Computer game depicting school shootings challenged

Valve Steam

Valve Steam

Meanwhile, the father of a 14-year-old Marjory Stoneman Douglas High student killed during the February 14 mass shooting wants the game's release to be canceled, saying those who created it are "sick people".

With the recent school shootings in Parkland, Florida and Santa Fe, Texas fresh on our minds, the independent game developer, Revival Games, has made a decision to release their newest controversial title on the Steam digital distribution platform, Active Shooter.

A video game is being released next week that allows players to act the part of a school shooter.

Complaints about the game have been fierce, and yesterday the person behind the game said they will probably remove the option to play as the mass shooter. "First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any sort of a mass shooting", they wrote in a post on Steam, noting that the game was originally just going to be about SWAT teams, but then they decided to make shooters and civilians playable as well.

Andrew Pollack, whose 18 year old daughter died in the shooting, told the Herald that the game's developers are "sick people", and that games like it would desensitize young people to the horrors of gun violence.

But in a year where there has been, on average, one school shooting per week, the ripple effect it creates could have a serious impact on larger developers and publishers. Given the deaths of 10 people in last week's Santa Fe High School shooting, along with a further 13 wounded, it's safe to say that this is considered offensive among the majority. The controversial game is now listed on the Steam storefront with a release date of June 6.

Active Shooter wouldn't be the first game to focus on high school shooting.

Nearly as soon as the game's store listing went up, Steam users took to the game's forums to voice their distaste.

The website hosting the game is called Valve, which lists Revived Games as the developer. This is only meant to be the simulation and nothing else.

The petition called the game "morally corrupt but legally fine", saying that company was hiding behind claims of "free speech". "I think parents need to let their kids know that this is too close for comfort, and I don't think parents should let their kids purchase this particular game". "If you feel like hurting someone or people around you, please seek help from local psychiatrists or dial 911". "Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian".

Gilliam says parents should be tired of their children playing any active shooter games, even if the research doesn't directly tie them to violence.

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