The use of a digital reproduction of a Vancouver-area high school as the backdrop for a violent first-person shooter video game has alarmed school administrators and teachers in Port Moody, B.C.
The digital reproduction of Port Moody Secondary School was designed for Counter-Strike, a video game in which players use automatic assault rifles to shoot at enemy forces.
Counter-Strike allows users to customize the game by designing their own scenarios or scenes called "maps" to share with others.
The controversy was sparked after a video of the game using the digital reproduction of the high school was posted on YouTube.
In the game video the shooter wanders around the school shooting military opponents, but no students or teachers appear in the video.
Former student helped develop scenario
One young man, who claimed to be involved in the creation of the game map, said he believed gamers were "sufficiently mature to realize that the degree of freedom allotted to you in the virtual realm do not extend to your rights in reality."
His comments were published on his website, where he also responded to many of CBC's questions.
The man refused to identify himself and speak on the record with CBC, but online he referred to himself as an alumnus of Port Moody Secondary School.
"Let us start by saying Port Moody Secondary is a great school," he wrote. "Rest assured there is no malicious intent behind this production to any actual school property, nor any actual persons associated with the school.
"Additionally, people should realize this is simply a game. No physical harm comes from it. Guns in reality are generally lethal weapons. Guns in a videogame can't hurt anyone."
He continued: "There are no students being killed. The gameplay is the same as all counter strike games, where you have two teams fighting against each other, much like most other shooters which use public settings as game environments."
Violent video shocks teacher
On Thursday night, several Port Moody residents told CBC News they were outraged and upset, especially in light of recent incidents of gun violence in schools.
Alex Devlin, a physical education teacher at Port Moody Secondary, said he was shocked when he saw the map of the school online.
"I love that school," Devlin told CBC News. "We have amazing students, we have a wonderful caring staff.
"The distinguishing thing about our school is the rainbow-coloured lockers … it makes you feel good. And to see that violence that same senseless violence in our hallway, our rainbow-coloured hallway, it was devastating."
Port Moody Police say they were notified about the video by school officials and interviewed those responsible.
"Although the creation of such a video game is likely ill-conceived in the current climate, it does not constitute an offence," a statement released by the Port Moody Police Department on Friday morning said.
"Investigators from the Port Moody Police Department have interviewed the developer of this game and have concluded that he does not pose a danger to the staff or students of Port Moody Secondary."
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