School shooter game raises eyebrows on Steam
UK Charity Infer Trust calls on Valve to remove game Active Shooter from their store.
Anti-gun violence charity, Infer Trust called on Steam last week to remove SWAT simulator game, Active Shooter, in which you can play the role of ‘the actual shooter’ as developer Revived Games puts it, from their store.
The game, which is set to release on June 6, is described as a realistic first-person shooter in which you can step into the shoes of a SWAT team member responding to an incident or the perpetrator committing it, as the Steam page states, ‘depending on the role, your objective might be to protect and extract or hunt and destroy’. The developers, Revived Games, who have successfully released other titles on Steam such as, White Power: Pure Voltage and Tyde Pod Challenge, have recently updated the game’s Steam page in response to the controversy with a ‘Clarification’ post.
“This game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any [sort] of a mass shooting.” Says the developer.
In the update they go to explain that they can ‘see people’s anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game’ but struggle to see how it’s any worse than games already published on Valve’s platform such as Hatred, Postal and Carmageddon. The end of the about section on the game’s page also features a footnote stating, ‘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’.
UK-based charity, Infer Trust did not see the game in such a lighthearted fashion with a spokesperson for the charity telling the BBC: “It’s in very bad taste. There have been 22 school shootings in the US since the beginning of this year.”
Steam have yet to release a statement on the game’s future, but it seems the developers might be removing the option to play as the shooter before release after receiving what they describe as a high amount of criticism and hate.