Muslim Massacre Creator: My Apology Was Fake

September 17, 2008 -

The man behind the Muslim Massacre controversy seems unwilling to relinquish his 15 minutes of fame. Although Eric Vaugh issued a widely-reported apology for his game, the object of which is "wipe out the Muslim race," he now claims that the apology was a scam.

We know because Super Columbine Massacre RPG creator Danny Ledonne, himself no stranger to controversy, has shared with GamePolitics an e-mail conversation with Vaughn which took place on September 15th:

Danny Ledonne: It is too bad that you pulled your game simply because some people didn't understand your political message (I for one gleaned a satirical criticism of Bush's foreign policy from "Muslim Massacre" whether you had intended it or not)... I believe by complying with demands of censorship toward the Danish cartoon depicting the prophet Muhammad and games like "Muslim Massacre," we are enabling a culture of taboos that are ultimately unproductive in cross-cultural dialogue...

While I recognize my serious/satire game "Super Columbine Massacre RPG!" merely pissed off a vocal but benevolent PTA instead of Muslim extremists... it is disheartening whenever an artist (however amateur or vulgar) raises the white flag at the first sign of social disapproval...

Eric Vaughn: The apology was actually fake. I put the site back up shortly after. Now the media is in a total bind and doesn't know what to believe.I was just f***ing with everyone the entire time and have had great success.

[GP: Indeed, the Muslim Massacre site, which had been down, is back up]

Danny Ledonne: Erg. I get it. But I don't. I mean, you have an actual message ( I presume?) and I think you could legitimately stand behind it. Please don't tell me you're just another Ryan Lambourn... doing it for "the lulz." If I were you, I would define success as the opportunity to think more critically about the elements your game addresses...

Eric Vaughn: Not exactly, basically my message was the Muslims need to suck it down and stop getting offended by everything. If they learnt to just ignore people, things would be better. It's not just a message for Muslims, it's for people in general. There are people all around the world who will do things that make you mad. If you search for them, they are easy to find. Just get on with your life.

GP: Readers may recall that Ryan Lambourn, mentioned by Ledonne, created the execrable V-Tech Rampage last year (see: V-Tech Rampage Creator Demands Payment to Remove Game).

By the way, Playing Columbine, Danny Ledonne's film detailing the controversy surrounding his game, will be screened at the AFI FEST in Los Angeles later this year. We'll have review of the film coming up on GamePolitics in the near future.

71 comments

MSNBC's Citizen Gamer Dishes on Controversial Indie Games

July 31, 2008 -

In a terrific roundup, Winda Benedetti, MSNBC's Citizen Gamer, surveys some of the more controversial independent game offerings and asks whether such games are an appropriate medium for sensitive topics.

Among other titles, Benedetti looks at Danny Ledonne's Super Columbine Massacre RPG (left), The Torture Game 2, Wafaa Bilal's Virtual Jihadi, Operation Pedopriest, and Harpooned. There are, of course, critics:

"You don’t gain appreciation for the [Columbine] tragedy by repeating it and participating in a recreation yourself and taking the role of murderers,” says Tim Winter, president of the Parents Television Council, in an interview for a documentary film Ledonne recently completed about his experiences making the game, and the aftermath.

“This is totally immoral and should be banned to everyone, especially younger teenagers,” wrote a reader calling herself Ms. Johnson in response to my recent column about “The Torture Game 2,”  a controversial Web game that allows players to torture a man-like person tied up with ropes.

David Kociemba, an art prof at Emerson College who appears in Ledonne's film, says:

The controversy should be that there aren’t more games like ‘Super Columbine Massacre RPG!’ that are as demanding and as artistically innovative... Why is it permitted for Michael Moore in 2002, to make ‘Bowling For Columbine’ — a film essay on this subject — and to use far more graphic footage than Danny Ledonne does three years later in a primitive low-res video game? Are we really going to say that video game designers are the one set of artists that do not have the right to engage in contemporary political issues?

 

33 comments

Music Video: When Jack Thompson Talks to God

June 7, 2008 -

This video uses the music from Bright Eyes' When The President Talks to God to parody anti-game activist Jack Thompson.

The new lyrics were penned by Super Columbine Massacre RPG creator Danny Ledonne and singer/guitarist Cory Antiel, who performs the song.

64 comments

 
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