A video game that allows players to re-enact the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT has sparked widespread controversy. The game’s creator addressed some of the issues raised about the game in an audio statement in which he insisted that the game has a gun safety message.
According to Think Progress, the game, called “The Slaying of Sandy Hook,” has outraged the families of victims and the people of Newtown.
The family of Victoria Soto, one of the six teachers murdered by shooter Adam Lanza took to the social medium Twitter to express their bafflement and disgust, writing, “Please tell us how playing a game that recreates how Vicki died would be beneficial?”
The Hartford Courant quoted game creator Ryan Jake Lambourn’s statement, in which he talked about leaving the U.S. and moving to Australia, where gun violence has been sharply curbed since strict gun control regulations went into effect in the 1990s.
“Guns are no longer a noticeable part of Australian culture,” Lambourn said. “Here we are nearly a year after the Sandy Hook shootings in which 26 people were killed and absolutely nothing positive has come out of it.”
The crudely drawn video game, he said, is his attempt to spread a message about the importance of gun safety laws.
“To make a game about the murder of 20 children and their six teachers is absolutely sickening,” said U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) to the Courant. “I hope the very disturbed person who could think of something like this sees the cruelty of what he’s done and stops it.”
The game begins at Adam Lanza’s house. Players must use a Glock pistol to kill Lanza’s sleeping mother and take her car keys, then proceed to the school with an assault rifle and ammunition clips. At the end, police arrive and the player’s avatar shoots himself in the head. The player’s kill statistics are displayed on the screen and matched against the actual figures from the day of the massacre.
Listen to Lambourn’s statement, embedded below via YouTube: