the media as a "murder simulator" that "trained" the shooter, and finally the game's removal from the list of finalists at the Slamdance 2007 Guerrilla Gamemaker Competition - prompting half the entries and a sponsor to pull out of the festival in protest. Written by tolka

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


A polarizing game, a deadly shooting, a widespread protest. For the first time, it all comes together.



Parents Guide:



Official Sites:



Release Date:

7 November 2008 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Playing Columbine: A True Story of Video Game Controversy  »

Filming Locations:


Company Credits

Production Co:

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Technical Specs


Aspect Ratio:

1.66 : 1
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Features A Clockwork Orange (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

Games can be something greater
4 January 2016 | by (San Antonio, Texas) – See all my reviews

This movie asks the legitimate question of "Why are games treated so differently, compared to movies?" "Why is it that a game like 'Super Columbine Massacre RPG' get pulled from a game competition while movies like 'Django Unchained' are hailed as art-pieces that should be allowed to do whatever they want?" And the movie offers one simple, very obvious answer, "They shouldn't."

Playing Columbine really shows how gaming can really evolve into something better. If developers are brave enough games can do anything a movie can do, if not better. While I don't like "Super Columbine Massacre RPG," I do admire the provocative nature of it, and of games like it. Most of the games featured in this movie could probably start a new genre of "documentary-style" games, set to inform people, through gameplay.

I also feel the movie did a good job of presenting both parties of "People who are more avid in video game culture" and "People who don't really know much about video games other than their kids play them." The film even had the balls to get a certain former attorney from Florida who shall not be named. I really didn't get very much bias from this film, even when it was talking about Danny Ledonne, the filmmaker and creator of "Super Columbine Massacre RPG," and how his game was pulled from the Slamdance festival.

I feel like this is a game that everyone should see, if not play, whether you consider yourself a "gamer" or not. As we've seen over the years games are changing. The past few years we've seen things like "Papers, Please" and "This War of Mine" come up on Steam and GOG. These are games that address important issues facing the world today, and they do it in a very respectable way. While I may not like SCMRPG, I do want it to be influential in the evolution of gaming. And hopefully games can continue to evolve to a point where they are held up equal to television and film.

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