A video game called “Active Shooter” that allows players to assume the role of an active school shooter is under fire this week, and raising concerns among those affected by recent school shootings.
The role-play game is slated for release June 6 on the gaming platform Steam, which is owned by Valve Corporation, a video game company based in Washington.
CNN reports the game will be available for under $10, and lets players act as either a SWAT team member responding to a school with an active shooter—or as the shooter whose objective, according to marketing materials for the game, is to “hunt and destroy.”
Parents of February’s Parkland, Florida school shooting victims are voicing their outrage and calling for it to be sidelined. Ryan Petty, whose 14-year-old daughter Alaina was killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland Florida earlier this year, called the game “despicable” and “unacceptable” in a tweet.
— Ryan Petty (@rpetty) May 27, 2018
Fellow Parkland parent Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie also died in Parkland, urged consumers to boycott the game, saying ”I have seen and heard many horrific things over the past few months since my daughter was the victim of a school shooting and is now dead in real life. This game may be one of the worst. This company should face the wrath of everyone who cares about school and public safety and it should start immediately. Do not buy this game for your kids or any other game made by this company.”
This company should face the wrath of everyone who cares about school and public safety and it should start immediately. Do not buy this game for your kids or any other game made by this company.https://t.co/LbkXy0upwc
— Fred Guttenberg (@fred_guttenberg) May 27, 2018
An online petition asking Valve Corp. not to launch the game now has more than 50,000 signatures.
According to CNN, the developer says “Active Shooter” is not intended for children, and it “believes violence and inappropriate actions belong in video games and not (in the) real world, and insists that in no event should anyone attempt to recreate or mimic any of the actions, events or situations occurring in this game.”
A statement on the game’s Steam page continues, “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.”