A new game that lets players simulate a school shooting is being heavily criticised by anti-gun activists and parents of late Parkland victims.
'Active Shooter' is developed by Revived Games. It is described as "realistic" on Steam, the website selling the game.
Pick your role, gear up and fight or destroy! Be the good guy or the bad guy. The choice is yours! Only in ‘Active Shooter’ you will be able to pick the role of an Elite S.W.A.T. member or the actual shooter. Lead your team, extract civilians and neutralise the shooter.
The game's creator warns people not to take it seriously. They wrote:
Please do not take any of this seriously. This is only meant to be the simulation and nothing else. If you feel like hurting someone or people around you, please seek help from local psychiatrists or dial 911 (or applicable). Thank you.
The game will be released on 6 June and, according to CNN, it is being published by a Russian company called Acid, which will sell the game for between $5 and $10.
Ryan Petty, father of 14-year-old Alaina, who lost her life in the Marjory Stoneman Douglas school shooting earlier this year called in “despicable”.
In a statement Petty added:
It’s disgusting that Valve Corp is trying to profit from the glamorisation of tragedies affecting our schools across the country. Keeping our kids safe is a real issue affecting our communities and is in no way a ‘game’.
Fred Guttenberg’s daughter Jaime was also killed in the shooting and he said the game is one of the “worst” things he’s seen since her death.
Anti-gun charity Infer Trust told the BBC:
It's in very bad taste. There have been 22 school shootings in the US since the beginning of this year.
It is horrendous. Why would anybody think it's a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths of so many children?
We're appalled that the game is being marketed.
Almost 35,000 people have signed a petition on change.org in an effort to prevent the company from launching the game, on the grounds that it is “horrific” and “morally bankrupt”.
In an updated post on Steam, Acid responded to the backlash, and said that intense criticism had made them reconsider the shooter role in the game:
Since this games storefront has been live, I have been stormed with accusations and heavy critics from people across the globe. While I see everyone's points of view and where are they coming from - I wanted to clarify a few things:
First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft of a mass shooting. As I said in the description of the game:
Active Shooter is essentially a dynamic SWAT simulator in which dynamic roles are offered to players.
Originally when this game started its course of the development, I have planned on having SWAT only based game-play. Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian. While I can see people's anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone. As I mentioned on steam discussion forums, there are games like Hatred, Postal, Carmageddon and etc., which are even worst compared to "Active Shooter" and literally focuses on mass shootings/killings of people.
I have wrote to Valve regarding this game and waiting for the reply. After receiving such high amount of critics and hate, I will more likely remove the shooters role in this game by the release, unless if it can be kept as it is right now.
Thanks a lot for taking your time to read and leave your responses!!!
indy100 has contacted Valve Corporation and Revived Games for comment.