Perhaps the biggest story of last week was the word that a 17-year-old high school senior in Fort Bend, Texas was kicked out of his high school and barred from graduation because he created a Counter-strike map of his school. If you missed the details, here is a recap.
The incident caused a good deal of outrage in the gaming community. Now, developer Kenn Hoekstra (left) of Pi Studios has responded with a blistering op-ed piece in Fort Bend Now. Here’s part of what Hoekstra had to say:
As a video game developer of 10 years, I am outraged… What is society coming to when creativity and artistic freedom of expression are being trampled with absolutely no regard for civil liberties? Aren’t schools supposed to encourage and reward creativity?
Where is the crime here? …I speak from experience when I say that just about every aspiring level designer starts out by building what he or she knows… Over the years, I’ve personally constructed the house where I grew up, my old grade school and high school, my old work office building and my apartment complex in various level editors.
This country has plenty of real problems that need to be solved… An aspiring game maker building his school in a level editor isn’t one of them.
Video games are not your enemy and neither is this young man… Leave this kid alone and let him get back to his classmates and his life. This is America, not Amerika.