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  (200 - 250 of 454)
X_Space_Balls_X Mar 19 2011, 8:27am says:

Bravo Moddb. Not allowing this game on moddb site has nothing to do with infringing on someone else's freedom of speech. What about moddb's right to freedom of speech and 1st amendment. What if there was a game where you were a pedophile, and you went around raping little boys against their will with baseball bats. Would that be ok too?

If I own a store, and don't want a certain product sold at my store, I have the right not to put it on the shelf. The administrators of this community also have their own freedoms and rights, and they dont need garbage like this ruining their good name. Thank you moddb for doing what is right, it is your right. I have a hard time believing someone would defend this game and these mentally ill developers. How far have we fallen?

+2 votes     reply to comment
Slevo Mar 19 2011, 8:40am buried:


excuse me but this game has nothing to do with pedophilia so keep your sick fantasies to yourself.

This is a game about killing half life 2 citizens and is by no way bad :/

Damn i mean if this is bad counter strike is promoting TERRORISM that **** is serious QUICK mod db another publicity cry for attention Ban Counterstrike it creates Terrorism and teaches people to plant bombs at bomb sites and use AK47's to gun down law enforcement

-7 votes     reply to comment
thunderising Mar 19 2011, 8:43am says:

Closing it was one thing, but closing it saying you didn't want to publicize it and then stupidly make this post, in effect publicizing the mod,

not a bad move ModDB., It's a STUPID Move.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Metalspy Mar 19 2011, 8:43am says:

Well I'm kind of neutral here I think, but to be honest I'm getting quite tired of the modding community these days. ModDB and Crymod are my main modding sites and the last months most people were acting like kids and overreacting. What's up with all this anger (or hate even)?

ModDB decided to remove this mod from their site, which is as far as I know the first time this happens, with good reasons. It would've been nice if they hadn't removed the mod to show the press and the ignorant mass the middle finger but it's their site, their decision.. just deal with it :s It's not like they owe you something.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Slevo Mar 19 2011, 8:46am buried:


If intense was seriously removing the game becuase of threats etc HE WOULD OF DONE IT QUIETLY instead he is TROLLING and making everyone Emotional About it

HE WANTS attention in other words

This is very different from deleting the game quietly. If he did that i would put my hat down to him and say Good work you cut the so called problem from the source

It wont be taken further.. But what he has done here is worse

-8 votes     reply to comment
Henley Mar 19 2011, 8:47am says:

This has turned out to be quite an interesting discussion. However I do wish to make my statements made, while I have been a staff member on this site (going on 4 years now) I have seen a whole manner of different mods and indie games coming and going both good and bad. The mod in question was always on my radar, we never supported the mods design decisions to me personally it has always been teetering on the edge of being removed since day one. The only thing that kept it on the site was that tingly little feeling at the back on my skull saying "you do not have the right to decide this mods future, it is purely existing within ModDB nothing bad has come of it being here".

Since the escapistmagazine news post while we were over at GDC 2011 the mod has been getting coverage elsewhere, while no one was paying any mind to where the mod was hosted we where recently contacted by a member of a news outlet that had no interest in covering the mod as a game, but more as "look at how evil this thing is" (no words were said like that but being gamers ourselves its kinda hard not to see the true intentions).

+5 votes     reply to comment
Henley Mar 19 2011, 8:47am replied:

Myself and the rest of the staff agreed that while the subject was indeed taboo and the content was developed with the intention to shock, it was really not work risking everything we have built over these past 9 or so years ModDB has been around. Regardless of what you might think we decided to distance ourselves from this potentially dangerous situation. We are a very small company, we have 4 fulltime staff members 2 part time and a handful of volunteers. I spend more time on this site, building it up, managing the content and making sure the site runs as well as it can then most of you would care to know about. The same goes for the original creator the person who wrote this news post, its his whole life.

So freedom of speech, its whatever you want to say, however you want to say it. We do support it, saying otherwise would make us just another blog who pick and choose what to show and when to show it. We do need to make exceptions to this rule, I deny a whole lot of mods daily but never on content or quality.

But your ModDB you don't need to answer to ANYBODY. We do answer to people, and they are all of you guys. We could have just removed the mod, we didn't, we decided to tell you all why, we felt you all deserved to know. And just like anybody else out there if your game/mod/pride and joy/child whatever was going to be in any sort of trouble you would without fail do your best to make sure that nothing will happen to it. While that's overly dramatic of me to say its how I feel.

+7 votes     reply to comment
Henley Mar 19 2011, 8:47am replied:

If you do not agree with our decision that is perfectly fine, you are within your right to complain as some of you have, we did what we felt needed to be done, at the expense of 9 years of trust for some of you it seems, so be it. We will just have to build it up again over the next 9 years. As we grow we will develop better solutions to problems like this, maybe we could even be that site that will fight for every injustice being served to the gaming community. But we are a small team, looking after what seems a very large majority of developers projects and histories.

I think we can take the hit, even if it is only just once.

+6 votes     reply to comment
ProspectGames Mar 19 2011, 9:01am replied:

"I think we can take the hit, even if it is only just once. "

While there are quite a few people who disagree with your desicion I don't think you are going to lose much support. This site is so incredibly useful and to hear it is manned by such a small team is a suprise and helps me to understand your desicion a lot more. I've made all the points I think I can make and this news post has created a really good and mostly civil discussion.

I've been using moddb for years now so thank you for running it so well and I will continue to support in whatever way I can.

+3 votes     reply to comment
thunderising Mar 19 2011, 11:05am replied:

@ modDB guys.

what many of us mean is, WHY THE HELL did you PUBLICIZE that mod so largely by MAKING THIS POST?

Do you know, more poeple have commented and read about THE MOD you REMOVED than most other mods in the database. all thanks to you..

'nuff said

+2 votes     reply to comment
Range_Finder Mar 19 2011, 11:35am replied:

Are you saying that the level of angry response seen here wouldn't have been matched if they had removed the mod covertly and said nothing? Because i think if they had then the only difference would be that people would be complaining that the mod had been removed without any notification that it had.

+2 votes     reply to comment
rellik_pt Mar 19 2011, 8:57am says:

first time i dont aprove what you did moddb. shame on you

-2 votes     reply to comment
Scriabin Mar 19 2011, 9:01am says:

Lol, Moddb was bullied by a group of old women into removing something controversial. Ever wonder how far ahead the West would be if it weren't for Christian ethics?

-1 votes     reply to comment
w0dk4 Mar 19 2011, 9:27am says:

There is absolutely no reason to defend disgusting and inhuman shooters as part of "freedom of speech". This is a privately run website and if I would run it, the mod would've never been published here in the first place. Why? Because I think you should have certain values represented here. I felt very uncomfortable being on this platform that also hosts ******** like this.

I have one question for all you freedom of speech hypocrits: Why dont you allow porn when you do want to allow inhuman, distasteful ego shooters?
Oh sure, because we have to protect the children from the oh so evil natural thing called sex. Get back to the hypocratic value system of the US where you're not allowed to say "F U C K" on television but can see children being slaughtered in the afternoon program as part of a random war or horror movie. Open your eyes!

0 votes     reply to comment
Metalspy Mar 19 2011, 9:34am replied:

Plus porn is against the terms of use ;) This mod doesn't seem to directly violate those terms, although the ToU state that the staff has the right to remove stuff they feel is inappropriate. I doubt people even read the ToU when they joined the site though :P

+2 votes     reply to comment
Metalspy Mar 19 2011, 2:44pm replied:

Lol this got negative karma? Seriously? Wth.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Torabi Mar 19 2011, 9:32am says:

I hate the mainstream media. They don't know jack **** and instantly start assuming things.

Still, I do not care for that school shooter mod. The people behind it should find something better to do.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Slevo Mar 19 2011, 9:33am buried:


I think if most of you can feel the developers of this mod trying to be different and test the boundaries we should all Host this Mod in a part of our sites

I have sent them a message asking them to give me the Privilege to host their game with games i work on and made on my Site

I'm sure 90% of you game developers have your own Paid sites Support the right for freedom us developers have by supporting a team which is obviously being tormented by the cry's and Yelps of whaling old women.

1 mans actions does not justify the word of many, which he claims to speak for.

-7 votes     reply to comment
BillyJBarter Mar 19 2011, 9:35am says:

It's not fair that Moddb were being blamed for the game instead of the rightful creaters, I understand them for shutting it down. I've had to close things down not because I had to cave into my own principals, but because of the harm it was doing to others around me. If people are too short sighted to see that, then that's their problem.

+4 votes     reply to comment
FW:ToW_Sushi Mar 19 2011, 9:36am says:

I agree and stand behind this decision 100%.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Mobius89 Mar 19 2011, 9:54am says:

Just popping up to say that, following this "accident", there should be a serious policy about the content of mods. Modders should know in advance what they can do, and what they can't.

Also, but this is more a matter of pure curiosity here, I would like to know if the team working on that mod had a "don't do this at home" approach during development.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Mobius89 Mar 19 2011, 9:56am replied:

Useless to say that I dislike the way ModDB has been related to said mod. Whoever visits this site should know that.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Metalspy Mar 19 2011, 10:21am replied:

I don't believe the mod was remove because of the content, but because of the negative publicity the content caused.

+2 votes     reply to comment
SPTX Mar 19 2011, 9:57am says:

So we have moddb and indiedb... Why not open R18db ?

0 votes     reply to comment
u-raptor Mar 19 2011, 10:01am says:

good, it is a good thing you stopped that, there may be freedom of speech, but that was waaay over what is 'ok'. I mean really, a school shooter is just? Come on, that is just wrong, very wrong.

+3 votes     reply to comment
JohnnyMaverik Mar 19 2011, 10:11am replied:

Then don't play it, ignore it like a sensible adult deciding something just isn't for them. People don't need protecting, they have common sense.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Slevo Mar 19 2011, 11:35am replied:

you have no right to tell me what is right and wrong thats your belief not everyone else's,

That is a good example of the right everyone has. Your beliefs are completely different from anyone elses :/

-4 votes     reply to comment
Swaggletooth Mar 19 2011, 11:43am replied:

"you have no right to tell me what is right and wrong thats your belief not everyone else's"

You really are a moron. Can you really use that same logic to defend theft, rape or murder?

+3 votes     reply to comment
anonymous32675 May 1 2011, 11:28pm replied:

You just provided an excellent example as to why people get freaked out by mods like this.

+1 vote     reply to comment
DaBigFatCow Mar 19 2011, 10:05am says:

There is freedom of speech but then there is crossing the line. Just think people a mod where you go around shooting up schools? Really? If that is not crossing the line then something is wrong in your heads.

I love more mature games like Gears of War, The Darkness, GTA, Call of Duty and Assassins Creed but a shooting up a school mod simply is not right.

I think what Modb did here was the right course of action. If the developers really feel that their mod should continue they should take it somewhere else. It's Modb's website and they should be able to do whatever they want with it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
TrashCan-Man23 Mar 19 2011, 2:40pm replied:

so you're saying it's cool to shoot up a bunch of innocent people walking on the streets in grand theft auto, but it's not cool if its in a school setting?

God damn ******* hypocrite.

-2 votes     reply to comment
JohnnyMaverik Mar 19 2011, 10:09am says:

How was this a threat to moddb? Newgrounds get slagged off by confused mainstream press now and again, never did it any harm, quite the opposite in fact, and the people who use this site know you don't make the content that's hosted here, so we're hardly guna stop using it because there's a distasteful mod hosted.

I say put it back up, it has a right to be here.

-3 votes     reply to comment
moppop Mar 19 2011, 1:07pm replied:

Since we are making up rights, you also have the right to know your role and shut your mouth.

+2 votes     reply to comment
JohnnyMaverik Mar 20 2011, 12:37am replied:

I find it shocking that ModDB is willing to spend time pulling down mods, but not users like you. This place quite often turns into a cesspit of sheer rudeness and petulant idiocy. If you don't have a constructive, dialectic response, don't respond.

I don't know why I'm bothering really, ModDB is a great tool for the modding community, and the modding community is great, the ModDB community however is a pile of crap. A bunch of 13 year olds throwing around insults they've only just learned and generally resembling a badly behaved primary school class.

Please grow up ModDB community, we're allowed to disagree with each other with out it sparking a bunch of flaming and general bad feeling.

+1 vote     reply to comment
moppop Mar 20 2011, 12:46am replied:

Oh I love it how you make me the whole entire ModDB community. You're a funny guy.

You mean statements from one of the creators of the mod in question: "INtense! is an arm-chair communist liberal queer loving abortion doctor"
"Thanks, the people who made those mods were *******!"
"You know why you haven't received any response? Because you haven't sent an email yet, *******."

Are these not insults, too? But, yet, they don't count because of "freedom of speech"? Funny how that is, no? Funny, how much you're willing to put up with because they didn't respond to your comment.

Again, you want freedom; you also must allow freedom for me to post. It's a two-way street.

+1 vote     reply to comment
JohnnyMaverik Mar 20 2011, 8:22am replied:

I haven't read his comments and if he has been saying things like that, he's in the wrong as well.

As for the ModDB community, looking at the recent uproar over a mod team daring to go commercial (indie... so it's hardly selling out) and countless posts there which were even less inventive, and even more insulting than "you also have the right to know your role and shut your mouth." I was using your original response as a typical example of the ModDB community, not you personally, since you're above response is pleasingly and surprisingly well formulated, articulate, and I take some of your points, as I have now scanned down the page an seen one of the posts from the author that you were talking about.

So yea, fair enough, and now I'm done with this thread... it's all getting too confusing and I simply don't care enough.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Heaney Mar 19 2011, 10:14am buried:


Typical Americans.

You preach freedom of speech and expression, but the second you are threatened you forget all of that and cave in.

-9 votes     reply to comment
Henley Mar 19 2011, 10:18am replied:

None of the staff is American...

+11 votes     reply to comment
Tatsur0 Mar 19 2011, 12:34pm replied:

I lol'd and woke my son after reading that. Was gonna say "Americans?" heh wifes waking up now to kick my *** :P TY

+4 votes     reply to comment
Rawket Mar 24 2011, 11:26pm replied:

the Australicans are tricky bastards.

+1 vote     reply to comment
meazum Mar 19 2011, 10:16am says:

Jesus Christ you people it was a ****** troll mod, who cares if it's gone? You don't have to rebel just because you have the right to rebel, it's iNtense!'s god damn site.

+5 votes     reply to comment
ltfuller Mar 19 2011, 10:18am says:

To quote Evelyn Beatrice Hall

“I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,"

You see it is easy to sway to the pressure of public opinion and give in to what seems PC. But it is the very essence of freedom that is cut when creativity (no matter how distasteful) is stifle.

Because eventually the shifting sands of public opinion might change and what you create might not be acceptable in the eyes of others and what will you do... principles are easy to believe in but hard to live up to.

I' m reminded of Martin Niemöllers notes,

First they came for the communists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a communist.

Then they came for the trade unionists,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a trade unionist.

Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak out because I wasn't a Jew.

Then they came for me
and there was no one left to speak out for me.

-1 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 10:59am replied:

MoDB isn't a government, and has nowhere near the power of a government. It's, simply-put, a well-known and privately-owned website. Here's why the Martin notes have zero relation: ModDB relies on the popularity to survive as a platform and a website. If they start shooing away a bunch of people that they disagree with, it is only in their own worst interested. They can't capture you; can't imprison you; can't kill you. If no one is left at ModDB, the website will simply die and we will all move on with our lives.

+6 votes     reply to comment
open_sketchbook Mar 19 2011, 5:28pm replied:

Also, Godwin's Law.

-1 votes     reply to comment
Dušek Mar 19 2011, 7:05pm replied:

Godwin's law is about Hitler. Nobody mentioned Hitler.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Hezus Mar 19 2011, 10:21am says:

Regardless of "Freedom of Speech" or "controversy", has anyone actually looked at the MOD's website? Well, here it is:

Look at it and see if you can honestly say that this isn't an attention-seeking troll? He probably tipped off the media himself to get the word out. If you read the interviews ( ) you can easily gather what this is all about.

And now ModDB's community is fighting and breaking up over this. Face it, the troll fooled us all. He's laughing at all of you.

+2 votes     reply to comment
JohnnyMaverik Mar 19 2011, 10:25am replied:

I don't care if he was a troll or not, the mod didn't need to be pulled down, and shouldn't have been pulled down.

-3 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 10:47am replied:

That's the great thing about being a capitalist. Now, YOU can host him. Intense or ModDB have zero obligation to maintain the hosting of any mod; I don't think you get that. THEY built ModDB from scratch to what it is, with the leaches at Checkerboard were using to spread their propaganda.

+4 votes     reply to comment
JohnnyMaverik Mar 19 2011, 12:48pm replied:

I'm not a capitalist.

-1 votes     reply to comment
moppop Mar 20 2011, 12:51am replied:

That kind of means you don't support individual freedom.

+1 vote     reply to comment
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