By Alec Meer on February 19th, 2013 at 7:00 pm.
A thing modders often do: recreate real-world locations in the form of custom videogame levels. Virtual tourism! Everyone wins!
Turns out that can land you with a five-figure fine and a cease and desist order from a government department.
This is what one Diego Liatis (now that is a good name) faced after creating a Counter-Strike: Global Offensive map based on a Montreal metro station. Let’s have a look at the level which caused so much bother:
Clearly, lives, reputation and society itself are all endangered. Liatis was denied permission to make the map when he asked the Société de transport de Montreal if they were cool with it, but took it upon himself to make it anyway, reasoning that it was a public space. Alas, they flipped out and threatened a $50,000 fine, claiming that “they feared the game could create panic among the city’s public transit users”, Liatis told Le Journal De Montreal (via The Escapist). So it’s all a bit ‘Microsoft Flight Simulator caused 9/11′, basically.
As Liatis points out, if someone with dark intentions decided they wanted to make Berri-Uqam station a target then they could, er, go and have a look around Berri-Uqam station. But rarely has common sense prevented authorities from making sweeping generalisations about videogames.
As it stands, the map hasn’t been made public, and likely won’t be unless Montreal’s transport bosses get a grip.