Published: Tue, May 29, 2018
Technology | By Nina Perez

Sickening ‘Active Shooter’ game outrages Parkland high school parents

Sickening ‘Active Shooter’ game outrages Parkland high school parents

Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter, Alaina, was killed during the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, told the Miami Herald that the planned June 6 release of Active Shooter should be canceled.

The game, "Active Shooter", is set to be released June 6 on Steam, a gaming platform owned by Valve Corp., a video game developer based in Bellevue, Wash.

"Active Shooter", a new video game that simulates a school shooting and allows players to participate either in the role of perpetrator or as law enforcement, has been met with outrage - given that there have been 22 school shootings in the USA since the beginning of this year.

Acid said they would likely remove the shooter's role in the game if Valve won't let the game be published as is.

Steam's website describes the game: "Pick your role, gear up and fight or destroy!"

In a statement, the game's Steam page says, "This is only meant to be a simulation and nothing else".

But after hearing all of the outrage, Acid still tried to defend the game, deflecting to other historically tacky games, writing "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".

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"The last thing we need is a simulated training on school shooting", Pollack told the newspaper.

The game's creators insist it doesn't "promote any sort of violence", but a promotional video features the player stalking a school and racking up an on-screen tally of two types of kills - "civs" and "cops".

A spokesperson for Infer Trust, an organization against gun violence, told BBC the game is in poor taste. 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. "I want them to pull the game simple, just pull it", Robinett said.

During the game, players are given statistics such as a "body count" in which they can see how many civilians they killed as the school shooter. It is not actively involved in the game's development.

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.

Valve Software, the company that owns Steam, has yet to comment on Active Shooter. "If you feel like hurting someone or people around you, please seek help from local psychiatrists or dial 911".

While the First Amendment does protect violent video games from government censorship, Valve Software is fully capable of removing or prohibiting the sale of content it deems inappropriate.

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