A Dutch ad firm has decided to add the only thing Google Street View was missing; an M4A1 assault rifle.
In Google Shoot View, players can explore a selection of areas culled from Google’s collection of midly intrusive Street View photographs; taking in the sights and murdering everything they come across. Well … kind of. There’s no actual death animations, blood, or anything that indicates your virtual bullets are having any effect whatsoever; as I found to my disappointment when I attempted to subject the Escapist offices to a hail of assault rifle fire.
The game was developed by Pool, a “creative agency” with a list of clients that include Greenpeace and GPS navigation giant TomTom. According to the company website, Pool “produces campaigns that tap into the digital zeitgeist, creating waves in the process.” I imagine Shoot View will indeed create waves, giant Daily-Mail-Headline-shaped ones. Pool has taken steps to protect themselves from the obvious fallout, however. Shoot View’s locations are limited to city and town centers; searching for ‘school’ or ‘hospital’ brings up an error message, and players attempting to navigate to said areas, like, say, to nab a screenshot that will look just lovely on the front page of a newspaper, will quickly find their route blocked. That being said, the people photographed in Google Street View did not consent to have their picture taken, and they certainly didn’t agree to have their likenesses used as targets in a tasteless virtual shooting gallery. Lawsuits, ho!
UPDATE: According to the Shoot View website, Google has got wind of the game and has cut off its access to the Street View API, effectively shutting it down. Pool promises the game will return.