PMPD says video is insensitive but not illegal
Port Moody Police say a video portraying a multiplayer first-person shooting game set inside Port Moody Secondary is disturbing and likely "ill-conceived," but does not constitute a threat.
The PMPD reports on its website that members have spoken to the developer of the game and concluded that "he does not pose a danger to the staff or students of Port Moody secondary."
Police say they were first alerted by School District 43 authorities on Thursday and took the step of contacting the creators.
The Tri-City News reported the story online yesterday, and in print today, Friday.
SD43 is also taking the video seriously and is seeking advice regarding follow-up but it is not known whether the video's creators will be asked to take it down.
"We are well aware of this, and we recognize that it is a sensitive situation. The district is working with the school on this matter, and is seeking further advice regarding follow-up," Cheryl Quinton stated in an email following up a News request for comment to principal Karen Jensen.
Meanwhile, Aarman Rahim, who originally posted the video on Youtube but later removed it from his channel, has issued a statement acknowledging that he provided photographs for the game but didn't develop it.
The PMSS grad said the game was created by integrating the "map" of PMSS into a Counter Strike game platform and it was made for PMSS alumni who are intimate with the school
"There is no ill intent; this is simply a game all alumni and peers could associate with." he wrote in his statement, noting that there are no students or teachers depicted nor was there any intention to do so.
Rahim further states: "the developer provided the map, which is the environment where the action takes place. This is but one of many mature content games which is up to user discretion to play or not. Again, I do not support violence in schools and neither does the developer. The developer did not create anything other than the environment, known as the map."
Since it was posted Tuesday, the video has garnered a lot of interest and some concern about the video game content.
Dave Teixeira, a local commentator and owner of Dave.ca Communications who raised the issue on his blog, said teachers at the school and parents are concerned about the video because of its disturbing and insensitive content.
"My goal to be honest to shed a light on this and hopefully the developers — the co-creators — would see fit to not go forward with this," Teixeira said.
He said he didn't want to see the game banned but would prefer the developers used their skills to create technology that would more benefit the community, such as an app that could be used by Share Family and Community Services.
"I am questioning what is the intent of this. What was the goal… shock value?" Teixeira said, adding that the fact that the game is not original but simply the integration of a map or an environment onto an existing platform doesn't diminish his concern.
Meanwhile, other gamers are coming to the developer's defense. Luka Culibrk, a former PMSS student, stated in an email that the school provides interesting "architecture" for a first-person shooting game that would make it enjoyable to play, and cited research he believes debunks concerns that violent video games cause violence.
But some teachers argue that using PMSS for the backdrop of a shooting game is inappropriate. In a Facebook post to Rahim, Dino Bolognese called the content disturbing and asked the grad to reflect upon his experience.