An act of genius – or genuinely disturbing?
Creative advertising agency Pool Worldwide utilised the immersive Google Maps location and tour guide with photographic Street View and provided its worldly travellers with a M4A1 assault rifle turning it into a first-person-shooter called Google Shoot View.
Arming geographiles with the deadly weapon, the ad co. hijacked the Google Maps interface, linking it to their own website www.poolworldwide.com/shootview – it even includes the Google typeface for their logo which reads simply ‘Shoot’. Google Shoot View imitates popular shooters such as the Call of Duty series and the game allowed explorers to wander the photo panoramic environment in 360 degrees just as they would the legit Street View from the internet giant. Locked and loaded the ‘gamer’ can also take shots with the assault rifle – but making no visual damage to buildings or harm to people. In a promotional video London and Paris are seen as ‘playable’ locations.
We admit we intially lol’d at the general idea of this and if Google hadn’t broken the interface link sharpish we’d probably give it a go. But is this game, intended to be a bit of fun, still a very disturbing scene? Virtually arming web-users in real-life environments and shooting at people who actually exist could attract those with a mind less inclined to believe this was only a game. If games like Grand Theft Auto get slammed for encouraging and inspiring violence, as a purely fictitious but involving gameplay which allows gamers to live out things most of us would never do in real life in the confines of a virtual reality – How does Google Shoot View, based in our actual reality with real life targets affect us?
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