School shooter video game horrifies Parkland parents, pulled prior to release
A controversial video game that simulated a school shooting has been pulled from Steam’s online store ahead of its release.
The Active Shooter video game, from developer Revived Games and publisher ACID, was set to launch on June 6 on Steam, a gaming platform owned by Valve. Using a first-person perspective, the game allowed players to choose between playing a SWAT team member responding to a shooting or an actual shooter.
Outraged quickly spread. The game was criticized by many, including parents of the 17 students who were killed during the Parkland shooting in Flordia in February. It also sparked an online petition opposing the game which drew more than 190,000 signatures.
Steam’s owner, Valve, said it had dropped the game because its developer had a history of bad behaviour calling him a “troll.’
“This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall when he was operating as ‘[bc]Interactive’ and ‘Elusive Team,'” Valve said in a statement.
“Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the controversy around his upcoming title. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve.”
Parkland shooting survivor and activist, Emma Gonzalez tweeted, “Valve Corp shut down this shovelware immediately please.”
Ryan Petty, who lost his 14-year-old daughter Alaina in the Parkland shooting, called the game “despicable” in a tweet. “Let @steam_games know depicting ‘active shooter’ scenarios in schools, where players shoot civilians, students & law enforcement are unacceptable,” he tweeted.
“It’s disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization of tragedies affecting our schools across the country,” Petty also said in a statement on Facebook. “Keeping our kids safe is a real issue affecting our communities and is in no way a ‘game.'”
Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime died in the Parkland shooting, also urged people to boycott the game.
“I have seen many horrific things over the past few months since my daughter was the victim of a school shooting and is now dead in real life. The game may be one of the worst,” he stated.
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