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ERIC Number: EJ930033
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2011-Apr-27
Pages: 3
Abstractor: ERIC
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-0277-4232
"School Shooter" Web Video Game Raises Concerns
Rhen, Brad
Education Week, v30 n29 p1, 16-17 Apr 2011
A new video game in which the player stalks and shoots fellow students and teachers in school settings is drawing fire from school district officials. "School Shooter: North American Tour 2012" is a first-person game that allows the player to move around a school and collect points by killing defenseless students and teachers. The game, developed by Checkerboarded Studios, is actually a modification, or mod, of a popular first-person shooter game called Half-Life 2. According to Checkerboarded's website, checkerboarded.com, the producers' specialty is Half-Life 2 knockoffs meant to be satirical. In describing School Shooter, the producer's site says that "you play as a disgruntled student fed up with something or other (We're not exactly sure), who after researching multiple school shooting martyrs, decides to become the best school shooter ever." Players can arm themselves with the same weapons used by real-life student gunmen, including Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold, who shot and killed 13 people in April 1999 at Columbine High School in Colorado before killing themselves, and Seung-Hui Cho, who fatally shot 32 people at Virginia Tech in April 2007. He also killed himself. Much of the controversy stems from the combination of the sensitivity surrounding school shootings and a demonstrated link between playing violent video games and an increase in violent behavior. The controversy also comes as a decision is pending in the U.S. Supreme Court in a case challenging a California law, passed in 2005 but never enforced, that put restrictions on the sale of violent video games to minors. Game producers and sellers argue that the law violates the First Amendment, and that regulating minors' access to such games should be left up to parents. The court heard oral arguments in the case in November, but had yet to rule as of late last week.
Editorial Projects in Education. 6935 Arlington Road Suite 100, Bethesda, MD 20814-5233. Tel: 800-346-1834; Tel: 301-280-3100; e-mail: customercare@epe.org; Web site: http://www.edweek.org/info/about/
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Descriptive
Education Level: Elementary Secondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Laws, Policies, & Programs: First Amendment