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  (400 - 438 of 438)
Xan_Krieger
Xan_Krieger Mar 23 2011, 3:56pm says:

This is worse than when the Taliban were removed from Medal of Honor. Please put it up for those of us who eagerly want to play it.

0 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 23 2011, 10:24pm replied:

You can still play it when they release it. Instead, you just have to go to the Checkboard's website. It really aint that ******* hard.

+1 vote     reply to comment
aerozol
aerozol Mar 23 2011, 5:18pm says:

Taking it down isn't a problem.
But taking it down just because "we are currently receiving quite a bit of threatening mail"- well... Not really a very well articulated reason.

0 votes     reply to comment
Xan_Krieger
Xan_Krieger Mar 23 2011, 7:22pm replied:

Yeah that's just bowing to bad people. Just because someone threatens you with some stupid thing they're never gonna go through with you don't just give in.

0 votes     reply to comment
VítorCarvalho
VítorCarvalho Mar 23 2011, 7:56pm says:

I visit this site (and IndieDB) for some time, but I never registered. Until I saw this -> kotaku.com/#!5785053 and felt the need to give you my feedback.

This is really bad, I understand that you are trying to protect the other games...but what are you going to do if someone starts complaining about those other games? Are you guys going to bail out every time someone complains about them too?
Is that the image you want the people who come here to share their games have of you? The guys that bail out when they see problems arriving instead of sticking their feet firmly on the ground and 'fight' for their media!

Ask the same persons who are threatening you what would their positions be, if instead of a being a game, School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 was a book or a film about the event!! Most of them are only attacking the media, and you only help it sunk even deeper.
And if they came to you thinking you're the ones that created the game only helps prove how ignorant they must be.

You should check this out because it applies to you -> goo.gl/9EGOv (I can't post links, and I cant post 'words' with 50 characters, so I had to use a URL shortener, sorry about that...it's an episode of Extra Credits on the Escapist...you should really see it and think about it.)

And please rethink your position.

+3 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 23 2011, 10:10pm replied:

Answer me this question: Why must ModDB be the one to stand up to critics? Because some trolls forced them to, against their will? If ModDB wanted to take on all the ignorance, they would do it on their own terms, not on the terms of some shitheads that just want to watch the world burn and laugh as it happens.

The whole point of the matter is that the issue shouldn't be ModDB's cross to bear over some trolls that aren't serious about moving the medium forward or about anything, really. If the game/mod in question was like the "Six Days in Falluja" that hit controversy years ago, ModDB would probably stand behind it. If you cannot determine the difference between that and School Shooter, than really, there's nothing I can do for you.

-1 votes     reply to comment
odilasa
odilasa Mar 24 2011, 4:34am replied:

Seriously moppop give it up. Why the **** did they authorize it then? It's just a **** move on their part no one is saying it's mod db's sole responsibility to host it.

+3 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 24 2011, 8:46am replied:

I find it oh so funny that you want to allow the mod freedom of expression, but yet I'm suppose to "give it up" because apparently I annoy you. Isn't that koy?

There's a simple answer to it. They had not known the level of trolling this mod has turned into.

Can a school shooting be the subject of a game/mod that does push boundaries while pushing the medium as whole in a more artful direction? Yes. However, you are blind if you think anything other than a massive and terrible troll mod that actually doesn't give a **** about the medium.

Let me ask you this: What has Pawnstick done since?
Well, he's called INtense! and ******* for not sending a message, when he infact did; he just chose to ignore it.
He also called himself a ****** in order to troll more people.

That's it....no defense, no nothing. That's because HE DOESN'T GIVE A **** BECAUSE HE KNOWS IT'S JUST A MASSIVE TROLL

-3 votes     reply to comment
odilasa
odilasa Mar 24 2011, 2:03pm replied:

You've had 9 pages worth of expression already you moron. Just saying you don't need to defend moddb like your life depends on it. You also need to realize that as commented earlier this has brought enormous amounts of publicity for both moddb and the mod makers.

+3 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 25 2011, 9:27am replied:

And that means what exactly? It doesn't matter how much or how often, but my expression is my expression. If you can't respect that, then you are a ******* hypocrite and have no business chiming into this story.

I find it funny that you are completely unable to actually comment on my critical and valid points. You just ignore it and talk about something else like it relates. Derp.

-2 votes     reply to comment
VítorCarvalho
VítorCarvalho Mar 25 2011, 6:34pm replied:

Who exactly are you calling a troll?

Who said they had to stand up the critics? They didn't even had to reply to the people who threatened them! They are not the ones who made the game... so they had no obligation whatsoever of answering for it...

On the other hand ModDB is a website that promotes mods! And it was a website chosen by the guys that made that mod, to promote it. And ModDB took it out because of some people complains...that's the same as saying 'Yep, this people that are ignorantly threating us (has if they were the makers of the mod) are right about it..this game should not be made'.
What warranties have you, I or anyone else that our mods are not going to be the next to be kicked out because of some complaints?? ModDB should have defended the Mod, not by replying to the threatens, but by allowing the mod to be shown here.

I can't be sure since I don't know who threatened ModDB, but my guess it that they are not attacking it because of its content but because of the media it is being made in! How many books and movies have been made based on real disasters?
9/11 anyone? Guess what it would happen if there was a game about it...but there does not seem to be any problem with films.

"If you cannot determine the difference between that and School Shooter, than really, there's nothing I can do for you." Don't try to be a smart ***. I never compared the games, and Extra Credis only used Six Days in Falluja as an example.
The point was that as soon as ModDB saw trouble, they bailed out! They left the thing they were supposed to promote(mods) at the mercy of the public that criticized it, and turned their backs on it.

+1 vote     reply to comment
closed-account
closed-account Mar 24 2011, 6:31am says:

I thought I'd chime in on this subject. Firstly as an active member of this community (more specifically IndieDB, though they are one and the same) I want to express that I agree with the actions taken by ModDB.

Many of us Indies and Mod teams have a LOT to benefit from the mainstream media through this website. It is clear that they visit this website, and must keep a tab on what is on the popular projects lists, as well as the more 'taboo' targets they can use their usual media ******** on.

Anyway, the point is that for those projects that show promise. This site offers the best outlet for FREE marketing. Thats something you can't get anywhere else. A lot of these projects here get featured on Joystiq, Kotaku, Rock Paper Shotgun, Etc. It would be a shame to lose those visitors due to one distasteful mod project which in all honesty was a blatant attempt at ******* a few people off. There are plenty of other places you can set a shooter. Schools should just not be one of them. If you fail to see why, then it's really not worth explaining to you.

+1 vote     reply to comment
closed-account
closed-account Mar 24 2011, 6:34am replied:

It's also worth noting that there are many other projects that could now suffer a similar fate. However I rest my trust in the community managers here to do what is right by the community, and to make the correct decisions with other projects on a term by term basis.

At the end of the day, ModDB doesn't want any hassle from inside or outside of the community. However I strongly believe that while videogame violence != real world violence. Theres no doubt that all types of entertainment media (movies, tv, games, etc.) have played their part in educating people on how to perform such acts, even if they were twisted individuals in the first place.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Freakydemon
Freakydemon Mar 24 2011, 4:20pm says:

Should have kept the mod, wasn't worth all this ******** imho.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Rawket
Rawket Mar 24 2011, 11:18pm says:

So people think MODDB is making school shooter and not checkerboard? How about you take down all the mods then, since they are all yours and not the developer's.

+4 votes     reply to comment
Prez
Prez Mar 25 2011, 3:34am says:

I've been a member here a long time, and all I have to say is this:

The above is an absolutely ******** excuse for an absolutely ******** move. So it's okay to host mods for the GTA series, a game in which the player can bludgeon innocent people to death for laughs, but not this? Gee -- hypocrite much?

I love moddb, and have been a huge supporter of you guys for years, as well as a cheerleader for many, many mods and modders, but this is the first time that I have EVER been ashamed to be associated with this site in any way shape or form. The way you caved here is absolutely abhorrent and frankly far less than I expected from such an established and well-run organization. Color me extremely disenfranchised; you guys have lost all credibility with me for this.

+5 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 25 2011, 9:21am replied:

Well then, Prez. Don't let the door hit your *** on the way out.

-4 votes     reply to comment
Prez
Prez Mar 25 2011, 3:17pm replied:

I'm not going anywhere and never said I was. Your immature and puerile response was unnecessary.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Rawket
Rawket Mar 25 2011, 10:41pm replied:

mop, you aint ****.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Prez
Prez Mar 25 2011, 3:15pm says:

I have put up a full response to Moddb's action in my blog: Moddb.com

+1 vote     reply to comment
anni
anni Apr 5 2011, 6:55am says:

I think it's just sad that a db with it's pure nature being that of information. To be so biased and not able to transcent the midle bamfack american influence. One day not even comments will be buried becase that is freedom and progress. It just needs a litle perseverance from the people that run this community, as if a community needs to be run by someone...

+1 vote     reply to comment
anonymous32675
anonymous32675 Apr 8 2011, 10:33pm says:

I'm kind of lost, WHY EXACTLY DO ADULTS want to play a video game in which they kill a bunch of kids in school? What "artistic" value does it have? How does this game really relate to freedom of speech? What moral or political point is this game making? NONE! It's really pathetic that people are even chastising MODdb for removing a game such as this. Would you really, as a NORMAL (stressing NORMAL) person, want it available or even play it if the media hadn't brought it to the attention of everyone else that lives outside? Did you really NEED it? With all the **** going on in the world today are you really going to condemn a company for no longer supplying ONE (repeat ONE< ONE< ONE) of the stupid video games available. I know there are many more games out there that allow you to kill, maim and decapitate in the luxury of your basement cave shut off from the outside world. Can't you just feverishly kill the adults on your box at home and leave the kids alone? I'm sure your "artistic" sensibilities will survive and the duct tape that you think has been placed around your mouth will soon disintegrate or your mom will pull it off for you.
I have one final question, at what point do YOU think a game has gone too far? (Judging by some of your blogs,,, never)

+3 votes     reply to comment
Otter.
Otter. Apr 10 2011, 1:39pm says:

Why are the people so over-the-top about defending this ****** mod?
"But it's Freedom of speech" bla-bla-bla If someone would kill your (emphasized: defenceless) loved ones and then some idiot trolls would make a game about it you would be ****** too. You are not catholic priests who would forgive so easily to the ones that hurt you, so stop acting like that. You are really just being hypocritical.

Look, take away all that school context, what do you get?
A boring fps shooter with stock textures, where all your goal is to shoot unarmed opponents for points which is outdated in games (besides puzzle games) since 1999 (or earlier) - Possibility of trolling? My troll-o-meter's indicator is so highly it broke. (Luckily it's there own time they are wasting developing it, this comment will just waste like a few minutes of my time.)

I mean I can do that to: I give a knife (reskined crowbar) to the player, make a "POW camp" like map, put in some random HL2 stock citizens in recoloured grey jumpsuits, put in that you can hurt civilians. BAM! You are now an SS Nazi soldier killing Jews in Auschwitz. AM I FAMOUS (INTERNET TROLL) NOWZ?

See? It's a sh*t mod, was a sh*t mod and will be a sh*t, that is only made for controversy without the least bit of human morals. And the moddb staff did well to cover there ***** by not letting those trolls ruin there good name. I approve of the deleting.
You can come back on me that: "Oh, but there are other games out there that are immoral. You kill in every fps game. WW2 games are immoral" and I would agree on some parts, still in a WW2 shooter the pixels/3d mashes still have a chance to kill you.

Just my (probably useless anyway) 2 cents.

+3 votes     reply to comment
anni
anni Apr 10 2011, 4:08pm says:

The point is freedom of speach because censorship is exercised with out letting the game be what it may. If you cant get it and you are still opinionated about the quality or gameplay value of the game then you have enjoyed more freedom in your life than you deserve. If the game is crap then it will do crap. I think its more than stupid and feel sorry for the guys that are waisting part of their lives making it, instead of trying to evolve and expand their minds. But thats my subjective opinion and usually people at a position of authority like the people that run this db use that power to supress in this case or in other cases to suport. Thats the problem. The filtering prossess that should not be happening here. It should be open ... You know... A community .... I think everyone can judge for themselves thank you very much....

+1 vote     reply to comment
spartan117ak
spartan117ak Apr 12 2011, 12:33am says:

Oh this is a total troll mode, made as a bet.
The creator has no sense of scale of what he has created.
And he never ever does his own interviews. Anything he says that isint a one word reply like ****** or dicks, was written by someone else, and is also complete ********.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Rawket
Rawket Apr 18 2011, 8:23pm says:

To be perfectly honest, this mod was for all intent and purposes to cause negative reaction to their mod. They weren't making an actual fun game or trying to convey a hidden meaning. It was made just to cause a media stir.

+2 votes     reply to comment
kulo0903
kulo0903 Apr 21 2011, 3:47am says:

I think you would be singing a very different tune if something ever happen to you like what happens in the content of this game. I understand your argument for freedom of speech, but it is absolutely appalling that you don't even question the content of the game itself. I know it will probably very hard for you, but try for second to put yourself in the shoes of a victim. It is beyond my understanding why anyone would ever want to play a game like this, never mind create it. The fact that it was made to get "reactions" is a ******** excuse, it may be true in the minds of the creators, but they are sick people.

+3 votes     reply to comment
softballguy
softballguy Apr 22 2011, 12:21am says:

I think you did a very courageous thing taking down this mod. This kind of trash shouldn't be hidden behind the 1st amendment and anyone bashing you for it needs to get out of the basement and get some sunlight and check out what's going on in the real world. Rock on boys and girls!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Megaema
Megaema May 9 2011, 3:30am says:

Hello my name is Emmanuel, i have a question about the game. I notice that was a game of bullying on internet, later i know the name, i ask where i can get this game because is for a university work about bullying. If you can give me a link for this game i´m grateful. Thanks and i waiting for your repply.

+1 vote     reply to comment
minmi96
minmi96 May 28 2011, 2:10am says:

you should have given them a chance to relase the mods content.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Videogamer555
Videogamer555 Sep 13 2011, 6:59am says:

The word "you" in this message refers to the entity/company known as ModDB. So when I say "you must repost this", I am speaking to the whole entity/company known as ModDB (not a specific employee, and not to any users of this site).

This MUST be reposted, not for me, not for my friend down the street, not even for the makers of the mode. It must be reposted for the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! When it was removed, the ONE THING that we hold most dear to us, the 1st Amendment of the US Constitution, the right to free speech, was trampled and and spat upon!!!!!

I don't care how many threats you got from people. Heck, I don't care if someone hated you so much that they actually carried out their threat and murdered the CEO of the ModDB company. There are some things that are worth dying for, and the freedom of speech is one of them!!!!!!!!!!!

-1 votes     reply to comment
Videogamer555
Videogamer555 Sep 13 2011, 7:00am says:

You caved in to stop the harassment you say? Truth is YOU HAD NO RIGHT TO GIVE IN TO THAT DEMAND! The US Constitution, the greatest law in the land, FORBIDS YOU from giving in to such a demand. Violating free speech is literally a FEDERAL CRIME due to what the US Constitution says! Yes those people have the right to make those demands, as they too are protected by the US Constitution. However because of the US Constitution you are obligated to NOT give in to those demands.

I, as a true believer in free speech am SERIOUSLY considering issuing a law suit against you, but not taking you to civil court, but rather DIRECTLY to the US Supreme Court, which is the court DIRECTLY responsible for enforcing the US Constitution. I wouldn't even need to spend money on a lawyer. The only thing I would need to pursue such a case against you is the knowledge that the US Constitution protects free speech. You can hire all the lawyers you want to try to protect your decision to remove this mod from the site, however all this legal defense won't negate the fact that the US Constitution protects free speech nor will it negate the fact that your actions are trampling on this free speech. The Supreme Court would (as they are following the US Constitution) have no choice but to find you guilty of violating the 1st Amendment right of free speech, and demand that you place the mod back on your site, under threat that if you don't, your CEO would be charged with the federal crime of obstructing the right of free speech!!!!!!!!

-1 votes     reply to comment
The_Enlightened_One
The_Enlightened_One Oct 23 2011, 7:35pm says:

Is understood that it takes a lot of time energy and focus into creating a new mod or video game from scratch or with help from others. I think the reasons for this creation was intended for creating a more unique mod that would capture attention on sight either for people to download and simply play, another reason could be to just simply bring a newer almost looked down on subject to find the responses to a touchy matter. Either way its art, its something to play and enjoy for whatever reason. I know if i played a game like this it wouldn't make me want to go around shooting random kids in the face around town lol just the same as GTA. I find it funny; because its FICTION. I think the officials just care about the drama, and news coverage and blah blah blah about it for selfish reasons, or because their mind isnt working correctly. No on should assume anything, or jump to conclusions period. That's wrong.

0 votes     reply to comment
AlphaBetaPlayer
AlphaBetaPlayer Nov 26 2011, 2:37pm says:

Nobody gets upset about mods where you shoot random npc_citizens, until- OH MY GOD. THE MAP IS A SCHOOL MAP. Now it is controversial. So, you removed an entertaining mod, because the map resembles a building where students go to learn things. If anybody reads this comment, and you have a link to the mod, can you send it to me?
Thanks.
(TardDB)

-1 votes     reply to comment
Jason187781
Jason187781 Dec 21 2011, 3:37am says:

ModDb is well within it's rights to take down what it decides is inappropriate. I have never heard of the mod but can only imagine what it's content involves. It's definitly bad taste and can only assume at this point that it not a valued entry. I have checked out the youtube vids and to be honest what I can find isn't that offensive visually.

I too beleive in free speech and content but where do you draw the line? Nersery School Shooter!!! Baby killer!!! Kiddy capture!!! are you saying those should be allowed because it's a constitutional right?

I am afraid it went too far....

We are all responsible in protecting the integrity of modding in general, If you feel it acceptable to produce these mods then you are damaging the scene. Creating cheap controversial mods just for hits is in bad taste.

That's my opinion.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Bob_Freeman2
Bob_Freeman2 Dec 21 2011, 7:35am says:

@Otter aye your right

+1 vote     reply to comment
Prototype458
Prototype458 Dec 27 2011, 9:49pm says:

you know whats funny about this there are so many games that have maps with schools inside and they shoot in those schools so question why is the name school shooter not allowed is it because of the name school shooter that it isnt allowed or is it of the content that is kinda the same as any game out there if i was the person making this mod i would not care what other people would say about it either take it or leave it if they dont take it i place it somewhere else for people if they remove it wel im not the type that allows you to remove like stuff for practicly no reason so in most cases i wil reupload it until you accept it i would not care if i get banned or thrown into jail for some stupid reason yea its "school shooter" people wil try to do it in real life wel on that i have to say action shows blood every action game shows murders because a person plays a bloody murderes game doesnt mean they wil go nuts and attack everybody most times the people that play these games are the ones that wil never do it and the persons that dont are most likely murderers not saying everybody that dont play killing games are all murderers but you get my point and for some people killing games kinda helps calm them down worked sometimes for me not that i ever want to kill somebody but i would say complete the mod whatever the other people are saying about it if they dont want it its fine for me and the other players that wil play the mod

+1 vote     reply to comment
Smoth
Smoth Jan 11 2012, 6:24pm says:

FWIW, I think you guys made the right decision.

+1 vote     reply to comment
K00PD4WG
K00PD4WG Oct 10 2012, 8:50pm says:

Somedays I wish the mainstream community could take these jokes less seriously...

0 votes     reply to comment
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