Hyper-Violent School Shooter Mod Pulled From ModDB

The intentionally, unabashedly offensive School Shooter: North American Tour 2012, designed to be "the most realistic student slaughtering modification ever made", has lost support from its former host. ModDB, original host of the Half-Life 2 mod - and hundreds of other mods - has pulled School Shooter from its site.

ModDB founder Scott "INtense!" Reismanis says site administrators yanked School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 after "getting quite a bit of mainstream press due to the controversial nature of the content" in an open letter to the site's users.

Designed by Checkerboard Studios, School Shooter lets players carry out their own versions of the Columbine High School and Virginia Tech massacres, with weapons based on the ones used by killers Eric Harris, Dylan Klebold and Seung-Hui Cho.

Reismanis writes that ModDB dropped the mod after "receiving quite a bit of threatening mail as people believe we are the creators, supporters and makers of this content".

"We have never encouraged or made any content, we disagree with the mod but at the same time believe in freedom of speech and the unique ability modders and indie developers should have to create games (good-or-bad) about topics, issues and events considered risky or taboo," Reismanis says.

"There is also quite a bit of confusion from non-gaming press, who state that games like this are the reason why all bad things occur, spreading misinformation and fear. As a result of this confusion and hate, at the moment we feel the best course of action is to remove the mod. We don't want the hard work of thousands of other mod developers to be threatened by people misunderstanding this one mod/game, and assuming all others are like it."

Reismanis tells the ModDB community that the site's admins "believe in the freedom of speech, the right to share information and be creative" and enjoy "watching mod developers push the boundaries". School Shooter appears to be too hot for ModDB to handle, however, and reaction from site users seems mixed.

We've contacted Checkerboarded Studios to get their opinion the removal of School Shooter.

Why we removed the school shooter mod [ModDB]


Comments

    How do "Supporting free speech" and "Removing the mod" possibly coincide?

      Is this a serious question?

      I believe in freedom of speech, but I'm not gona let you put a sign in my yard that says "I hate gays"

      get what I'm saying?

        That's a pretty good metaphor...

        Great response

        That's not a apt metaphor at all. You'd need to:
        a. Allow everyone else to put signs up on your lawn
        b. Have a nice big clear sign of sign of your own explaining that people are free to put whatever they like on the signs.
        c. Take away the sign that says "I [insert name of person who actually hates gays here] hate gays.

        That said, ModDB has every right to take it down, it's their site, though it annoys the hell out of me that they got threatening emails about it.
        People too stupid to realise the website didn't make the content try to get violent material taken down by threatening violence. So typical.

      There are just some boundaries that have to be respected. A school shooter is past all of them.

      As much as I am for not restricting content. This is just too far. ModDB did the right thing here.

    It's worth remembering that freedom of speech is a blurry concept on the internet. Suppose I say a bunch of offensive crap here, kotaku isn't infringing my freedom of speech by blocking it - it's their website. I can always set up my own site and say whatever I want on it, and host this mod there.

    Also... is it just me or does the mod look a bit awful? I mean, in terms of production values. That screenshot is nearly entirely default HL2 content - the textures, the models, the weapon. What kind of realistic school shooter has you gunning down adults wearing regulation clothing from a dystopian society? I want to stress that I have no interest in this 'genre', but how can they call it a realistic student-slaughtering mod when you can't even slaughter students?

    I guess their tagline is more aspirational than descriptive.

    Removing the mod is not a violation of freedom of speech.

    "Freedom of speech" means that NO individual or institution (including the State) may START the use of violence, fraud, or threats thereof, in order to stop you from speaking in a certain way.

    It does NOT mean that you must be provided a resource to publicize your speech.

    ModDB is well within its rights to remove any mod on its site, for any reason at all.

    This doesn't mean I approve of ModDB's actions.

    I admit, part of me was looking forward to this mod. As someone that found violent video games a wonderful catharsis during a traumatic time in high school, I appreciate the ability to indulge my darker fantasies in a way that doesn't violate the rights of anyone else.

    I also concede that the mod in its current state has terrible production values. But lets give it more development time!

    This is not an issue of freedom of speech or censorship. Its an issue of the owners of ModDB exercising their property rights. They are within their rights to remove the mod.

    That said, School Shooter (if its released) will be downloadable from other places, for those interested in playing it.

    I have to say, I really don't think this game crosses any boundaries at all. So, you're shooting kids. So what?

    As Penny Arcade said in their latest comic:
    "Did you know there's a mode in Call of Duty where you murder, like, a million people?
    It's called Call of Duty."

    What's the real difference between shooting adults with guns and children without? People would like to argue that the soldiers can defend themselves. The soldiers have training, and guns to fight back with.

    What difference does that make? You put enough bullets in them, they die. Those soldiers all had families. Some had wives and children of their own. And you just slaughtered those soldiers with as much emotion as you would cardboard cut-outs.

    Everbody's equal in death, be it the most sadistic mass murderer or the most innocent 6-year-old. Violence happens in videogames. It's all fantasy, and none of it has any bearing on reality. There's blood, there's gore, there's slaughter. Either you're for all if it, or you're against all of it.

    As I see it, there is no in-between.

    yeh agree its not right and should be removed. imagine a mod that lets you eat children or insult grandmas. not socially acceptable

    Gee, I missed the article at Kotaku congratulating on my being right once again about an irresponsible murder simulator distributor.

    Brian Crecente, grow up. Jack Thompson, Miami

      No idea if that's the real Jack Thompson or not. He definitely SEEMS to have the highly arrogant and self-righteous attitude we've come to know and love.

      That said, it could just be a good troll.

      I think the latter is far more likely.

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