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  School Authorities Arrest Teen Game Map Maker  
 
 
Posted 2007-05-02 by Tony Walsh
 
 
     
 
According to Fort Bend Now, a Chinese-American teenager who created a game map of his school has been "removed from campus" and placed in another educational facility. The president of the Fort Bend Chinese-American Voters League told Fort Bend Now that the teen was arrested by school police. The teen's house was reportedly searched with consent; the police found a hammer on-site, and decided the boy was a threat. No charges were filed, but the teen "won't be allowed to participate in graduation ceremonies with classmates."

Fort Bend Now reports that "Speakers at the [school board's] April 23 meeting...drew a connection to the April 16 shootings at Virginia Polytechnic Institute, in which a Korean student shot and killed 32 people." The commentary on the story by Fort Bend Now web site readers is particularly interesting. Several commentators accuse the teen of bad judgment, something I completely disagree with. In my opinion, this is at the very least an overreaction with political motives, if not flat-out racism.

What the authorities in this situation don't seem to be aware of (or care about) is that it is not uncommon for gamers to reproduce familiar real-world environments as game maps, from offices to schools, to malls. If you want to learn how to create game content, it's easiest to start with locations you know well--it's the same mentality that goes into creating model railroad scenes which replicate one's town or neighborhood. It's fun to play a familiar game in a familiar setting, just as its fun to operate model trains in a familiar setting: We like to play with what we know. I don't think a gamer is any more likely to be a murderer than a model railroad hobbyist.
 
     
 
   
 
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  3 Comments  
 
   
 
Comment posted by Adri
May 3, 2007 @ 12:12 am
     
 
I guess it's just a miracle that I haven't killed anyone, considering I helped map a Counterstrike (zomg! murder simulator!) level of my university.

Or possibly it's because I'm not Asian, since apparently being Asian (all Asians are the same you know), is a part of being a university mass murderer. There are no words for that piece of racist profiling.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by Rusty Ramone
May 3, 2007 @ 11:55 am
     
 
There should be a law against modelling reality! The models are potential learning tools for destruction. And that potential is what could potentially kill us all. At the very least, prosecutors should be able to charge someone with "potential assault" and "potential speeding".

And no good can come of a boy with a hammer. Isn't there some saying like "Give a boy a hammer and he wants to smash everyone's skulls"? Well there should be. Let's count our lucky stars he didn't have a baseball bat in his home.
 
     
 
     
   
 
Comment posted by gwa1955
August 9, 2007 @ 7:44 pm
     
 
Too bad they didn't get to Fred Rogers before he passed away. He had a model of MisterRogers Neighborhood, with a working trolley and avarything. In his house, was the 'real' trolley, ready to bring children to the land of Make Believe, where everything happened under the rules of Friday the Thirteenth. A bad luck day for everyone, to be sure! Also in Mister Rogers living room was 'Picture, Picture' ready to display all kinds of propoganda.

I could provide all kinds of sarcastic explainations for what's found in MisterRogers Neighborhood. Fortunately, in the world I live in, Fred Rogers introduced children to things around them. He wasn't into making them into threats to society or some kind of terrorists.
 
     
 
     
   
 
 
     
 
     
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