New ‘Active Shooter’ Video Game That Lets You Play As A School Shooter Draws Widespread Outrage

The video game industry is not safe from controversy. The “No Russian” level from Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 2 proved that by having players partake in a mass shooting of civilians at an airport. There was also Super Columbine Massacre RPG! that let gamers partake in a digital version of the Columbine high school shooting of 1999. Now, it’s a game called Active Shooter, one that has a concept not-too-dissimilar from Super Columbine Massacre RPG!

Developed by Revived Games and published by a Russian publisher known as Acid, Active Shooter put players in the shoes of a school shooter. The point of the game is to simulate a school shooting, as if having to live with the reality of them isn’t horrific enough. Armed with an arsenal of real weapons, players stalk the school, firing off rounds into classmates and cops. There’s even a “Game Stats” box that keeps a tally of how many civilians and cops are killed.

Originally scheduled for a June 6th release date on Valve’s Steam platform, the Washington-based developer has since pulled the listing, and it wasn’t the first time the man behind the game, Ata Berdiyev, was booted from Steam. 

Prior to developing the tasteless Active Shooter, according to Valve Berdiyev operated as “[bc]Interactive” and “Elusive Team.” Other games he was responsible for developing included White Power: Pure Voltage and Tyde Pod Challenge, both of which have been removed from Valve’s online store.

In a statement made after pulling Active Shooter, Valve described Ata as a “troll,” stating he has “a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation.” While we can take solace in knowing Active Shooter was a demented means of trolling, that someone could be malicious enough to develop it in the first place is disheartening. 

Parents of school shooting victims, such as Fred Guttenberg, aren’t ignorant to the presence of Active Shooter and are calling for “the wrath of everyone who cares about school and public safety.”

While the outrage over Active Shooter is pretty loud and hard to ignore, the game also has its supporters that feel the argument of “it’s only a video game” makes up for the insensitivity displayed in the wake of  the Noblesville, IN shooting. 

The issue at hand isn’t violence in video games. It’s the mental state of an individual willing to forego considering the victims of these very real and very recent tragedies for the sake of shock value.

H/T: Twitter, Forbes