Active Shooter, a school shooting simulator that is set to launch on Steam, is facing massive backlash especially as it comes in the wake of the Santa Fe, Texas tragedy that killed 10, the latest in a series of school shootings this year.
The controversial video game is set to launch on June 6, but it remains to be seen whether the Active Shooter release will push through considering the outcry against it.
'Active Shooter' On Steam
Active Shooter appeared last week on Steam, and it was supposed to be nothing more than what is called an "asset flip." It mashed together pre-purchased assets into something that may pass off as a game these days.
Its subject matter, however, drew immense controversy, because the game functions as a school shooting simulator. While there are options to play as a SWAT team member or as a civilian, the trailer for Active Shooter shows a player moving through the halls of a school, shooting everybody.
After the game was listed on Steam, users voiced their opinions against Active Shooter. The backlash then started coming in from other channels, prompting publisher Acid to issue a statement.
"First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any sort of a mass shooting," wrote Acid in a post on the game's page. It said that Active Shooter was only supposed to focus on SWAT teams, but the option to play as the shooter or as civilians was later added.
Acid added that it will likely remove the option to play as the shooter before Active Shooter is released on June 6, pending a response from Valve, who is behind Steam.
Backlash Against 'Active Shooter'
It is hard to see how a game that added the option to play as a school shooter "does not promote any sort of violence." While Acid may be pulling out the option before Active Shooter is released on Steam, it might be too late.
A spokeswoman for Infer Trust, an anti-gun violence charity, said that Active Shooter is "in very bad taste."
"It is horrendous. Why would anybody think it's a good idea to market something violent like that, and be completely insensitive to the deaths of so many children?" the spokeswoman added.
"It's disgusting that Valve Corp. is trying to profit from the glamorization of tragedies affecting our schools across the country," said Petty.