The upcoming game, Active Shooter, lets players choose between taking on the role of a SWAT team member trying to stop an ongoing school shooting — or the role of the shooter themselves.
Those who play as the shooter will be shown a tally of the number of civilians and police officers they have managed to kill during their simulated shooting spree.
Anti-gun violence charity Infer Trust has described the game as ‘horrendous’ and in ‘bad taste’ given the recent mass shootings in the US.
The chilling description of the game, created by Revived Games, states on the Steam website:
Active Shooter – the Simulation. Pick your role, gear up and fight or destroy! Be the good guy or the bad guy.
The choice is yours! Only in “Active Shooter”, you will be able to pick the role of an Elite S.W.A.T member or the actual shooter.
Lead your team, extract civilians and neutralize the shooter.
Following backlash from the media, the game’s creator wrote:
First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft of a mass shooting.
Originally when this game started its course of the development, I have planned on having SWAT only based game-play.
Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian. While I can see people’s anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone.
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.
I have wrote to Valve regarding this game and waiting for the reply. 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.
Ryan Petty, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Alaina in the February shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, called the game ‘despicable’ in a tweet.
In a statement on Facebook, Mr Petty wrote:
It’s disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization of tragedies affecting our schools across the country. [sic]
Keeping our kids safe is a real issue affecting our communities and is in no way a “game”.