Just-released diaries and assorted papers of Columbine killers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold contain a handful of video game references among the 946 pages made public today by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office.
Of the planned massacre, Harris wrote, "It'll be like the LA riots, the Oklahoma bombing, WWII, Vietnam, Duke and Doom all mixed together. ... I want to leave a lasting impression on the world."
id Software's Doom series is well-known as a favorite of Harris and Klebold. The "Duke" reference refers to Duke Nukem 3D, a bawdy, 1996 first-person shooter from developer 3D Realms.
Note the hand-drawn Doom logo in Harris' diary at left. The complete diaries are available on the website of the Denver Post. A reference in Harris' diary written about a year before the Columbine shootings reads:
"...everyone should be put to a test. an Ultimate Doom test. see who (unreadable) an environment using only smarts and military skills... Put them in a Doom world, no authority, no refuge, no BS copout excuses. If you can't figure out the area of a triangle or what (unreadable) means, you die! If you can't take down a demon w/a chainsaw or a hell prince w/a shotgun, you die!"
In August, 1998 Harris wrote out a list of "25 Things that make me different." Number one was:
"My love for a computer game called Doom. Doom is such a big part of my life and no one I know can recreate environments in Doom as good as me. I know almost anything there is to know about that game, so I believe that separates me from the rest of the world... Doom is so burned into my head my thoughts usually have something to do with the game... the fact is I love that game and if others tell me, "hey it's just a game" I say "hey, I don't care"
Ironically, the last item on Harris' list is "My memories of the past and my hopes for the future."
Harris also wrote a fan letter to id which can be seen here.
Although it's clear that Eric Harris was a devotee of Doom, the material released today in large part reinforces what was already known about the Columbine shooter: that he was an angry young man, full of hatred and contempt for many of those he knew. He also appears to have been very interested in guns and Nazi imagery.
There is far less material pertaining to Klebold. The only game-related items contained among his papers are handwritten links to what appear to be file download sites for Doom and Quake add-ons.
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