New GP Poll: Texas Student & Counter-strike Map

May 3, 2007 -
Yesterday's big story concerned a Texas senior who created a Counter-strike level based on his high school.

Today's poll asks you to vote on how the incident should have been handled.

-Should Paul Hwang have been arrested? 

-Should he have been disciplined by school authorities?

-Or was he simply exercising his right to be creative using the tools provided by the game?

The poll is located in the upper right sidebar of GP's main page, so be sure to cast your vote.

Joystiq by the way, has obtained screen shots (left) of Hwang's maps.



Continuing from the last comment:
Every one who play counter strike should make more real places and show off their good map making skills. No mater who you are, where ever you are, make map of real places and use it as a message to the paranoid. People in the same community, make multiple maps of the same location individually to show supports of free speech.

Why the hell are people so paranoid? What ever happen to the Bill of Right? That kid have skill. Who reported the map? That person should be ashamed of them self. That poor kid. Every one is blaming stuff on video game, why don't they do something about something that actually mater, like health care, fixing this crap that is call the education system, and global warming. They should know how adult oppression over kids are, they faced their parent unhappyness of Rock music. Now they are doing the same thing to us. What about our parent, it should be them to teach us what is right and worng. Not laws and policy. They hardly ever blame parents, it always current culture.


To any one from the school that kid is from:
Stand up for one of your own. You are all peer and should stand up for your human rights. Show some action to bring that poor boy back to your school. Petition, boycott, or any non-violence way to stand up to the oppressor in your education system.

his name is Peter Hwang (not paul)

he started making this map 4 years b4 the shooting...released it 2 months before the shooting...arrested for it 1 day after the shooting

The first map I ever made for DOOM was of my house. When Duke Nuke'm came out, I made a map of my house, my friend made one of his, then we made a sewer connecting them in a larger map.

It's easier when you're first learning to mod and use the tools to make something you already know first hand IRL. Later on when you master the tools you can create something you've visualized in your head.

All overreaction. Lots of high schools are not the old corridors...they have complex hallways that wind together in bizarre ways (usually due to various renovations), and imho, it makes for a great playfield.

In the article, the boy was investigated and they found nothing. There was no malice in what he did and I see no reason for him to be punished what so ever.

When I used to make DOOM maps, trying to duplicate places I knew (a nearby mini-mall, for example) were one way I made my maps. Likewise, when I started playing The Sims/The Sims 2, I tried to recreate my own houses as places for the Sims to live.

If there aren't any other warning signs for the kid (and there aren't, in this case), then there shouldn't be any problem. It's much ado about nothing.

I do think that the kid should have been investigated, but after the police investigation they should have reinstated him in school.

Asinine. I used to make maps out of my school for all the FPS I owned. No one got killed over it and no one was ever arrested.

I don't know anything about this kid's personal life except that he played Counterstrike (which is becoming a crime I guess?). If he wasn't messed up or angry before then chances are he certainly is now.

Nothing like inciting fear, hey?!

A quick test on why they arrested him: see if there is a same reaction if it was being made for America's Army (if that's possible.) As you know, that game always has the protagonists cast as the good guys, where either your team storms the school to get rid of terrorists, or your team is pre-empting an incoming terrorist attack.

If there is no difference, then they are simply clamping down on students. If it was not an issue, then they are simply doing favouritism (e.g. A la mode enforcement.) If they would simply nbe easier on the stiudent, I wouldn't be sure what that would mean, but I would consider this unlikely.

What we are starting to see here is the result of having no laws about video games and minors.

Since there is no government regulation this kind of action will start happening more and more as people look for ways to curb the potential damage games can cause.

Without the federal government taking action this kind of paranoid self protection is what will remain.

I agree with Dracis.

I wanted to make maps of school and my workplace at the time when I was playing CS way back. Not because I want to kill but because it was locations I was familiar with and had great layouts.

After looking into it they should have just left him alone. Theres nothing wrong with what he did.

You know, we didn't have doom when I was in high school. But we did have pen and paper RPGs. I remember my friends and I did a "Red Dawn" (the movie) campaign once using...guess what? Our real-life home city as the backdrop. We used published maps of our schools, libraries, and even the city hall. We'd just draw a square grid over the top of the maps and play...many of these structures were totally destroyed, and not all of them by our fictional Russians.

I think that if you had searched our rooms, you probably would have found something like a hammer or a collection of swords, or in my case a knife collection (my grandfather's, which meant a great deal to would probably call them 'boxcutters' today).

But I wasn't caught and punished for this transgression, and somehow, nearly thirty years later, I wouldn't appear to have harmed a single living soul.

There's no reason to hold our children's creations hostage to the politics of today. Kids throughout the ages have played 'cops and robbers.' So the modern counterstrike version of that is 'SWAT vs Terrorists'...and when I was a kid we played US vs Russia war games. Wow. Kids combat in fantasy the social enemy of the day. Is that some new knowledge we should be proud of having realized? Not really. This is how people deal with the fears and dangers of their lives.

Someone always has to play the robbers. I don't know why parents look at these games, and see - not their - other people's children playing "the bad guy", and see the worst in them for it.

If they should investigate him, they'll have to investigate pretty much everybody else who has ever made maps for a game. Might be easier to work in reverse, and find the five or six people in the history of gaming who never made a map of something familiar..

I think that he should have been 'disciplined' in so much as being evaluated for his state of mind, and as he was investigated, but then dropped when there was no apparent threat. (depends if you look at being evaluated as a threat a disciplinary action or a nothing action).

I think that he should be left alone. hell for any FPS ive ever played i always though of making one of my own high school. My shool actualy would be a good map for a 20 or 30 player map. Bun wheni want to make a real life map im now a potential murder? HA.

I think (like in every generation) that the parents and goverment think that whatever the kids do is wrong or some how evil. Like in the 1950's parents hated rock and roll and though of it as "Devil's Music". And today they hate rap. But now its geitng into viedogames. And as a few do somthing wrong, the rest are punished. The blame is on the only thing, parents and goverment think, makes sense, Viedogames. Even though in reality it was probaly parenting or other influences that you can make contact with, not some map making of real life places or shooting fictionaly people.

It's ironic that in the halls of the game level, there is a mural encouraging Freedom for all people. In the USA, those freedoms include freedom of speech which is usually also extended to mean freedom of artistic expression. The school board was waaaaay out of bounds in their response to this young man's creative work. Chances are, the taxpayers of this school district will end up bearing the burden for their school board's lack of understanding of this young man's constitutional rights.

-Should Paul Hwang have been arrested?

No. He did not commit a crime.

-Should he have been disciplined by school authorities?

No. What he spends his free time on is of no importance to the school. That it happened to be creating a map similar to a RL location he know is irrelevant.

-Or was he simply exercising his right to be creative using the tools provided by the game?


I remember back at an old job, when Marathon 2 came out (yeah, it was a while ago), some guy in the office made a map based on the corporate headquarters. He even put a bunch of the "BOB's" in the presidents office.

I don't think anyone thought he was going to go shoot up the office or anything, it was just for fun... to be able to have a shoot-em-up in the game in territory you were familiar with in real life.

Sad how times have changed...

While I agree that for the most part this behavior is relatively benign, in this litigation-happy society we live in, this can be seen as cause for a little concern. I emphasize the word "little" because anything more than offering the kid a voluntary psych evaluation is an invasion of privacy.

First off, shouldn't it be pronounced "Hon" (I keep hearing that whenever I see the name Hwang)

All of this is due to an inacurate discription of the game. A certain somebody (We'll say a Jack, that's too obvious. We'll just say J. Thompson) portrayed it as a game of random violence, rather than a team based game (Terroists vs. Counter-Terrorists, enough said). Let's not forget that some of the missions require hostage rescue and bomb diffusion.

You know what would be good for our children? Banning stupid people. But these stupid people hide behind their whole "freedom of speech" BS (yes, that's sarcasm. Let it sink in).

At the very worst, officials at the school (not the board level) should have had a sit down with this kid to discuss it to determine is there was a threat.

That would've avoided the whole storm going on now....

The fact that he made the maps public for his fellow students suggests this was harmless fun. Besides, as many others have pointed out, who DIDN'T make a map of their school when level editors became popular?

To elaborate, Counter-strike is basically Cowboys and Indians, Cops and Robbers. You don't see random violence after those games, do you?

If I was the kid, I would be raising holy hell. He did *nothing* wrong. He is a victim of the "wrong place, wrong time" kind of mentality. Interestingly enough, when I inquired with both the newspaper covering the incident and several officials from the school asking to be pointed towards a press release on the incident. The report of the newspaper replied with he was unable to provide more information, and the school has promptly ignored my requests for a press release.

In my opinion, the school was clearly in the wrong, and I feel that they violated his rights (I know his parents gave permission, but still ... there is a fine fine line there...). Ultimately, what happened was this kid made a map, gave no indications of violence, mentioned it to the wrong person, who then went to the authorities, who over-reacted over something that was never meant to be anything than a game.

This has Jack Thompson's stink all over it. This, I feel, was nothing more than a calculated move designed to position games in the realm where big-government can take over the industry and stifle one of the few voices that it doesn't have a hold over. (Sounds a little conspiracy theory-ish, I know ... but it stands to reason ...i.e. Patriot Act)

I would discipline him... for not presenting his CS map as a school project. By looking at the screenshots, it's very nice and the school should be thankful that it brings out hard work and creativity in that guy. The school board should look into the broader nature of video games. I hope all the best for him.

I always wanted to make maps based off my School...back in the days of THPS 1-3 I wanted to make a map based off the lay out the roof of my high school (it is spread out and actually had some sloping bits of roof I thought looked good.)

I have sometimes thought about creating maps for UT based off different buildings on my university campus. (the building I have most my lectures in would be good...(it is square with 3 sets of stair cases...and not all the rooms link together.

Arrest? On what charge?

Discipline? Again - on what charge?

More importantly - what message are they (school board and police) sending out to youth?

You see - its very easy to pick on those who can't vote. If I were still in highschool and this happened to a student, I would have organized a protest. But people (not just kids) are not into the 'all-for-one' thing anymore....

I've digitally remade my house. Art imitates life. It's a fact, no big deal...

My first DOOM3 map was of the house I grew up in as a kid.

Not because I want to shoot up my family or anything...

I just thought it would make a great little deathmatch level.

Does anyone notice what kind of prescedent this sets? By simply making a virtual representation of a place in the real world, you are in effect committing an arrestible crime.

BTW, what is happening to this guy right now? Is he still in the "special school"? Will he be allowed to graduate? What about his college plans? Hell, his entire career for his life will be affected by this arrest.

He hasn't done anything actually wrong, unless America advocates not only thought crime, but circumstantial thought crime.

I wonder if, by playing a level in CS set in a bank, I could be arrested for armed robbery.

Precrime sure is fun, huh?

I say nothing! He was practicing what should've been a protected right. I hope this doesn't cause too much damage onto him.

Back in the day I created a doom level of my school. It was great, I loved it, friends loved it. And we've all gone on to be mass murdering psychopaths. Errrr I mean level headed adults will decent well paid jobs and some of us are now raising our own families. In fact most of myself and friend who played the level are probably out performing our then peers in terms of where we are now. Go figure.

Playing games in maps resembling or replicating places you visit in the real world has novelty value. That's all. A bunch of folks from my degree were attempting to recreate the school of computer science a couple of years ago, and it was just an entertaining and creative project for them.

The kid did nothing wrong. Investigate, sure, but do so sensitively, without assuming from the get-go that you're dealing with a psychopath in order to avoid humiliating the poor guy, and certainly don't discipline him when you find NOTHING.

Complete overreaction. The very most that should have happened was the map files being erased/put out of use if they felt it was a threat.

New GP Poll: Texas Student & Counter-strike Map...



Except there is no scientific evidence that videogames themselves or the playing of them can potentially 'cause damage' and restrictive legislation done for the good of the general population ought to be done only with the full backing of good science, not fear mongering, and a thorough examination of peer-reviewed studies on the subject will show that any law would be unjustifiable.

And how exactly would video-game regulations have prevented the school from over-reacting and doing what it did? By stopping from Hwang, who continued to be a successful and popular student years after creating the mod, from enjoying the game in the first place? If anything, we need some federal law protecting students from this crap. The same thing happened in schools across America after Columbine, in case anyone's memory is hazy, and kids wearing the shirts of their favorite bands or black raincoats to school... even in the rain... were habitually harassed, suspended, or expelled. The only victim in this is Hwang and, potentially, his family.

While what this person did might be consided be tasteless he created this map for Counter-Strike in the privacy of his own home, not on school property. Punishing him in any way would be a direct violation of his First Amendment Free Speech rights. So I voted Nothing.

It is a very nice map, very detailed.

well in the future we will all play humans vs. buggers :D

I answered "nothing" to that poll, but it was a conflicted answer. As long as "discipline" means action taking to punish him, that's how I feel. I think the only thing he did wrong was not consider how making the map might have been perceived by others. That's all he really did, and I think the worst at this point should be that someone explains that to him. Yeah, it was important to investigate to make sure it wasn't threatening, but after that, it should have pretty much been over. I get the feeling that people who don't understand would be mistreating him after that anyway.

How long ago was this map made?

At the very least, he should feel stupid for not expecting this kind of thing to happen.

At WPI, one of the senior projects was to map out the entire campus for use in Halo. So... we get told to make the school in an FPS, whereas he gets all this shit? People need to stop overreacting. If he made his school in lets say... Elebits (if it was possible), would you think that he had some master plan to make the school ridiculously messy while searching for fictional animals?

The proper discipline action? The kid should sue the school, and the school should fire the board members and let him back in as settlement.

Only the government should be allowed to make video game maps of public places like the US Army game has. People who play the other games by independent companies should be arrested because they are a terrorist threat.

Also, Lucy Liu should be arrested because in Kill Bill, she play-acts violence. She could potentially be a terrorist threat. Quentin Tarentino was just trying to make a homely movie but Lucy Liu does some disturbing play-acting. Her role specifically is very violent.

@Wookiee: Why should he expect it? From all reports, he's a model student, not a brooding mass of psychoses.
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