On June 6, 2018 a new game, called “Active Shooter,” is set to be released by Steam, a gaming platform owned by Valve Corp. The game was developed by Revived Games and published by a Russian company called Acid, which plans to sell the game for between $5 and $10 on the Steam platform.
“Active Shooter” simulates a school shooting scenario, using a first person perspective. The game is described as a “dynamic SWAT simulator” where the players can choose to be a member of the SWAT team and work to disarm the shooter, or they can choose to be the gunman themselves.
If the player chooses to be the “shooter” in the game, the goal is to kill as many students and police officers as possible. As the “shooter,” the player runs through school hallways, classrooms, even the gymnasium, while killing police officers and civilians. The “shooter” has the option to use guns, grenades and knives. Through a score counter at the bottom of the screen, the game tracks “civ killed” and “cops killed.”
Although it is not the first game to simulate school shootings, “Active Shooter” is receiving harsh criticism for its subject matter and timing.
As of Friday, May 25th- 23 shootings ― either intentional or accidental ― have occurred in 2018 on the campuses of K-12 schools or colleges, according to a count by CNN. The shooting in Parkland was the deadliest, killing 17 people, followed by one at Santa Fe High School in Texas that killed 10 people.
Bill Nelson, the senior US Senator from Florida, criticized the game Monday, “This is inexcusable. Any company that develops a game like this in wake of such a horrific tragedy should be ashamed of itself,” he tweeted. Obviously, the Senator is referencing Parkland, but people throughout the US are equally outraged by the game.
More than 25,000 people have already signed an online petition urging Valve not to release the game.