School Board Ponders Student’s Counter-strike Map of his School

A Texas school board is divided over the case of a student who played Counter-strike using his high school as the backdrop.

Meanwhile, the local Chinese community has rallied in support of the boy.

As reported by the Houston Chronicle, the Fort Bend Independent School District could not reach a decision on whether to reinstate the senior, who was transferred to an alternative school.

The case began on the day following the Virginia Tech rampage, when school officials learned that the 17-year-old boy played Counter-strike on his home computer using a map of Clements High as the setting.

Readers may recall that while the Virginia Tech shooting incident was unfolding, anti-game attorney Jack Thompson predicted on national television that the perpetrator would be a Counter-strike player. A day later the Washington Post reported that 23-year-old killer Cho Seung Hui had played Counter-strike in high school. However, the Post subsequently withdrew that portion of its coverage. It is unclear whether those news reports may have elevated specific concerns about Counter-strike in this case.

Local police evaluated the student’s PC and determined that no criminal charges were warranted. School officials, however, decided that disciplinary steps were called for. District spokesperson Mary Ann Simpson said:

This goes back to Columbine. Ever since that horrid incident took place schools today have to take every incident that is reported very seriously. And they have to impress upon students how serious this type of thing is. We can’t joke about things or take things lightly anymore.

School Board member Stan Magee, however, believes district officials were too harsh in their discipline:

I think we overreacted as a result of the Virginia Tech ordeal. He did it at his house. Never took anything to school. Never wrote an ugly letter, never said anything strange to a student or a teacher, nothing.

Trustee Ken Bryant agreed that local police needed to be involved but also felt that school officials overreacted:

I don’t want to fault our police for trying to protect us. But once the evidence was found and looked at, I see no compelling reason why this child should not have been sent back to his original campus.

According to Fort Bend Now, the student is of Chinese origin. Virginia Tech shooter Cho Seung Hui was Korean. In the wake of the incident, local members of the Chinese-American community have joined in support of the boy. Richard Chen, who heads the Fort Bend Chinese-American Voters League said the student taught himself how to create mods for Counter-strike. Said Chen:

They arrested him and also went to the house to search. All he did was create a map and put it on a web site to allow students to play. The mother thinks this is too harsh.

…The principal has to do something – but how much? We do understand with the Virginia Tech incident…something has to be done. Someone just made a mistake, and we think the principal should understand that.

William Sun told school board members that, in the wake of Virginia Tech, the Asian community faces a backlash:

We urge the school and community not to label our Asian students as terrorists.

No decision was reached on the boy’s status because a quorum of school board members could not be assembled for a proposed special meeting on the case.

Joystiq has more. A TV News station in Houston has a video report as well as a copy of the police report.

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  1. 0

    […] I never finished the game, and chances are it’s buried somewhere next to Jimmy Hoffa, but I’m looking at this article in Game Politics. It’s about a student there that used his school for a map her created in Counterstrike and was arrested out of fear for being a terrorist threat. It really is a drag to think how much things have changed in the past few years. I did ponder the thought of taking my old diploma over there and saying “Hey guys, you know all those people who are getting kicked out of school putting it in a game? Well I did the same thing twelve years ago, do you want my diploma?”. […]

  2. 0
    Suneohair says:

    This is clearly an overeaction.

    The map was made 2 months ago, at least 5 weeks before VT. So no, it is not like parading around an “Arab” flag after 9/11, it would be like doing it before, which was ok no?

    A parent of someone playing this, caught on and complained after the hysteria of VT.

    Violent video games do not cause violent people nor do most people, contrary to what Sparkz thinks, fantasize about violence when they aren’t playing. I play the occasional violent game, Gears of War and the like, but I also play things like Wii Sports and Mario. Is jumping on little goombas also a form of violence? Would that cause me to maybe kill animals at randoming? Jumping on them perhaps?

    People ask where the line should be drawn. Reason. Thinking about the situation is the key. Was the parent right to say something? Maybe. How was their own child questioned? What if their child asked Hwang to make it for him and the threat lies in him?

    Those who have committed violence have shown stranger patterns anti-social behavior. There were clearly indicators with Cho, as there were in some ways with Columbine.

    The link here is the inverse of what people think it is which makes this such an issue. Violent video games do not cause violent behavior but those who committ violent acts have been shown to play violent games (not in all cases.)

    And what about Americas Amry and other war simulators made for the military? War images all over the television and Internet? Random violence in the news everyday.

    Games are not the scapegoat here and assuming that it is will put us on the fastrack to more and more policy taking away rights while not actually fixing what they intended to.

    Education is a big part of this, strong family and social programs that promote community. If a candidate would get over the popular issue (games) and looks at the real issue I would vote for them in a heartbeat.

  3. 0
    Chadachada ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is a total over-reaction. I may not play counter-strike, but I remember when I used to imagine my high school as a shooting game map, it’s a place we’ve never been in gaming before, and it woudl be really fun and interesting. Besides, the kid probably only made the map of the high school because it would be easy to map out and it’d be a fun place to be, no harm in that. If i was to make a map, it’d either be my high school, or an intersection near my house with a few businesses. What are they gonna do, sue me?

  4. 0
    ShadowMech says:

    These kind of things make me want to create a cs_vtech out of spite.

    You don’t have a right to not be offended, but everyone has a right to free speech. I hope he sues the school and the police for every offense he can.

    Also Sparkz, violence in the US has been decreasing, not increasing (look at the statistics). Just because the news likes to drag it out doesn’t mean it happens more.

  5. 0
    Sparkz says:

    the point i am making is that we, the western consumerist hyper-capitalistit society, who endlessly obsesses about fantasy violence, lives in a society that sufferes the consiquences of this obssession. but the real world, the world of real violence, is growing stronger, as we grow weaker, stupider, fatter, more obese, more quibling, less curious, less caring, worse. the world of fantasy that we as americans live in is growing more and more louder to drown out the barbarians at the gates. what i am saying is, you think that fantasizing about violence is okay. but its not. i was kind of trolling before, but im being serious now. america is a violent culture, but its undirected and random, and its finest minds spend thier lives in a bubble of unreality. its like we are terroriizing ourselves with our own stupidity. and, we are going to pay for it. its sad. oh well.

  6. 0
    F**ked up says:


    But thats the point. you can strageies, It doesnt mean your strategy will work. We all should know that simulation are not real world, We can simulate as much as we want but then doing it in the real world is a different story.

    kind of reminds me of how the strategy in Iraq was that we were going to be greeted as liberators. And not invasion forces. It was a strategy, bad one. Makes me wonder what simulations they did?

  7. 0
    Morkoa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Soory i enver got to finish my statement BUT as i was saying

    I believe this was a bunch of crock. I play viedogames (mostaly FPS) every day and i have no urge AT ALL to shot any one or anything in real life. The only thing i feel is gratification that a annoying gamer was finaly killed.

    And that goes for map making. to me its the same thing it only give me gratification of making a map people might like. The urge to kill comes from the person and REAL LIFE moments. not from gamer who sit and play shooter games. hell what will they start to blame next? sports games for making less people play real sports?

  8. 0


  9. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Brandon St Germaine

    “A painting of your school cannot be considered equal to a 3D model of your school.”

    Why not? They are both creation of art, just a different media. Would it have been different if he simply modeled the school in 3DSMAX and printed some stills? No it would not. He made it as a form of artistic expression. He does not need the express permission of the school to use it in the game map. He should not have been singled out as a potential threat because of it.

  10. 0
    Marshie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My what a sad state the world is in, that students making maps is considered terrorism.

    I did the same thing this guy did with Duke Nukem 3D’s map editor, recreating a large portion of my high-school in full. I actually remember it being one of the maps at the time which was popular in online play because it managed to feature three stories of play without major lag.

    Let’s hope the school board reverses this decision. Failing that, let’s hope the ACLU steps in, because this is exactly the sort of thing for which they were created.

  11. 0
    Meggie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Sparkz Says:
    “you game makers and game players are training a new generation of mass murderers. studies show that children raised without violent images or idea in thier homes are significantly less violent in later life.”

    Somehow, I doubt you’ve read any of these studies, or have a grasp on the written word at all for that matter. For some reason, the only word capitalized in the post is “jihad.”

  12. 0
    Brandon St. Germaine ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    A painting of your school cannot be considered equal to a 3D model of your school. Even a painting of several people shooting eachother at your school has different connotations than a videogame representation of your school with people shooting eachother. One is artistic intent, the other is recreational simulated violence. This can still be artistic, but it has a likelyhood of being intentional hate speech.

    I’m rather torn on the subject, though. Perhaps videogame mocks should be reviewed as they are discovered?

  13. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    The question remains, will this kid be SMART enough to sue? It seems to me that some people have the perfect chance to sue someone, but don’t because the thought never crosses their mind until it’s too late. Someone should inform him that he should sue over this atrocity, because he might not decide to.

  14. 0
    E. Zachary Knight ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Brandon St. Germaine
    “It’s my personal opinion that in order to recreate or mimmick someone or their property’s image in a videogame, you must have their express permission. This encourages artistic merit as opposed to hate speech. If I as a game developer am required to request express permission of a business or dean in order to recreate their workplace or school, my intentions are made clear and obvious.”

    So does a painter need the express permission of the building owner to paint a picture of it? Does the painter need the express permission of the park owner, the landscape owner, the city? No they do not. And neither should a game artist need the express permission of the building, park, landscape and city. Their artistic interpretation is protected under the first amendment.

    The school board overreacted considerably. THey had no other reason to believe this was a threat. Apparently this kid made no other threatening actions. They just “heard” that Cho played CS and saw that he played CS with a map of the school and freaked. I think that this kid has every right to sue. He also has every right to be let back into the school.

  15. 0
    AbsumZer0 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Brandon St. Germaine-

    So if a company should release an official and accurate map for their first-person shooter featuring The Mall of America or a college campus, should that be considered a threat as well?

    What if it’s a solo employee who creates and releases the map on a personal site? Or does it only constitute a threat when it’s created and released by a fan?

    According to Snakestream, the poor kid didn’t even construct the map recently. It was years ago. It does no good to be apologetic for those who over-react in the wake of every single tragedy as if it were a rational response, and in this case it is definitely an over-reaction. Expelling and arresting this kid for what happened in Virginia makes no more sense than it would to for a flight training school to refuse all Muslims of Middle Eastern from taking lessons because of September 11th.

  16. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @snakestream, try to get in contact with the guy and advise him to get a lwayer, or write an angry letter to the prinicpal/school papaer or even the official school board or the head of whatever county it’s in asking for investigation on the matter (and no they can’t get you in trouble for doing any of this). I’d do it myself but since I don’t live there my sayings would have no impact. We can’t let this thing slide.

  17. 0
    jonc2006 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    whats so special about thompson and CS anyway? why did thompson predict it would be CS instead of doom or something, didnt he use doom as his whipping boy all the time before because of those two from columbine?

  18. 0
    Brandon St. Germaine ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh, I totally think this case was blown out of proportion. I don’t think people’s posts here are very helpful towards our cause. You can’t ignore a situation like this, and say it’s all ok until he starts making threats.

    Oh, and I was talking about desks as if someone were to make a mod. Is that the line? Where is the line?

    Another thing we have to question is the availability of such maps. He might not consider it anything more than art, but what if someone else thought differently, downloaded the map, and entered the school with intention to kill? While few people here would blame the map for that, we have to realize the immaturity and lack of respect many people have over the sense of security others have.

    It is very threatening, however unintentional, to have people publically firing real life weapons in a videogame in an obvious and detailed version of your school. It doesn’t matter how innocent the intentions are. If we don’t recognize that threat, we’ll never gain any ground on the JTs and others who would see videogames as a scapegoat for evil and horrible people.

  19. 0
    Red Knight says:

    Overreaction much? I know just sitting in class sometimes I get bored and think of what a great place my school would be for paint ball.

  20. 0
    Snakestream ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @Brandon St. Germaine
    a) I don’t think it was THAT detailed to include desks and all that stuff.
    b) I agree about the art/hate speech thing.
    c) I believe that it WASN’T irresponsible to have an investigation, but I believe it WAS irresponsible to have him arrested and sent to alternative school instead of sending him to a counselor or something.
    d) I didn’t think CS was THAT bad. :)

  21. 0
    Brandon St. Germaine ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I can definetly see why people are reacting, though. For one, Counter Strike is a bad game. I’d want my school to be made in a more respectable engine that doesn’t fake fysics so much.

    But honestly, I think many of you here are missing the point. Where do you draw the line? Is a game where you traverse a building killing everyone in sight too far? If it isn’t, then is it ok to make a map of your school in this game? Even if the people in the game are “terrorists” that can be positioned at classroom desks?

    Honestly, there’s a line between art and hate speech. I think this was an attempt at art, but it’s NOT unreasonable to investigate and seriously question an act like this. It’s my personal opinion that in order to recreate or mimmick someone or their property’s image in a videogame, you must have their express permission. This encourages artistic merit as opposed to hate speech. If I as a game developer am required to request express permission of a business or dean in order to recreate their workplace or school, my intentions are made clear and obvious.

    Of course, that’d require people consider videogames art. I could get started how neither videogame advocates or people like JT are both stopping the legislation and laws that are VERY badly needed at the time to both protect videogames/freedom of speech, and also protect the safety and feeling of safety of our free people.

  22. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Let the enlightenment of the Full Stop and Capital Letter enter your life, make them your friends and find grammatical harmony.

  23. 0
    Richard says:

    As a parent of two graduates from Clements High School I am shocked at the actions of the School district. This appears to be liberalism at its worst.

    Even though nothing was found at the students home, no indications of any social problems from this student, BUT the school district STILL sends hime to the Altnerante School.

    This is not Right, What happened to Common sense? These actions only confirm my opinion of the steady decline in the qulaity of education

  24. 0
    AbsumZer0 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is absolutely ridiculous. If he’d scanned his high-school yearbook and made textures of people at his school to shoot at then I could see why people might get upset. But a map based on the layout of the school? That’d be like an official America’s Army map being released depicting U.S. soldiers fighting Chechen terrorists in Russia, and Russia real-life nuking us in a preemptive attack.

  25. 0
    Snakestream ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Some other comments (why no edit function?):

    I kind of knew Paul Hwang, and I’ll say this, he was a good guy. He was a year ahead of me, so I didn’t really know him well, but I met him a couple times and he seemed like a standup guy. Also, talking with his friends, I got the same feeling.

    The swords they found in his room were an ornamental collection, and an unsharpened one at that. I cannot believe they actually used this to accuse him of terrorism or being a threat. My best friend had a rifle in his house when he was a teenager. He used it to hunt with his grandfather. Tragedy. Also, he had a substantial collection of swords himself, of varying lengths. Right now, he has enlisted to the US Army and is undergoing basic training right now. Clearly, he is a terrorist (sarcasm for those too dense to get it, like the FBISD Board)

    Everyone at the school hates our new principal Moran. His policies suck because he wants to make it seem like he’s doing something different, but all of his “new” rules don’t actually do anything at all (switch from 6 weeks schedule to 9 weeks schedule, etc). In fact, many of his rules irritate and hamper students, such as locking school doors all around during the school day, making seniors with off periods have to wait outside until someone passes by and opens the door. However, I think this has got to be the culmination of his stupidity and ignorance, showing his clear overreaction to, at best, marginal threats. MAYBE advising a slight investigation into Hwang’s mental state, ie sending him to a counselor, was in order, but royally screwing his future with an arrest and sending him to the alternative school was about a million times stronger than what was necessitated by the situation, even with the recentness of the Virginia Tech incident.

  26. 0
    niceaznguy721 says:

    the school has no right to punish a student for something not related to school, its like getting suspended for talking crap about someone on myspace

  27. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I wonder if there will be any “legal defense fund” or something for this guy. I would gladly pitch in $$ to help him out of this.

  28. 0
    Snakestream ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Another comment I forgot to add:

    The map was made around three years ago and was played among friends for fun. The intent was not, as many anti-game zealots will say, “practice.”

  29. 0
    Snakestream ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Hmm, I am quite surprised that I do not see anyone from Clements commenting on this (at least here), so let me put in my experience as someone who goes to school at Clements right now. I heard about this about a week ago, and I was in awe at the injustice done here. The guy who made this map actually made it about two to three years ago, and it was not until recently, as is obvious, that he got into trouble over it. They sent him to the “alternative school,” and for those who haven’t already realized it, “alternative school” here means that he is sent with the rest of the “problem children” that parents don’t want to socialize with THEIR kids. So essentially, his transcript and permanent record will be torched forever with the mark of “Terrorism,” and he could get the shit beaten out of him by someone at the alternative school, or worse. So instead of fostering a modeling career that could have been quite successful or recognizing a talent in architectural observation, instead my school district has decided to essentially fuck him two times over. Outstanding.

    I’d like to take a minute here to applaud Fort Bend Independent School District’s profound wisdom and foresight. Truly, the world is a better place because of people like our administrative heads.

  30. 0
    Picho ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I started making a map of the place i work, since i thought that it would actually be a good place to fight.

    The bullet holes in the walls from battles that actually did happen about thirty years ago further prove my point on that. This place is like a maze. But due to my facination with the castle maps in half-life, as realistic as i was making the map, at the same time i was making it surreal.

    In otherwords, i made it so you could crawl in airvents, walk through certian walls and a number of other things. The project fell through however due to my possible ADD.

    I had another project of making my highschool into a map, that also fell through. Eventually ill find someone who can help me actually make the stuff, since making every little thing myself led mostly to the projects falling through.

    If you have ever been in a big building at night that is partialy lit and you’re alone, those buildings could make great maps. That spooky feeling they have.

  31. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “I can’t say I blame these members of the board who decided to take action given past criticism that not enough was done before shootings took place.”

    Yes, the blame can be layed with these people. The criticism (in the Virginia Tech instance) is about people who knew that Cho Seung Hui was dangerous and unstable, yet never followed up on his case, never thought to check up on him, and never considered the idea, nor made sure that a person like this couldn’t buy a gun. When you have previous knowledge that a person is unstable, when you know that he has stalked and harassed women in the past, and that this same person has written some disturbingly violent prose and you do nothing, you deserve every piece of criticism that is layed upon you.
    In the case at the Texas school, the blame for this incredible injustice lies solely with the school board. Instead of looking into the issue and taking the student into consideration (a popular honours student with no record of trouble), they immediately screamed “ASIAN + VIDEO GAMES = SCHOOL SHOOTER!” The only evidence they could have reached this decision on is the fact that the Virginia Tech shooter was Asian, and untrue claims that he played video games combined with spurious claims that video games are linked to violence. Any sane people would have looked at what kind of person he was before practically ruining his academic life. People will say that the student will get over this and it is better to be on the safe side, but are they taking into account the stigma attached to something like this? If you were accused of child molestation, but cleared by a court, and this lawsuit came to the attention of the media? For the rest of your life you are the guy who was accused of child molestation. Not the guy who was acquitted, or the guy who was wrongly accused, but the guy who was accused in the first place.
    The same is going to happen with this poor individual. Instead of being “the guy who was wrongly arrested over incorrect suspicions that he may be harmful, driven by incorrect media opinions”, he is going to be “The guy they thought was going to shoot up the school”.
    This school board have done irreperable harm to this young man’s reputation and credentials. It is entirely their fault for overreacting and being too heavy handed in a case where a little sense and logic would have prevented this mess.

    “I’m not so sure that this kid didn’t expect any of this to happen if he made a CS:S map based on his own school. “
    If I made a sculpture of someone at my school, does this mean I am trying to train for the best way to kill that person? If I build a model of my school out of lego, do I expect them to arrest me as a “terroristic threat” and ransack my room looking for more evidence? Let’s say a teacher of mine has a distinctive face and I exercise my artistic talent by drawing a portrait of him, am I planning to kill this individual? To suggest that a person would anticipate this kind of trouble just from using a level editor to portray a familiar location is laughable.

    No-one who shows creativity in a harmless manner as this expects anything like this to happen. If I wrote the kind of violent and hate filled trash that Cho wrote I would probably expect people to complain/be concerned about it. The only reason this student has undergone this humiliation and unfair treatment is because his sin was to be interested in video games and be of Asian descent at a time when both are under unfair hype driven scrutiny.

  32. 0
    Gamer Dude says:

    They definitely overreacted, there’s tons of Counter Strike players out there, and this doesn’t mean that they are all potential killers.

    I think they treated him too harshly due to their stereotypical concerns. They decided to use the fact that he was Asian and a CS player to be sufficient “proof” that he could be dangerous. There’s games worse than Counter Strike out there, and plus in CS you don’t kill innocent people like in GTA!

    That would be like saying Call of Duty is evil.

  33. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Ignore Sparkz- he is either using lousy sarchasm or is a Jihadist. Either way, not someone worth noting. Move along…

  34. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    I would gladly write them an angry letter, if I knew how to contact them through e-mail. Also it said a backlash from the chinese community is to be expected (who can blame them).

  35. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Oh and yes making the student distrust authority figures for the rest of his life is a great way to make sure he doesn’t go on a rampage (sarcasm).

  36. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If i were him I would get a lawyer maybe appeal to the chinese community to help pay for it, I predict it would be a pretty easy win considering school rules should not apply outside the school . . . EVER, and this could very well be a violation of his rights. Crap such as this should not be tolerated from school districts, if it is discovered that the student had no previous record. I would love to see the school suffer because of this.

  37. 0
    Sparkz says:

    you game makers and game players are training a new generation of mass murderers. studies show that children raised without violent images or idea in thier homes are significantly less violent in later life. all of you that are so obsessed with fantasizing about killing other people in the games that you play need to realize that you yourselfs are violent. you may not act it out in real life. but you are a violent person. and you are making the world a worse place. yes you. what is amazing about americans is that they can watch the most violent movies int ehw world, and play the most violent video games made, but when real violence, the kind that the rest of the real world lives in on a daily basis is visited upon them, they cry to the heavens. keep playing your games fat boys, keep getting weaker while the Jihad grows in strengh. wait until your hunted down like the very avatars you play. the bullet in your head will be a real one.

  38. 0
    Rob says:

    The whole thing seems very unconstitutional to me. On what basis is the school board allowed to kick this student out of their school. His only crime was creating a CS map based off of his highschool. Okay, so now we’ve established that creativity is a crime! I still can’t believe they came to this decision after raiding his home and finding nothing criminal. There weren’t any guns, and he didn’t show any signs of mental problems. Ridiculous, ridiuclous, ridiculous. Oh well, it’s not like the Bill of Rights mean anything these days anyway. *sadness*

  39. 0
    gs2005 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m going to share this story with my school administrator at HUSD, but my friends who are young parents are in awe that a school district could be so clueless.

  40. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Totally forgot to mention this before, but I’ve made a spoof of the place I work on the side for GTA. And assuming my team gets the contract, we’ll be modeling real places for a serious game using the Source engine for a university. The game/mod thingy might even include *gasp* part of said university!1!!1 So, err, yea, everybody panic?

    Anyhoo, you can have my map editor when you pry it from my cold, dead hands. Or something like that. :p

  41. 0
    Gray17 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So Cowboys and Indians, and Cops and Robbers are ok, but Terrorists and Counter-Terrorists aren’t?

    Seriously this is screwed up, and that school board needs replacing. Kids enjoying playing in familiar locals. This is just the high tech virtual version of running around the playground or the neighborhood with squirt guns. We don’t blink an eye at teenagers having a good time paint balling, or playing laser tag so what’s the problem with this? It’s the same god damn thing, only done in a way that doesn’t entail any mess to clean up.

  42. 0
    Finite says:

    This is not even remotely under the school’s jurisdiction. This dude made a fricken map, he threatened no one, planned no crime, and does not deserve this insanity. There is also a rather insidious undercurrent of his race being a factor in his expulsion. If this MADNESS does not call for a storm of angry letters, I don’t know what does.

  43. 0
    Scoops says:

    @F**cked Up
    They’re not even that good for practicing strategy, especially if you’re playing against other people. As much as CS looks like it could possibly be realistic, and has realistic elements, having untrained people playing both sides makes it useless as a tactical simulator.

    Take your example of trying a play out of Madden, but substitute the idea of designing a play for Madden, without knowing the real intricacies of football. For example, you might design a play where you blitz all three linebackers and a safety while all four linemen also rush. It might work in the game, but in the real world the odds are that they’ll all run into a big jumble and leave two or three guys open underneath.

    That’s what playing an FPS against other people is really like. You may be able to take out a bunch of other guys who don’t really know what they’re doing, but if you try something on actual trained people, you’ll be boned.

  44. 0
    Zerodash ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So, are we getting closer to a country where designing a videogame map at home is an arrestible crime?


  45. 0
    Barfo says:

    Its funny: the only people who seem to have any problem with separating reality from fiction (which is one of the big knocks and why anti game peopl hypothesize games might be dangerous) in regards to video games are the people who are critical of violent games. They look at this thing and in ignorance they think that it somehow is equivalent to a “threat”. Whereas people who are familiar with games (for the most part) are easily able to see that what you do on a game is fiction and that its just fun to “play” in a familiar setting.

    Heck, when i was in high school, for a about a week or two a bunch of budies and I played a variant of the live action game “Assassin” ( ) using the map of our school and water guns, plastic pea-shooter, nerf guns, and plastic disc guns, cardboard tubes (swords), etc (Basically anythign you could get your hands on and conceal that you could use to fire some harmless projectile accurately). Well actually we didnt use the map of the school, we just played it while at school during breaks and such (and sometimes not, its all part of the danger of being a teenager). This was all just a stepping up of earlier water gun/etc fights in the woods and fields out back behind one of our friends houses, transposed into a more familiar and more risky setting. While obviously that is technically against conduct rules (disruptive effects etc, plus im sure they had some rules about squirt guns on campus, and maybe even cardboard tubes), that no more represents a terrorist/shooting threat than anything this guy is doing by playing the same sort of thing but in a digital world – in fact that is better since he wasnt potentially breaking any rules of school by doing it during school time (i presume at least) because he was playing at home and in his spare time. Although that was all pre-Columbine, so im sure if we’d got caught today (which we didnt then either) wed all be kicked out of school because we were somehow threatening the school with squirt guns and cardboard tube samurai swords. Its just plain silly.

    So instead of trying ot keep the violent games out of our (gamers) hands (when for the most part gamers have shown that they are as near to well-adjusted and ‘normal’ as the bulk of the population), they should be working to keep the games out of *their* hands. Because frankly, if an anti-game zealot really got into playing CS or GTA or something like that I actually am pretty bloody worried about what might happen given that they seem utterly unable to separate imaginary play from reality. (Or perhaps after they played a bunch they would suddenly be abel to surprise surprise tell fact form fiction and imagination from reality and problem solved)

  46. 0
    F**ked up says:

    Watch out they are going to arrest the developers of Tom Clancy Rainbow Six Las Vegas next. they the developers at R* because they have created similar city maps.

    I dont understand how video games are used to “train” killers. They can be used to strategies but not to train. Common who hasnt wanted to try out a football play they made on Madden? Or try to come up with some security setup u couldnt get pass in splinter cell? Hell I used to think it would be fun if people / “terrorist” attacked my school and I new the layout and I was able to beat them all.

    Video games cant teach you to reload a gun in under a min. All we do is press a button. and yes we all can jump 10 feet in the air. And carry an arsenal of equipment up our a** like you do in Metal Gear. and learn how to fire a rocket launcher.

    I m just waiting for when they start arresting LARP people because they enacted a scene at school that could be harmful if they didnt use nerf guns.

  47. 0
    jonc2006 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    i never did one of my schools but back in the day when i used to map for doom i made one that looked like my house.

  48. 0
    Wookiee ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I know plenty of guys who make custom skins of their enemies (Jack Thompson skins are popular) and then shoot them up.

  49. 0
    Ace of Sevens ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I’m echoing that this is what everyone does. Every budding mapmaker will start by replicating their school/house/workplace. You’d have to arrest dozens of kids in every school if this were enforced evenly. When I was a kid, 3D engines didn’t allow true bridges, or I would have done my school. I did do my house, though.

  50. 0
    illspirit ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    If they’re really afraid he’s going to snap, it seems like going out of their way to ruin his life and stuff probably isn’t the best way to deal with things…

  51. 0
    Grog says:

    Do people even understand that there are 2 sides to counter strike. When I was in college I created a map based on part of the campus. The map had 2 versions, one was a defusal map where the T’s were trying to blow up one of the many strange pieces of art (the campus is one large outdoor sculpture park), the other version required the CT’s to rescue hostages from inside one of the buildings.

    Quite often you use what you know or have access to, as mentioned above. You are also forced to be selective on what you choose to build as there are limitations to the engine. If I were more creative I would have built a map from nothing, but lacking that creativity, I generally choose to use things I’ve seen as reference or inspiration.

  52. 0
    hayabusa75 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My heart broke for this kid when I read the story. GamePolitics is such a rollercoaster sometimes; you got MC Thompson failing for the umpteenth time, and then this…

    Has anyone gone through the Fort Bend comment thread? Everyone here is talking about the overreaction of the school officials in the context of VT, but many of the Fort Bend posters seem to think it is nothing more than political posturing due to their upcoming BoT elections. Nobody is talking about that here, and personally, if that is the case, I find that to be despicable on a whole other level.

  53. 0
    TyeTheCzar says:

    Trust me guys, oy. Those defenses are overused. I’m posting right now in a Fort Bend school, oy. I just heard it today too and it has got to be paranoia, oy. But I can understand. Most middle-age people like them know zero about the games of videos except from the having of sensationalist propaganda fed to all of them. I wish Haruhi Suzumiya(youtube her! wiki her! google her!, oy) would just come up running to them giving them a running jump kick. Saying that games cause violence is a lie made up by conservatives, oy.
    Oh, yeah, oy. During the Renaissance, the Puritans came and shut down theatres and Shakespeare plays. But later the fans got back at them, oy.

  54. 0
    Flipfox22 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    As stated an overwhelming amount of times. He just wanted to play game in a place he knew in the real world. Pretty much every gamer that plays First person shooters has thought of a real world place that would be cool to play in. I do understand the schools concerns but I think they overreacted a bit.

  55. 0
    Morkoa ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I believe this was a bunch of crock. I play viedogames (mostaly FPS) every day and i have no urge AT ALL to shot any oneor anything in real life. The only thing i feel is gratification that a annoying gamer was finaly killed

  56. 0
    Classic says:

    In a game where you are able to design maps, the goal is to create maps with interesting strategic and tactical ramifications. It is trivial to argue that a map based on institutional buildings, like a school, presents a very different challenge to players than one in a car park, a mansion estate, a limited city-scape, or a fantastic airship.
    That someone would choose to create a map where these challenges exist is not at all surprising, nor is it indicative of any kind of malicious behavior. That someone would choose to model work they do upon something they know intimately, or fills them with some kind of narcissistic pleasure is also unsurprising and not at all indicative of malice, as evidenced by the large number of avatars in Maxis’ theSims. Finally, that he would choose to allow his fellow students and net-friends to use this map implies that he does have a supportive and hopefully healthy peer group. It is ostracization (if that is a word) and a sense of either self-loathing or righteousness that seems (at least at first glance) to prompt these acts of wanton peer violence. That is to say, that he desired to share this content with his peers is evidence that he is at significantly reduced risk for such an act.
    The only thing that is even vaguely suspicious is the possession of those decorative blades. Which, as the police point out, are rather more edged than a lead pipe, though probably not much more dangerous.

  57. 0
    Weatherlght ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    @ Gameboy
    In counterstrike source, both teams are punished by loss of money for damaging or killing the hostages. In no case is there a “target” other then the opposing team in which you are to kill.

    Myself along with a few other student have had plans to model our school library and science/engineering building for CSS because of their unique layouts. The one building is a maze, students who have studied there for three years still get lost in it when trying to find a room. We even thought of skinning the hostages, to look like some of the professor’s (we decided however this was impractical)

    It had nothing to do with disliking them, or wanting to shoot up the school it just was a really cool “what if”. Unfortunately the buildings were to complex for the source engine at the time, We had only one of three floors mapped without textures, but the FPS and lag when playing just over the LAN made it worthless.

    We also had plans to make scaled maps of Baghdad along with a couple other cities, that was just the first. Again we started, but unfortunately again it was in to much detail. We actually had the map, but we were never able to run it because it had more then 2500 models in it. We actually talked to professional modeling group and send in a help ticket to EA and one of their modelers just laughed when he saw our map.

    If a counterstrike map is enough to suspend a kid and throw him out of school, what does making a map of a city make me? We make life like maps for fun, because it is entertaining as an idea, Not because we are planing action by them.

  58. 0
    KT Samurai says:

    This may indeed be an overreaction, but I can’t say I blame these members of the board who decided to take action given past criticism that not enough was done before shootings took place. This theme of failure to predict the tragedies beforehand must be taking its toll on those who are in a good place to do just that. It seems this was mishandled, and I expect that the student will be permitted back into his original school soon enough if half the board thinks they’ve gone too far. I can’t blame them for be cautious about this.

    Besides, I’m not so sure that this kid didn’t expect any of this to happen if he made a CS:S map based on his own school.

  59. 0
    hilaryduffgta ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    i agree here with a few people this is way overreacting on something that shouldnt have turned into a big deal

    he just made the maps for fun so there is no harm in that and sadly that is how society is getting these days and thats how it is if you are strange then you get treated like you have very few rights or none at all

  60. 0
    ericlaw02 says:

    …this taught me something: weapons are easy to control.

    Who needs basic training for weapons? All you need is “WASD” and a mouse and you can kill using an gun!

    I know how to operate M249 SAWs now, yay!

    Time to train how to use an gravity gun in HL2…cause I might see one of them in reality…

  61. 0
    Lavarock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is a self-reinforcing delusion. They think school shootings have something to do with video games, so they freak out about video games and connect them to school shootings.

    30 GOTO 10, etc.

  62. 0
    Scoops says:

    Chalk me up in the over-reaction camp. I don’t think this is a good reason to go after the kid. It might be interesting info if there were some other reason to look at the kid (threatening letters, emotional trouble), but like everyone else is saying: If you make a map, you often make it about something you know. As was pointed out, schools make particularly good areas for a game like Counter-Strike.

    And seriously, what if the guy was living out his fantasy? What if his fantasy is to be a special ops soldier who saves a school full of kids taken hostage? Is that a bad thing now?

  63. 0
    Scrubking says:

    First kids get arrested for making threats now all you have to do is make a game map. Anyone see the slippery slope in effect here?

    How about we secure our schools instead of taking away our freedoms and rights?

  64. 0

    the creative process has a foundation in reality. all great works of art are grounded in reality. this kid has done what any great artist / novellist / musician does…

    he has made art based on his experiences.

    what else do we expect of people? this stuff should be in a museum. his experiences are most likely very similar to every other kid in the western world. i personally made a doom map of the university i went to over 10 years ago and suspect that countless others have done the same since.

    anybody know where we can download the map to play it?

  65. 0
    Thad says:

    I used Zelda Classic to make a map based on my old high school. I don’t really think anybody would have seen that as a threat, even though the Goriyas did vaguely resemble my favorite teacher (though given that they were balding and had goatees, they really resembled the entire English department).

    I can see the gray area here — an FPS is a whole lot different from a top-down NES game, and I can see how it might be more unnerving seeing someone walk down the halls of the school with a gun in a 3D, first-person view. I can see how this might be worth investigating.

    But if the guy has no history of psychological problems, doesn’t own any guns, and in general does not appear to be a threat, this is no grounds for expulsion. Legally, they don’t have a leg to stand on here.

  66. 0
    eagle says:

    You have a 3-D editor that allows you to create a structural environment like a house or a building, so what building do you create? Does it surprise anyone that you might model, as your first attempt, an environment in which you are most familiar? A school is an especially sensible choice, since your home would not be large enough to fit the requirements. Anyone playing around with that 3-D editor for more than a few minutes would start designing either their workplace or school or where they are putting their in eight hours a day.

    Out-and-out racism would be one rational way to view their decision, given the past history of the area. Otherwise, these people do not seem to be thinking rationally.

  67. 0
    Matthew ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I thought that was what everyone did. Faced with a freshly-downloaded mapping program and a blank canvas, don’t you usually try to recreate something you know? Moreover, it works in reverse too. Who hasn’t looked out on rolling hills and seen chokepoints for an archer ambush? You just know that planter would make an awesome kicker to that handrail on the stair set. And can anyone, in all honesty, say that for a few weeks after playing Thief they didn’t see just how perfect that shadow is near that scalable wall?

    People see something and associate it to other, similar things in their memory. This isn’t just normal, it’s a vital tool for surviving in life.

  68. 0
    Pawsie says:

    appearantly, playing video games and digitally recreating real world maps is unusual. You need a reason like terrorism to do it.. it can’t be for plain entertainment.

  69. 0
    Conejo says:

    sometimes you go into a building and you think “wow, this would make a great map for a FPS.”

    there’s nothing wrong with this.

  70. 0
    Pixelantes Anonymous ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is REALLY pissing me off.

    What’s next? Turn in the next art student whose abstract paintings of murder and mayhem “disturb” the general population? Or the next death metal group whose lyrics talk about death and mutilation?

    ID Software, Valve and any other developer who depends on the mod community for their continued wealth gathering should immediately come out to speak in behalf of this kid. As well as ECA and ESA.

  71. 0
    Kincyr ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I would say “Schools would make good Paintball arenas” but I have never played Paintball and virtual versions don’t leave messes of paint to clean up.

  72. 0
    Jabrwock ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Jesus H. Tapdancing Christ….

    Gawd forbid these people find out I looked at my University’s Engineering building and went “Wow, what a great location for a lasertag/paintball tournament.” That place had so many twists and turns, and hiding holes, and dead ends, and mutli-level open areas, that it would have make a fantastic CS map…

  73. 0
    Verbinator ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Cyberskull is on target. If you have any kind of involvement with FPS mapping communities, you learn that one of the first type of maps that mappers think of making is a familiar place … and for school age mappers … that place is often a high school or college. Not because they have Columbine-type fantasies, but because they know those spaces and think it would be fun to fight in them in a virtual sense. Totally normal. And of course, whenever the subject came up, I would point out that it was probably also a bad idea … for all the reasons that the critics come up with. Non-gamers would misinterpret it and find sinister motivations. Essentially, it would be bad PR for games.

  74. 0
    Meggie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    aniki21 Says:
    Wait, the kid was transferred to a different school because not enough board members could be bothered to show up at the meeting?

    They didn’t show up because the “meeting circumvented the district’s disciplinary process.” Aka, “we’re right, no discussion.” And they sent him to the M.R. Wood Alternative Education Center. I HATE IT when are “potentially dangerous/problem kids” are thrown into the special ed schools. HUGE difference between autism and what you believe this kid and capable of doing. The biggest threat to the students is this school board’s poor decision making.

  75. 0
    Majestic_12_x says:

    Should we be so quick to judge for fear of the consequences? Is our freedom of speech and expression worth the value of the lives that could potentially be lost? There is absolutely no proof of any legitimate “wrongdoing” here and it shows. No one made any threats, there appear to be no plans, and common sense has been thrown out the window in favor of wild-eyed conspiracy from the school board. There will be people who will try and make a connection to the Virginia Tech Massacre, but they can only rely on scraps of evidence in order to establish a correlation. Unless the student has been found to harbor deep-seeded emotions of hatred and aggression and is found to be mentally unstable, I honestly feel that the school board has embellished the facts of this case due to the proximity of the incident at Virginia Tech.
    What I am trying to ask is where does proof of an act to commit terror actually begin? I believe that no one truly knows until clear-cut threats have been made and detailed plans are found. Until then, you are infringing upon a person’s natural rights.

  76. 0

    Overboard in Sugar Land…

    Normally I’m all for taking precautionary steps to prevent school shootings. However this is ridiculous.
    A student from Clements High School in Sugar Land, Texas is in hot water after making a Counter-Strike map based on the layout of his high sc…

  77. 0
    Nth says:

    This is just another scapegoat for peope to use so that parents don’t have to blame themselves for horrible parenting and control of their own children.

  78. 0
    ijed ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    My 2 pennies:

    Video games are not the issue. At all, in any way, shape or form. Some nutcase with the psychotic tendances (like the v tech shooter, or the ones at columbine) were born / manufactured into insanity by thier environment. The argument that games are solely responsible is just plain stupid.

    Alot of the time these maladjusted individuals with deep-seated psychiatric problems seek out bloodthirsty material, be it music, books, films, games or whatever.

    There is no hard evidence that Cho Seung Hui played counterstrike – just blind rumours started by everyone’s favourite simpleton attourney, corroborated at first by a newspaper, then retracted. But thats beside the point.

    In this case the important questions weren’t asked – does the kid own one or more handguns? Is he socially malajusted with tendancies towards (real) violence? Has he been ‘flagged’ by any teachers or classmates as a potential mass murderer?

    America – if you want to stop these kind of mass murders then stop allowing these sick people access to guns. If they don’t have this access to firearms then they can’t go on rampages leaving the corpses of children in thier wake.

    Media is an outlet for these psychos, but not a cause, because the causes are in thier genetic makeup and early childhood.

    I feel sorry for this kid – he’s just learnt that creativity and innovation is wrong. And the judgement was, in part, made by someone (Mary Ann Simpson) who repeated ‘incident’ twice and ‘things’ three times in three short sentances.

  79. 0
    Joe_Snow says:

    I would be ecstatic if this happened to me. This kid has an air tight lawsuit against the school system for Title IX Discrimination, Invasion of Privacy, and breach of First Amendment Rights.
    That is a BIG can of worms to open up.

  80. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Personally, it seems to me the school is trying to offend and alienate this student.

    If this is the level of ignorance towards students that this place normally shows then they genuinely have something to be concerned about, their own paranoia and discrimination, if applied as a general rule, could create the very situation they are trying to avoid.

    Look at it this way, say there is a kid at that school who really does have anger management problems, he or she wants to talk to someone about these feelings of rage, but they’ve heard about this kid and how he got ostracised, humiliated and kicked out of the school because they were paranoid. What do you think the likelihood of that student talking to the school officials is going to be? They could have changed their ability of helping someone rebuild their life, and instead turned it into potential for another disaster.

  81. 0
    VaMinion says:

    I’m glad they rooted through the kid’s house. Why? Let’s face it…if they had actually found any of those things, we’d all be saying “Thank god they caught the kid before he took anybody out”, even as we complained about the media blaming video games.

    I do think the school board overreacted with the suspension, though. Especially because if he does transfer back to his original school, the rumor mill’s already beaten this one to death and his last few months are going to be hell.


  82. 0
    Kajex ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    “So was he playing a terrorist that plan to blow-up his school or did he play a conter-terrorist to heroically save his school?”

    See, did anybody think about that? If a terrorist situation DID occur at the school, anybody playing the map might know the best points to move in at. *shot at* Seriously though, people only seem to want to focus on the Terrorist aspect of Counter-strike, and not the counter-terrorist aspect.

  83. 0
    kapp says:

    unless he reskinned characters to look like high school kids and teachers this should be a non-issue. all he did was recreate a large building with unique architecture. schools are the perfect place for this type of game. long hallways, lots of rooms to clear, multiple pathways through the building, large open areas (gymnasium, cafeteria, auditorium), lots of recessed doorways to step into (at least in newer buildings).

    it sounds like it would just be an interesting place to play out a terrorist vs. military tactical assault scenario.

    the second he skins his principal and that girl who spit on him in third period as characters on the opposing squad is the moment you go in and take him to a counselor.

  84. 0
    point09micron says:

    Huge overreaction by the 5-0 and school board. Aside from the numerous civil & constitutional rights violations, there appears to be no evidence the kid had done anything wrong or was planning to do anything wrong.

    On top of that, schools are ideal for that sort of thing. I remember when Goldeneye came out, it occurred to me that the layout of my high school would be perfect for a multiplayer map.

  85. 0
    Arch says:

    Actually, what I’d like to know is who went runnin’ to this board in the first place? I know that some school boards check Myspace, but now CS sites? I don’t think they’re that quick to pick up stuff, even if they are lies.

  86. 0
    Carbonatedgravy says:

    Not that I’m sure, but it’s possible this is being taken way out of context. Back in the day I used to make maps of familiar locations on Duke Nukem 3d, but only because they were familiar and that made them fun to explore. For the same reason it’s going to be fun for people who live in New York to play the new GTA game. It has absolutely nothing to do with the violence. Totally different appeal. I’m not saying this is that, but it could very well be.

  87. 0
    Meggie ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So they arrested him, and transfered him to another school in his senior year? I’d say overreaction. I understand people are on edge after VT (whether it’s logical or not), but he didn’t deserve all this!

    According to the Houston Chronicle story, the school learned of this from a report made the day after the VT shootings. I’m guessing another student knew about this custom map prior and freaked when he heard about what happened in Virgina, and reported this kid.

  88. 0
    GoodRobotUs ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Personally, I say call Knight Rider, after all, didn’t he go after organisations that considered themselves above the law?

    The Police have said this person is no danger, but, apparently, school officials know better than specially trained officers of the peace and can feel free to ignore their opinion.

    Is this how low the average schools opinion of the Police is?

  89. 0
    Eville1 ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    This is horrible. What the hell is happening to our freedom of speech? I used to make levels of my school in Doom for the fun of it. I for one do not welcome our Fascist overlords.

  90. 0
    John ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    QFFT. Seriously, I cant think of how many custom maps of real world locations we made for games. I think we had:

    my highschool
    my grade school
    2 local shopping centers
    US Airways arena
    Local waterfront

    and many more realistic locals. Were they perfect scale replicas? No not at all. However, real life provides amazing architecture to use in games. It is also much more fun to sit down an play when there is no question of knowing the maps(we lived in them).

    I totally believe he did this just to do it. How many artists practice by drawing what they know, how many authors draw from personal experience in their writings. Same principle, different medium.

    This school district stepped WAY out of line. This was an invasion of privacy to the extreme. Yes, the school needed to notify the parent, but that is the extent of their jurisdiction. This was done at home, distributed on private servers, nothing to do with the govt at all.

    His punishment was the responsibility of the parents, not the state. Yes the parent should sit down and talk to the kid to see why they did it. If he was seriously just learning and had no issues, that should be the end of it.

  91. 0
    MaskedPixelante ( User Karma: -1 ) says:

    This is not only crazy, but an invasion of his privacy, if he wasn’t doing anything wrong. Also, I do believe the school board has no right to do anything, since this didn’t happen on campus.

    Unfortunately, the government doesn’t seem to think so, and will likely take this into evidence that video games kill people. It seems the constitution is very selective about who gets what rights. In this case, it seems that protection from unlawful search and seizure applies only if you aren’t part of some ethnic group that was recently involved in a school shooting, no offense to Asians.

  92. 0
    janarius ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    BIG overreaction! what in the States is going on down there! what about the kids who played that map? Their parents saw and complained to the one who made that map and what about punishing their own kids by sending them elsewhere like they did to that poor guy?

    I wonder what’s the students’ reactions? I hope they’re better than the adults around them.

    Everything that is done there is so hypocritical and hysterical, i’m rooting for that guy. Glad to be living in Canada!

  93. 0
    Sujet says:

    Forgot to mention, there is a Wal-Mart, Mcdonalds, Burgerking, Bestbuy, and many other real places as CS maps, lets use the school boards thinking and go on lock down of whole country! Someone is training on counter-strike to get Wal-Mart! (/sarcasm)

  94. 0
    Hackangel ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    So was he playing a terrorist that plan to blow-up his school or did he play a conter-terrorist to heroically save his school?

    I do not think they overreacted. You need to check on any possible threat to a school’s safety. However, that’s the police job, not a school board job. Once the police investigated, found that no criminal charges were warranted and that the kid was no threat (according to one of the two papers) the school board needs to come to their senses and readmit the kid into their school.

    They’re not people qualified to decide if he is a potential threat, the police is. Once the police has made sure he wasnt planning a school shooting the school board should not punish the kid because of their own insecurities. Like school board member Bryant said “I don’t want to fault our police for trying to protect us. But once the evidence was found and looked at, I see no compelling reason why this child should not have been sent back to his original campus,”. He’s one of the two sane members of that school board.

    And personally, I’d love a mod of my workplace. Not because I think it would make a great setting (it would) but because I need vent about it a little. I’d even like some skins of a few of my bosses but I would never think of bringing a gun there. I don’t own one and wouldn’t even know where to buy one (that’s Canada for you). Maybe a knife, so I can slash their car tires, just kidding.

  95. 0
    Mikeu ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    It’s interesting to note that there’s no mention of them investigating the students who downloaded the map. Seems like a double standard to me.

  96. 0
    Sujet says:

    I’m Sure all the WASD and click will train him to be a hardcore killer! b82 b84 b41 go go go! (/sarcasm)

    When I was in high school we played CS, UT, Starcraft and quake 3 in school and no one cares, now you can’t even play it at home without these people being on your case.

  97. 0
    InsidiousMrMoo says:


    It really depends on the game.

    Some games allow you to place NPCs in the game some don’t, I’m not too sure about Counter Strike but I would imagine you could place the same objectives that you have on any other maps Counter Terrorists rescue the hostages and terrorists do what terrorists do.

    I still don’t see why this was any issue with the school, I mean he was on his own computer playing the map is that really the schools business?

  98. 0

    This really isn’t as big a deal as the school board thinks it is.

    Everyone with The Sims has recreated their family/home. Everyone with a Wii has used the Mii Channel to recreate his/herself, family and friends. Look how many real-life theme parks have been recreated in the Rollercoaster Tycoon games, and how many cities you find people have made in SimCity. This is no different.

    Basically, when people are given access to any kind of map building tools for a game, they will always want to recreate the familiar.

    Personally, I built my college’s music department using the rudimentary editor in TimeSplitters 2, and the Resident Evil mansion on Unreal Tournament 2004. I’m about to start learning Hammer (the Source world building tool), and I will probably do something similar.

    As for the school shooting “training simulator” issue, exactly how is playing a tactical game of terrorists vs. counter-terrorists online especially representative of shooting up a school?

  99. 0
    Gameboy says:

    This just sounds ridiculous. It’s like you can’t condemn these actions enough! This kid went to the trouble to learn how to build a map and he designed one of his school.

    Here’s an idea: Rather than punish him, encourage and reward him. Hell maybe even help him get into computer programming or video game design school. He’s obviously shown an interest in that field. According to the Joystiq article, he won’t even be allowed to take place in “graduation ceremonies”. Does this mean he won’t be allowed to graduate? This would be even worse!

    I think we’ve all thought of places that would make interesting maps. Counterstrike in school or the mall? Halo in a theme park? The Airport? Movie Theater? A store? Building these maps wouldn’t mean you were gonna go on a shooting rampage. It would just mean you would love the challenge of going down the toy aisle, while worrying of an ambush coming from sporting goods. You should only worry if they populate the map with avatars based on real defenseless people, where the objective is to kill them. If the objective is to protect them, you may have a little issue for worry, but it could just be an interesting challenge (or a way to act out the powerless frustration we all share at the Virginia Tech shootings).

    I’m not familiar with map-building. Could you even put people into the maps? And, if so, can you place mission objectives on them, like kill or protect?

  100. 0
    Mike says:

    Can’t say if what they were doing is related to being a race thing, and I also don’t blame the Chinese-American community backing the kid up. However, back in the day I created DOOM maps for just about anywhere I had ever been. Like a previous poster mentioned, it’s just fun to play in a specific place. When I originally created my maps I was more doing it to see how close I could model the real world in a game engine (which is pretty darn hard in DOOM since certain structures are impossible to model).

    What I think is more of a problem is now people’s liberties are going to be violated over these “infractions.” I mean so now if you were to make a CS map of a public place you’re going to have the police involved? What happens if someone downloads your map (maybe only plays it once) and then goes and flips out? Are you liable?

    We all know that computers are used to train airline pilots. Therefore, computers can train kids to run around with guns and shoot people. It’s a perfect one to one correlation. They both use a simple point and click interface. There is your connection!

  101. 0
    ~the1jeffy says:

    Counter-strike is terrorists versus special forces, not crazies versus students.

    I’ve often thought about real-life places in terms of FPS-ability or even in terms of paintball-ability. Using familiar locations, or real-life ones, in cops-and-robbers type of play is not a crime.

    This kid’s only crime was being an Asian-American that plays Counter-strike after VT.

  102. 0
    Awol ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    Big Overreaction! They just looked at the map and assumed he was going to do something. The article didn’t fully go into it but it sounds like he didn’t have any other signs of having issues.

    Like some of the other posters here I thought as well it would be cool to have a game map of my school or neighborhood when playing. Nothing beats playing on a map of the someplace you really know.

  103. 0
    Shoehorn O'Plenty ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    When I was at college studying Computer Systems, we had to submit a Final Year Project at the end of the 4 year course. You could come up with whatever project you liked, as long as a member of the Computer Department agreed it was a worthwhile project and to be your supervisor/sponsor. Each memebr of the department had their own particular areas of study and interest and to help students, they posted up a list of suggestions for projects they would be happy to oversee.

    One of those projects was to model the entire University of Limerick campus in the Unreal engine.

    When a member of a respected faculty such as UL can see no harm in this, I fail to see why this boy is being reprimanded and investigated. I believe it is just backlash from the V. Tech shootings, where they are seeing an asian kid and linking that with the unproven ridiculous claims of “training” via video games, putting 2 and 2 together and coming out with “He’s going to murder us all!”.

    If the guy had demonstrated the same kind of fascination with hatred and revenge, or the same disturbed behaviour as Cho Seung Hui had, then perhaps there would be cause for concern. When it is just a normal person being creative, there should not be this uproar.

    What if he had made a likeness of the school out of Lego? Or drawn a scale map of the school? Would he be investigated for that? As it stands I see no difference in rendering a likeness of the school, no matter the medium.

    It is unfortunate that there is going to be a blanket “condemnation” or at least scrutiny of asian students because of this, just as nerdy people in trenchcoats were viewed with suspicion after columbine, or Muslims in neighbourhoods were watched more closely after 9/11.

    One last thing I would like to point out about the “training” you can get from a video game. In Counterstrike, you are playing against other players who are shooting back at you. In any school shooting, people will panic, try and escape, some might be frozen with terror, some will hide. In some cases people will show incredible bravery and try to protect others such as the lecturer in V Tech. Are we to assume that artificial intelligence can accurately predict the reactions of people in a situation such as that? It’s laughable to even suggest this.

  104. 0
    Scarabus says:

    They’ve already proved that video games had nothing to do with the VT shooting so it’s pretty obvious this wouldn’t had happened if he weren’t asian. Which ethic group is next? Indians?

  105. 0
    Scazza ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I actually made two maps of my highschool and one of my college for CS. I didn’t do it to train, I just think it was a unique architectural layout.

    I don’t know about you, but sometimes when I was in class, I used to day dream… Sometimes I used to imagine big paintball tournys held at the school, where would our “base” be etc, woulda been fun, so I made a CS map.

    Its also fun to play in familiar location. Who wants to run around generic Arabian village #22 fighting?

  106. 0

    Gee whiz, my buddies and I played Doom custom maps set in high school and nobody batted an eyelash.

    Different times, I suppose. I can certainly understand the concern, but it seems like due diligence was done and it is time for the kid to get back in class.

  107. 0
    Soldatlouis ( User Karma: 0 ) says:

    I remember that years ago I wanted to make a map for Counter-Strike re-creating my University. But, of course, it was not for training at all : I just thought it would be a good Battlefield. Anyway, I also though about making a CS map recreating my own house.

  108. 0
    InsidiousMrMoo says:

    I think is overreaction.

    There is no possible way to “Train” on a computer game to act out what you want to accomplish.

    I can remember a few times in my life when I thought it would be cool to have levels in games that were copies of the places I knew in the real world, not because I wanted to do anything bad but because I thought it would be cool.

    I don’t see why what he was doing at home was any of the schools business, sure I could understand if he was threating kids, but just because he has a level that looks like his school on a computer game you get to take disciplinary action against him? I mean is this what society is becoming… if you are a little bit different we will punish you?

  109. 0
    joe apodaca says:

    I don’t want to fault our police for trying to protect us. But once the evidence was found and looked at, I see no compelling reason why this child should not have been sent back to his original campus.

  110. 0
    Father Time ( User Karma: 0 ) says:


    Why are you blaming liberals for this? Anyone can see this was not poltically motivated and it is just paranoia and stupidity at its finest.

  111. 0
    sombody whos more smarter than you says:

    HAHA!!! WTH is up with this principal?!?! It isnt for training, its for fun. custom maps have been based off of real-world and familiar places for years. It gives it that familiar feeling and isnt everyone tired of train stations and space ships for levels? if i played counter strike i would do the same thing. this is so rediculous, its almost funny.

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