In what may be the worst choice of themes for a first-person shooter, one where you can simulate a mass shootist who targets other students, has been pulled from its digital storefront.
Called Active Shooter, Valve, Inc has yanked the game from its digital platform Steam because of public backlash, a Change.org petition has already amassed well over 200,000 signatures.
Developed by Revive games and published by ACID, Active Shooter was scheduled to be released June 6. It is described as a simulation game where you can either play as a member of S.W.A.T. or the armed assailant himself:
“Pick your role, gear up and fight or destroy! Be the good guy or the bad guy. The choice is yours! Only in “Active Shooter”, you will be able to pick the role of an Elite S.W.A.T member or the actual shooter. Lead your team, extract civilians and neutralize the shooter.”
In a statement Valve says this particular developer has been dealt with before under different aliases:
“We have removed the developer Revived Games and publisher ACID from Steam.
This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall when he was operating as “[bc]Interactive” and “Elusive Team”. Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation. His subsequent return under new business names was a fact that came to light as we investigated the controversy around his upcoming title. We are not going to do business with people who act like this towards our customers or Valve.”
The game, while it was still available for download, was subcategorized as a “Psychological Horror” game.
This isn’t the first time a shooting game has endured public criticism. Back in 2005 the game Super Columbine Massare RPG! left people wondering if video games created more violence or vice versa.
It should also be pointed out that games such as Grand Theft Auto and those of its ilk do not allow the player to assume the role of a school shooter as Active Shooter does.