The School Shooting Video Game (TM, apparently) is the latest topic to go trending as pushed by the media. But is a simple Counterstrike user map being sensationalized to the point where the facts don’t meet the hype?
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, this school shooting video game is simply a user map for Counterstrike that recreates Port Moody Secondary School. But everyone seems to find it shocking because the creator of the map supposedly has a connection to the former President of the Port Moody Secondary School Chapter of Amnesty International, Aarman Rahim.
One of the unfortunate things that immediately jumped out at me when I started to look into this story is how some in the media are getting some very basic facts wrong. One description of the so-called school shooting video game says that “an unidentified developer has created the game called Counter-Strike. In the game, Port Moody Secondary School in Port Moody, Canada, is featured — yes, a real high school.”
First things, first. It’s a user map. The developer and publisher of Counterstrike has nothing to do with this. Anyone can create a CS user map given the set of tools released with the game.
Secondly, kids and adults have been making CS maps representing real-life locations for years now. This is certainly not the first Counterstrike user map that is based on a school. In similar fashion, people who play airsoft and paintball sometimes will stage scenarios in abandoned office and school buildings. This does not make them horrible people, nor are they planning on anything devious.
I’ll list the reasons why I know what I’m talking about. I used to do contract work for indie game developers. My first custom maps were for Bungie contests when they were still Mac only (say what, you say?). I also made user maps for Counterstrike when it was still a HL mod in the beta stages. I know all about how being a LPB combined with using an AWP was considered unfair. So, on maps like Siege, I used to strafe bunny hop into the clearing with my deagle and, in mid-air, take off the heads of the terrorists who were rushing out of the garage.
To provide some balance, it’s not to say that video games cannot be misused by those who intend violence in real life. Columbine killer Eric Harris is probably the most infamous example. Harris made several Doom user maps before the school shooting, and some of the WADs can be downloaded to this day. But Eric Harris also supposedly made some Doom maps that recreated the Columbine school, which he bragged about to friends, but those were never found.
Eric Harris recorded himself before the shooting and he said the attack would be “like f***ing Doom.” He compared his own shotgun to the Doom shotgun. He also said, “Doom is so burned into my head, my thoughts usually have something to do with the game.”
So, yes, too many hours of violent video games can increase your aggression levels. Exposure to too much violence dulls how you view the world, where even the most shocking real life act may not cause dismay. The military knows this and used to use footage of real life carnage during training. In addition to the issue of violence, I even know some literal video game addicts who ended up living in the woods to get their lives back. So there is a balance to be maintained when considering this so-called school shooting video game.
Kids who cannot differentiate reality and entertainment should not be exposed to such stuff, and parents should be involved in choosing video games (that’s what the ESRB is there for). But, with all that in perspective, this so-called school shooting video game is not what it’s being hyped up to be. Even the Playboy mansion has been featured in several FPS game user maps, but you don’t see anyone trying to take out Hugh Hefner with a machine gun.
What do you think about this so-called school shooting video game now that you know more of the story?