An upcoming game on Steam is facing public condemnation for letting players carry out a school shooting.
The game, called "Active Shooter," lets you assume the role of the attacker or a SWAT team member in various scenarios, one of which includes a school. As the attacker you can gun down innocent civilians and police officers, or kill them using a knife or grenade.
Active Shooter is set for a June 7 release, but parents of school shooting victims are outraged and calling on Steam to drop the game.
"This company should face the wrath of everyone who cares about school and public safety and it should start immediately," tweeted Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was killed in the high school shooting in Parkland, Florida this February.
In a tweet, Ryan Petty, the parent of another student slain in Parkland, called the game "despicable." US Senator Bill Nelson also weighed in and said the developers of Active Shooter should be ashamed.
So far, Steam owner Valve hasn't commented on the controversy. But the developer behind Active Shooter, Acid, is considering dropping the school shooting scenario from the upcoming title.
"Since this games storefront has been live, I have been stormed with accusations and heavy critics from people across the globe," Acid wrote in a post on Steam last week.
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Acid, which appears to be based out of Russia, said the game was originally meant to be a "SWAT simulator," but it later decided to add more gameplay elements, including the option to be the shooter or a civilian. Acid also noted that Steam offers many other violent games, a few of which also involve the player killing innocent civilians.
Nevertheless, the developer said: "After receiving such high amount of critics and hate, I will more likely remove the shooters role in this game by the release, unless if it can be kept as it is right now."
Acid has not confirmed whether the school shooting scenario will be dropped. But on Monday, it mentioned that a new "Zombie survival" mode was coming to the game.
In the meantime, concerned parents started an online petition on Change.org, demanding that Steam drop distribution of the game. As of Tuesday, the petition had over 105,000 signatures.
Earlier this year, Gizmodo reported that the U.S. Army and Homeland Security Department had developed a simulation game intended to help teachers prepare for an active shooter situation. The program, known as Enhanced Dynamic Geo-Social Environment (EDGE), was initially developed for law enforcement and fire departments, but was updated to include teacher training this year.
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