The website that hosted materials for School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 decided to completely remove the mod from its database.
After the interview I conducted with Pawnstick, the developer of School Shooter, there has been a flood of vitriol both for and against the mod. Jack Thompson even sounded off with a letter to Gabe Newell of Valve, supposedly because the mod uses the Half-Life source code and Newell has the authority to stop it. In response to all the unwanted attention, the administrators of ModDB, the self-proclaimed largest repository of games, mods and addons on the web, removed School Shooter: North American Tour 2012. INtense!, the Managing Director of ModDB owners DesuraNET, said that although he respects a creator’s right to free speech, he thought that School Shooter was deliberately in bad taste and ceased hosting it to remove any confusion that his website supported or encouraged such content.
“We believe in the freedom of speech, the right to share information and be creative. We have enjoyed watching mod developers push the boundaries for years and create amazing content, and shall always do this,” INtense! said. “On one hand we find the content to be deliberately offensive and in poor taste, but on the other we also feel people should have the right to be creative and share what they want.”
The problem ModDB faced was that it received a flood of hate emails from ignorant people who assumed that the website was a haven for miscreants and degenerates. “We are currently receiving quite a bit of threatening mail as people believe we are the creators, supporters and makers of this content. I want to stress that this absolutely isn’t the case. We have never encouraged or made any content, we disagree with the mod.”
INtense! felt that the only way to protect the rest of the authors on ModDb was to remove School Shooter entirely. “We don’t want the hard work of thousands of other mod developers to be threatened by people misunderstanding this one mod/game, and assuming all others are like it.”
I first brought the School Shooter mod to the attention of the world because I seriously thought it crossed the line from a mature-rated videogame into something wholly other. Speaking to Pawnstick did little to dissuade me from the conclusion that this mod was the project of someone who might be capable of, say, shooting up innocent students at his school, and did little to move the medium forward. Another interviewer at Beefjack.com asked Pawnstick who the intended audience of School Shooter is and he replied, “Anyone who wants to be a school shooter, but is too big of a pussy to actually do anything.”
I think that sentiment is downright frightening and has no place in the videogame industry. I support ModDB’s action to no longer host or support School Shooter: North American Tour 2012.