Fucking no! Too far? NEVER!
Well… maybe… this one is pretty bad. I was recently made aware of a Half-Life 2 source mod that has been generating a huge amount of controversy for its “sick” subject matter. School Shooter: North American Tour 2012 is a first-person-shooter in which the goal is to get angry, pack heat, and shoot up a school full of innocent civilians.
Is it tasteless? Yes. Is it offensive? Undoubtedly. Is it downright fucked up? Oh hell yes! I may just have to download this… JUST AS A PROFESSIONAL CURIOSITY THAT IT *Cough*
According to The Escapist, the only thing School Shooter has done successfully is to offend everyone. I’m afraid to say that in this alleged achievement, the developers have failed, for I (or we, because I’m sure my associates are interested too) am/are not phased in the least. In fact, I applaud the gall of the people in charge.
I like dark humor and I enjoy tasteless fun. I loved Postal many years ago when it first came out. I love dark humor. When I was wee high to a piss-ant (young) I used to watch MASH. For being so young, I believe that set me up to enjoy dark humor that makes light of death, though balanced with respect. I can understand how some people would find this horrific. Many people have been directly effected by school shootings. So I weigh this in equal proportions as artistic self expression as media, and as something that probably shouldn’t exist. So, if you are playing/plan on playing this, enjoy it! Just remember that it isn’t a fucking joke. would you want your little kids shot by some depressed fuck-up?
A mark of maturity is the ability to accept the immature. A mark of intelligence is to tolerate, perhaps even enjoy, the stupid. I’ve always believed that, and I stand by it. I believe it takes a lot more intellectual strength to think, “This is dumb and offensive, but it’s entertaining, so who cares?” Despite its dark premise, School Shooter might actually be a fun game, and I find it infantile to completely write it off just because of the subject matter. So take it with a grain of salt.
If you’re old enough to read this, there’s a huge chance that you’ve enjoyed countless things that have upset somebody else. With that in mind, where does one draw the line? Do we say “Well, war and cop-killing in Liberty City is fine, but rape and schools are totally off limits because we must think of the victims.” What about the victims of war and street crime? Why don’t they get considered? Once we start deciding some subjects are cool and others are off-limits, we start a chain-reaction that can only be ended with the eradication of all forms of entertainment.
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again — if people stopped making things because they might offend someone, we wouldn’t have ever developed a culture to call our own. Progress in entertainment would never have been made. We’d still be watching Victorian melodramas where women couldn’t even show so much as an ankle without getting censored. And even those might upset somebody, so maybe we’d have just scrapped entertainment altogether. And jokes. And conversation of any description.
It’s not like School Shooter is ever going to be in the vanguard of a great cultural revolution. It is, at the end of the day, a simple Half-Life mod that is probably getting a little bit too much attention. However, its right to exist is something that we gamers, regardless of our opinions on art and social acceptance, should champion. Anything less than total support for this game’s existence is an admission that videogames aren’t allowed to be anything other than silly toys about space marines and hedgehogs.
You want videogames to be “accepted” and “taken seriously”? You want videogames to be discussed with the same amount of respect as art? Well, be a fucking adult and learn to accept that sometimes, art does things you’re not going to like, and sometimes it’ll outright offend you.
With that note, here is the download link to the mod. Remember, you need HL2 to play this. Enjoy the art, just don’t get a hard-on from it. You have problems: http://www.moddb.com/mods/school-shooter-north-american-tour-2012