V-Tech Flash Game Stirs Violent Games Debate

by Nick Breckon, May 17, 2007 10:53am PDT

In a situation reminiscent of that caused by the infamous Super Columbine Massacre RPG!, a new Flash-based game about the recent Virginia Tech massacre is slowly building controversy amongst the mainstream press. The game, titled V-Tech Rampage, was created by Ryan Lambourn (pictured left) of Sydney, Australia. Featuring a pixelated rendition of Seung-Hui Cho--the man who murdered 32 people in the worst school shooting in history--players are directed to walk across the Virginia Tech campus, killing all in their path. "Don't let Emily get away," says one screen in the game, which is littered with references to Cho's videos and writings. The game-over screen reads: "Are you always full of shit McBeef? Try again, this time don't be such a wuss." Earlier in the week, Lambourn remained defiant despite increasing criticism of the game. "Yeah it's staying up--freedom of speech, man," he reportedly told The Daily Telegraph, while at the same time demanding increasing amounts of money before he would apologize. "I will take this game down from newgrounds if the donation amount reaches $1000 US, i'll take it down from here if it reaches $2000 US, and i will apologize if it reaches $3000 US," his website read according to GamePolitics. Lambourn's ISP apparently removed the site shortly after, though the game can still be found on It didn't take long for the mainstream press to shine a spotlight on the game. Now a New York state senator has joined the list of those rising in opposition. "There are certain things in life you don't make light of and should not be turning into a game," said Sen. Andrew Lanza to the Staten Island Advance. Lanza is the chair on the New York Senate Task Force on Youth Violence and the Entertainment Industry. The controversy is indicative of a time when even the most rudimentary games can be used as talking points, or in some cases, ammunition for politicians and lobbyists. Using V-Tech Rampage as a jumping point, Lanza went on to compare it to the upcoming Grand Theft Auto IV. "You've got Grand Theft Auto where you murder police officers," Lanza said. "To me, I can't imagine people marketing and distributing it, and putting it in the hands of kids, but it's happening."


36 Threads* | 126 Comments

  • Has anyone pointed out to these dear congressman that there isn't a law you can pass in the US that keeps an Australian, immature, adolescent troglodyte, with a faint grasp of the basic tenements of Flash, from creating whatever twisted form of attention whoring artwork he desires?

    And why is an Australian quoting the First Amendment?

    It's the same song and dance, but honestly, I'm tired of dancing with the people (JT included) who can't understand the basic steps:

    1) The "games industry" is not responsible for all video games, anymore than Microsoft is responsible for all software.

    2) Game creators have as much right to depict immoral acts in their work as other industries. A game can a right to be as gruesome as a horror film, and has a right to shoot as many cops as The Terminator.

    3) Games should be exactly as regulated as DVDs, movies, or other media you selectively purchase. No more, no less. This means that ratings are enforced by policy, not law.

    4) "Games kids play" and "Games marketed to kids" are not identical. This disparity lies solely in the hands of parents and which games they permit their children to play. I cannot be convinced that a game entitled "Manhunt" or "Grand Theft Auto" is misleading in its content, any more than a movie named "Slaughterhouse."

    4) As long as violent games are permitted to be made, and as long as a parent can still buy a violent game for their child, no law will change anything. You can try to ban this media (and get laughed out of court, as Louisiana has discovered), or work with the industry to get the word out: that parental selection and approval of games is just as important as it is for movies and other media forms.

    That's my rant. I'm very tired of the rise in the last few years of people who translate their personal moral outrage into some form of legal right.

  • See, I'm one of the few people who likes the SCMRPG game and I think this game is appalling. Maybe it's just too soon. Maybe I'm a hipocryte.

    But maybe it's because this game is some dinky piece of flash crap that someone threw together in an afternoon whereas the SCMRPG is something that someone worked quite a bit on, researched quite a bit (we don't even know everything about VT yet) and actually used a specific style/genre of game in order to portray its story.

    Also the guy who did this VT game is a jerkoff - wanting money to apologize is inexcusable. That's worse than JFK Reloaded's $100K "prize" to recreate the assassination perfectly (another game I actually like and no one else does)