Sean Small, an 18-year-old senior attending Scottsburg High School in Indiana, was arrested on Tuesday after he posted a clip from a video game to his social media page. The clip in question is Sean playing The Walking Dead: Our World, which is an augmented reality game that animates characters into a real-world setting. In this case, players kill zombies.
Along with Sean’s video he wrote, “Finally something better than Pokemon Go,” which is also an augmented reality game. You can play both games on a smartphone. Both AR games encourage players to explore their neighborhoods in real life and can utilize the phone’s camera to blend reality and the game.
Another student at the school was concerned over the clip, which allegedly showed Sean’s characters shooting zombies inside the school, and notified the school’s principal.
Below is not the clip posted on Sean’s wall, but an example of the gameplay of the The Walking Dead: Our World.
Sean, who is a member of the Indiana National Guard, pleaded not guilty to an intimidation charge. He was released on $1,000, and his school expulsion hearing is set for next week.
The video featured other students walking through the halls as Sean allegedly attempted to kill the zombies the game placed among them. “Such students could not be identified due to the app’s photographic settings,” WDRB-TV reported, citing a probable cause affidavit. “Further, it appeared Sean had used his smartphone to capture the movement of random students walking in the hallway of the school while shooting zombie characters walking in the shooter’s immediate direction.”
The district’s superintendent, Mark Slaton, told WAVE 3 News: “In today’s society where schools have become targets of violence, we must take a serious and deliberate approach to our investigations.”
Sean told officials he “meant no harm,” according to WAVE 3 News. And while his family understands the need for safety, Sean’s father, Kris Small, told the news outlet: “It’s a simple game, that’s all.”
“He’s targeting zombies,” added the father. “So unless zombies are now a protected class in Scott County, I don’t think anyone’s [threatened] by this.”
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