NEWS
08/13/2014 11:36 EDT | Updated 10/13/2014 05:59 EDT

Main Street Massacre video game set on Vancouver's SkyTrain

A violent video game is using a Metro Vancouver transit hub as a backdrop for virtual murder and mayhem, and while some are troubled by the depiction, not everyone is outraged.

The game, Main Street Massacre, begins with a seemingly innocent introduction: The main character, Mack, is a construction worker who is frustrated after a long day at work.

He becomes annoyed with the crowded train, and fumes at system delays. Finally, he snaps and decides to vent his anger — with a gun.

The browser-based game's setting bears a fairly close resemblance to the SkyTrain and the actual Main Street Station. It uses the train's acceleration noises and depicts the station's platform, stairway and ticket machines.

Jason Lee Elliott, who teaches game design at The Art institute of Vancouver, says the Main Street Massacre game isn't necessarily promoting violence. Elliott said he believes the game creator's work is more of an artistic piece.

"Through the experiences he's had on SkyTrain, he wanted to find a way that he could use his voice to express his frustrations of the situation of riding the SkyTrain every day. It just happened that games is his medium," Elliott said.   

After two prolonged, system-wide SkyTrain shutdowns during rush hour in the past month, it's a frustration Vancouverites can relate to. 

Whether that was the case with the games developer is unclear: he couldn't be reached for comment.

It's not the first time a Metro Vancouver location has been a backdrop for a violent game. Last year, a clip designed to be part of the popular video game Counter-Strike used Port Moody Secondary School as its model.

The demo clip depicts a gunman with an assault rifle inside the halls of the school.

- MORE | Port Moody school used as backdrop for violent video game

In that case, Port Moody RCMP said the game was "ill-conceived" and contacted the developer, but said no laws were broken and the game maker posed no threat to staff or students at the school.

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