Design a video game mod – get arrested for being a terrorist

A 17-year-old high school student was arrested, his home was raided, and he was transferred to a special-ed school when the school board found out he had created a Counterstrike map of his high school. The police was called in to investigate terroristic threats against the school. There was no explicit threat. The student hadn’t written a threatening email or letter, he hadn’t talked about attacking the school, he had no weapons, nor morbid interest in anything violent. All he did was design a 3D representation of his high school in a video game.

Counterstrike is a first-person shooter (FPS) video game where you play either a terrorist (robbers) or a counter-terrorist agent (cops). It allows users to create maps over which the game can be played. Its popularity is directly related to the high number of user generated maps (or mods, as they’re called). If it wasn’t for these mods, the game would’ve long been forgotten.

What makes the story even more “interesting” is that the student is Chinese. Oh, man! Double-whammy! An Asian kid playing video games. He MUST be a mass murderer in training just like that other Asian kid, right?

But the story just keeps on getting better. When the police raided his home, apparently they found a weapon. The weapon was promptly confiscated so that it couldn’t be used against the students at the high school. The student, after all, is a suspected mass murderer. His weapon of choice? A hammer. Yes, a hammer. At someone’s home. I am not making this shit up.

Poor kid. He’s obviously gifted in computers and architecture to have been able to create the map in the first place, but instead of being encouraged to develop his talents, he’s being transported to a special-ed school. The whole thing is complete insanity.

Creating mods for the games has been popular ever since Doom first allowed it years ago. It has long been a vehicle for amateur video game designers to showcase their talents and in some cases to actually become professional video game designers. Several of the more popular mods have been commercial blockbusters making their creators rich. Creating a good mod takes considerable talent in multiple disciplines; computer graphics, 3D modeling, video game design and general computing skills. Before the Virginia Tech shooting some schools actually encouraged their students to make mods for school projects. Students were even recognized for such accomplishments.

And now that the issue has boiled over and become public, the school board is bickering about the board members’ motivations to clear this kid’s name. Some of the school board members are accusing the members who called a meeting to resolve the issue for pandering to the Chinese community in the district to buy their votes. What utter bullshit. I hope to God these assholes don’t get their kids in trouble with the school board, cause it seems it’s impossible to get them to do shit.


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