Active Shooter - The Simulation. Sounds like the worst video game pitch of all time, right? Sadly this is a real thing, and it's supposed to launch on Steam some time soon. The game is exactly what it sounds like, we're afraid, and unless something drastic happens soon, it's going to make it to the market.
As described by the developers, Active Shooter is "a dynamic SWAT simulator in which dynamic roles are offered to players." Players can see themselves with an in-depth arsenal at their disposal as they roam school halls for the game's objective. With public shootings on the rise and more and more schools themselves falling victim to this crime, it's in extreme poor taste for a game of this nature to be seen as "entertainment."
According to a recent report from BBC, an anti-gun violence charity group is going after the developers for promoting a game that lets players "slaughter as many civilians as possible" within an educational environment. A spokesman for the charity group Infer Trust made the below commentary:
"It's in very bad taste. There have been 22 school shootings in the US since the beginning of this year. 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?" They added, "We're appalled that the game is being marketed."
At this time, Valve has been contacted about the removal of the game - though no official statement has been given. The creator of the title himself took to the game's Steam page to "clarify" that people are taking this title "too seriously":
"Originally when this game started its course of the development, I have planned on having SWAT only based gameplayer. Then I thought about adding more gameplay to it by adding additional roles: of the shooter and the civilian. 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. As I mentioned in steam discussion forums, there are games like Hatred, Postal, Carmageddon and etc., which are even worst compared to "Active Shooter" and literally focus on mass shootings/killings of people."
A sensitive subject no matter what, but with an official game description listed as "Depending on the role, your objective might be to protect and extract or hunt and destroy," and recent events that seems to be almost a weekly occurrance, the outrage is understandable.
The commentary on the Steam listing has promptly been filled with upset players, many calling for the game to be reported and some even wondering if it was legal (it is).5comments
Twitter had their own response, appalled that the developer stated "don't take this game too seriously":
BBC News - Steam store school-shooting game 'appalling' https://t.co/pQhiFpLwQF People really don't have any empathy at all do they? Your statement on the back of this is "Don't take it too seriously".....— Troy 🎥 (@TroyTheDirector) May 24, 2018
I saw this on the BBC and thought you should see it:
Steam store school-shooting game 'appalling' - https://t.co/e9wVDWYbFt— Michelle (@michcoy85) May 24, 2018
At the time of this article, Valve has yet to address the issue head on as the game is scheduled to release on June 6th.