There are several petitions going around asking Valve not to release an active shooter game on Steam that gives you the option of playing a school shooter... what are your thoughts? (Here is one of the articles that came across my newsfeed: https://t.co/Axd4ymfC9d) pic.twitter.com/drVWWYfWlF— Creestel (@creestel_blue) May 26, 2018
A video game, which lets you play as an active shooter or a SWAT team member, is drawing immense backlash.
The game called “Active Shooter” is offered through the Steam video game platform and is developed by Revived Games. According to the game’s description, it is a point-of-view simulation game which allows the player to either be a shooter or a SWAT team member during a mass casualty event.
If you play as a shooter, the game depicts the shooter running in a school, down the halls and through classrooms. On the way, the player can shoot teachers and students until a SWAT team arrives.
The game is slated to be released on June 6. However, people are highly critical and understandably so.
“It turns my stomach. It makes me sick to watch it. How can anyone think this is ok? It's not ok to do it in a school and any reasonable company should know that. I want them to pull the game simple, just pull it,” said parent Stephanie Robinett.
Steam users also criticized the game.
A user said, “I love offensive humor as much as the next guy, but you’re dense as hell if you can’t see why a pay-to-play school shooting simulation game might be taking it a step too far.”
“REPORT THIS GAME,” another one said.
U.K.-based charity Infer Trust is asking Valve, the company behind the game store to halt the release of “Active Shooter.”
“It's in very bad taste. There have been 22 school shootings in the U.S. 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?” said a spokeswoman for the trust.
As a result of the widespread criticism, the developer of the game is considering to remove the “play as the shooter” option.
“I have been stormed with accusations and heavy (criticism) from people across the globe. First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any sort of a mass shooting. Originally when this game started its course of the development, I (had) 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. 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,” a statement read.
The game emerges at a sensitive time as school shootings in 2018 alone have already claimed 31 lives in the United States – and it’s only May. The number of school shootings and deaths is higher in 2018 than any year since 2000. This year has already claimed three times more lives than the previous deadliest year of 2005 through May.
Spotlight, Banner: Reuters, Ina Fassbender