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Politics

Active Shooter, a school shooting game, removed from Steam following outrage

A game titled Active Shooter briefly made it to the world's largest PC gaming marketplace.

activeshooter

Judging from the objective list on the left, this appears to be from the viewpoint of a SWAT team member.

Steam

A game developer attempted to profit off a game simulating school shootings, but the immediate backlash appears to have curtailed those efforts.

Visible on Valve's wildly popular Steam marketplace Tuesday morning, Active Shooter was slated for release June 6, and appeared to let you play as a SWAT team member or an active shooter in various scenarios. The game included school settings complete with rows of desks, a school gym and hallways lined with lockers. 

activeshooter2

This screenshot appears to show the game from the viewpoint of the active shooter counting the number of "civs" and cops killed. 

Steam

Not surprisingly given the raw emotions around gun violence and heated national debate over gun control, the game sparked an uproar, with a Change.org petition quickly approaching its target of 150,000 signatures. At the time of this writing, it has passed 140,000 signatures with more people signing every second.

Ryan Petty, one of the parents who lost a child during the Feb. 14 Parkland shooting took to Facebook to let Valve know the game was not acceptable. Seventeen people lost their lives in the Florida tragedy, with another 17 wounded. 

Thanks everyone who got behind my call Saturday to let Valve know this game is not acceptable as entertainment. ...

Posted by Ryan Petty on Sunday, May 27, 2018

One of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students also had this to say on Twitter.

Valve didn't immediately respond to a request for comment. But this tweet quotes the company:

A subsequent search on Steam revealed the title no longer exists. Valve did provide a comment to Deadline, in which it confirmed the game has been pulled from the marketplace, and provided more background on the individual behind Active Shooter.

"This developer and publisher is, in fact, a person calling himself Ata Berdiyev, who had previously been removed last fall when he was operating as '[bc]Interactive' and 'Elusive Team.' Ata is a troll, with a history of customer abuse, publishing copyrighted material, and user review manipulation," Valve said in a statement.

As for how such a game appeared on the storefront in the first place, Valve promised updates about its content policies would be coming soon.