School-shooting video game pulled after backlash


The "Active Shooter" video game will not see the light of day after many people expressed outrage over the very concept of a video game whose premise is based on a school massacre. Using a first-person perspective, the game allowed players to choose between playing a SWAT team member responding to a shooting or an actual shooter.

Ryan Petty, whose daughter Alaina was killed in the February mass shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida, urged his followers to speak out against the game, calling it "despicable" and "unacceptable".

So what happened that it won't be released?

Active Shooter was developed by Acid Publishing Group, which has an online page in English and Russian. Valve said it discovered who the developer was while "investigating the controversy surrounding" Shooter.

Valve has since removed all titles from both the developer and publisher, citing creator Ata Berdiyev as a "troll" with "a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation" in an interview with Kotaku.

"The individual named has denied involvement", according to the BBC's report. "We are not going to do business with people who act like that towards our customers or Valve". The company said it will also have a "broader conversation" soon about all content on its online platform, which planned to charge between $5-10 starting on June 6 for the game. As Variety reported, Steam has a program that allows anyone to release a video game for a $100 fee, but that it does have guidelines in place forbidding hate speech, pornography and "adult content that's not appropriately labeled".

A trailer for the game showed a school shooter stalking the corridors with automatic weapons, a knife and grenades with an on-screen tally of how may "Civs" or "Cops" had been killed.

A description of the game includes a disclaimer for players not to "take any of this seriously" and to seek professional help if they start to feel like hurting other people. This is only meant to be the simulation and nothing else.