A video game maker is facing mounting backlash over a game in which the player takes the role of school shooter.
The game is called Active Shooter and set to be published by Valve for the Steam platform.
Steam attempts to steer around the controversy by announcing a disclaimer to be placed on it:
“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 (or applicable). Thank you.”
The game makers wrote a post claiming that “this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any soft of a mass shooting.”
Steam is a new generation of gaming platform that allows independents to publish a game on its platform for a $100 fee. However, Steam does have some standards, banning hate speech, pornography that’s not properly disclosed and “patently offensive or intended to shock or disgust viewers.”
It was unclear why shooting defenseless school children in their desks did not fall under the “patently offensive” description.
The content in video games is controversial given the market’s tendency to appeal to young white men—gamers revolted over what they considered a progressive agenda in games in a 2014 incident known as Gamergate.
On Twitter, most people with an opinion want the game pulled.
The game will likely never see the light of day as long as @steam_games steps up and removes it. Valve/Steam aren’t the heartless, disgusting bastards making this game, but they’ll have blood on their hands (for lack of a better phrase) if it gets released. Do the right thing.
— Brian E (@MysticRhythms87) May 27, 2018
Valve Corporation: Do not Launch a School Shooting Video Game – Sign the Petition! Lets stop this In its tracks now. We dont need kids learning to be an active shooter. Who would comeup with something like this with all the active shootings? https://t.co/WtjwOw8qlZ via @Change
— Ahmed Malik (@AMalik25) May 27, 2018
Lmao theres an indie game on steam where you are an active shooter at a school and it is trying to be presented as a “S.W.A.T. style FPS” when the video has 20s of police perspective but a whole minute of the shooter shooting people. Defenders include a lot of right-wingers.
— Iavan (@IavanArt) May 26, 2018
— JodieLaine (@NanaWithSoul) May 26, 2018
I’ve flagged it with comments, and encourage everyone to do the same. This is completely sick. A game that simulates killing kids at school, allowing the player to be the shooter in that scenario. This should not be a part of the @steam_games platform or any game platform. https://t.co/jCzalP6gt4
— so pedestrian 🚶🏽 (@pedestriansaint) May 26, 2018
Someone actually made a school shooter video game and it’s on steam. What the hell why is this allowed @Steam_Support
— ? (@_ennoh) May 26, 2018
@steam_games Due to the impending release of your active shooter school setting game I will be boycotting your company going forward, and encouraging others to do the same. This is reprehensible.
— Caroline Carey (@Lineygal) May 26, 2018