Active Shooter, a video game that allows players to simulate a school shooting, has prompted a backlash in the wake of recent high school shootings in the U.S.
The game has a June 6 release date but an online petition, with nearly 20,000 signatures, is demanding to stop it.
In the game’s description online, it says players are given the option to either be a shooter or SWAT team member while simulating a shooting in a school.
“Pick your role, gear up and fight or destroy!” the game description on the website states. “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 SWAT team member or the actual shooter.”
The game is also described as “realistic” and “impressive.”
However, on the game’s page, the developer said, “please do not take any of this seriously.”
Active Shooter has been criticized as it arrives shortly after 10 people were killed when a gunman opened fire at Santa Fe High School in Texas.
Infer Trust, an anti-gun violence organization, told the BBC the game is “in very bad taste” given the fact that there have been 22 school shootings in the U.S. since the beginning of 2018.
“It is horrendous. Why would anybody think it’s a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths of so many children? We’re appalled that the game is being marketed,” the spokesperson said.
The game’s developer responded to the criticism.
“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,” the developer wrote in a statement.
The developers then said the team is considering removing the option to play as the shooter.
The game is set to be released on Steam, a digital distribution platform developed by Valve. The publisher of the game is a company called ACID, according to the game’s website.
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