Report article RSS Feed Why we removed the school shooter mod

We have removed the School Shooter mod from ModDB, read on for our explanation.

Posted by INtense! on Mar 19th, 2011

Allow me to begin this post by saying 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.

However, recently a mod on the site called School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 has been getting quite a bit of mainstream press due to the controversial nature of the content. It seems that people sit on two sides of the fence on this one. There are those that believe the makers of this mod should have the right to make whatever they want, while there are others that believe it is disgusting and crosses the line.

We sit on both sides, 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 on a community / developer run site, and we shouldn't have the right to dictate what is/isn't allowed.

The challenge faced is 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 but at the same time believe in freedom of speech and the unique ability modders and indie developers should have to create games (good-or-bad) about topics, issues and events considered risky or taboo.

There is also quite a bit of confusion from non-gaming press, who state that games like this are the reason why all bad things occur, spreading misinformation and fear.  As a result of this confusion and hate, at the moment we feel the best course of action is to remove the mod. 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.

Edit: We did contact the developers with no reply back in August 2010, chances are this would have ended differently if they had replied.

Post comment Comments  (0 - 50 of 454)
holdenmcclure Mar 19 2011, 4:26am says:

Way to cave you guys, pretty lame.
There was nothing unlawful about the School Shooter mod, so any 'threats' issued to you were just knee jerk social reactionaries with little value for their free time.
If the School Shooter mod was worth anything, it was watching the social white knights try to infringe on constitutional rights, while other fictional atrocities presented in other forms of media go untouched.

You claim that you support freedom of speech but actions speak louder then words, and whether or not you believe it in doesn't change that your actions don't support the belief.

Oh and if you think that this is going to shut up the journalistic crybabies then you're sorely mistaken. By caving to their shallow demands you've only given them power, power that they'll be more inclined to use now that they have it. Expect to see these kinds of complaints more frequently now that you've caved to this kind of foolery.

+88 votes     reply to comment
INtense! Mar 19 2011, 4:42am replied: Online

we've opened the comments because we feel people will be quite vocal and disagree with us and we welcome that. we are a community run site and will always attempt to do the best by our users. In this instance our primary concern is that this mod will tarnish the name of many others, as people just label gamers and modders in general as violent disrespectful individuals, which isn't right.

+65 votes     reply to comment
holdenmcclure Mar 19 2011, 4:54am replied:

At what cost are you protecting your credibility amongst uninformed idiots? You are a Mod Database, people upload mods and you host them. Your affiliation with School Shooter or any other mod ends there. Plain and simple. If people want to hold you or anyone else affiliated with this site accountable then what they need to be informed, and it's not your responsibility to spell it out for them. Making allowances for the stupidity of others will hurt us in the long run.

What you are saying to the public by doing this, is that you are acknowledging ridiculous claims that video games are causes of influence for acts of hatred like actual school shootings. You have compromised the validity of all shooters or games with violent content by doing this, because by proxy any game featuring violence should logically be an influence for crime.

In this critical hour where many people are watching, I was hoping that you would make the decision that would benefit gaming as a medium, or to at least bring it on a level comparable to other forms of media like movies or books, but you let me down.

+58 votes     reply to comment
Chinaski Mar 19 2011, 5:25am replied:

"You have compromised the validity of all shooters or games with violent content by doing this, because by proxy any game featuring violence should logically be an influence for crime."

Amen to that. In the old days the "Funda-mental-ists" attacked books as a source of a violent society, then they moved on to movies/video nasties. They move with the times and now it's video games that get the brunt of their idiocy. Meanwhile there are hundreds of homicidal killers in jails across the world who claim "god made me do it", but I never hear any mention of banning religion, which in my opinion would make the world a better place.

I personally wouldn't even play this mod, but I'm sure a lot of people would get enjoyment from it. And yes, I'm sure it would offend some people but life's like that, deal with it. Over the past few years there have been a slew of WW2 games featuring the player killing German soldiers, is that any less offensive?

To sum up, bad move MODDB.

+46 votes     reply to comment
Huhmasta Mar 19 2011, 2:36pm replied:

I agree with the majority of you guys here. lol damn some of you guys should be arguing this **** against retards that is the mass media. Uninformed idiots who see one bad influence, automatically assume the whole structure has gone sour. If videos games honestly made people into violent psychopathic maniacs, then I'd say more than 1/3 of the population of US would be mass murdering the living **** out of people by now. But there you have it, the only case in which we actually DO have video games becoming bad influences on people are indeed EXTREMELY RARE CASES. Ignorant conservative retards like Jack Thompson fail to see this and also fail to even bother to do the most minimal research. So pretty much MODDB is covering their ***** in hopes that the media and other bitching uninformed idiots will simply GO AWAY. Have fun with that.

+10 votes     reply to comment
cheesemoo0 Mar 19 2011, 12:24pm replied:

I can't help, but agree.

I can understand why it was taken down and I personally found the mod in bad taste, but it should not have been taken down.

I hope this did not set a precedent. If someone wants to get rid of mod is all they have to do is complain enough and Moddb will oblige?

+11 votes     reply to comment
INtense! Mar 20 2011, 2:01am replied: Online

The challenge is these complaints are not coming from ModDB members or even people in the games industry. They are coming from parents, and others who thought it was vile and twisted.

+10 votes     reply to comment
Mr.John Mar 20 2011, 4:46am replied:

First Id like to say: Black Ops was getting negative feedback for "Voletile content" by many reviewers. Did Treyarch or Activision shut it down? NO.

2nd Id say that: Media twists it all around, but they arent superpowerfull. What ModDB should have done is state the trueness of the mod, correcting the media. They would have to take up what ModDB says and probably apologize for their ignorance. Never succumb to others, and stand proud for what you believe in. Agreed, bad move indeed.

Thirdly: There is only one thing you can really tell "Parents" and other social high people who disagree with these things. "**** off." Tell them to understand before making stupid goddamn threats agianst a small mod. A MOD. As others stated players have murdered dozenions of russians, germans, aliens, zombies, mexicans and middle-easters. Somewhat US soldiers and slightly brittish ones. But if you make a goddamn game where purpose is to murder most US citizens or others alike, then you get critizised the **** out of. GTA4 is an example. Much bad reviews there for the "unneccecary voilence." JESUS.

+2 votes     reply to comment
JaMeS777 Mar 24 2011, 1:13pm replied:

I agree with you!
Does USA think it's better than other countries?
No one took down Call Of Duty:Modern warfare 2 because you killed russians,but if you were killing americans HOOOOOOO Boy there would be a thousand people complaining about it
in the same game (MW2) they go to brazil(which is where i live) and kill
did i complain about it?Did any other brazilians complain about it?

+6 votes     reply to comment
JaMeS777 Mar 24 2011, 1:04pm replied:

Saw is vile,twited,waaay more gory and scary and yet they're parents let their kids watch it,then why are they getting their panties in a twist because of a game?
Parents also let their kids play Saw:the videogame
They also let them play GTA
they don't complain about mods where you worship the devil or kill cops but they are complaining about THIS?
io could do the same thing with modded guns,a school map and Half Life 2 models!
And heck yeah i did!
then why in hell are parents complaining about this?
Videogames don't make people violent,Their Fear of violence makes them bring out the weapons,the fear of such weapons causes wars
a game would never damage someone's mind

+2 votes     reply to comment
hasaosan Dec 20 2011, 11:10pm replied:

lol you caved

how many cryin no life parents attacked the GTA game franchise? millions (not 10 or 20 like this case ****** millions)

GTA is not only NOT dead but is even making ANOTHER game to add to its belt

(note i know the game is deved by rockstar gaming)

0 votes     reply to comment
Moonlightwolf Mar 19 2011, 6:41pm replied:

Though I found the school shooter mod a frankly rather pathetic concept I didn't at any point comment on it's page or anywhere else about my opinion because in all honesty thats all the mod and its creators were after. A bit of hatred to bolster their deficient ego's (take ego as an innuendo if you must) the best thing to do with people looking for that kind of attention is to ignore them but unfortunately the mainstream media thrives on giving these idiots the attention they desire. Considering that television already has a vested interest in making games look bad (because games are constantly stealing their audience by being a lot more interesting) its not surprising that they take any opportunity to make a fuss and start tarring all mods and games with the same brush.

So well done moddb for not letting some pathetic attention seekers misuse freedom of speech to make trouble for the rest of us.

(and as for the school shooter developers, just save up, buy a really big car and drive round and round, it'll give your 'egos' the same extension without causing trouble for all the real developers out there.)

+10 votes     reply to comment
Kangaraptor Mar 19 2011, 7:35pm replied:

We should just wait for a new medium of entertainment, then everyone will move on to hating that instead of videogames.

On a more serious note, yeah, they've opened another door to the 'games are ebil )))' mentality, regardless that games generally reduce stress, and the few people who /might/ cause problems from playing say, GTA, had pretty big problems in the first place.

+7 votes     reply to comment
moppop Mar 19 2011, 7:58pm replied:

How the hell can you compare a ****** troll mod that doesn't even care to create their own assets to Grand Theft Auto?

-1 votes     reply to comment
Phenixtri Mar 19 2011, 9:49pm replied:

it was in the codeing stage >>

+2 votes     reply to comment
moppop Mar 19 2011, 10:19pm replied:

They don't even have a coder, DERP

-1 votes     reply to comment
moppop Mar 20 2011, 12:26am replied:


And a mod that rips off HL2 assets without any resemblance of skill or dedication to anything other than trolling moves the gaming medium forward, how?

Somehow, you're convinced that the School-shooter mod is something other than kiddos that don't know how to use Hammer trying to become as famous as possible with as little skill and work as possible. They aren't even standing behind their own work as individuals because most of them are "Anonymous".

Again, how, specifically, does this mod move the gaming industry forward?

+5 votes     reply to comment
moppop Mar 21 2011, 11:18am replied:


You say you defend freedom of speech, but willingly censor me as I post on your mod's wall about your defense of the School Shooter mod. Why is that?

Why did you censor me, when you should be defending my right to speak, even if you disagree with me?

-4 votes     reply to comment
holdenmcclure Mar 21 2011, 4:32pm replied:

I didn't delete your comment you fuckknuckle, your comment recieved so many downvotes that it got buried and you have to click 'view' to see it, which is something you should expect when you go to random persons ModDB pages and tell them you're not downloading their mod because you're so buttfrustrated that people defend freedom of speech.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Crispy Mar 27 2011, 2:46pm replied:

Hatred is more dangerous than freedom: that's why Intense had to do what he did.

+6 votes     reply to comment
Matt_Bak3r Mar 19 2011, 5:10am replied:

It was the right choice, media can make your life hell. It's not worth it for a single mod.

+9 votes     reply to comment
KILLER89(FIN) Mar 19 2011, 7:09am buried:


And its not right to yield, when big brother says so.
Its like... being a bitch, who is abot the get ****** while options being: a) **** b) ****.

-24 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 11:24am replied:

When did "Big Brother" say so?

Last I checked Intense made his decision of his of free will.

+15 votes     reply to comment
ProspectGames Mar 19 2011, 7:46am replied:

"this mod will tarnish the name of many others"

I am willing to be tarnished for standing up for freedom of speech and expression. This mod is in poor taste, but it should be allowed to exist. Now it will continue to exist elsewhere but I think you guys removed this because it looks bad on you.

We as a communinity do not need protecting, Video Games still get **** the world over whether they are offensive or not. I can understand Moddb wishing to protect itself (and I support that right) but please do not put that under the guise of protecting the individuals, we can handle ourselves.

+19 votes     reply to comment
Slevo Mar 19 2011, 7:51am buried:


MOD DB = attention *****.

All Intense is trying to say is I WANT PUBLICITY by shutting this down LOOK AT ME!.

on the front of the news paper people will see MOD DB takes action against i quote "MURDERING SIMULATORS"

Talk about Biting the Hand that feed's you, Intense.

You made a bold yet stupid move trying to attract publicity for your actions but yet setting a bar for the imagination of all Developers, And will this be the end? or will they push us back even further.

They have 1 victory why not take it further?

-67 votes     reply to comment
Captain_Romulus Mar 19 2011, 11:06am replied:


+21 votes     reply to comment
xXBerethorXx Dec 21 2011, 2:05am replied:

The best, most sensible reply here :] congratulations!

+3 votes     reply to comment
CaptainLagfail Mar 19 2011, 4:58pm replied:

Well, there goes my chances for Postal: Remixed getting on the front page.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Slambert-Anders Mar 19 2011, 7:18pm replied:

Why the hell do you care about what people think about gamers and modders? That's irrelevant.

-1 votes     reply to comment
Prez Mar 25 2011, 4:10am replied:

Chalk me up as disgusted by the way you caved on this. Whether this was a "troll mod", as some have asserted, or not is absolutely irrelevant. In the end, you acted contrary to interests the modding and gaming community at large, whatever your intentions. Your action is more of a detriment to gaming and modding than anything anyone, no matter how offensive, could put in a mod.

No, you may not have drowned puppies or starved children, but I am still outraged by this stupid, self-serving move and the ensuing lame excuse, both of which smack of blatant hypocrisy. I notice the thread has a report button- I am half-tempted to click it; since you're so worried about hurting everyone's delicate sensibilities, I guess you would have to delete this thread too if someone found it offensive. Way to royally screw up guys. I am resisting the urge to tell you how I *really* feel about you and your asinine stunt, colorful names and all, but if I did it might offend you, and then my post would have to be deleted. Now there's precedent, thanks to you. >:(

-4 votes     reply to comment
Wiskers Dec 22 2011, 9:19am replied:

Good on you guys for taking this disgusting, abhorrent mod down. There are some very sick, twisted people in this world and to call something like this "entertainment" is simply wrong.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Skepsis! Mar 19 2011, 5:00am replied:

I think the salient issue behind their decision to do this extends beyond petty journalism and political principles.

INtense! is right, third parties -were- affected. It isn't fair to silence them, no, but it also isn't fair if the sarcastic actions of a few negatively affect the image of others.

You're being a tad hyperbolic about the potential impact of this specific decision.

+8 votes     reply to comment
holdenmcclure Mar 19 2011, 5:09am replied:

Describe to me who and what third parties were affected, and regardless of whether or not you support this decision, it's blatant that we're being insulted by telling us they support freedom of speech but turn around and do this regardless.

Look at this site, look at any shooter game hosted here and the subsequent mods for it. I'm sure you'll find a truckload of violent material, hell look at any Grand Theft Auto and you'll see tons of content that supports crime and kills innocents, but suddenly the setting is a school now and all the reactionaries reminded of real life events start crying.

If there's any legitimacy to removing this mod due to content then on the same grounds you're putting near all the content hosted here on thin ice, and that is by no means hyperbolic. The actions made here are a decisive blow towards how gaming is and subsequently it's playerbase is interpreted and that is no exaggeration. Whether or not it's a large effect doesn't change that it's a hurtful one and that's not something that should be supported.

+15 votes     reply to comment
Tatsur0 Mar 19 2011, 5:15am replied:

It's not that simple. Read down for my response (can be considered a response to your comments and would rather not repeat heh).

+4 votes     reply to comment
Skepsis! Mar 19 2011, 5:35am replied:

Who was affected? For starters, VALVe. Why should this be fueled by bluntly protesting and exacerbating the issue more than it needs to be? Especially if it's putting a completely innocent company in the crossfire and under scrunity it doesn't deserve?

The integrity of this website is in-tact and will remain to be in-tact. This is a specific issue that was met with a -compromise-. It may seem hypocritical in action vs. stance, sure, but look at the context of the post. It's a compromise they had to make by weighing their options, not blatant removal of the mod because of content. If that was the case, how the hell did that mod stay on this website for so damned long?

You're missing my point. The issue wasn't from the mod's content itself, it was from the potential for a third parties integrity being scrutinized from the wake of that content being protested by some washed up shyster.

Coming out with an all out blunt antithesis in the same extreme as the opposition really gets this whole issue nowhere. All it does is create a circle-jerk. I understand your fears, I really do. But this situation really poses very little threat to both our side of the issue and this website's integrity.

0 votes     reply to comment
holdenmcclure Mar 19 2011, 6:10am replied:

You are completely off base for with this, do you have any idea what the opposition is claiming? They blamed Half Life for a school shooting in Germany! By adhering to their threats that are packaged with the ridiculous statement accusing Gabe of indirectly causing a massacre, we're in essence, agreeing with the opposition and further damaging the third party being Valve, which they had no intention of adhering to in the first place being not responsible or legally bound to any action for or against anyways!

These 'third parties' being Valve and ModDB have been victims directly or not to Jack Thompson and other extremist for ages now, and we're not doing anyone but them any favors by adhering to their demands. You're backwards on this issue. There was no compromise here, what's the worst case scenario when we don't adhere to their claims? They stop bitching? Like ******* **** they will. They including Jack Thompson have been crying about games for ages now long before School Shooter existed, and we've only empowered them by adhering to their demands.

+21 votes     reply to comment
holloweddarkness Mar 19 2011, 10:34am replied:

I agree with everything you are saying. Here is something I would like to point out.

ESRB ratings are there for a reason. If a game gets a Mature Rating, Kids under 16 should not be anywhere near them. Developers these days don't think "Hey, I'm gonna make a game where you can shoot a ton of people and tear their heads off with crowbars." They think of an artistic story arc that causes the players to have an emotional attachment to the game.

Why do I bring this up? Because 99% of the games that get accused of being "Too violent" are MATURE RATED. Even most of the mods on here are mature rated meaning that if parents are doing their job, kids shouldn't even be playing games like such. I applauded a woman for not getting her 12 year old kid a mature rated game at target the other day and she was shocked to hear that from me.

I think that a way that gamers should make a stand is to have them stand in front of the electronics session at stores and personally screen parents from buying them mature rated games and inform them of the mistake they are making.

The problem is not with what content is being made, its about kids access to that content. Kids cannot get past the killing of things in games and be able to attach themselves to the story. (Not saying that video games are responsible for violence, just saying if it was to blame, that its the parents fault).

+10 votes     reply to comment
CovertChaos Mar 19 2011, 11:21am replied:

I personally agree with ModDB's decision to remove this mod. It is exactly the kind of mod the game industry doesn't need, because having something like this just confirms people's assumptions that video games are just violent, evil things that create menaces to society.

(P.S. How is freesom of speech being suppressed because one mod is removed, but we can come and openly protest and disagree with that decision. Sometimes, I think you people just want something to bitch about. Food for thought.)

+7 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 11:29am replied:

Because it's easier to sling back in our chairs and comment how ModDB is ruining freedom of speech rather than go to Libya and fight the actual oppressors of speech. It's as simple as that: people are lazy. ModDB is now a lazy target.

+22 votes     reply to comment
open_sketchbook Mar 19 2011, 11:57am replied:

Bravo, Lazy6. Well said.

+7 votes     reply to comment
version15 Mar 19 2011, 3:58pm replied:

Well said, lazy6.

+6 votes     reply to comment
holdenmcclure Mar 19 2011, 8:33pm buried:


Oh I see, so damaging freedom of speech is alright since people are damaging it on a much larger scale somewhere else, bravo indeed.

-7 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 9:08pm replied:

I never said it was all right; you're putting words in my mouth. I just said that you are lazy.

+6 votes     reply to comment
DaveW Mar 19 2011, 10:29am replied:

Valve wasn't affected by this mod, they were affected by a single crazy guy who called Half Life a murder simulator and claimed false links to real school shootings. The mod was just a vehicle for Jack to attack Valve.

No third parties were affected by this, it was just a silly mod. It's no worse in terms of content than 'that level' from Modern Warfare - in fact, it's not as bad considering the quality of it. And just like MW, it's made for shock value. So get over it.

+12 votes     reply to comment
Dragonlord Mar 19 2011, 10:58am replied:

I doubt this had any effect on Valve or any other. That guy is like a little fly bumping into their face. You brush it away and that's it. I understand what the motives are for the removal action but personally I doubt it has any positive effect in the long run. As mentioned above if you give in to these people you make yourself a target. I just hope this won't happen with ModDB.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Rampsquatch Mar 19 2011, 11:20am replied:

I agree with the thing about caving in to the crybabies only gives them power, but how the hell could you possibly think there is nothing wrong with a game called school shooter? although this is the first I have heard of it, I probably would have left a comment on the mod's page asking the developer what the hell was wrong with him. And I agree completely with the course of action that moddb has taken. If a bunch of idiots who don't want to listen to what you have to say are bitching at you and you don't want them to go too far and ruin gaming and mods for everyone, like in this situation, you make a decision and you stand by it. I applaud the fact that moddb took decisive action and I think you have got to respect their decision weather you agree with it or not.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Ryswick17 Mar 19 2011, 3:55pm replied:

If you were to do some research on why the mod was being made and not just reacting to the name of the mod, you might actually learn something.

-3 votes     reply to comment
moppop Mar 19 2011, 4:04pm replied:

The mod was being made in order to get reactions. Pawnstick and his lackies are mad that they made fire and are getting burned by it.

+4 votes     reply to comment
crowbar87 Mar 19 2011, 1:14pm buried:


Freedom of speech? you gotta be kidding me. Try saying that to the parents of students who lost thier children in school killings.

who about a mod about 9/11? london bus bommings?

grow up man. some things are taboo. this is one of them.

-7 votes     reply to comment
{imperialreign} Mar 19 2011, 2:42pm replied:

There are some things that are taboo, yes, but not in the gaming media - not even in movies or TV. The film industry continuously crosses over with such stories, presented from many different perspectives . . . as does the literary world. Why should the gaming industry be subject to an entirelly different set of rules regarding what is and is not appropriate subject material?
We've already had blockbuster titles dance around such taboo issues with subject matter, without backing down. Sure, the media pitched a hellstorm over it, but they've forgotten it by now.
Games (and mods by extension) are in essence a story-telling media, whether that story is fiction, non-fiction, satire, parody or otherwise should not be up to the general media to decide. If a developer feels they have something to say, no matter how they decide to go about it, and no matter what the majority opinion of said subject matter is, they should have that freedom to do so. Simply because the vast majority of us don't agree with the subject material, or find it offensive, shouldn't mean they can't express themselves.
The mediawill find a scapegoat no matter what - it's when that scapegoat backs down instead of standing up and fighting back does it get worse. Look at how many times the music industry (or specific bands) have been targeted for various instances over the years . . . and the reason it falls apart so quickly is the industry standing their ground. The gaming industry has yet to stand up for itself, and these actions here are not helping the matter at all.
I, for one, completely agree removal of the mod was a poor choice. It should've remained. Perhaps instead moddb could've added numerous disclaimers and such therby protecting themselves and others here . . . but it should have been left alone.

+7 votes     reply to comment
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