|The office lounge of video game company Valve Corporation. / Photo by: Tim Eulitz via Wikimedia Commons|
Valve Corp., which owns the Steam video game platform, has pulled out the Active Shooter video game after it sparked an outrage among families of school shooting victims and lawmakers. The game was also the subject of a Change.org petition that has garnered more than 190,000 signatures urging Valve to remove it from Steam, according to Brett Molina, writing for USA Today.
The video game, which was supposed to be released on June 6 on the Steam platform, is reportedly a “dynamic SWAT simulator" which allows players to choose between becoming members of a SWAT team attempting to disarm a shooter, or as the shooter themselves. When played, a box will appear to the left of the screen to keep track of how many police officers and civilians have been killed. A video of the game briefly shows what appears to be the shooter firing at fleeing civilians.
Among those who have criticized the game was Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter was among those killed during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting incident in Parkland, Florida. Guttenberg tweeted that the game may be one of the worst things that he had seen since the death of his daughter. Florida Sen. Bill Nelson also denounced the game in a Twitter post. Nelson said that any company that develops a game like Active Shooter should be ashamed of itself.
The game’s developer has been identified as a person named Ata Berdiyev who has been identified as a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and manipulating user reviews, according to Valve spokesman Doug Lombardi. He added that Valve will soon undertake a broader conversation about Steam’s content policies which include guidelines for inappropriate content including those that are offensive or intended to shock or disgust viewers.