New 'active shooter' video game sparks backlash

Thousands of people have petitioned to stop the release of a new video game which takes on the point of view of a school gunman.

Posted: May 29, 2018 8:19 AM
Updated: May 29, 2018 8:21 AM

Politicians and parents of slain students in Parkland, Florida, are expressing outrage about a forthcoming video game in which players can simulate being an active shooter to terrorize a school.

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 Washington state. The game was developed by Revived Games and published by a Russian company called Acid, which plans to sell the game for between $5 and $10 on the Steam platform.

Marketing materials for the game say players will be able to choose between portraying a SWAT team member responding to a shooting or portraying an actual shooter whose objective is to "hunt and destroy."

A fierce backlash

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.

"It's disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization of tragedies affecting our schools across the country," Petty said in a statement. "Keeping our kids safe is a real issue affecting our communities and is in no way a 'game.'"

Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime also died in the Parkland shooting, is urging people to boycott the game.

"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," he tweeted.

Bill Nelson, the senior US Senator from Florida, also criticized the game Monday.

"This is inexcusable. Any company that develops a game like this in wake of such a horrific tragedy should be ashamed of itself," he tweeted.

More than 25,000 people have signed an online petition urging Valve not to release the game.

"This is horrific," wrote Stephanie Robinett, a Seattle-area woman who created the petition. "How can anyone sleep at night knowing that they are profiting from turning deadly school shootings into entertainment?"

CNN has reached out to Valve for comment.

The developer's response

"Active Shooter" is not the first video game to simulate a school shooting scenario. But it may be the first new such game since 27 people died in recent mass shootings at high schools in Parkland and Santa Fe, Texas, heightening discussions around preventing gun violence in schools.

The game's Steam page includes a statement that reads, "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."

"Active Shooter's" developer also posted a disclaimer on a preview for the game, saying its content is not recommended for children.

"Revived Games 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," it said.

Revived Games did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

In an update posted on Steam last week, Acid said that intense criticism of the game has made them reconsider whether to publish it with the option allowing gamers to assume the role of the shooter.

"I have wrote to Valve regarding this game and (am) waiting for the reply," the update said. "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."

Terre Haute
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 68°
Robinson
Clear
70° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 46°
Feels Like: 70°
Indianapolis
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 76° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 67°
Rockville
Clear
69° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 69°
Casey
Clear
67° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 67°
Brazil
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 78° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 68°
Marshall
Clear
68° wxIcon
Hi: 77° Lo: 47°
Feels Like: 68°
Sunny and nice!
WTHI Planner
WTHI Temps
WTHI Radar

Latest Video

Image

Monday: Mostly sunny, nice! High: 77

Image

Courts upgraded at local club

Image

Urgent need for blood

Image

Girl Scouts fight food insecurity by working on new patch

Image

National Cleanup Day

Image

Terre Haute vigil for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg

Image

Protesters call for end of capital punishment

Image

Sunday Morning Forecast Update

Image

Paris Tigers Let Us Play Movement

Image

Girls Golf Sectionals

WTHI Events

 

Illinois Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 7 p.m. CT)

Confirmed Cases: 276443

Reported Deaths: 8686
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Cook1390885162
DuPage16694550
Lake16299485
Will13416372
Kane12616325
St. Clair6278183
Madison5341130
Winnebago5274149
McHenry4406118
Champaign433020
Peoria320848
McLean314719
Rock Island278971
Kankakee264276
Unassigned2238236
Sangamon223244
Kendall190325
LaSalle160855
Tazewell155618
DeKalb144038
Macon137439
Coles134928
Williamson131534
Jackson123624
Clinton106420
Boone102623
Adams98110
Randolph91511
Effingham8201
Whiteside67820
Grundy6275
Monroe62715
Ogle6226
Henry6165
Morgan61521
Knox5983
Vermilion5884
Bureau57311
Jefferson55737
Union49624
Macoupin4957
Marion4950
Franklin4892
Stephenson4636
McDonough44515
Logan4301
Christian42710
Woodford3896
Cass38411
Jersey38013
Crawford3521
Iroquois35219
Shelby3464
Fayette3393
Perry33715
Lee3261
Montgomery32213
Livingston3135
Warren3042
Bond2884
Douglas2756
Saline2563
Lawrence2452
Wayne2405
Jo Daviess2362
Greene2086
Moultrie2073
Carroll2044
Cumberland1964
Jasper1969
Washington1931
Hancock1923
Pulaski1561
White1560
Clark1472
Fulton1440
Johnson1440
Richland1444
Wabash1391
Clay1380
Piatt1290
Mason1271
Mercer1265
Menard1150
Edgar1097
Pike1081
De Witt1001
Ford984
Marshall940
Massac942
Alexander711
Scott690
Gallatin672
Hamilton670
Henderson620
Edwards600
Stark502
Schuyler440
Putnam430
Brown370
Calhoun370
Hardin340
Pope261
Out of IL20

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

(Widget updates once daily at 8 p.m. ET)

Confirmed Cases: 111505

Reported Deaths: 3506
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion20699758
Lake10217318
Elkhart6368109
St. Joseph604597
Allen5965200
Hamilton4676109
Vanderburgh334129
Hendricks2650122
Monroe240836
Johnson2257122
Tippecanoe221013
Clark211756
Porter205244
Cass19319
Delaware187061
Vigo176622
Madison157775
LaPorte136737
Floyd130361
Howard127563
Kosciusko119017
Bartholomew114957
Warrick114135
Marshall98524
Dubois94918
Boone94446
Hancock90542
Grant88233
Noble88132
Henry76324
Wayne73914
Jackson7349
Morgan69638
Shelby66529
Daviess64127
LaGrange63011
Dearborn62628
Clinton59112
Harrison56024
Putnam5329
Montgomery50521
Lawrence50328
Knox4869
White47914
Gibson4744
Decatur45339
DeKalb45011
Miami4243
Fayette41813
Greene41835
Jasper3822
Steuben3677
Scott35310
Sullivan32912
Jennings30912
Posey3020
Franklin29725
Clay2925
Orange28224
Ripley2788
Carroll27013
Wabash2638
Washington2581
Whitley2526
Starke2517
Wells2472
Adams2443
Jefferson2433
Fulton2352
Huntington2213
Spencer2194
Tipton21722
Perry20913
Randolph2067
Jay1700
Newton17011
Owen1641
Martin1620
Rush1514
Pike1411
Vermillion1260
Fountain1152
Pulaski1141
Blackford1132
Crawford1030
Brown1013
Parke932
Benton880
Union770
Ohio767
Switzerland680
Warren401
Unassigned0225