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Inside the Sick Mind of a School Shooter Mod

| 28 Feb 2011 17:05
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On the page at ModDB, you adopt a very confrontational tone, as if you are challenging people to flame your mod. Why do you think people may be upset by your mod?

Gamers are a generally misguided, highly reactionary lot. Back when Jack Thompson was still hot news, in their vain attempts to discredit him, a large quantity of them made threats against him and cursed his name. Which, of course, only served to strengthen his position in the eyes of non-gamers. Watching gamers threaten us with violence, in order to stop us from making our admittedly violent game, is an amusing bit of irony. It's our hope that one of these days, someone will leave a comment that actually puts forth a sensible argument against us.

If a family member of one of the victims of the school shootings contacted you and asked you to take down the mod, how would you respond?

We will not take down the mod just because one person can relate to the premise personally. That would be like pulling Call of Duty off shelves because the families of soldiers might complain that their loved ones died in battle, "just like in the game." People are too easily offended by works of fiction when there are plenty of things in the real world to be offended by, like racism and politics. If people need something to complain about, they should go complain about those.

Who is the intended audience of this mod?

The kind of gamer who finds entertainment in taking non-hostile AI by surprise. Someone who tries to make a challenge out of taking out as many non-challenging NPCs as they can in short time. Ideally, gamers who accept that video games shouldn't be particularly deep or insightful, and that they are most fun when they can just shut off their brains and let their reflexes take over.

How would you feel if someone played your game and then went on a shooting spree of their own in their school? How would that make you feel? What if they directly cited your game as the reason that they killed actual people?

Individuals who go through with any sort of killing spree generally do so because they are inclined to resort to violence, or because they have been bottling up their frustrations for extended periods of time. The idea that our mod would be solely responsible for an otherwise sane individual becoming suddenly insane is ... Well, insane in it's own right!

Let's say that a future shooter does directly cite us as their inspiration. I figure it would make itself apparent in due time that the individual in question was troubled prior to playing our mod. Perhaps they would be too ashamed of their real reasons to cite them, and would use us as their scapegoat in order to keep investigators from discovering the truth.

That being said, we would not feel guilty for their actions, as it is not our intent to have them commit them. As mentioned before, we hope there will be a "preventative quality" in our game, which will satisfy those with the idea to commit spree killings in their head enough to keep them from doing so. In this sense, we should not be held responsible for what atrocities gamers may (unlikely) commit as a result of playing our game, as it is our intent to keep them from doing so.

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Thanks to Xan Krieger for bringing this mod to our attention.

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