This is in rebuttal to the Planetquake Staff Writer, Spyke, who’s absurd comments and lack of knowledge have once again come to the forefront to draw incomplete conclusions about realism in mods. To understand completely where both sides are on the issue, check out the article at, The Gauntlet on Planetquake, in which Spyke and Lee’mon battle over “realism in mods and games.”
As many of you already know, Action Quake 2 is based upon “realism” and the motto, “All the speed of your favorite action film, without the cost of a ticket.” This mod seems to have started the “action” craze which has recently exploded with many mod developers battling it out for street dominance. The A-Team originally had unique idea, which they “breathed life into” by giving us, the players a chance to act as our favorite action hero. Unfortunately, Spyke leads us down that other road of realism called “life” and believes mods such as Action Quake hold no basis when it comes to gaming.
I was actually okay with most of his arguments against Lee’mon until it came to the map in question. The map is titled, Teacher [When I Killed the Teacher] which was masterfully created by Mats “Ruskprick” Holm, who hails from Sweden. For those who play Action Quake 2 on a regular basis and are around the community, we all know of his work and attention to detail when it comes to mapping and texturing. He definitely is one of the best!
While I can agree with the thoughts most share when Columbine is mentioned, I definitely take offense to his thoughts regarding the author and his map, Teacher. Spyke was turned onto the map through a friend who stated “It was, supposedly, a fairly close replica of Columbine High School.” Honestly, I do not see how your friend can determine this. We can surely write this ridiculous statement off as being merely a rumor which hold no weight at all in this argument.
Spyke thought, “Oh, sure, BS”. Then we played it. It was one of the scariest things I’ve ever seen in my life, and not in a good way. Some sick f*ck took it upon himself to construct this map, complete with broken school furniture and disturbing messages scrawled in blood on the walls. We ran through the map for about 5 minutes and decided it would be impossible to play in, as well as just plain wrong. This is where realism completely crosses the line. Introducing realistic situations into games that are clearly non-realistic will only lead to trouble.
Where shall I begin?? How about with some dates to back up fact from fiction. Ruskprick completed the map, Teacher, in October, 1998 and was subsequently released in March, 1999. The Columbine Tragedy in Colorado took place April 20, 1999. Unless Ruskprick is Nostradamus and can predict events before they happen, I feel the two events have nothing in common, except what people like yourself want to read into it, just to force the issue.
You then consider Ruskprick, “Some sick f*ck,” which seems not only to degrade him as a person, but all the effort and work he has put into this outstanding looking map. This strikes me as being very unprofessional and is doing the author a terrible injustice, for a site such as Planetquake, who reigns supreme upon mention of anything Quake related.
Thanks to the powers that be in the Action Quake 2 Community, I was given the opportunity and authority [or lack thereof] to be put in charge of The Action Quake Map Depot which supplies all the “officially released” maps for the mod. Teacher was released before I took charge, but that still does not mean it was wrong to release this or any other map of this fashion. Case in point, we released the map, JDCS [Fraggin in the CJD] by [FA]Joka from Germany, in February, 2000.
While it drew some mixed comments on the AQMD forum and through personal e-mails to me and the staff, many players accepted the map and supported the release of the map. There were still some who thought we, of the AQMD Staff, were wrong in releasing this map, based on the the Columbine incident. After all the hype had subsided, we considered our options and decided to stick to our decision and the map still remains available for download.
What does all of this mean to us as people who play “the game of life everyday” or who play Action Quake [or any other real life action based mod] as a way to “escape reality?” Nothing at all. Thankfully, most people are able to distinguish between what is real, such as life, from what is computer generated and provided to us as a form of entertainment. Action Quake 2 is based on the premise of “real life” environments as opposed to a distance planet in a far off galaxy, where the players tote akimbo pistols or an assault rifles instead of a plasma rifle or railgun, killing people as opposed to the Strogg. If we cannot have our escape from reality in one form or another, what can we have?
Look at the growing popularity in “real life” shooters coming to the forefront of the gaming industry. Games and such as SWAT3, Delta Force 2, Soldier of Fortune, Team Fortress 2, give the player something real they can relate to. Mods like Action Quake 2, Action Half-Life and the upcoming Action Unreal Tournament and Urban Terror will provide the same opportunity to many more fans, who want to experience something different. Even if “Realism, as a whole, is done very poorly in ACTION GAMES,” as Spyke claims, it still feeds the adrenaline rush that players like myself get when played. It’s the thrill of the chase, the team play and tactics used, to dispose of your enemy before you take a bullet between the eyes. Give us our “reality,” there are many out there who are attracted to what it has to offer.