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.