A soon-to-be-released video game that allows players to commit a school shooting and rewards players for the number of kills has been condemned by parents whose children were killed in a school shooting massacre in Parkland, Florida.
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.
Billed by its Russian publisher, Acid, as a swat team simulator, Active Shooter invites players to take on the role of an armed officer responding to a school shooting.
The game's publisher told the newspaper that it "does not promote any sort of violence, especially any [sort] of a mass shooting". "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".
"Active Shooter" is due for release on June 6, just over two weeks since a student shot and killed 10 people at a high school in Santa Fe, Texas; and nearly four months after the Parkland massacre.
The statement also claims that other video games like "Hatred", "Postal" and "Carmageddon" are more harmful than "Active Shooter". One local mom said it's all about letting kids play video games in moderation, and watching out what they're exposed to.
But it asks users not to take it seriously, and to call a psychiatrist or 911 if they feel like hurting someone.
Andrew Pollack, the father of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, who was killed on the third floor of the high school's 1200 building, said "sick people" were behind the game's creation and release.
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Bill Nelson, the senior USA senator from Florida, also criticized the game Monday.
Active Shooter is due out for a June 6 release.
"We've crossed that line and it's time to walk backwards a little bit".
A spokeswoman for Infer Trust, a London public health and safety issues awareness nonprofit, said the game was in "very bad taste", the BBC News noted. Valve itself did not create the game, but is providing the platform for people to access it.
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.
Valve Software, which owns Steam, did not reply to requests for comment about Active Shooter or how it was approved for sale on the platform.
Video games are protected under the First Amendment, the US Supreme Court ruled in 2011.
The post adds: "Originally when this game started its course of the development, I have planned on having SWAT only based game-play".