A Houston-born, now Australian gamer is behind the latest game to make headlines by exploiting the Sandy Hook tragedy – and wouldn’t you know it – it’s the same person behind a similar game years ago based on the Virginia Tech massacre.
The game, The Slaying of Sandy Hook Elementary, features a killer going from door to door in a school, simply killing people, in crude Flash graphics.
Moving to Sydney in 2001, Ryan Jake Lambourn experienced both Australia’s culture of low gun violence, and that of Houston, where a younger version of himself would see guns and ammo for sale in super stores such as Walmart, and hear gunshots from his home.
An audio message after his most recent game is completed claims the game was made as a form of protest against the lack of progress made in US gun regulation. Though as the Houston Chronicle reports, both anti-gun activists and the NRA have slammed the game, and even made personal attacks on Lambourn.
Other than the message at the end, the game is everything anti-gaming nuts like to holler about; it’s a straight-up murder simulator, offering more points for more kills, and with children as victims. Does it make a point? Probably, albeit in very poor taste.
A petition to remove the game from websites has surfaced, amidst similar calls from groups connected to parents and teachers of Sandy Hook. But the game looks likely to stay up, both on Lambourne’s website, and on sites like Rusty Arcade, which describe it as “a harsh political message based on tragic real life events.” Unlike last time, Lambourn is staying quiet and shunning media, with websites such as SMH forced to use photos and screen grabs from 2007.