The massacre at Columbine High School, one of the most infamous moments in recent American history, happened over a decade ago. It’s impacts continued to be felt at schools all over the country, with the increased security measures that have been taken as a result of that, and other school shootings.
While the wounds have healed for many, a play based upon the tragedy at Columbine beginning today at Oklahoma State University will invariably bring some controversy, as it seeks to dive into the psyche and some factors leading to the shooting.
Perhaps most interesting and potentially controversial about the play it’s take on the perpetrators, “Throughout the first act, “Freak” and “Loner” are bullied to the point of madness that leads them down their dark, infamous trail of killing.” Potentially taking a sympathetic view of Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold is a bold move, even in an artistic setting. Especially as facts of the situation don’t support that either were bullied nor outsiders among their peers.
It will be of interest to us at MediaViolence.org to see if the influence of violent media will be at all explored within this narrative. While that USA Today article linked above states that violent video games were not involved, and paints the pair as psychopathic would-be terrorists, it can’t be overlooked that the two were gamers who regularly played first person shooter games. And, with brain research showing that regular exposure into these violent fantasy worlds can have adverse impact, it shouldn’t be completely left out of the story as America continues to grapple with school shooting incidents each with it’s own nuance to that of Columbine.