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  (250 - 300 of 460)
Dušek
Dušek Mar 19 2011, 7:05pm replied:

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
Hezus
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: Checkerboarded.com

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 ( Escapistmagazine.com ) 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
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
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
JohnnyMaverik Mar 19 2011, 12:48pm replied:

I'm not a capitalist.

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

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

+1 vote     reply to comment
TheOneandOnly
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
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
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
InSovietRussia
InSovietRussia 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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
Hamtaro
Hamtaro Mar 19 2011, 11:28am says:

Seems like threats are the way to get anything you want these days. Sad...

+1 vote     reply to comment
CovertChaos
CovertChaos Mar 19 2011, 11:54am says:

Indeed it is.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Spiritlol
Spiritlol Mar 19 2011, 11:55am says:

I have to admit that I have not read through all the comments on the page on this post so if I have repeated anyone's views I apologize. I am also going to try to be adult as possible about this

Regardless of the mods content I do believe this is a low blow to freedom of expression and the right people to create what they believe needs to be created. I also find that the website known as a great host to this content is the one who caved first to the reactions of others some of whom do not know anything to do with gaming in the first place.

However this will not affect my opinion of moddb in anyway or change how I have used it and will continue to use it. It is understandable why you have done this and while I and what looks like many others disagree with you I find it a totally respectable decision for the fact that you knew that by satisfying one side the other would retort.

Everyone here who believes that this was the wrong choice and is demanding the mod be re-opened and those who are insulting the media and others who supported the decision while expected moddb to be tolerant are being absolutely hypocritical. This is a time where we must tolerate moddb decision, and for the years I have browsed this website it is the first that I have ever disagreed with. Don't let this break the community.

+4 votes     reply to comment
AJ_Quick
AJ_Quick Mar 19 2011, 12:08pm says:

I don't think this is gonna do much for moddb's image in the long run. The folks who emailed you won't suddenly stop hating on moddb / video games, because they genuinely still think video games are subversive murder simulators and that moddb is a cesspool, School shooter mod or no. All it has really shown is that pressure groups can get w.e they want, if they moan load enough.

And for the record, the mod did look pretty crap, but I probably would have downloaded it at some point to see what all the fuss was about. I'm a sheep like that : ) baaaa

+3 votes     reply to comment
Nilghai
Nilghai Mar 19 2011, 12:17pm says:

You guys made they exact right decision on this one!

+2 votes     reply to comment
Pawnstick
Pawnstick Mar 19 2011, 12:18pm says:

Thanks, the people who made those mods were *******!

+4 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 12:27pm replied:

You're loving this whole 4-page+ discussion stemming from your little experiment, aren't you?

+5 votes     reply to comment
Pawnstick
Pawnstick Mar 19 2011, 12:39pm replied:

I don't know who you are, but you seem like a total *******.

0 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 12:42pm replied:

Well, thanks. Coming from you, that's a pretty big compliment.

+3 votes     reply to comment
DuckSauce
DuckSauce Mar 19 2011, 2:02pm replied:

Hilarious how you got people to + vote the one who's been making the **** they're hating on. Well played on that, I give you that.

+2 votes     reply to comment
TeddyLeach
TeddyLeach Mar 19 2011, 12:32pm says:

Hmm, wasn't Jack Thompson banned from practicing law? Or was that in only a certain state? My American Law is a little rusty.

+1 vote     reply to comment
Khameli
Khameli Mar 19 2011, 12:39pm says:

well da, who the hell is even doing that kind of sick mod... right choice from moddb to delete it, i dont get it why in hell would some1 even think of making mod like that... those who think this is "freedom of speech" should try to undertstand how it feels to loose some1 in that kind of tragedy.. and if he/she cant, then his as twisted as those shooters

0 votes     reply to comment
Lazy6pyro
Lazy6pyro Mar 19 2011, 12:41pm replied:

He's three comments above you, named Pawnstick. He's just trolling all of you and ModDB. TBH: I give the website another update before I can't find any more avenues to troll and let's it die a successful troll mod.

+3 votes     reply to comment
Jimo
Jimo Mar 19 2011, 12:42pm says:

I don't understand why you would make a game which you KNEW would give you flak and then cave when you get flak. If that was going to happen why even make it in the first place??

-4 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 19 2011, 6:57pm replied:

ModDB didn't make the game. They have no association with the game; they don't endorse it; don't host it. The Checkerboard leaches were only using the already popular avenues of ModDB to promote their work, and ModDB was getting caught in the middle of the fire-fight.

+2 votes     reply to comment
DrThompson
DrThompson Mar 19 2011, 12:45pm says:

ITT: Internet Arguments

+2 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 19 2011, 12:48pm replied:

ITT: Pawnstick trolling all. +9001 Internets and all teh PUDDI to Pawnstick.

0 votes     reply to comment
DougBailey
DougBailey Mar 19 2011, 12:56pm buried:

(buried)

INtense! is an arm-chair communist liberal queer loving abortion doctor. He talks about how much he "looooves" freedom of speech and then BAM he takes it away from Mr. Stick. You sicken me. You cave because a bunch of whiny baby liberals e-mail you about how they are still sad about Columbine - NEWS FLASH: IT HAPPENED 10 YEARS AGO. NOBODY REALLY CARES ANYMORE.

Sounds like he just got trolled into denying a user from expressing his rights through his mod database system.

You heard it here first folks: INtense! hates video gamers.

-9 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 19 2011, 1:01pm replied:

Sorry Doug but my troll-O-meter is ready terribly low. You've got to try again if you want to reach Pawnstick and Weev status. Audience, should we give DougBailey another shot?

+3 votes     reply to comment
DougBailey
DougBailey Mar 19 2011, 1:08pm buried:

(buried)

As a close personal friend of Pawnstick and lead modeler for School Schooter: Source, I feel like I have a clearer perspective than you on the matter at hand... seeing as I am directly involved... Please log out and stop responding before you embarrass yourself further Mr. "Pop."

Anyways my best friend Pawnstick was never contacted regarding the removal of SS:S, not at the e-mail he used to register the mod or any other e-mail for that matter.

http://gyazo.com/56715f5afcef86a0cf46affefa4e93a8.png

-6 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 19 2011, 1:10pm replied:

Oh snap, you're not Anonymous any more! Update your site!!!!! GOGOGOGO

Mark my words Doug Bailey. You made a big mistake associating your name with this mod.

+2 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 19 2011, 1:17pm replied:

Now, please release the mod on Rapidshare. I will then proceed to totaly re-do your work, and give you, Doug Bailey, all the credit as I shop around for Oprah and the other REAL big stories. You wanted to be an Internet sensation: you got it.

+2 votes     reply to comment
DougBailey
DougBailey Mar 19 2011, 1:17pm replied:

I have a PlayStation 3 and I LOVE IT!!!

-2 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 19 2011, 1:26pm replied:

Why weren't you man enough to associate your name with the mod originally? Only when your precisions little secret is trampled is when you let the cat out of the bag.

+2 votes     reply to comment
Henley
Henley Mar 19 2011, 11:41pm replied:

I.imgur.com sure you wasnt

+4 votes     reply to comment
moppop
moppop Mar 20 2011, 12:06am replied:

In b4 the 'Shopped accusations come flying out

+3 votes     reply to comment
version15
version15 Mar 19 2011, 10:24pm replied:

What an idiot... but nice try dougbailey.

+2 votes     reply to comment
FuzzyMcDoodle
FuzzyMcDoodle Mar 19 2011, 12:58pm says:

Good job, there is a point when things go to far and don't do any good. This mod will not be missed by many, and certainly not by me.

+4 votes     reply to comment
InSovietRussia
InSovietRussia Mar 19 2011, 1:16pm replied:

You sound hypocritical.

0 votes     reply to comment
JBJF14
JBJF14 Mar 19 2011, 1:10pm says:

Wow, epic trolling. I think the decision to remove this mod was the correct one. Allow me to quote the terms of use
"ModDB moderators retain the right to remove any content from personal and gaming profiles in breach of the above and will deal with the member responsible in the manner they deem necessary."
In creating accounts, games, mods, etc... you as ModDB account.. people, have agreed to this terms of use. DEAL WITH IT!

+3 votes     reply to comment
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