A 17-year-old student at Northport High School in Washington who claims he was developing ideas for an FPS-style videogame has been arrested for plotting to kill dozens of his classmates.
The student, Lance Timmering, says he was explaining his ideas for his own FPS when he was overheard by two teacher’s aides. A notebook containing his plan to shoot students was brought to the attention of the school principal, and both school authorities and local police felt Timmering presented a credible threat.
Timmering’s father, Terry Timmering, says if police are going to arrest his son, they also need to arrest everyone else designing an FPS game. “These games are on the internet now, people are making big money,” his father said. “Are we going to throw all of those people in jail?
“We think it’s politically driven, with what happened at Virginia Tech. Columbine was just five years ago, we have a new prosecutor in town, we think it’s politically driven,” he said.
The case follows closely behind a very similar situation in Fort Bend, Texas, in which a 17-year-old student was expelled from his high school and barred from graduation for creating a Counter-strike map based on his school. School officials in both cases claimed that every potential threat must be taken seriously.
Northport High School maintains it had no way of knowing whether Timmering’s writing was creative expression, or an actual plan to commit mass murder. The student is currently out on bail, awaiting a court’s decision on his fate.