Parkland Parents Condemn Video Game That Lets You Play As School Shooter

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The game is called "Active Shooter" and is described as a SWAT simulator which gives users the chance to either play as the actual shooter, or an elite SWAT member in settings like schools.

UPDATE 9:19 p.m. ET: Since the original publication of this story, Valve has confirmed to Variety that Active Shooter has been removed from their Steam storefront window, and the game's developer, Revived Games, and publisher, Acid, have been removed as well.

"Keeping our kids safe is a real issue affecting our communities and is in no way a "game", he said in a statement.

"When you make a game about something in real life that can happen to us, that actually happened to me, it's not only offensive, it's disgusting, why would you make a game about a school shooting, it's so messed up", said the Marjory Stoneman Douglas student.

A petition has been launched on Change.org to have the game banned and, so far, it's attracted more than 34,000 signatures.

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In response to critics, one of the developers defended the game. "Video game designers should think of the influence they hold". Although the game attracted mostly negative reviews and an adults-only rating from the Entertainment Software Rating Board, it was a top seller on Steam on its release day.

Ten people were killed in a school shooting in Texas on May 18 by a heavily armed 17-year-old classmate. The game is being released on Steam, "a digital distribution platform" that allows developers to share their games without having to go through a major distributor.

A game developer attempted to profit off a game simulating school shootings, but the immediate backlash appears to have curtailed those efforts. "There have been 22 school shootings in the USA since the beginning of this year", a spokesperson said.

The game's creator, a publishing house named Acid which gives its home as Moscow in Russian Federation, has defended the game as not meant to be taken seriously. "If you feel like hurting someone or people around you, please seek help from local psychiatrists or dial 911". That's a lot of games, so it's expected that some amount of controversial titles will eventually get flagged by Valve in time.

There is still no indication if Valve would kick out "Active Shooter" from their Steam platform, especially after the publicity that the petition has drawn. However, despite pressure from anti-gun violence charities, Valve say the reason for their removal of the game is not directly tied to its content.

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