Not even eight days after a 17-year-old teenager took the lives of 10 people in a bloody school shooting, some ignoramus went and created a video game that actually lets players shoot up a school.
Renowned game company Valve was set to release “Active Shooter” on its online platform Steam on June 6, charging between R63 and R126 for it. It’s developed by Revived Games, and published by a game developer known as ACID.
Very ill-advised, don’t you think, Valve?
Touted as a police-response simulator, the game will let people play as a SWAT officer focused on stopping a school shooting, or as the actual gunman terrorising scantily-clad female civilians and police at a simulated school, IOL reports.
Oh, and if you lose track of how many people you shoot, there’s a digital counter that keeps a tally for you: CIV KILLED: 1. COPS KILLED: 2.
Goodness knows I wish I was joking, but sadly it’s all very real.
Here’s a snippet of the gameplay:
Needless to say, no one is impressed with “Active Shooter”.
It’s sparked off strong reactions from parents of students killed in the Parkland shooting in Florida, shooting on February 14. Ryan Petty, a parent of a slain student, slammed Valve:
It’s disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization [sic] 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.’
It looks like sanity has eventually prevailed, though. According to The Washington Post, Valve released a statement on Tuesday saying that the game, Revived Games, and ACID have all been removed from Steam:
This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall … Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation.
His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the controversy around his upcoming title. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve.
Thanks for being so considerate, Valve. A bit too late to make proper amends, but oh well.
Recent research has “overturned the popular consensus that mass killers are fueled, inspired or otherwise desensitized to violence by playing violent games”. Take for example Virginia Tech killer Seung-Hui Cho, who didn’t play video games, violent or otherwise, before he killed 32 students and teachers, and then himself, back in 2007.
But once in a while, it’s insensitive crap like “Active Shooter” – made with the purpose to stir up drama and controversy – that adds fuel to “video games causes violence” fire.
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