School maps for FPS games - John C. Kirk
May. 18th, 2007
12:22 am - School maps for FPS games
I know that there have been some questionable security choices made in the last few years, but this one really did amaze me:
Student creates Counter-Strike map of school, gets kicked out of school
(Link via Bruce Schneier's blog.)
The article doesn't give much detail (neither the pupil nor the school is named), so it's difficult to verify the information; however, if it's true then I think it's a ridiculous decision. The Register has a bit more info on this, although again there's nothing specific.
Back in my undergrad days I used to play the game "Doom", which is also in the FPS (First Person Shooter) genre where you see through the eyes of your character and blast away at any enemies who appear on the screen. Once you'd played the game itself, with the built in levels, you could download extra maps from the internet. These were of variable quality, but one of the famous ones was The Unholy Trinity, set in Trinity College Cambridge. I haven't visited the college itself, so I don't know how accurate the map is, but it certainly looked like a real place. A couple of my housemates tried making a map of our college (St Aidans, Durham) but we didn't get very far, mainly because the maps had to be 2D in those days. (You could go up and down in lifts, with different parts of the map at different heights, but you couldn't have one corridor underneath another one.) Anyway, the point is that none of us had any intention of going on a kill spree around the college; it was just a fun idea to have a computerised version of familiar surroundings. In a similar way, when I played Microsoft Flight Simulator I considered the idea of programming a local map, so that I could see my house out of the window. That idea never went anywhere, mainly because I got bored of the game, but the same principle applies.
Anyway, I just want to go on record as opposing this type of knee-jerk reaction.