By Caroline Donohue ’20
A video game called “Active Shooter” was scheduled for release on June 6, but it was recalled after thousands of families spoke out in protest on May 29.
The video game plot goes as follows: the player is a school shooter attacking students and teachers as well as a SWAT team to get through the school. The simulation was canceled by Valve Software on Steam, although there are murmurings that it may still make a possible reappearance.
Once parents of students from Parkland found out about the game and it’s release date, they posted protests on social media.
One parent, Fred Guttenberg tweeted, “I have seen and heard many horrific things over the past few months since my daughter was the victim of a school shooting and is now dead in real life. This game may be one of the worst.”
Following tweets and other social media posts, a few Change.org petitions were created to ban the game from releasing to the public. One petition had over 246,495 signatures, which originally created the recall that Valve made.
Anton Makarevsiky, the creator of “Active Shooter” is a 21-year-old man from Moscow, Russia. He was said to be surprised at the controversy towards the game, as he believed the game was not negative. “It’s not promoting violence, definitely no,” Makarevsiky said to PC Magazine.
One Staples student disagrees and believes the game is inappropriate. “I feel like especially at this point in time, with all of the current events happening and all of the violence being portrayed in society, the idea of kids portraying school shooters on video games is even more disturbing and clearly incorrect,” Mae Logan ’19 said.
In 2018 alone, there have been more school shootings than any other country, such as a high school in Parkland, Florida where 17 students were killed. The game portrays an event that is happening more and more commonly in the United States, although some people believe the game only glorifies shootings.
A recent CNN article was posted about the number of school shootings in the United States in 2018 so far. “We’re 21 weeks into 2018, and there have already been 23 school shootings where someone was hurt or killed. That averages out to more than 1 shooting a week,” Saeed Ahmed of CNN said.
As of right now, the game “Active Shooter” will not be released due to the large outburst that surprised Mavarevskiy. “He didn’t think the game would be as controversial as it turned out to be,” Ata Berdyev, Makarevskiy’s translator, said.
“A game where the player portrays a school shooter is extremely insensitive and inappropriate, and will ultimately give young children the young idea of what is right and what is wrong,” Jason Hyman ’20 said. “’Active Shooter’” should never be published to the public.”