Google has taken down a first-person shooter that turned its Google Maps Street View into killing fields, using those people inadvertently captured in the 360-degree road-level photography as motionless targets. The game, “Google Shoot View”, was the handiwork of creative agency Pool, and added an M4A1 assault rifle to the familiar Street View UI that could be used to fire wildly with sound effects and bullet holes.
According to Pool creative director Erwin Kleinjan, Google contacted the agency to inform it that Google Shoot View violated the Google Maps terms of service. The game had been using the Street View API to pull the immersive photography into its FPS engine, a method other developers use to take advantage of Google’s comprehensive imagery and mapping data in their own apps. It’s unclear which exact clause of the TOS Pool fell foul of.
Currently, the Google Shoot View page shows nothing but the message “Ctrl + alt + delete”, in reference to the well-known Windows restart key combination. Google has not commented on the game beyond its TOS communications with Pool, though Kleinjan says that at its peak the agency was seeing 3,000 visitors per minute on its game servers.
Timing for the gimmicky title arguably couldn’t have been worse, with the events at Virginia Tech earlier this week likely to return public attention to what role video games play in real-world violence.
[via Business Insider]