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 438)
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 Staff
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
TheOneandOnly Mar 19 2011, 10:34am says:

If anyone wants me I'll be playing Medal Of Honour as a member of the Waffen SS. What? Medal of Honour has an entry on this site? Don't be ridiculous, that'd be a complete self-contradiction, it can't be true...

-2 votes     reply to comment
card176 Mar 19 2011, 10:35am says:

Man I do not get why people are so angry? Sure this is about "freedom of speech" or something like that, but there is a line and the mod crossed it. Sure i can easily understand why people are angry, but come on people! All this arguing for something like this is STUPID. However this is my opinion, good day people.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Commissar1032 Mar 19 2011, 10:36am says:

Frankly there is a difference between freedom of speech and expression and then being just ****** up.

+3 votes     reply to comment
ytres Mar 20 2011, 1:45am replied:

Yea, but how can you tell the difference and who the **** is going to decide that?

+1 vote     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 10:40am says:

IMO it was a terrible quality mod to begin with. It used way too many stock assets. No actual design implementation was shown other than a ho-hum shooting gallery just about anyone with a little bit of experience in Hammer could do. Why this was getting controversy...I don't know. You're not shooting kids, you're shooting HL2 scientists and rebels with a terrible, terrible re-creation of a selection of modern weapons.

This mod was nothing but an attention-seeking mod to show how messed up people are. If you disagreed with their principle, you were also a target by people making real threats against them over a mod. That's exactly why the posted reactions on the main page of the mod, because they wanted to show how knee-jerky people can be, but they didn't consider everyone else but them.

Sure, ModDB pulling the mod is a knee-jerk reaction, but it's one they had the ultimate right to do. Intense (contrary to popular belief) isn't censoring, just is not allowing them to use the already established paths to achieve it. They are welcome to create their own domain and promote their work that way.

+5 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 10:51am says:

@card (my ******* self didn't comment correctly).

Freedom of speech doesn't exist on a privately-owned website; it does not and cannot apply. We can say all we want, but in the end, Intense and the rest of the ModDB crew are actually partially responsible for our actions.

+4 votes     reply to comment
mollemannen Mar 19 2011, 11:18am replied:

Another person who haven't got it. They state that they support freedom of speech while removing a mod, breaking the freedom of speech. The error lies not in that they have opinions and strategies but that they even mention freedom of speech as a way to calm people who might be making mods or games with controversial content that isn't illegal in any way shape or form.

Yes the mod were a controversial way of getting attention which included graphical violence that people are describing as disgusting, unnecessary and outright wrong and the makers of this site has every reason, based on their opinions and morals, to remove the content from their website but they are not allowed claim supporting freedom of speech which they just have breached.

0 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 11:40am replied:

You're freedom of speech ends where mine begins. The fact that ModDB itself received messages and threats is where it entered ModDB's domain.

+2 votes     reply to comment
mollemannen Mar 19 2011, 12:04pm replied:

No because freedom of speech is not a personal occurrence, it is not relative. what you describe is an opinion. Again, moddbs decision to remove this mod was based on moddbs opinions and morals (the thinking it would harm the community) not freedom of speech.

+1 vote     reply to comment
ronisaurus Mar 19 2011, 10:58am says:

To the press: This is what happens when you are sh*t out of ideas that could make your audience raise an eyebrow towards your worthless stories - you put the stuff into limelight which you really shouldn't. You are probably beyond the line of being concerned about ethics, truthfulness, justice and the like. You go for it in hopes of getting your daily dose of attention - very much like a child that was ignored by its parents in its younger age. What else can i say? Go sit on dry corn in a corner b*tches :)

To the ones that blame: Well done. Pointing your fingers at others than yourselves, your own nature and your societies in attempt of relieving yourselves of the disturbing sense of guilt due to your fellow people's mistakes - now seems to have worked. Yet the truth won't change. This is how we humans are. We dominate this planet because of the insane spectrum of capabilities to love and hate, to create and destroy and also to manipulate and to be manipulated. You yourself are no exception and had you been put into the shoes of a newborn baby that was going to become one of the school shooters - you probably would have gone down the exact same road. Because you would have received the same mindset in the process of getting there. Because you would've had the same genome to work with. Because your surroundings would've taught you the exact same things. Pointing fingers helps you evade those thoughts, and instead of looking the devil straight in the eye, you just run from reality, run from yourselves and you will ultimately fail to comprehend the lessons which you could've learned from the terrible and expensive mistakes of the said shooters. You may now reason with bullsh*t against this and go back to playing possum, but we all know - what was put down here is pretty damn close to the truth :)

To the makers: Bored much?

0 votes     reply to comment
thedeepkiss Mar 19 2011, 11:25am says:

Mod Database has failed in supporting the mod community as a whole. Your self-censorship has limited this site to the tastes of the vocal few.

If you have controversial material in here, you could have simply slapped on a huge disclaimer and warning for its contents. This is no longer a database as the name implies.

-2 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 11:37am replied:

You're free to click the X if ModDB is becoming a place that you don't support anymore. That's the beauty of the free Internet. You can still get all of the mods you want (albiet, probably not as easily), and you don't have to interface with a website in which you believe has failed the community. If the majority do actually believe what you assert, ModDB and Desura will fail.

+3 votes     reply to comment
ProspectGames Mar 19 2011, 12:35pm replied:

"Mod Database has failed in supporting the mod community as a whole."

Mate are you sure you thought this one out? Failed in supporting the community, really? Do you know where you are right now?

+3 votes     reply to comment
anonymous32675 May 2 2011, 12:03am replied:

Last I checked this wasn't the only mod they have on here.
But if you really NEED it, go elsewhere to get it. I'm sure they'll survive without you.
But from what I here, it's crap to begin with.
Guess now after all the publicity it's a must have. Now people are probably willing to pay alot to play. Talk about capitalism!

+1 vote     reply to comment
Post a Comment
click to sign in

You are not logged in, your comment will be anonymous unless you join the community today (totally free - or sign in with your social account on the right) which we encourage all contributors to do.

2000 characters limit; HTML formatting and smileys are not supported - text only

Report Abuse
Report article
Related Mods
School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 (Half-Life 2)
School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 Half-Life 2 - Single Player First Person Shooter
Related Games
Half-Life 2
Half-Life 2 Single & Multiplayer First Person Shooter
Related Groups
Checkerboarded Studios
Checkerboarded Studios Developer & Publisher with 5 members
ModDB Official group with 3,927 members