Google has blocked Google Street View API access to end “Google Shoot View,” a controversial shoot ‘em up game that inserted players as snipers picking off real people caught on camera by the map program. The game, while lacking in blood and gore, created a stir given that the entire point was to move through real neighborhoods shooting unsuspecting bystanders.
Viewing a random Google Street View location from the perspective of holding and aiming a M4A1 assault rifle, players travelled around shooting people. There were no special effects – no heads or limbs being blown off, no blood spray as you took out your targets.
Since the game was decidedly unrealistic, the only real draw was the ability to take aim and fire at real people. Players were limited to holding the rifle in place while moving through Street View maps, shooting up crossing guards, old people, babies, pets, and your Mom.
That’s right, your Mom, if she happened to be captured in a Google Street View image. Google did not take kindly to people using Google Street View to snipe at your Mom and promptly shut it down.
Other violent video games do use the Google Maps API and have for years. Google Maps has been used to build out the fictional Liberty City of “Grand Theft Auto 4“, for example, while a Street View of Liberty City was fully implemented this summer. However, using real people as targets seems to have been the last straw for Google.
Pool Worldwide, the Dutch agency behind Google Shoot View, doesn’t mind. As they told Radio Netherlands Worldwide, “We’re always making things for ourselves and for our clients. They vary widely; we can go from controversial to extremely cute and back again. Internet is multi-faceted. And Shoot View has added to the debate.”
Said Pool Worldwide creative director Erwin Kleinjan, “It’s their platform and I believe they can do exactly what they want to with it. We’ve gotten everything out of Street View that we can.”
Here is a promotional video for Google Shoot View. What do you think, was Google right to shut it down? Let us know what you think in the comments!