Counter-Strike Map Of School Causes Outrage

from the conflicted dept

On the heels of our last story about someone who raised the public’s ire over a “real-world” Counter-Strike map, it seems these stories may only become more prevalent. This seems particularly likely given that the threat of legal action doesn’t seem to serve much of a deterrance against those that wish to be creative with game maps in this respect. You had to know that this gaming envelope was only going to be pushed further. Such is the way of things. It’s something of a one-up culture. In addition, I should note that I tend to think that punishing this kind of creation is generally wrong. It’s a game map, nothing more.

However, I will admit to being heavily conflicted when I came across the story of another Counter-Strike map controversy, this one resulting from the creation of a map based on a local secondary school in Port Moody, British Columbia. The reaction from the locals upon discovering a video of the map on YouTube was, understandably, negative.

“We have rainbow-colored lockers, and it’s our field of dreams… and then to watch the video game, and see people shooting up our field of dreams, it was just so disturbing,” Alex Devlin, a teacher at Port Moody Secondary School, told CBC News. “I believe it’s just a game, it’s not reality… but a lot of kids don’t live in reality, right,” another local said.

Let me start off by saying that I get it. Given recent tragedies suffered on the North American continent, I completely understand the discomfort locals, especially parents, might feel discovering a map of their school being built in a game that is all about shooting. I won’t begrudge them their animosity. However, I am extremely pleased that cooler heads prevailed in this case.

The map’s creators helped their causes greatly when they published their own website to respond to their critics. Far from antagonizing, they decided to explain why they had chosen the school to serve as inspiration for their game map.

The map was this because it’s architecture and design is rather ideal for the game’s tactics. Furthermore, this is a location we are quite familiar with already. Additionally, supporters and fellow alumni are also likely familiar with this location, which makes it an ideal common ground for this game and its intended audience.

When you push the admittedly understandable emotional response to the side, their explanation makes a great deal of sense. Local gamers wanting to play a game they love in a fictional representation of a place they know. Once I took a deep breath, I realized that some of the games I love most, and some of those I’m looking forward to the most, feature real locations that I’m familiar with. Any game, for instance, that features the city of Chicago, regardless of the game’s genre, is likely going to get a look from me, because I love the idea of playing out a fictional game in the city I love. This is no different, even if the game in question is one that involves weapons and shooting. More importantly, it certainly isn’t something that should require legal action. Fortunately, the police in the area agree, saying so in what I would consider to be a surprisingly reasonable response.

Although the creation of such a video game is likely ill-conceived in the current climate, it does not constitute an offence. Investigators from the Port Moody Police Department have interviewed the developer of this game and have concluded that he does not pose a danger to the staff or students of Port Moody Secondary.

In the end, that’s all that matters. There is no safety concern in making a map of a school for a game. It’s just a map.

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Comments on “Counter-Strike Map Of School Causes Outrage”

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Brent (profile) says:

i make maps on Warfish, an online Risk site, and the most popular maps are always the ones people have some background with, Star Wars, Lord of the Rings, the United States, the entire world, etc. I think it makes perfect sense that a more immersive game would benefit from a highly detail oriented and locally know map such as a school, however, i think the timing is in bad taste. that said, if it was a good map i wouldn’t be bothered by playing it. After all, one of the best maps in Black Ops was Nuketown which was a mocked suburban neighborhood complete with cardboard cut outs of kids and families (that get’s nuked at the end). That map was made by the game designers…

Anonymous Coward says:

I think several factors play into making this a story.

The us versus them attitude fostered by party politics; people are expected to have a definite opinion.
Th paranoia fostered by governments to justify their intrusion into every-bodies life.

Press sensationalism, with reporters trying to create stories out of the slightest incident. The one or two people who react make the story, ignoring the hundreds that shrug and go so whats the story.

The increased visibility of actions wnen the Internet is used to circulate stuff,it allow minor things to become a trigger for pushing a political agenda.

An analysis of why this became a story would be more interesting.

TasMot (profile) says:

Nuclear Bomb Explodes during Football Game in Baltimore----you better duck

People like to see places they are familiar with in their movies/games. “The Sum of All Fears” blew up a nuclear bomb during a football game in Baltimore. It grossed close to $200 million. You know what? Nobody was actually hurt or killed (or do we count the bits in the computer). There is an old expression that I think aptly fits, “Get a Life” and I want to add, “Stay out of Fiction if you can’t handle it”.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: High School layout

I always wanted to do something like this, but never had the means when I was in high school in the 90’s. It really was a perfect layout, too.,-120.919073&spn=0.002508,0.002411&t=h&z=19

The older high schools in town were just rows of classrooms open to the outside, but the new school was designed to look more like a fortress (or prison).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: High School layout

The rumor (that I’m guessing was just an urban legend) was that my newer high school (in the 90’s) was designed by an architect who also had designed prisons.

I’ve always thought that high schools and college campuses would make the best places to play paintball or capture the flag or any games like that. It’s also true for FPS computer games.

Internet Zen Master (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: High School layout

If it’s an urban legend, it’s a popular one. I’ve heard of a couple high/middle/(hell, even) elementary schools that were supposedly designed with the original intention that they were going to be prisons before they got converted to schools at the last minute. Would explain why some students felt like they were in prison every time they had to go to school (aside from the usual explanation).

‘Course, these are all bogus myths, but one thing is for sure: architects for schools in the 90’s had no originality.

Anonymous Coward says:

I did the same in high school

When I was in high school here in the US I actually created a map of the school for Quake II. All my friends thought it was awesome and the one adult that saw the map was a teacher at the school. He was impressed by the work I had put in and made me show him the program I had used to create the map.

As a side note, none of my friends or myself ever went on a rampage, nor are any of us in jail for any reason. Most are married, have families, and still play shooters online with each other.

Wally (profile) says:

“Although the creation of such a video game is likely ill-conceived in the current climate, it does not constitute an offence. Investigators from the Port Moody Police Department have interviewed the developer of this game and have concluded that he does not pose a danger to the staff or students of Port Moody Secondary.”

That there is simply a scenario of “better safe than sorry”. Hell I’d be stoked to see Columbus or Cleveland mapped out for a game.

Anonymous Coward says:

We have a map of the building we work in for Left 4 Dead 2. We are working on adding some of the stores down the street (Tim Hortons and Dunkin Donuts) with one of them eventually being one of the safe rooms.

The map of our work building is quite accurate.

Hasn’t caused any of us to want to blow the building up. You know, outside of the feelings we have from working here 😉

Jeff Rife says:

Better than paintball

Making a computer game map of an area any playing with virtual weapons is just another extension of the same games we have played for years.

Doesn’t anybody remember playing whatever form of “shoot the guy on the other team with your cap gun” when they were young? Paintball is the modern extension of this and is quite accepted.

Would the school district, parents, etc., rather have the kids break into the school and have paintball games there?

Paul R Dillinger (profile) says:

We made levels for our high school and our neighborhood in Duke Nukem 3D WAAAYYY back in the day (1996). It was the challenge of trying to make something that looks like a place you know. I don’t see the problem. We were kids learning real world skills with computers, and for the most part we’re all well educated and productive members of society today. I didn’t try to go shoot aliens at my high school either (much more practical to do it on a PC).

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