We recently granted Greg Tito of The Escapist an interview regarding School Shooter: North American Tour 2012. Shortly after being posted, the article became the most popular of the day, with over 750 comments at the time of this news post.
Shortly thereafter, Jim Sterling of Destructoid put up an article claiming School Shooter to be "the case for 'sick' video games". Before long, Kotaku's posted his own article about School Shooter, which currently has over 30,000 views. Of course, between "The Big 3", there are also around four dozen other "gaming news" outlets who put out their own stories on the game, many of them seeing fit to lift their content directly from the Kotaku and Escapist articles (Because, as you should all know by now: Gaming journalism isn't real journalism).
There have been questions as to our intent with this mod. We feel that pawnstick sufficiently answered the majority of these in the Escapist interview, which is why we're pretty sure most of the people asking these questions didn't actually read the article past the foreword. So, for the benefit of those of you who can't be bothered to read the interview past the first page, here are some excerpts from the interview which should help to clear up some of your concerns:
What do you think about the California bill proposing that violent videogames be illegal to sell to minors? Do you think the Supreme Court will vote in favor or against its adoption?
It is my hope that the bill passes. I'd be surprised if it doesn't. The type of kids who are especially eager to get their hands on violent games - who would attempt to thwart store policies by using fake IDs or dragging their friend's parents along to approve the purchase - probably shouldn't be playing the games in the first place. As much as gamers may have hated Jack Thompson (And as misguided and misinformed at the guy may have been), the point still stands that video games have the potential to impact certain susceptible minds. Yes, so do film and television and the rest of the media, as many gamers are eager to point out. But that doesn't actually negate the fact that games do, in fact, have an impact.
I realize this obviously puts SS:NAT2012 in a poor position. Especially considering that it's a free downloadable mod: Not something we can really regulate with an advanced age verification system. I guess the fact that all the Source games currently available are rated "M" might keep most of the kiddies at bay. Failing that check, however, I guess one of our intents with the game is to make it it's own sort of exclusive experience: That any angst-ridden kid who has the idea in his head to shoot up his school, who ends up playing the game, finds it amusing enough of a substitute that it keeps them from doing it in real life.
Given the constant attacks from mainstream media against videogames for portraying violence, why would you give these fanatics more ammunition to dismiss games as childish at best and harmful at worst?
Because that's exactly what games are. The media is right to dismiss games as "bang-bang shoot 'em ups" and "murder simulators," because at their core, that is exactly what most games boil down to. Take Bulletstorm, for example: It is pretty much the full embodiment of what the media assumes games to be. It's humor is crude, it's writing is dumb, and it's gameplay is ultra-violent. And that is exactly what makes it so appealing, not only to adults, but also to kids.
With all the excruciating coverage that came with the Wii and the Kinect - complete with television hosts flailing their arms and legs around like idiots trying to play baseball and jumping in rafts - the myth that all games revolve around violence has been thoroughly debunked. The media understands now that games are aimed at specific audiences. They also know as well as we gamers do that kids do manage to get their hands on violent games. It's their responsibility as sensationalists to discuss how kids inevitably get their hands on games they shouldn't be playing, and how said games have the potential to corrupt them.
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.
Glad I could help!