Active shooter: Video game simulating school shooting pulled from sale after sparking outrage

The owner of Steam, Valve Corporation, on Tuesday said that it has pulled Active Shooter, which was scheduled to launch on the video game platform next week, on June 6.


                            Active shooter: Video game simulating school shooting pulled from sale after sparking outrage

A disturbing video game called Active Shooter, simulating violent school shootings for entertainment, has reportedly been pulled from gaming marketplace Steam. The game reportedly allows players to simulate a school shooting either as the police or the shooter themselves, who roam around school building's halls with multiple weapons.

The owner of Steam, Valve Corporation, on Tuesday said that it has pulled Active Shooter, which was scheduled to launch on the video game platform next week, on June 6. Steam offers a platform for smaller game designers to publish their video games, which are generally played on PCs. 

The game, which was set to be released amidst a time when the United States is grappling with multiple deadly school shootings, sparked outrage, particularly amidst the survivors and victims of Parkland school shooting and their parents.

Gun violence and stricter gun regulations have become talking points of 2018 after reports of multiple school shootings in the country. (Getty Images)
Gun violence and stricter gun regulations have become talking points of 2018 after reports of multiple school shootings in the country. (Getty Images)

The Parkland massacre is the deadliest school shooting in the country this year so far. A former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, opened fire with his legally-bought AR-15 rifle on campus, killing 17 people. The victims of the shooting mostly included students and teachers.

Fred Guttenberg, whose 14-year-old daughter Jaime was among 17 people killed in Parkland shooting, said that the particular video game is one of the worst things he has seen after his daughter's death.

Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was killed in the Parkland shooting, also condemned the game and berated the creators of the game, while talking to Miami Herald.

“The last thing we need is a simulated training on school shootings,” he said. “Video game designers should think of the influence they hold. This really crosses the line.”

Valve Corporation said that after their investigation into the controversy associated with the game, they found out that a person identified as Ata Berdiyev was behind the game's publisher, Revived Games, and developer Acid, according to USA Today.

The corporation, in a statement, also called the creator of the video game a "troll." 

"Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation," Valve said.

A sample of the game showed a box to the left of the screen, which kept track of how many police officers and civilians were killed during the shooting. The clip of the game also showed a shooter firing at the civilians inside the school premises as they try to escape.

The video game also triggered a petition on Change.org and received over 190,000 signatures, urging Valve corporations to remove it from Steam.

Steam includes multiple guidelines for inappropriate content on its platform, which includes "content that is patently offensive or intended to shock or disgust viewers." After the latest outrage, Valve said that it now plans to have a "broader conversation about Steam’s content policies."

At least 23 school shootings, intentional or accidental, have been reported in the United States this year so far, according to reports. After the Parkland shooting, the Santa Fe High School, Texas shooting has been the deadliest yet, which killed 10 people, mostly students.