School Shooting Game Angers Steam Users, Developer 'Likely' Changing It

Earlier this week, a game called Active Shooter appeared on Steam. It'd be nothing more than another heap of hacked-together pre-purchased assets — or an "asset flip", as they're known on Steam — if not for its subject matter. It's about mass shootings.

The unreleased game's Steam store page describes it as a "dynamic SWAT simulator" in which you play as a shooter, a SWAT team member trying to neutralise them, or a civilian. Its trailer depicts a player running down school halls and through classrooms, indiscriminately murdering teachers until a SWAT team shows up.

Complaints about the game have been fierce, and yesterday the person behind the game said they will probably remove the option to play as the mass shooter.

Almost as soon as the game's store listing went up, Steam users took to the game's forums to voice their distaste.

"I love offensive humour as much as the next guy, but you're dense as hell if you can't see why a pay-to-play school shooting simulation game might be taking it a step too far," said one user.

"REPORT THIS GAME," said another, more succinctly.

The game's Steam forums are dominated by threads calling for the developer to reconsider and for Valve to do something about the game, as well as people criticising Valve for the fact that it gives the boot to many games containing nudity while letting the likes of Active Shooter fester on digital shelves.

Anti-gun violence charity Infer Trust has called for Valve to remove Active Shooter from Steam altogether. "It is horrendous," a spokeswoman told the BBC. "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?"

This isn't the first time Steam has been criticised for school shooting-related content. Before a quiet crackdown from Valve that took place earlier this year, Steam reportedly played host to hundreds of user-made groups that glorified school shooters.

Kotaku reached out to Valve about Active Shooter yesterday, but has yet to hear back.

In response to all of this, Active Shooter's developer released a statement. "First of all, this game does not promote any sort of violence, especially any sort of a mass shooting," they wrote in a post on Steam, noting that the game was originally just going to be about SWAT teams, but then they decided to make shooters and civilians playable as well.

"While I can see people's anger and why this might be a bad idea for the game, I still feel like this topic should be left alone," they continued. "As I mentioned in Steam discussion forums, there are games like Hatred, Postal, Carmageddon and etc, which are even worst [sic] compared to Active Shooter and literally focus on mass shootings/killings of people."

They added that they will "more likely" revert the shooter character to being unplayable before the game's June 6 release date, pending a response from Valve.


Comments

    And yet every Postal game are on Steam to buy for everyone.

      Postal is a satirical game. Not a simulator like this game.

    -reposting due to automod for correcting a spelling mistake-

    Last edited 26/05/18 9:28 pm

    Its really obvious the shitstain of a human decided to make this game was trying to be an edgelord for attention.

    The real issue is why did valve even let such a game on steam in the first place. Why are some anime titties bad, But killing children is okay?

      It's very typical American, isn't it? Wanton violence - especially that which places the US military in a good light - is fine, but as soon as a nipple slips out it's "won't someone think of the children?!"

      Free speech, creative licence and all that... but by using a school as the setting I agree this is just a cheap, attention grabbing game.

      Too true.. I don't think valve has any quality controls in place. You pay, Its up unless its post regulation. Anime titties don't hurt none, i doubt there are trauma cases involving witnessing breasts but... school shootings? Just goes for show that valve are negligent. If Valve's intention is to make Steam more family friendly then clearly removing tatas is certainly not going to achieve that, age restriction exists and for a good reason. But despite quality controls lacking it can actually be a positive thing as it may potentially support innovation of the game industry coming from smaller companies or individuals. If strict measures were in place valve may not deem some games compelling for the market compared to other well established companies, in other words there might be a priority list and a struggle for game developers to get there game on the platform. There is consequences and negatives to all choices unfortunately but maybe they could employ a system where they screen games in regulation by chance, there would be some bad games but less then whats getting on the market now. Or maybe they have the human resources to utilize stricter regulation but would cause near zero downtime from requesting to put a game on the market and from it actually getting on the market so there would be no struggles?. I could be completely wrong, this is after all complete speculation.. thoughts?

    I don't get why people are bringing up Postal. It was a satirical game. You can go the whole game without killing anyone if you so choose. Context should be applied.

    A pretty tasteless game, and fair play to Steam if they want to take it down, but I'm all for freedom of expression.

    Idk... if all the teachers characters have guns too then according to Trump you'd just be gunned down as soon as you enter the first class room. Right?

    Fairly obvious cry for attention..
    This theme could be potentially explored in a game.
    Just not a tacky asset pile-on made by edgelords

    I bet some Americans would try harder to ban this game than they would to ban guns.

    If you looked at it from the point of view of learning how to survive one of these events then the game could have merit.

    Only to American's of course, the rest of the western world isn't as fucked up.

    The Streisand effect will push development of this game to be better, and possibly play as the shooter with mods upon release. Also, begging crying civilians. Maybe you can also choose an angsty teenage backstory which determines your kill objectives.

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